Small enough to get around without being overwhelmed, the Musée d'Orsay is a favorite stop in Paris not just for its size but for its collection of impressionist, postimpressionist, and art nouveau art. Perfectly set in the center of the city, on the banks of the Seine, and opposite the Tuileries Gardens, the museum is housed in the former Gare d'Orsay, a railway station that was built for the Universal Exhibition of 1900—so the building itself could be seen as a work of art. The extraordinary collection spans art created in the period between 1848 and 1914.
By Jack MacDonough, AFAR Local Expert
A Soaring Home for Impressionist Masterpieces
The Musée d'Orsay is, of course, a key stop on any trip to see the works of France's Impressionists. This former railway station that is now one of the world's most beautiful museums is in itself perhaps the finest tribute that could be paid to all these artists, many of whom so loved trains, train journeys, and the glorious stations constructed in the nineteenth century.
By Lauren Maggard, AFAR Travel Advisor
Installed in a Beaux-Arts railway station built for the Universal Exhibition of 1900, the Musée d’Orsay holds the world’s largest collection of Impressionist and Postimpressionist masterpieces—works by Bonnard, Cassatt, Cézanne, Degas, Gauguin, Manet, Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh and more. Don’t miss the view of Sacré-Coeur through the transparent face of the giant clock on the top level. The museum is open every day except Monday.
By Sara Tucker
Take a break near the Musee d’Orsay
The d’Orsay vibe is completely different from the Louvre and its counterparts across the Seine. The extensive impressionist and post-impressionist collection sets the museum apart. The museum started life as a train station before being transformed into a haven for French paintings, sculptures, and furniture. Although the museum is filled with the works of Monet and Van Gogh, I like to step back and admire the architecture and design of the building.
an interesting view of Paris from inside la Musee D'Orsay
By Sharon In
Cruising past Musee D'Orsay
I've heard great things about Musee D'Orsay and I will definitely get there this month. For now, I've only floated past during a delightful cruise on the Seine.
By Genevieve, AFAR Local Expert
A Lunch Break from the Impressionists
In the Musée D'Orsay there is a delicious (but a bit pricey) restaurant on one of the top floors in line with the grandiose clock visible outside the building. Great atmosphere, service, and decor with the natural light piercing through the clock and bouncing off the suspended silver bells.
Clock at the Orsay Muséum
The Musée D'Orsay which was originally the first train station in Paris built for the 1900 Worlds Fair is home to one of the most impressive impressionist collections in the world! It is a must see on any visit to Paris!
I won a sizable online poker tournament that netted me a WTP professional poker tournament entry to the Aviator Club Casino in Paris as well as travel money. My jaw dropped when I saw the room: there sat the world's greatest poker players in the quaint quarters upstairs . Before the game, I managed to sneak away to the finest sights in Paris after arriving from the US on Bastille Day. What a celebration it was. This image here captured a feeling of visual inspiration amongst the world's greatest paintings and artists alike. My experience in the tournament felt equally surreal while playing poker with such dexterous virtuosos.
An Impressionist's dream!
The Musée d'Orsay is one of my favorite museums in the world. It is a converted railway station which was designed by Victor Laloux at the turn of the century. It closed in the late 1930's and was turned into this glorious museum in 1986. It was almost demolished in the 1970's but thankfully the public said no. And today we have one of the most beautifully arranged art collections from the years of 1848 to 1914. There are sculptures, paintings, glass works, furniture, doors, ceilings, all types of art in its various forms. I really love the Art Nouveau which is featured in the middle level of the museum. The ground level houses works from 1848 to late 1800's and the top floor is my favorite, the Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist art. Every time I visit Paris I have to spend a day here. I may have seen the same paintings but the entire structure, the neighborhood, and the art just never disappoint. Some of the highlights are: Gates of Hell by Rodin, which include in the gate the Thinker and The Kiss. The Impressionist section on the top floor, all of it! Monet, Manet, Gauguin, Cézane, Van Gogh, Degas, The Art Nouveau at the mid-level which has rooms with lovely furniture and stained glass. Edgar Degas' "Young Dancer of Fourteen" sculpture. They have a great shop, as well, that provides some nice little souvenirs that won't break the bank or add weight to your luggage. d'Orsay is a classic!
That is so Right . . .
take a break by the Muse D'Orsee and then go inside the Muse D'Orsee. The collection is amazing in terms of its impressionist collection. You will gain new insights into the paintings by Renoir, Roussea and others. Well worth the break and the visit!
By Karin Ward
Uniworld guests will visit the Orsay Museum—which houses the most extensive collection of Impressionist paintings in France—to view masterpieces from Monet, van Gogh, Cézanne, and countless others. Plus, guests will venture to Montmarte, a designated historic area of Paris where Impressionists Pissarro, Degas and Renoir once lived and worked.
Sponsored by Uniworld
The best museum in Paris other than the Louvre
The museum is a converted train station with things like the large clock at the front of the building still there and working. The architecture of the building is terrific in itself with beautiful arches and marble works. The main hallway, running from front to back, is lined with some fantastic statues. I especially enjoy the statues made with multiple materials as it makes them even more lifelike. On one of the statues the cloak is one colorful material while the bust is more the traditional marble. The side rooms contain a variety of paintings and sculptures making for a very enjoyable experience. The museum even has a cafe on one of the upper floors that overlooks the Seine which is a delightful place to take a break from the sights of the museum. The museum can easily be seen in one visit including the statues in the outside court yard area. I have been many times over the years as there are pieces that I particularly enjoy and there are usually new exhibits to see as well.
The Musée d'Orsay
A former Beaux-Arts railway station that houses the largest collection of impressionist and post-Impressionist masterpieces in the world, by painters including Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, Seurat, Sisley, Gauguin, and Van Gogh. Work your way up to the top floor that has an unmatched view of the Seine at sunset.
By Irene Wang
1 Rue de la Légion d'Honneur, 75007 Paris, France
+33 1 40 49 48 14
Tue, Wed, Fri - Sun 9:30am - 6pm
Thur 9:30am - 9:45pm