MUSEE D'ORSAY FAQ'S

The Musée d'Orsay, located on the left bank of the Seine, is housed in the gorgeously renovated Belle Époque train station, Gare d'Orsay, built between 1898 and 1900. The museum holds mainly French art dating from 1848 to 1915, including paintings, sculptures, furniture and photography. Many of these works were held at the Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume prior to the museum's opening in 1986.

When is the best time to visit the Musee d'Orsay?

The Musee d'Orsay is very busy and not as spacious as the Louvre. We highly recommend visiting the museum on Thursday evening when it is open until 9:45pm, and there are significantly fewer visitors. Remember that the Musee d'Orsay is closed on Mondays.

Is there a long line to enter the museum?

Lines here are among the worst in Paris. Book ahead online or buy a Museum Pass; then go directly to entrance C. Otherwise, go early.

What kind of art is in the Musee d'Orsay?

The museum holds mainly French art dating from 1848 to 1915, including paintings, sculptures, furniture and photography. It houses the largest collection of impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces in the world, by such renowned painters as Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, Seurat, Sisley, Gauguin and Van Gogh.

To visit the exhibits in a roughly chronologic order, start on the first floor, take the escalators to the top, and end on the second. If you are going to see the biggest names there, head straight for the top floor and work your way down. English audio guides and free color coded museum maps (both available just past the ticket booths) will help you plan your visit. Note that renovations will be ongoing until 2015, so expect some gallery closings.

Where can I get a snack or have lunch?

The elegant Musée d'Orsay Restaurant once served patrons of the 1900 World's Fair and the Café du Lion offers quick fare on the ground floor by the entrance. There's also a café and a self service cafeteria on the top floor just after the Cézanne galleries. Don't miss the views of Sacré-Coeur from the balcony - this is the Paris that inspired the Impressionists!

Is photography allowed inside the Musée d'Orsay?

Photography and filming is strictly prohibited inside the museum.

Is the Musee d'Orsay wheelchair accessible?

The Musee d'Orsay is wheelchair accessible and there are elevators located throughout the museum.