Orsay Museum in Paris: what to see and how to buy tickets | Elena Kazantseva's blog 2btraveler.ru

The Orsay Museum in Paris is the second most visited Paris after the Louvre Museum and the tenth most popular in the world. It will be interesting, first of all, to connoisseurs of art of the 19th and early 20th centuries and to fans of impressionism. I’ll tell you in an article about the museum itself and show my photos.

A bit of history

The Orsay Museum (Musée d’Orsay) is located on the left bank of the Seine in Paris, occupies the building of the former train station. Designed by Victor Laloux, the Gare d’Orsay was opened in 1900, with trains leaving for Orleans, Toulouse and Bordeaux. But soon (after 39 years) the movement of trains stopped and the station even wanted to be demolished, but still decided to carry out the reconstruction. The Orsay Museum was opened in 1986, the main architect working on its design was Gae Aulenti, an Italian architect who worked on many famous projects in Italy and participated in the reconstruction of the papal stables at the Quirinale Palace in Rome .

Musee d'Orsay in Paris
A hundred years ago, trains stopped here
museum clock
Hours left from the station

Today, the Orsay Museum contains a huge collection of works of art from 1850-1910, the basis of which is the work of the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists (Van Gogh, Monet, Pissarro, Signac, Cezanne, Manet, Renoir, Degas,).

Musee Orsay: website, opening hours, tickets, how to get

Orsay Museum opening hours

Official website of the Orsay Museum: https://www.musee-orsay.fr/en/

On the museum’s website you can see the latest information on exhibitions, opening hours, ticket prices.

Museum Hours

In 2019, the work schedule is as follows:

  • 9: 30-18: 00 except Mondays and Thursdays
  • 9: 30-21: 45 on Thursdays
  • Monday-day off.

Orsay Museum Tickets

You can buy a ticket to the museum at the box office (for the current day) or online (for any day).

  • Museum ticket price: 14 € when buying at the museum, 15.40-16 € when buying online [ buy online without a queue ]
  • By Paris Museum Pass admission is free and without waiting in line
  • Audioguide 5 €.
  • On the first Sunday of the month, admission is free for everyone.
  • Complex ticket Orsay Museum + Orangerie Museum 18 € [ buy online without waiting ]
  • Complex ticket Orsay Museum + Rodin Museum 21 €
ticket to the musee d'orse
For those who buy a ticket online – a separate entrance C (to the right in the direction of the arrow!)

Necessarily to save your ticket after visiting if you plan to visit the Orangerie Museum or the Rodin Museum. When buying tickets to these museums will be given a discount.

I bought a ticket at the box office, but it was in January, there was no line in the morning. However, fencing is placed in front of the entrance, which shows that the museum is preparing for large lines. They accumulate mainly due to security controls at the entrance.


How to buy a ticket to the Orsay Museum in Paris, without waiting

In order not to queue for the museum, it is better to buy a ticket in advance. You can do this:

  1. Through the official website (€ 15.40, you need to register on the website, create, confirm an account, etc.)
  2. Through tiqets service in 1 minute (16 €). Service instructions are here .

Buy a skip-to-line ticket to the Orsay Museum  >>>

How to get to the Orsay Museum

Buses: 24, 63, 68, 69, 73, 83, 84, 94

Metro: line 12 (Solferino station)

City train RER C (Orsay Museum / Muséed’Orsay)

Excursions to the Orsay Museum


Orsay Museum exposition and famous paintings

The museum exposition occupies 5 levels, the works are arranged in chronological order.

Basement and 1st floor: sculptures and temporary expositions (in January 2019, the exhibition Renoirs. Father and Son. Painting and Cinema was held, and the works of Gauguin and Van Gogh were exhibited here, and not at level 5).

Orsay Museum exposition
The 1st floor of the museum is dedicated to sculpture

Intermediate level (2-4 floors): a gallery of neo- and post-impressionism, a collection of furniture, tableware and decorative art.

What to see at the Orsay Museum Orsay Museum exhibition

5th Floor: gallery of impressionism and post-impressionism. All the most famous paintings of the Orsay Museum are exhibited here.

impressionists in the museum of orsay
The third floor is dedicated to impressionism.

What to see at the Orsay Museum

Here is a list of paintings worth seeing in the museum:

  • “Rouen Cathedral” C. Monet

Rouen Cathedral Monet Orsay Museum

  • “Blue Water Lilies” by C. Monet
  • “Breakfast on the grass” E. Manet
  • “Olympia” E. Manet
  • “Family Portrait” by E. Degas
  • “Dance class” E. Degas
  • “Ball in the Moulins de la Galette” by O. Renoir
  • “Arearea” P. Gauguin

arearea gauguin museum orsay

  • “Cyclists of the parquet” by G. Caillebotte

A special place in the museum is occupied by paintings by Vincent Van Gogh. In Munich, we went to the New Pinakothek to look at his Sunflowers. There are much more pictures here.

  • “Starlight Night”
  • “Self portrait”

van gogh self portrait

  • “Church in Auvers”

paintings by van gogh orsay museum

  • “Bedroom in Arles”

bedroom in arles van gogh orsay museum

  • “Portrait of Dr. Gachet”

Portrait of Dr. Gachet Van Gogh Orsay Museum

By the way, if you are a fan of Van Gogh like me, I highly recommend you watch the movie “Van Gogh. With love, Vincent. ” The film is literally drawn in the style of the artist! In it, you can see Dr. Gachet, and Van Gogh’s room, and many famous scenes from the life of Van Gogh, which are closely intertwined with his work.

Of the interesting exhibits there is also “Opera” in the context and the layout of the quarter around the Opera.

mock opera museum orsay
Cutaway Opera Model

The layout is in the floor, when you walk along the glass floor you may even feel dizzy, be careful!

mock quarter of opera orsay museum
Quarter of the Opera, still dizzy 🙂

In addition to famous paintings and sculptures, the Campana cafe on the top level is also interesting. Located behind one of the hours of the former train station, and from the cafe itself offers a beautiful view of Paris.

museum clock

Campana cafe clock

You can run into the gift shop, the usual prices for gift shops at museums. Small souvenir notebooks cost 3 €.

Orsay museum how to get


Read also “TOP 50 sights of Paris”


Of course, in my article I didn’t tell in detail about the paintings, artists, I didn’t write dates and historical facts (you can read it on Wikipedia), but I hope I was able to guide you how not to spend precious time in line at the box office and what paintings look first of all (to avoid disappointment from missing something important!).

Do you have a favorite work in the Orsay Museum? Can you recommend something to future visitors? Leave your add-ons and questions in the comments! If you liked the article, make a repost on social networks, share with friends, save to bookmarks! 

An interesting visit to the Orsay Museum!

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