Centre Pompidou vs Musée d’Orsay

The Centre Pompidou and the Musée d’Orsay are two of the most iconic museums in Paris. 

They showcase the transition of art from Renaissance to Impressionists in Musée d’Orsay and to modern and post-modern in Centre Pompidou. 

Both museums are home to a diverse collection of art from the 19th and 20th centuries, and it can be difficult to choose which one to visit. 

For all the visitors who are confused while choosing between Musée d’Orsay and Centre Pompidou, this article will help you choose the best match for you.


The Centre Pompidou is located in the heart of Paris, near the Place Georges-Pompidou.

It lies at Place Georges – Pompidou, in the 4th arrondissement of Paris

The Musée d’Orsay is located on the Left Bank of the Seine, near the 1 Rue de la Légion d’Honneur.

Opening hours

Centre Pompidou is open every day except Tuesdays. 

Centre Pompidou hours of operation

Museum + exhibitions11 am to 9 pm
NocturneThursdays until 11 pm in the exhibition spaces on level 6 (galleries 1 and 2)
Brancusi’s studio2 pm to 6 pm
Galerie des enfants11 am to 7 pm
Bookshop and boutique11 am to 9.45 pm

The Library BPI

Monday to Friday12 noon to 10 pm
Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays10 am to 10 pm
25th of December and 1er of January12 noon to 10 pm

During Christmas and New Year, the museum has an early closure at 7 pm on the 24th and 31st of December. 

Please note that the doors for the museum and exhibitions close 10 minutes before the entrance closes.

The ticket desk closes 60 minutes before the door closes.

The Musée d’Orsay has slightly different opening hours.

The Musée d’Orsay is open Tuesday to Sunday from 9.30 am to 6 pm, with the last access to the museum and exhibitions at 5.15 pm and the rooms closing at 5.30 pm. 

On Thursdays, the museum remains open until 9.45 pm, with the last access to the museum and exhibitions at 9 pm and the rooms closing at 9.30 pm. 

The museum is closed each Monday and on May 1 and December 25 every year. 

The beauty of the buildings 

beauty of Centre Pompidou Musée d’Orsay
Image: Wikipedia.org,Metalocus.es

Centre Pompidou is a modernist building with a bright, colorful and abstract exterior. 

The building is made up of exposed pipes and other industrial elements. 

The Musée d’Orsay is a 19th-century Beaux-Arts building with an ornate and intricate façade. 

Its interior is filled with marble and sculptures and the building is designed in the style of an old railway station. 

Both buildings are beautiful in their own way and offer unique and interesting experiences for visitors.

Features of Centre Pompidou

Features of Centre Pompidou
Image: Centrepompidou.fr

The Centre Pompidou is a renowned cultural center and museum. 

It is known for its iconic modernist architecture and extensive modern and contemporary art collection. 

Centre Pompidou features Europe’s largest collection of modern art crafted by various artists like Picasso, Brancusi, Leger and more. 

Visitors can enjoy temporary exhibitions, Brancusi’s studio, a large public library and Kandinsky library. 

The center also features a range of other cultural offerings, including cinemas, music venues, theaters, and bookstores. 

The Centre Pompidou also hosts various educational and cultural events, such as performances, workshops, and lectures. 

For all visitors tired from the museum tour, Centre Pompidou offers a scrumptious menu at the terrace restaurant along with the most scenic view of Paris city

Features of Musée d’Orsay

Features of Musée d’Orsay
Image: musee-orsay.fr,Sortiraparis.com,Getyourguide.com,Artgalleryofhamilton.com

The Musée d’Orsay features over 5,000 works of art from 1848-1914, including paintings, sculptures, furniture, and photography. 

It has an extensive collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art and masterpieces by Renoir, Monet, Cézanne, Manet, Van Gogh, Degas, and Gauguin. 

The museum also has an extensive library, auditorium, and temporary exhibition spaces, making it an excellent destination for art and culture lovers.

The time taken to explore

The Orsay Museum holds 6,000 pieces of art, with 3,000 of them being displayed on a permanent basis. 

We suggest spending 2 to 4 hours in the museum, depending on your day’s agenda.

For the Centre Pompidou, it is suggested that you allocate two hours for your visit, as the entire museum contains a large collection of artwork.

But for visitors who wish to see every piece of art in detail a day might not suffice. 

The best time to visit 

best time to visit 
Image: Musee-orsay.fr

The Centre Pompidou and the Musée d’Orsay are two of the most popular museums in Paris, France. 

Both are renowned for their vast collections of artwork and are must-see destinations for anyone visiting the city. 

The best time to visit either museum depends on personal preference and time of year. 

The best time to visit the Centre Pompidou is 3 pm during the weekdays and the best days to visit are Monday, Thursday and Friday. 

During the warmer months of the year, from April through September, the museum is open the longest, with the longest hours, and the weather is the most pleasant. 

The Musée d’Orsay is open year-round, but it can get quite crowded in the summer months, so it’s best to visit during the winter or early spring. 

The best time to visit Musée d’Orsay is during the initial opening hours at 9.30 am.

No matter when you choose to visit either museum, be sure to book Centre Pompidou tickets and Musée d’Orsay tickets online in advance. 

Both museums often sell out tickets very quickly and it’s best to secure a spot ahead of time.

Expected Crowd

Expected Crowd
Image: Thejakartapost.com,Architecture-history.org

In 2022, the Musée d’Orsay welcomed 3.2 million visitors, an increase from the 1.4 million that visited the year before, yet still behind the 3.6 million of 2019. 

It was ranked fifteenth in the list of the world’s most-visited art museums in 2020. 

Meanwhile, the Centre Pompidou had 1.5 million visitors in 2021, a 65 percent increase from the year prior. 

Since its opening in 1977, the Centre Pompidou has had over 180 million visitors, with a record of 5,209,678 people in 2013, including 3,746,899 for the actual museum.


Image: Atlasofplaces.com,Musee-orsay.fr

The Centre Pompidou and the Musée d’Orsay museums have exhibits that feature various art forms and styles, from classic to modern.

At the Centre Pompidou, visitors can find a mix of modern and contemporary art, including works by Picasso, Matisse, and other modern masters. 

The Centre Pompidou also has many multimedia installations and interactive exhibits. 

Additionally, the Centre Pompidou hosts special exhibitions and film screenings.

The Musée d’Orsay is primarily focused on Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art. 

Visitors can view Monet, Degas, Van Gogh’s works and other famous painters from this era. 

The museum also has many sculptures, photography, and decorative arts.

Additionally, the Musée d’Orsay hosts a variety of special exhibitions and events.

The Centre Pompidou and the Musée d’Orsay offer visitors an opportunity to explore the art world and gain an appreciation of different artistic styles. 

The museums provide an educational and cultural experience that all can enjoy.

Ultimate Masterpieces

Centre Pompidou Masterpieces
Image: Artgallery.nsw.gov.au,Shershegoes.com

The Centre Pompidou and the Musée d’Orsay are known for their vast collections of masterpieces.

The Centre Pompidou, which opened in 1977, has an extensive modern and contemporary art collection.

While the Musée d’Orsay, which opened in 1986, houses a selection of 19th-century art.

Its permanent collection of masterpieces includes 

  • With the black bow (Avec l’Arc noir)
  • Pig carousel, 1922
  • The bride and groom of the Eiffel Tower, 1938-1939
  • The Romanian Blouse, April 1940
  • New York City, 1942
  • Phoque II, 1943
  • Triptych Blue I, Blue II, Blue III, 1961
  • SE 71, The Tree, big blue sponge, 1962
  • Ben’s Store, 1958-1973
  • The Winter Garden, 1968-1970
  • Layout of the antechamber to the private apartments at the Elysée for president Georges Pompidou, 1972-1974
  • Plight, 1985
  • Precious Liquids, 1992

On the other hand, the Musée d’Orsay is a museum dedicated to works from the 19th and early 20th centuries. It houses some of the greatest masterpieces, including

  • Luncheon on the Grass – 1863
  • Olympia – 1863
  • Luncheon on the Grass – 1866
  • London, Parliament – ​​1904
  • Poppies – 1873
  • Camille On Her Deathbed – 1879
  • Ball at the Moulin de la Galette – 1876
  • Study: Torso, Sun Effect – 1876
  • Dance in the City & Dance in the Country – 1883
  • The starry Night

Both are considered ultimate masterpieces, offering visitors a unique opportunity to explore the works of some of the world’s greatest artists.

Ticket Prices

Centre Pompidou Permanent collection entry tickets for Adults costs €15 and the Exhibition and Permanent Collection costs €17. 

While those under 18, job seekers, disabled visitors with a carer, and RSA, CMU, or ASS benefit recipients are allowed free admission. 

EU citizens aged 26 or under can also enter the permanent collection without charge. 

Guests can also enjoy a semi-private tour of the museum. 

Entry tickets to the Musée d’Orsay cost the same amount at € 13 for adults.

EU residents aged 26 or under, non-EU residents aged 18 or under, disabled visitors with a carer, and jobseekers with valid IDs can enter for free. 

Admission is free for everyone on the first Sunday of each month. 

For visitors who would like to tour both Centre Pompidou and Musée d’Orsay, a combination ticket is available for €29. 

Featured Image: Canva

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