If you want an amazing view of the Paris skyline—while also admiring one of Europe's best (and largest) modern and contemporary art collections—head to Centre Georges Pompidou, a museum, library and research center located in the 4th arrondissement near Les Halles and the Marais.
This high-tech structure is variably loved and hated for its unique character. The peculiar skeletal design features industrial pipes and crisscrossed beams, with giant clear tube walkways that offer stunning wraparound views of Paris.
Inside, you can browse an immense, diverse and rather exhausting collection, with iconic works by Andy Warhol, Max Ernst, Salvador Dali, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Edvard Munch and Gerhard Richter.
There are special exhibitions throughout its seven floors; those on the lower level are usually free to the public.
If you want to skip the art but still enjoy panoramic views of the City of Light, book a table at the fancy Georges restaurant on the top floor.
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Pompidou Paris Skyline Dreaming
There are over 100 museums in Paris and at the modern Centre Pompidou even the building itself is a piece art. When the exterior sculpture garden areas are open, it is a real treat to soak up Ernst, Moore and Matisse while having all of Paris as the backdrop. I was fortunate enough to call this dynamic city my home for many years and finding new favorite vantage points to attempt to capture its scale, was always a fun challenge.
The fountain at the Pompidou Center is a great place to rest your tired feet when exploring Paris. Nearby Marais offers falafel and middle eastern fare for reasonable prices. For a more traditional Parisian cafe meal head to the Place des Vosges to Ma Bourgogne. But if you find yourself out late late or looking for a meal on Christmas day - an old favorite Au Pied de Cochon serves everyday 24 hours a day. Start with the oysters and the renowned french onion soup and then have the eponymous specialty of the house. Near Les Halles this is one to remember
This visionary restaurant interior is well worth the trip up to the top of the Beaubourg, and the price of an appetizer and drink. So many interesting nooks and crannies to spot and all of Paris below you!