Pompidou Centre, Paris

Pompidou Centre, Paris (must see)

Almost half a century after its completion, the Pompidou Centre in Paris still continues to impress onlookers with its uncompromising aesthetics. Equally praised and criticized for its resemblance to an oil refinery or steel plant, this building leaves no one indifferent and is remarkably fresh in its appearance. Apart from the aesthetics, as an institution the Pompidou Centre has proven overwhelmingly successful, largely exceeding expectations in terms of both staffing and attendance.

Just as the name suggests, the center owes its existence to France's modernist-minded president Georges Pompidou who envisioned a “major museum for contemporary art in all its forms”. In the more traditional terms, that meant accommodating collections of the French National Museum of Modern Art, the largest of its kind in Europe.

The venue is beautifully designed, spacious, and on top of that, treats visitors to some truly marvelous views of Paris. Instead of being a marble-clad palace of culture, it appears more like a “supermarket” of artistry, in which the building acts merely as a container, indifferent to what goes on within, and fit to adapt to various uses. Creating such a building, the architects Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers sought to produce a neutral setting for all sorts of cultural happenings. Just like a supermarket, it is open to all and neutral in its approach to the consumers (audience) and the actual “goods on display” (artworks) alike.

This peculiar approach seems to have worked well so far, given the number of exhibitions, both permanent and rotating, held at the center, featuring a broad range works by both acclaimed and emerging artists, spanning from modernity to contemporary art and including some truly weird productions.

Tip:
Like many French art museums, the bookstore and shop are excellent, so check them out. The top floor restaurant is incredible as well; rather expensive but worth it for a treat.
In particular, those keen on Constantin Brancusi, can get up close with his works featured at his replica studio recreated just outside the building (which is also part of the complex). The Brancusi atelier is free to enter from 2pm to 6pm each day except Tuesday.

Opening Hours:
Wed, Fri-Mon: 11am-9pm; Thu: 11am-11pm; closed on Tuesdays

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Paris, France within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Pompidou Centre on Map

Sight Name: Pompidou Centre
Sight Location: Paris, France
Sight Type: Museum/Gallery
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Paris, France

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Creating your own self-guided walk in Paris is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Champs-Elysees Nightlife

Champs-Elysees Nightlife

A haven for the arts in Europe, with its influence felt worldwide, Paris boasts a steady stream of visitors to its fine city. After dark, guests to the City of Light can enjoy a multitude of great nightlife establishments that is sure to appeal to anyone looking for a hot night on the town. Whether its live DJs spinning intense electronic beats or a live acoustic jazz band you’re looking for...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
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City Center Nightlife

City Center Nightlife

A haven for the arts in Europe, with its influence felt worldwide, Paris boasts a steady stream of visitors to its fine city. After dark, guests to the City of Light can enjoy a multitude of great nightlife establishments that is sure to appeal to anyone looking for a hot night on the town. Whether its live DJs spinning intense electronic beats or a live acoustic jazz band you’re looking for...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.3 Km or 3.3 Miles
Eiffel Tower Walking Tour

Eiffel Tower Walking Tour

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Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.3 Km or 3.3 Miles
Latin Quarter Walking Tour

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 Km or 2.1 Miles
Le Marais Walking Tour

Le Marais Walking Tour

The district known to locals as "Le Marais" used to be a bourgeois area in the past and a major center of the Paris Jewish community that still exists today. Here, you will find different bookshops specializing in Jewish books, restaurants with traditional Jewish food and a synagogue. As one of the hippest neighborhoods in the city, it also has no shortage of narrow medieval streets,...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles
Royal Paris Walk

Royal Paris Walk

The capital of France is made up of 20 administrative districts, commonly referred to as “arrondissements”. The 1st arrondissement of Paris sits mainly on the right bank of the River Seine and is the home of royal palaces and lush gardens. This self guided walk explores Jardin des Tuileries, Palais-Royal, La Conciergerie and many other prominent sights.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.3 Km or 2.7 Miles

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