Musée d’Orsay

Top choice

Museum

in St-Germain & Les Invalides

France, Paris, Seine River banks listed as World Heritage by UNESCO, musee d'Orsay

Getty Images/Hemis.fr RM

Musée d’Orsay may not be quite as famous as the Louvre—though it’s located a mere 10-minute walk away—but this Left Bank museum holds its own in its collection of artistic wonders. The museum is famous for holding the world’s largest collection of impressionist and postimpressionist art. 

Why you should go 

Richly coloured walls at the Musée d’Orsay make its impressionist and postimpressionist canvases by masters including Renoir, Gauguin, Cézanne and Degas appear as if they’re hung in an intimate home. 

Completed at the turn of the 20th century, the Gare d'Orsay – the grand former railway station in which the museum is located – is an exemplar of art nouveau architecture, but the star of the show is France’s treasured national collection of masterpieces from 1848 to 1914. Allow ample time to swoon over masterpieces by Manet, Monet, Renoir, Degas, Pissarro and Van Gogh.

There are also some magnificent decorative arts, graphic arts and sculptures.

Opening hours and other practicalities

The museum is open 9.30am to 7pm Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday to Sunday. It opens from 9.30am to 8.45pm on Thursday. A full rate ticket is €16. Save time by pre-purchasing tickets online and head to entrance C. Combined tickets with the Musée de l’Orangerie (€18) and with the Musée Rodin (€21) are valid for a single visit to the museums within three months. An audioguide costs €5.

Concerts, films, performances and cafe readings take place regularly; check the website for schedules.