Dedicated to the art of the 19th and 20th centuries, it is the most acclaimed museum in Paris, with even better reviews than its neighbor the Louvre by tourists. This is probably because it is easier to visit: the building is much smaller and still has many pieces of known value, especially impressionist paintings.


In just two hours you can see almost the whole museum.

Opening hours:

  • Monday: closed.
  • Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday: 9:30 am to 6 pm.
  • Thursday: 9:30 a.m. to 9:45 pm.


  • Adult: 12 €. For 4 € more you can also visit the Museo de l’Orangerie, or 6 € more, the Rodin Museum.
  • Reduced: 9 €: 18-25 years old non-EU and from 4:30 pm every day, except Thursday from 6pm.
  • Free:
    • Included in the Paris Museum Pass.
    • The first Sunday of the month.
    • EU citizens under 25 years old, all under 18.
    • Unemployed and disabled people and their companions.


The museum is in the former Orsay railway station, a beautiful and very diaphanous building, with a high ceiling in the main gallery. It was built for the Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1900. The museum was inaugurated in December 1986.

main gallery of the museum


The best known is its impressionist collection:

  • Monet. My favorite painter, although I recognize that often repeats his motifs. There are many of his paintings, being the main ones the Blue Water Lilies, La Gare Saint-Lazare and Woman with Parasol.
Woman with Parasol looking right and Woman with Parasol looking left
  • Van Gogh. Self-portrait, Starry Night, The Church at Auvers, La Siesta and one of his pictures of The Room.
The Starry Night
  • Multiple paintings of Cezanne.
  • Degas paintings of Dancers.
  • Gauguin, known for his paintings set in Tahiti.
Women of Tahiti

Also famous, but realist works are as follows:

  • The Floor Scrapers, Caillebotte.
  • The Origin of the World, Courbet, which is a close-up … because of … well… yeah, she shows it all.
  • And of course, Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1, known as “The Picture of the Old Lady in Mr Bean the Movie”
Here Mr Bean about to retouch the work

Less famous, but personally I like:

  • Pilgrims going to Mecca, Leon Belly.
I wonder how a painting like this is done, with animal models, humans, sunlight … One of my favorites
  • Dante and Virgil, Bouguerau. Realism and dynamism of this work is impressive.


  • The audience’s favorite is usually the Polar Bear statue, Pompon.
This one I would have it in my place
  • Little 14 Years Old Dancer, Degas, also well known, although it seems to me that the girl has an odd face.
  • The bronze sculptures in the square before entering the museum also have many fans: there is a horse, a rhino and 6 women representing 6 continents.
Statues outside the museum
  • The rest of statues are mostly in the central nave, ground and second floors, so they are easy to find.


There are areas of art objects, drawings and photographs that personally do not arouse any interest to me.


The museum only has 3 visitable floors, which leads to confusion:

  • Low level:
    • Background: Statue of White Bear.
    • South Wing: Dante and Virgil, picture of Mr Bean’s Lady, paintings by Gauguin, Van Gogh and no-impressionist by Monet.
    • North Wing: Pilgrims going to Mecca, the Origin of the World, not impressionistic painting by Degas.
  • Second floor: almost all are sculptures.
“Nubians” is my favorite sculpture on the second floor
  • Fifth floor, only the north wing is accesible. Here’s where the Impressionist galleries are: 14 Years Old Dancer, The Floor Scrapers, Monet, Degas and Cezanne. The most beautiful and romantic photo museum, if not in all Paris ,is in the northeast corner clock.
Those who do not copy our photo, seriously, you guys are not in love
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∇ Destinations / ∇ France / ∇ Paris

7 thoughts on “ORSAY MUSEUM

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