Destination Deep-Dive 6 MINS READ

A Musée d’Orsay Walkthrough – All You Need To Know

A Musée d’Orsay Walkthrough – All You Need To Know

Destination Deep-Dive 6 MINS READ
Musée d'Orsay

One of the most famous museums in Paris, Musée d’Orsay is home to the world’s greatest collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art.

Key Info

📍AddressEsplanade Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, 75007 Paris, France. Get Directions
🚇 MetroLine 12 to Solférino Station
💲Ticket Price€16 (about $17) for adults
⏱ Duration2 hours to half a day

Opening Hours

Tuesday-Sunday9:30 AM – 6 PM
Thursday9:30 AM – 9:45 PM


Entrance AIndividual visitors without tickets
Entrance BAdult groups with pre-booked tickets
Entrance CDisabled visitors, ticket and pass holders
Entrance DSchool groups with pre-booked tickets
Must-See MasterpiecesStarry Night Over the Rhône by Vincent Van Gogh

Blue Water Lilies by Claude Monet

Bal du Moulin de la Galette by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

And the Gold of Their Bodies by Paul Gauguin

L’Absinthe by Edgar Degas

Quick Blog Jumplinks

Why Should You Visit Musee d’Orsay?

To see iconic Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works

Impressionist and Post Impressionist Art at Musée d’Orsay

Musée d’Orsay is home to the world’s largest collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art. This includes Monet, Renoir, Degas, Van Gogh, Cézanne, and Gauguin masterpieces.

Don’t miss ‘Luncheon on the Grass‘ by Édouard Manet

For it’s temporary exhibitions

Temporary Exhibitions at Musée d’Orsay

Beyond its permanent masterpieces, Musée d’Orsay is known for its captivating temporary exhibitions. In recent years, the museum has hosted Pierre Bonnard, Le Douanier Rousseau, Paul Cézanne, Edgard Degas, Pablo Picasso, and Edvard Munch.

To explore a beautiful building

The architecture of Musée d’Orsay

Musée d’Orsay is housed in a beautiful Beaux-Arts-style building that was originally a turn-of-the-century railway station designed by Lucien Magne, Émile Bénard, and Victor Laloux. The building itself is a work of art, with its 19th-century splendor, grand architecture, and large, airy spaces.

Don’t miss the impressive 1900 clock dominating the central hall.

To see an impressive collection of art forms

The sculptures at Musée d’Orsay

The collection at Musée d’Orsay is not limited to paintings. The museum houses many sculptures, decorative art objects, and photography. This gives you a well-rounded view of modern art from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Don’t miss ‘The Four Parts of the World Holding the Celestial Sphere’ by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux

To gain a deeper understanding of art history

Artworks at Musée d’Orsay

The collected works of Orsay Museum are arranged chronologically, so you can see how art styles developed over time. When you dig deeper into an artist, a technique, or the politics and culture at the time, the artwork starts to reveal more layers of depth and meaning.

Don’t miss the back story of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Montmartre

Also Visit: The Louvre In Paris

Ground Floor

The ground floor at Musée d’Orsay

Over here, you can immerse yourself in the art created between 1848 and the early 1870s. Explore the evolution of historic paintings in the galleries to your right. These focus on academic and pre-Symbolist schools. Keep an eye out for iconic works by Delacroix, Ingres, Moreau, and even some early Degas.

The galleries to the left focus on Realism, Naturalism, and early stirrings of Impressionism. Don’t miss Millet’s iconic The Angelus and the revolutionary Le déjeuner sur l’herbe by Manet.

While you’re captivated by paintings, take a moment to appreciate the surrounding architecture and sculptures. These depict the eclecticism movement of the mid-19th century.

The Middle Level

The middle level at Musée d’Orsay

Head to the museum’s middle level for a deep dive into the late 19th century. Here is where you will find a dedicated section for Art Nouveau featuring six captivating exhibits.

Take in the beauty of the Seine River while browsing galleries showcasing Naturalist and Symbolist paintings. These spaces boast decorative elements salvaged from public monuments. Keep an eye out for renowned artists like Klimt and Munch.

The south gallery on this floor is a treasure trove for fans of French art. Here, you’ll find pieces by Maurice Denis, Bonnard, and Roussel.

Upper Level 2

As you step onto this floor, you will walk the path that paved the way for Impressionism. Here, you’ll encounter major artists like Paul Gauguin, Georges Seurat, Paul Signac, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Don’t miss the special treat – a dedicated gallery showcasing small-format paintings!

Upper level at Musée d’Orsay

Upper Level 1

This floor boasts the most iconic paintings, likely the very reason most visitors flock here. Here lie Impressionist masters who shaped the movement: Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, Camille Pissarro, and Gustave Caillebotte.

Further, there are entire galleries dedicated to the later works (post-1880) of Monet and Renoir. And it doesn’t stop there! This same floor houses the renowned Gachet Collection, consisting of artworks by Van Gogh and Paul Cézanne. To top it all off, there are also sculptures by Edgar Degas.


Terrace at Musée d’Orsay
Photo Credit: Joe Shlabotnik

Dedicated to 19th-century sculpture, over here, an entire wing awaits, showcasing the celebrated works of legendary French sculptor, Auguste Rodin.

Also Visit: Notre Dame In Paris

Stay Near Musee d’Orsay

Hôtel d’Orsay4.7 ⭐
Hôtel Le Bellechasse Saint Germain4.3 ⭐
Hôtel Mayfair Paris4.4 ⭐
Hotel Brighton4.5 ⭐
Hôtel Bourgogne & Montana4.5 ⭐

Tours & Tickets

Admission Tickets

This ticket provides access to the permanent collections and any temporary exhibitions happening during your visit to Musée d’Orsay. Reservations are strongly recommended, especially during peak season. A full-priced ticket purchased online costs €16.

Free Entry

– For anyone under 18 years old
– For citizens/long-term residents of an EU member state (18-25 year-olds)
– For everyone on the first Sunday of every month
– For disabled visitors
– For anyone holding a Paris Museum Pass


Musée d’Orsay offers a variety of tours led by experienced guides. These tours are a great way to learn more about the museum’s collection and gain insights from experts. Here are a few options:

Skip-the-Line Ticket with Audio Guides: This option allows you to bypass the general admission line and explore the museum at your own pace with the help of an informative audio guide.

Guided Tours: The museum offers various guided tours in English and other languages. These tours focus on different aspects of the collection, such as the Impressionist movement or the history of the building itself. Prices typically start around the same price as a general admission ticket (€16).

Tips For Visiting Musée d’Orsay

  • To avoid sensory overload, try to focus your visit such that you conquer a selected period or set of artists completely instead of dashing through the museum and feeling overwhelmed.
  • Visit on weekdays or during the off-season if you want to avoid the crowds and enjoy the museum at your own pace.
  • Book a guided tour if you’re visiting Orsay Museum for the first time. This way you will better understand the significance of the periods, artists, and major masterpieces encountered.
  • Make sure to catch special events like concerts, film screenings, and art-inspired shows hosted within the confines of Orsay Museum.
  • Enhance your experience by combining your visit to the Orsay Museum with the Musée de l’Orangerie and Musée Rodin.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of art can I see at Musée d’Orsay?

Musée d’Orsay houses mainly French art dating from 1848 to 1914. This includes paintings, sculptures, furniture, and photography. It’s famous for having the world’s largest collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces by artists like Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, and Van Gogh.

Is there anything apart from Impressionist art at Musée d’Orsay?

While Impressionism is a major focus, Musée d’Orsay also features art movements like Romanticism, Realism, Symbolism, Naturalism, and Pointillism.

Does Musée d’Orsay have free admission?

Yes, entry is free for all visitors on the first Sunday of every month. Disabled visitors, EU citizens between 18-25, and anyone below 18 years old can enter Orsay Museum for free.

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