Musée d'Orsay: Tours & Tickets
Top 5 artworks at the Musee d'Orsay
Situated at the former Gare d'Orsay railway station, the museum now bearing its name has gradually emerged as one of Paris' best art galleries – and that's saying something! Here are a few must-see masterpieces to factor in to your tour.
1. Dance at le Moulin de la Galette (1876)
Depicting a Sunday afternoon in a bygone Montmartre, Renoir's festive snapshot of Parisian social life is one of Impressionism's most celebrated paintings.
2. The Luncheon on the Grass (1863)
Inspired by old masters like Titian and Raphael, Manet's masterful treatment of the nude and the clothed courted controversy for highlighting the social divide between genders.
3. Apples and Oranges (1899)
The gallery boasts 56 Cézannes in its collection, however, this late still life composition shows an artist at the height of his powers, able to make magic out of the mundane!
4. The Gleaners (1857)
It seems bizarre now, but Millet's depiction of peasant women hunched over in search of leftover grain was once derided for its sympathetic portrayal of the lower classes!
5. Whistler's Mother (1871)
Few non-French artists are represented at d'Orsay, and although Van Gogh might take places 6, 7, and 8 on this list, James Whistler's Victorian Mona Lisa is a shoe-in!
Planning Your Visit
How much time?
As large as the Musee d'Orsay is, there's not much filler. If you only have 3 or 4 hours to spare, stick to the Impressionist wing, otherwise don't expect to see it all in a day!
When to visit?
The Musee d'Orsay's opening hours are from 9:00AM to 6:00PM, except on Thursdays when it's open until 9:45PM, and Mondays when, as with May 1st and December 25th, the gallery is closed. Get there as early as possible and consider booking your tickets online to skip the long lines. If you plan to visit in a large group, pre-booking is mandatory.
Good to know
- When should I visit?
- 9:00AM to 6:00PM, Thursdays until 9:45PM, closed Mondays, May 1st and Christmas.
- Is it expensive?
- Tickets start at €11, but packages and concessions are available.
- Will I need a guide?
- It will definitely help. Might be worth it to check out our best-selling tours.
- How to get there
- Take the Metro line 12 to Solférino, RER line C to Musée d'Orsay or buses 24, 63, 68, 69, 73, 83, 84, 94.
- Additional information
- Cloakrooms are available free of charge but not recommended for large items or valuables.
- All guests will need to pass through security to enter.
What people are saying about Musée d'Orsay
Valerie was a first-rate guide for the Museum. She taught us so much regarding the context of the artists/painters. She gave us all a fine and eeeper understanding of what we werre looking at. We continue to talk about what tremendous luck we had finding your organization and having Valerie as our guide.
An enjoyable and informative tour. A fantastic way to get a feel for the art, the museum and the history associated with both. About the right length too, not too short or long, and left us with the opportunity to explore more at the end of the tour.
Our guide Delphine was very knowledgeable and communicated well in English. She provided great insights about the building itself, the various artists and their work without being obtrusive.
Tour started on time, meeting place was easy to find (just in front of the museum by the rinocerus statue), didn't had to queue, went through almost all sections of the museum.
Our tour guide, Herve, was knowledgable and engaging, and did a great job of navigating our group through a crowded museum with a confusing layout!