The Musee d'Orsay is, hands-down, one of the world's richest and most exciting museums. Its permanent collection houses countless great works by masters of early modern and impressionist art, including Matisse, Monet, Degas, Van Gogh, and Rodin. The museum also curates several major temporary exhibits throughout the year, as well as hosting not-to-be-missed special events. All of these reasons account for why this museum regularly tops the list of Paris's most interesting attractions.
But like any top-notch collection, the Orsay can be overwhelming to visit. Use these strategies to make your visit as enriching and entertaining as possible.
- During Paris' low season (November to March)
- From 9:30 a.m. to noon (with a slight dip at lunchtime)
- In the evening (Thursdays only)
- On weekdays
- Individual visitors without tickets: Seine river side, entrance A
- Members, visitors with tickets or passes or with priority entry: Rue de Lille side, entrance C
- For adults in groups:Seine river side, entrance B
- For school groups: Rue de Lille side, entrance D
If you are visiting the Musee d'Orsay for the first time, the best way to get an exciting overview of the periods and artists featured at the museum is to take a guided tour. The Musee d'Orsay offers tours to individuals and groups. Note that tours are offered on selective days subject to change.
- The Orsay Masterpiece Tour provides visitors with a 1.5 hour overview of the permanent collections.
- The 19th Century Art Tour is more focused and allows visitors to gain greater insight into 19th century artistic movements. If you want to dig deeper into featured artists and periods, this tour is for you.
The permanent collection at the Musee d'Orsay may be what draws visitors in droves, but there's much more to see if you want to stretch your visit into a whole day.
The museum regularly curates major temporary exhibits on important artists and movements from the period 1848-1914, giving visitors fresh insight into the exciting developments of the 19th century.