Much maligned when it first opened, it took people some time to realize that the Centre Pompidou wasn’t a monster, it was simply new. Radically new. It’s fitting that this rule-breaking building hosts so many iconoclastic modern masterpieces. Join the priority line and get right into a building that wears its innards on its exterior.
Slap bang in the middle of Paris, the Centre Pompidou is best described as a building turned inside-out. Utilitarian features like plumbing, air vents, and cables form part of the external façade and it’s all rendered in see-through glass.
That sets the stage for the groundbreaking art inside. Start on the top floor and take in the various isms: Fauvism, Expressionism, Cubism, Dadaism, and Surrealism, all laid out chronologically over the course of the 20th century. Along the way, you’ll see works by Picasso, Man Ray, Chagall and many, many more.
From 1960 onwards, the works shift from modern to contemporary. Andy Warhol is the most recognizable name, but art by luminaries like Richard Hamilton, Dan Flavin and Louise Bourgeois will also make an impression.
The center also includes a vast public library, a research center for acoustics and music, and some of the best views of the city. Take in what you like, but don’t miss a chance to visit the top floor and take in the Eiffel Tower and rooftops of the world’s most romantic city.