Tips for visiting Musée d’Orsay

By Harshitha Jagathiesh

Musée d’Orsay holds the world’s finest collection of art with a permanent collection of hundreds of original masterpieces of early modern and Impressionist art. 

Works of Henri Matisse, Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Vincent Van Gogh and Auguste Rodin have found their place in this museum. 

In addition to a colossal permanent collection, the Musée d’Orsay also hosts various temporary exhibits throughout the year.

With a rich history and numerous artworks to marvel at, do not leave any stone unturned. 

Here are a few tips for visiting Musée d’Orsay to help you get the best out of your visit. 

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1. Tip to save time – Explore selective sections of the museum

Musée d’Orsay has four floors of the permanent collection spanning over several historical periods from Impressionism to Post-Imperssionism. 

One of the biggest tips for visiting Musée d’Orsay would be to visit the museum in parts, one section at a time.

It is good to keep the Musée d’Orsay visit focused and explore selective parts of the museums one at a time. 

Do your research and understand the layout of the museum and familiarize the key artists and masterpieces found there. 

Select a few wings or floors that truly interest you and explore them first. 

This tip helps visitors avoid art fatigue and sensory overload. 

2. Tips to Avoid Crowds

With over 3 million annual visitors making their way to Musée d’Orsay, the museum is always bound to be crowded no matter the season. 

Another important tip for visiting Musée d’Orsay would be to choose the visiting time appropriately to skip the crowd and enjoy the museum to yourself. 

To skip the crowds and enjoy the museum tour to the fullest, it is best to visit during the low tourist season i.e., November to March. 

There is also less crowd during the initial hours of opening from 9.30 am to noon. 

In addition, visitors can enjoy the museum a little less crowded during the extended opening hours on Thursday from 6 pm to 9.45 pm. 

3. Choose the right entrance

Musée d’Orsay has four entrances, each dedicated to separate visitor groups. 

Find out which entrance is suitable for you and avoid standing in the wrong line for a long time. 

Learn more about the Musée d’Orsay entrances before you visit. 

4. Take a guided tour

If this is your first time visiting Musée d’Orsay, it is suggested to take a guided tour to learn more about the artists on display and their masterpieces. 

Prebook your guided tour prior to your visit to secure your guide and spot on the tour. 

5. Check out temporary exhibits and special events

Apart from the colossal collection of permanent art exhibits, the museum also constantly hosts temporary exhibitions on important artists and themes. 

Take advantage of these special events like concerts, festivals, art shows, film screenings, etc. 

6. Tip to save money – Explore multiple museums for discounted prices

If you are exploring the Parisian museums, it is no doubt that you will spend hundreds of euros on entry tickets. 

With a Paris Museum Pass, travelers can visit more than 60 top museums and monuments in and around Paris for discounted rates. 

This pass includes skip the line entry to Musée d’Orsay, Louvre, Versailles, Centre Pompidou and more. 

7. Tip to for the best visit – Buy your Musée d’Orsay tickets Online 

With a growing number of visitors every year, ticket queues and waiting times have also increased. 

To avoid the hassle of long lines and tedious waiting hours, buy your tickets online

You can purchase your Musée d’Orsay dedicated entry ticket, guided tour ticket or combination tickets

8. Learn about the artist prior to your visit

Do a little research about the main artists and movements in the Orsay collection before visiting the museum. 

This will help you gain a deeper insight into the masterpieces and enjoy the fascinating history of Impressionism. 

9. Explore the neighborhood

When visiting Musée d’Orsay, take some time to explore the neighborhood around the museum. 

There are multiple world-famous attractions near the museum, including the Saint Germain-des-Pres district, Louvre, Tuileries, Eiffel Tower and Champ de Mars.

Planning to visit Musee d’Orsay? Here are some more relevant information to help you plan your visit.


1. What do you need to know before visiting Musee d’Orsay?

Here are a few tips for visiting Musée d’Orsay to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience:
* Photography is generally permitted in most museum areas, but flash and tripods are prohibited. 
* Use a map or a guide to help you navigate the museum’s layout and provide valuable information about the artworks and exhibitions.
* Show respect for the artworks and other visitors by maintaining a moderate noise level and refraining from touching the artworks.

2. What time does the Musee d’Orsay open?

Musee d’Orsay’s opening hours start at 9.30 am in the morning. 

3. What day is the d’Orsay closed?

The Musee d’Orsay remains closed on Monday, May 1 and December 25.

4. How long is the wait to get into the Musee d Orsay?

Considering the Musse d’Orsay visiting times, you can expect a waiting time of 30 minutes to 1 hour. 

During peak season, the wait times can extend to 2.5 hours.

For all visitors planning to visit Musee d’Orsay, here is a list of tickets you can choose from. 

Dedicated entry ticket: This ticket offers dedicated entry to the museum with access to permanent and temporary collections. 
Buy This Ticket | Learn More

Guided tour ticket: Enjoy a 1 hour 45 minutes guided tour and skip the line access to Musee d’Orsay.
Buy This Ticket | Learn More

Musee d’Orsay and Seine River Cruise: Visitors can tour the Musee d’Orsay and then experience a cruise over the Seine. 
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Musee d’Orsay and Louvre Museum: This combination ticket offers entry to both Musee d’Orsay and Louvre Museum.
Buy This Ticket | Learn More

Paris City Museum Pass: Visit the best museums in Paris with just one pass.
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About the author

Harshitha’s heart lies where greeny mountains meet stretches of beach. She believes getting lost is the best way to explore