Musée d’Orsay: Left Bank art gallery

The Musée d’Orsay is one of Paris’ most popular art galleries and one of the largest in the whole of Europe. Located in the centre of Paris, you’ll find this gallery on the banks of the Seine opposite the Tuileries Gardens. A converted railway station which opened as part of the Universal Exhibition of 1900, it was reborn as an art gallery following the inauguration by President Mitterand in December 1986.

It’s relatively straightforward to get to Musée d’Orsay. Take the Line 12 to Solférino on the Metro or Line C on the RER to the gallery itself. Bus lines  24, 63, 68, 69, 73, 83, 84, and 94 all drop you off near to the Musée.

This gallery is open daily (apart from Mondays, 1st May, and 25th December) from 9:30am until 6:00pm (to 9:45pm on Thursdays). The standard adult price for entry to the permanent and temporary collections housed in the Musée d’Orsay is 12€. Although you can combine this with a trip to the Musée de l’Orangerie for 16€ and to the Musée Rodin for 18€.

As a direct response to Paris’ terror attacks, you’re not allowed to enter the Musée d’Orsay with backpacks, suitcases, or travel bags. Nor can these be left in the cloakroom. There are four separate entrances to this popular tourist attraction: Entrance A (for individual visitors), Entrance B (for adult groups who have booked in advance), Entrance C (for priority access and individual visitors who have already purchased a ticket), and Entrance D (for school groups who have reserved in advance).

Visit the Musée d’Orsay to see French art dating from 1848 to 1914. It’s home to the largest collection of impressionist and post-impressionist paintings in the world. From the likes of Monet, Renoir, and Van Gogh.

You’ll discover other mediums of art represented in the gallery. Including photography. As well as sculptures from such luminaries in the field as Auguste Rodin, Camille Claudel, and Paul Gauguin.

There are audio guides available for the major exhibitions and permanent collections. These cost €5, and are available in Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, and Russian. There’s also a tablet application for families with the gallery offering tablets for hire for €5.

A book/gift shop can be accessed directly through Entrance C. At the base of the Seine Tower, the Café de l’ours offers snacks and drinks. Elsewhere, the Café Campana resembles a traditional French brasserie whilst the first-floor Restaurant sees chef Yann Landureau offering a menu which changes with the seasons.