Centre Pompidou: The Temple of Modern Arts

Centre Pompidou preserves one of the three most important collections of modern and contemporary art in the world, with that of the Museum of Modern Art from New York and Tate Modern from London. It consists of more than 100,000 works by 6,400 artists.

The cultural complex includes the museum, IRCAM (Institute for research and acoustic/music coordination), the Kandinski Library, which brings together 400,000 specialized documents in art, the and an excellent bookstore, arguably the busiest in Paris in the field of art.

The museum also offers one of the most beautiful views of Paris.

Les collections

It will be difficult to see everything in one day. You will be forced to make a few choices. The collections are segmented into 6 themes:

  • The modern collection from 1905 to 1960: 7,000 works covering the visual arts. Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Fernand Léger…
  • The contemporary collection from 1960 to the present day: paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs, and installations of Francis Bacon, Yves Klein, Andy Warhol…
  • The photograph collection: The biggest in Europe including Man Ray, Brassaï, Constantin Brancus…
  • The design collection: Furniture, objects, prototypes by Charlotte Perriand, Pierre Chareau, Eileen Gray, Jean Prouvé, Philippe Starck…
Woman in blue – Pablo Picasso
Reading – Fernand Léger
  • The new media collection: First collection in the world with 160 multimedia installations and nearly 2,000 documents
  • The Cinema collection: films of experimental filmmakers, films and installations made by visual artists. 1,300 works, including “Journey in the Moon” by Georges Méliès
Eileen-Gray (2013)

Temporary exhibitions

The museum offers a packed agenda with temporary exhibitions, always with a flagship exhibition. So, from October 4, 2017 to January 29, 2018, the museum will be presenting André Derain, the pioneer of Fauvism.

The Hunt – André Derain

Unique architecture

The architecture of this building alone deserves a visit.

This museum was born of the will of the president Georges Pompidou, a great lover of modern art, to give back to Paris a central place on the world artistic scene by creating in the heart of Paris, in Beaubourg, a unique place dedicated to contemporary art.

At the end of an international architecture competition, a jury chaired by Jean Prouvé, decided in 1971 to keep the project by Renzo, Richard Rogers, and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gianfranco_Franchini. It is the only project that takes up a little less than half of the space of Beaubourg, thus creating a forum vis-a-vis the museum. The 500,000 cubic-meter main building is an entirely metallic structure that frees up to eight 7,500 square-foot rooms, cluttered without partitions, staircases, elevators, or a logistics area, allowing the museum to exploit space in the utmost freedom.

This project was particularly criticized by the Parisians, some of whom named the museum “Notre Damme de la tuyauterie” (Notre Damme of piping). Yet, few were moved by the state of this district before the birth of the project:

Beaubourg in 1969

The rapid success of the Centre Pompidou gradually silenced its detractors.


As is with many museums and tourist sites unfortunately, the catering was badly done.

The Georges restaurant

Although this restaurant made a big impression at its opening, despite its exceptional view and a decoration at the level of the Museum, the service and cuisine are today notoriously questionable and contested (37% average to horrible reviews – TripAdvisor). That does not prevent prices from flying.

Mezzanine Café

With 60% of average reviews on TripAdvisor, this cafe restaurant does not get better results, ranking 12900 out of 14600 establishments in Paris.

Useful information

Good deals and tips

Here are the tips we recommend for avoiding queues:

1. Purchase tickets online or ask the hotel concierge to do it for you.

2. Choose off-peak hours:

  • The middle of the week is usually calmer
  • Dinner time
  • Sunday, starting from 5 pm
  • Thursday evenings

3. Avoid rainy days, especially on Sundays


From Wednesday to Sunday, from 11am to 9pm. Thursday until 11 pm, only for temporary exhibitions.


  • View of Paris” ticket (does not give access to exhibitions): 5 €
  • Museum and exhibitions tickets: 14 €, 11 € at the reduced price. Free on the first Sunday of each month.

The museum also offers guided tours, numerous conferences, and visits for professionals and amateurs for the public.

Buy online: https://billetterie.centrepompidou.fr/content


Place Georges-Pompidou, 75004 Paris


19, rue des Prêtres-Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois
75001 Paris

+33 (0)1 40 41 96 42


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