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Are you thinking about visiting the famous Musée d’Orsay in Paris? You are not alone. Musée d’Orsay might be less popular than the Louvre, but it still gets very crowded. The museum sees over 3 million visitors per year! 

If you are reading this blog, you are probably not looking for reasons to visit the museums. You know that you can find the world’s best impressionist paintings inside the building. You can get up close and personal with paintings by Claude Monet, Paul Gauguin, Van Gogh, and many others. One of our favorite paintings is in the museum: Van Gogh’s Starry Night. Although we can write a long story about all the beautiful things inside the museum, that is not what you are here for: you want to beat the crowds at Musée d’Orsay.

Although you can beat the crowds at the Musée d’Orsay, let’s start with the bad news. There is no skip-the-line ticket where you pay extra to jump the line. Similar to Burj Khalifa in Dubai, lots of blogs and websites claim to sell skip-the-line tickets. Still, in reality, these tickets don’t exist. Musée d’Orsay doesn’t offer to skip the line tickets. But there is also good news: there is a way to skip the line at the museum. This post contains affiliate links on which we could earn a commission.

Musée d’Orsay’s Timed Entry tickets

The magic key to skipping the line and beating Musée d’Orsay’s crowds are so-called timed entry tickets. You basically have two choices. Choice one is to show up to the museum anytime you like and stand in line with the other 3 million visitors. Alternatively, you plan your visit to Paris. You pick a date and time you want to visit, and you can access the Musée d’Orsay’s priority access lane. That is, of course, only if you show up at your designated timeslot.

Why you shouldn’t buy tickets directly at Musée d’Orsay!

Tickets sold at Musée d’Orsay aren’t refundable. If your plans change, which isn’t unlikely these days, you will lose your money. Buying through a reseller will give you the right to get a full refund. How do we know this? Just go to the fine print of the Musée d’Orsay’s T&Cs. Article 8 clearly states that tickets are not subject to the right to withdraw and cannot be transferred or exchanged. The article basically states that you will only get a refund if the museum is closed. Please note we are mindful travelers but not lawyers: This post is not legal advice.  

GetYourGuide.com, a reseller of Musée d’Orsay offers much more consumer protection. The ticket is only 1 EUR more expensive. And for that one euro, you get lots of consumer protection. Unlike the museum, GetYourGuide.com allows you to cancel your ticket 24 hours in advance. If your plane is delayed, your plans change, or if someone in your group gets COVID-19, you are allowed to cancel your visit to the museum and get a full refund.

A second reason not to buy through the museum directly is its website. The website is not useful at all. When we tried to book tickets, it crashed multiple times. On top of that, the museum requires an extraordinary amount of personal data before they sell your ticket.

Does the Musée d’Orsay sell timed entry tickets?

Yes! The museum sells timed entry tickets. We recommend buying these tickets through our affiliate partner GetYourGuide.com to get more consumer protection than the museum offers.

Isn’t Musée d’Orsay free? Aren’t there free days?

Yes! There are certain free days. Entrance is free for everyone aged under 18. For EU citizens, that age limit goes up to 25 years. There are also some days when admission is free for everyone: On the first Sunday of each month. Reservations are still required for these Sundays. You can do this directly on the museum’s website

Can you skip the line at Musée d’Orsay?

No, you cannot skip the line at the Musée d’Orsay. But you can buy timed entry tickets! Timed entry tickets are a great way to skip the line. This ticket will save you time standing in line at the museum’s ticket counter. While timed entry tickets don’t get you access to a special fast-track, they allow you to enter the museum without waiting. How does it work? Is it simple? Just buy a timed entry ticket from an authorized reseller such as GetYourGuide.com.

What is the best time of the day to visit Musée d’Orsay?

Like all museums in Paris, Musée d’Orsay is at its busiest just after lunch. Suppose you want to visit the museum without crazy crowds. In that case, we recommend visiting the museum in the morning, late afternoon, or evening. Basically, avoid anytime between 12:00 and 18:00.

What is the best day to visit Musée d’Orsay?

Like all museums in Paris, Musée d’Orsay is at its busiest during the weekends. If you want to visit the museum without crazy crowds, we recommend visiting the museum during the week. Those days that access is free are obviously the most popular.

Who is entitled to free access to Musée d’Orsay?

Many people will get free access to the Musée d’Orsay. Here are some examples: 

  • Those under 18, regardless of citizenship.
  • 18–25-year-old residents of the European Economic Area
  • Teachers of art or art history
  • Disabled visitors and an accompanying visitor.
  • Job seekers

If you are trying a free ticket, make sure that you bring proof! Please note that you still need to book a timeslot on the museum’s website.

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