The Centre Pompidou, France's national museum of modern art, led the way for steel and glass buildings in the 1970s. Now the museum leads the way in modern art with its extraordinary collection, currently the world's second largest. Masterpieces include Pablo Picasso's Parade and—one of my favorites—Tamara de Lempicka’s Young Girl in Green. Go for the museum, but check out the public library and the view of Paris that becomes more and more impressive as the museum's escalators rise from floor to floor. Spot the Eiffel Tower and Sacré-Coeur (and perhaps a street entertainer or two with a gawking audience of kids) from the sprawling roof terrace.
By Dwiveck Custodio, AFAR Local Expert
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Great Art and Better Views
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.
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.
By Bronwen Gregory, AFAR Local Expert
family fun for everyone!
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
Just another Perfect Paris shot of the ever changing sky -- great to be at the top of the Beaubourg to catch it from above, through the window! Try to get up above Paris whenever possible!
By Wendy Holden
Georges Restaurant up on the Roof
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!
By Wendy Holden
This museum of modern art features unique paintings from 1900-1960 by artists Picasso, Pollock and Kandinsky. Works that show the progress of ideas in art, new dimensions of perception, portrayed by the artists that challenged the status quo to develop new artistic value will inspire your own creative vision to grow. The view from the top terrace is enough to rival Tour Eiffel, as you overlook the picturesque blue hued roofs of Paris. Many local cafés nearby to grab a croque monsieur and relish in the grandeur of Parisian life, as families and children sit around the large square outside. The architecture alone, entirely unique in its own right, is enough to open your eyes to the possibility of design.
By Zach Mason
Place Georges-Pompidou, 75004 Paris, France
+33 1 44 78 12 33
Wed - Mon 11am - 9pm