Good for: everyone
Lonely Planet review for Musée d'Orsay
Fresh from renovations that incorporate richly coloured walls, a re-energised layout and increased exhibition space, the home of France’s national collection from the impressionist, postimpressionist and art nouveau movements spanning the 1840s and 1914 is the glorious former Gare d’Orsay railway station – itself an art nouveau showpiece – where a roll-call of masters and their world-famous works are on display.
Top of every visitor’s must-see list is the museum’s painting collections, centred on the world’s largest collection of impressionist and post-impressionist art. Just some of its highlights are Manet’s On The Beach and Woman With Fans; Monet’s gardens at Giverny; Cézanne’s card players and still lifes; Renoir’s Ball at the Moulin de la Galette and Girls at the Piano; Degas’ ballerinas; Toulouse-Lautrec’s cabaret dancers; Pissarro’s The Harvest; Sisley’s View of the Canal St-Martin; and Van Gogh’s self-portraits, Bedroom in Arles and Starry Night. There are also some magnificent decorative arts, graphic arts and sculptures.
Save time by prepurchasing tickets online or at Kiosque du Musée d’Orsay, in front of the museum, and head to entrance C. Admission drops to €6.50 after 4.30pm (after 6pm on Thursday). Combined tickets with the Musée de l’Orangerie cost €14 to visit both within four days.