The Cultural Heartbeat of Paris:
First opened in 1977, The Centre Georges Pompidou manages to achieve what few cultural centers have: thrive as a space where art and culture seem owned by the public, rather than standing aloof and inaccessible. Stepping into this monstrous architectural curiosity, one senses that this is the smack center of Parisian life. Performers draw crowds on the large, sloping plaza, while students line up to access the center's public library. Inside, regulars are perfectly at home on the open mezzanine-level cafe. And the National Museum of Modern Art houses many of the 20th century's most compelling works. A must-see.
Location and Contact Information:
The Centre Pompidou is centrally located on Paris' Right Bank, in the always-lively neighborhood known as Beaubourg.
Address (Main): Place Georges Pompidou, 4th arrondissement
Public Library Entrance: Rue de Renard (opposite side of main entrance)
Metro: Rambuteau or Hotel de Ville (Line 11); Les Halles (Line 4))
RER: Chatelet-Les-Halles (Line A)
Bus: Lines 38, 21, 29, 47, 58, 69, 70, 72, 74, 75, 76, 81, 85, 96
Parking: Rue Beaubourg Underpass
Phone: 33 (0)144 78 12 33
Visit the website (in English]
Nearby Areas and Attractions:
The center is open every day excluding Tuesdays and May 1st, 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Museum and Exhibits: Open 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (Ticket counter closes at 8:00 p.m.; galleries close at 8:50 p.m.)
Atelier Brancusi (Performance and Conference Space: Open 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (conference rooms close at 8:50 p.m.)
Public Reference Library (BPI): Open weekdays 12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.; weekends and holidays, 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Closed on Tuesdays.
Note on Centre Pompidou Security: Due to increased security measures in recent years, visitors may not bring large bags or suitcases into the center.
For access to Centre Pompidou's online catalogues, videos presenting current installations and artists, archives, and more, consult the center's online resources page.
For detailed maps of each level of the Centre Pompidou, click here.
Free wifi is now available throughout the Center. You can access the Internet for free for up to 90 minutes at the center provided you are equipped with a wifi card.
The National Museum of Modern Art (mnam):
The National Museum of Modern Art at the Centre Pompidou features a not-to-be-missed permanent collection of more than 1300 major contemporary works by such 20th-century greats as Kandinsky, Picasso, Modigliani, Matisse, or Miró. The museum's temporary collections are nearly always on the vanguard and have, in recent years, spotlighted artists like Nan Goldin, Yves Klein, or Sophie Calle.
Centre Pompidou Cinemas and Performance Space:
The Centre Pompidou has two cinemas located on the second floor. The cinemas focus on retrospectives of particular directors or periods, and have recently run retrospectives on people like Martin Scorsese and Jean-Luc Godard, often in tandem with exhibits.
The Atelier Brancusi is located in the below-ground level of the Centre Pompidou (level -1) and serves as a space for free performances, special exhibits or film screenings, and conferences.
- For a list of upcoming conferences and debates, click here.
- For a list of upcoming performances and concerts, click here.
Centre Pompidou Public Library (BPI):
The Centre Pompidou's Public Reference Library is open free to the public and features three floors of books, magazines and periodicals, and multimedia resources (in several languages). On the second floor, television programs from around the globe can be viewed, and an extensive collection of multimedia language programs can be a real boon to those brushing up on or learning a foreign tongue.
One caveat: Paris' ever-growing student population has led to a corresponding lengthening of the line outside the entrance. To avoid the snaking lines, the best times are between 6 p.m.-10 p.m.
Food and Dining at the Pompidou:
- For a quick bite, the mezzanine cafe on the 2nd floor of the center (take the right escalators from the main entrance) serves hot and cold sandwiches, quiches, pizza, and desserts. Prices are a little steep, but the leisurely view of the entire center from plush red seats is more than cozy. It's no wonder so many students and writers set up shop here to work and dream.
- For a refined lunch or dinner and spectacular panoramic views of the city, reserve a table at the rooftop restaurant Georges.
- The BPI library has a snack bar on the 2nd floor, serving sandwiches, hot and cold drinks, and snacks.
Panoramic Views From the Centre Pompidou:
Some of the city's best panoramic views can be experienced from the top levels of the Centre Pompidou. To get to the top, take the escalators or the elevator from the 2nd floor (The escalators are more interesting as you are elevated through the center's odd tubal structures). Access to the upper levels is free with a museum ticket.
Shopping and Boutiques at the Centre:
- Three Flammarion arts bookstores on the ground floor, 4th, and 6th floors offer an excellent selection of art and design-related books, posters, and gifts.
- The Printemps design boutique on the first floor is a regular fixture in the Parisian style world. Explore the open boutique to find unique and offbeat design items.
Centre Pompidou Accessibility:
The Centre Pompidou is generally well-accessible to disabled visitors. For access points and information on visiting the center, see the access page (bottom tab on the page). For more in-depth information on services available to disabled visitors, visit the special website (in French only). If you are unable to read French and need more specific information, call the general helpline at ( 33) (0)1 44 78 12 33.