The Centre Pompidou in Paris houses the Musée National d’Art Moderne, one of the best collections of modern and contemporary art in the world. With its futuristic industrial design by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers, the Centre Pompidou is an icon of 20th-century architecture.
Built in 1971, the Centre Pompidou was designed with its insides on the outside, freeing up all interior space for exhibitions. The external plumbing, pipes, vents, and cables make the center look almost Lego-like. Highlights of the Musée National d’Art Moderne include pieces by Picasso, Matisse, Dalí, and Pollock.
Many full-day sightseeing tours of Paris include a visit to the Centre Pompidou. Those with a particular interest in modern art can take a small-group or private tour of the Centre Pompidou to learn about surrealism and current trends in contemporary art from a guide.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Centre Pompidou is a must-see for modern-art aficionados.
- Enjoy skip-the-line entry to the Centre Pompidou with the Paris Museum Pass.
- Venture to the roof for panoramic views of the city and enjoy a cocktail at the rooftop restaurant.
- The museum is wheelchair accessible, and special tours are available for blind or partially sighted visitors.
How to Get There
The Centre Pompidou is centrally located in the 4th arrondissement of Paris and is easily reached by public transportation. The center is within short walking distance of the Rambuteau, Hôtel de Ville, and Châtelet metro lines and is also accessed by the RER commuter train and several bus lines.
When to Get There
The Centre Pompidou is a popular attraction, so book tickets and tours ahead of time to avoid spending time waiting in line. The Musée National d’Art Moderne is busiest when new exhibitions open, on rainy days, and the first Sunday of each month, when museum admission is free. The museum is closed on Tuesdays.
Special Events at the Centre Pompidou
The Centre Pompidou prides itself on being both a museum and a hub for cultural events and festivities, with hands-on workshops, film showings, dance performances, and live music events year-round. Check the museum schedule to see what events are happening during your visit. Also, the streets surrounding the center are popular with street performers, jugglers, and mime artists.