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The Best Way to See The Orsay Museum

Visiting the Orsay Museum (Musée d’Orsay) in Paris can be a incredible experience, given its vast collection of impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces. Here are some of our tips to ensure you have the best visit!

Main Entrance to Orsay Museum, Paris
Photo: Orsay Museum, Paris

1. Plan Ahead

  • Tickets: Purchase tickets in advance online to avoid long queues. The official website of the Orsay Museum offers e-tickets, and so do various third-party sites like Tiqets.
  • Opening Hours: The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM, with extended hours until 9:45 PM on Thursdays. It’s closed on Mondays.
  • Best Time to Visit: Mornings (right at opening) or late afternoons (after 4 PM) tend to be less crowded. Thursday evenings are often quieter due to extended hours.

2. Getting There

  • Location: The Orsay Museum is located on the left bank of the Seine River, opposite the Tuileries Gardens.
  • Public Transport: The easiest way to get there is via the Paris Métro. Take Line 12 to the Solférino station or RER Line C to the Musée d’Orsay station. Buses 24, 63, 68, 69, 73, 83, 84, and 94 also stop nearby.

3. Navigating the Museum

  • Floor Plan: Grab a floor plan at the entrance or download one from the museum’s website beforehand. This will help you locate key works and exhibits.
  • Highlights: Don’t miss masterpieces like Van Gogh’s “Starry Night Over the Rhône,” Manet’s “Olympia,” and Renoir’s “Bal du Moulin de la Galette.” The fifth floor houses the bulk of the impressionist works. Take the stress away from navigating the Louvre by opting for one of our private Louvre tour packages, ensuring a personalized and enriching experience!
  • Temporary Exhibitions: Check out any temporary exhibitions, as they often feature rare works or unique themes.
Paintings on display in Orsay Museum, Paris.
Photo: Orsay Museum, Paris

4. Guided Tours and Audioguides

  • Guided Tours: Consider joining a guided tour to gain deeper insights into the artworks. You can discover our Orsay Museum Tours here.
  • Audioguides: Available for rent at the museum, audioguides provide detailed information about the exhibits and are a good option if you prefer to explore at your own pace.

Check out our “Highlights of Musée d’Orsay in 10 Minutes” with our expert guide, Laure!


5. Dining and Amenities

  • Cafes and Restaurants: The museum has a few dining options, including Café Campana and Restaurant du Musée d’Orsay, which offers a beautiful view of the Seine. You can find more information on the Orsay Museum website.
  • Gift Shop: Visit the museum’s gift shop for art books, prints, and souvenirs.

6. Additional Tips

  • Accessibility: The museum is wheelchair accessible and offers free admission for disabled visitors and an accompanying person. You can rent wheelchair for free at the cloakroom in exchange for an I.D. card.
  • Photography: Non-flash photography is allowed, but be mindful of other visitors.
  • Free Admission Days: The museum offers free admission on the first Sunday of each month, which can be a great way to save money but expect larger crowds. Be aware that reservation of a free ticket is compulsory.

Choose to make the most of your visit to the Orsay Museum by exploring our Orsay Museum Private Tour.

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