Musée d’Orsay: Home of Impressionists in Paris

Reviewing such a famous museum like Musée d’Orsay is super easy but at the same time super hard mission. Is there anything we could think of that isn’t already noticed and reviewed? Hardly. In 2016, Musée d’Orsay was the 16th most visited museum in the world and 11th in Europe. 3 million people per year. This is huge!

What is more, Musée d’Orsay is considered to hold one of the biggest and the most significant collection of famous impressionist paintings. Monet, Van Gogh, Degas, Gauguin – all of them and many more are here!

So, yes, it is obvious that Musée d’Orsay is amazing. One of the best museums to visit in the world. And this is why our mission to review it is difficult. But. But! Since we aren’t true art critics or common museum visitors, and somehow on our short stay in Paris, we still managed to find our way there, this means that despite the art this museum has something that attracts the attention of almost every tourist in Paris. So, let’s review the things that make Musée d’Orsay so appealing!


Musée d'Orsay
Musée d’Orsay is situated in the heart of Paris.

Musée d’Orsay is located on the left bank of River Seine in front of the Louvre and the Tuileries Garden. In other words, it is the 1 arrondissement of Paris – the aorta of this magical city. It is easily reachable from all the significant sights of the city, both by foot and by the public transport. The only difficulties about the location could be the parking of the car. If you decide to reach it like this, it won’t be easy to find a free place in the public parking, but if you google for private parking lots, you will definitely find one in a kilometer range. So, all in all, tourists couldn’t ask for a better museum location!


Retro-mood was the thing that caught our attention in the first place. Musée d’Orsay is located in the former Gare d’Orsay, railway station built between 1898 and 1900. Back then it served as a terminal for the railway between Paris and Orleans and it officially was the first electrified urban rail terminal in the world. This station building is so beautiful and so majestic that it captivates even through the pictures, not to mention the real-life atmosphere! Different expositions are placed around the old waiting-halls and the most significant exhibits have found their way in the main hall, instead of the old railway that used to depart towards Orleans.


Inside the old Gare d’Orsay.


For the European Union citizens that are up to 26 years old, the entrance to the Musée d’Orsay is free of charge. And that actually applies almost for every museum in Paris. That’s how lucky we were! For all the other age groups, an admission fee is between 9 and 12 euros, depending on your age, visiting hours and week days.

So imagine this. If you are EU citizen under 26 years old, you have a free entrance to one of the most beautiful buildings in Paris to see one of the most famous exhibitions in the world. You MUST pay a visit here!

But when talking about the paid entrance, the size of the price depends on your travel budget. We believe that 9-12 euros is a reasonable price for the things you see and get there. But, on the other hand, if your budget is limited for only one museum, then you will have quite of a dilemma between Musée d’Orsay and its famous neighbor Musée du Louvre. The entrance there cost quite the similar amount of money – 15 euros.


Musée d'Orsay
Our favorite part of the museum.

When talking about the quality of Musée d’Orsay, we want to highlight three things why we believe it is a must-see and must-visit (yes, it is!) place in Paris. First, it is the top-class exhibition. We all know the iconic works of such a talented artists as Claudio Monet or Vincent van Gogh. Musée d’Orsay offers their best works along with the works of many other worldwide famous painters and sculptors.

Secondly, it is the architecture of the building in which the exhibition takes place. Gare d’Orsay was a really spectacular station and it is probably even more spectacular as the museum. You will find four floors with many small and several big halls in every one of them. The most spectacular space for us was the upper floor where visitors can find a dark room with a huge, black, vintage-looking clock. This clock has a transparent plate, through which you can admire the River Seine and the Louvre on the other bank of the river. The only bad thing about it is a number of people admiring it. You will have to wait some time to catch the shot without strangers in it!

And the third good thing that makes Musée d’Orsay so special, is the view from the top of the building. Almost whole 1 arrondissement of Paris is under your feet, but the best thing is the view of the Basilica of Sacré-Cœur and Montmartre on the horizon!

Finally, there is one more thing that illustrates the quality of Musée d’Orsay. We visited it in June, on a Saturday noon, or in the other words – in the peak of the tourist peak. And it took us only 10 minutes to get inside the building! So, in our opinion, museum administration does a really great job.

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