Pompidou Center


The brightly colored pipes that make up the outside of the Pompidou Center (or Le Centre Pompidou) are like a wild declaration: this is not a museum steeped in the past - there will be no need to speak in hushed, deferential tones. If that's what you are looking for, the Louvre and Musee D'Orsay are nearby. The iconoclastic feel of the Pompidou Center's exterior, which looks like an exposed ribcage painted in bright primary colors, carries over into the building's contents. You won't find the subtle Flemish painters of the Louvre, or the magnificent art of Notre Dame. Make no mistake: Le Centre Pompidou is about the present, the future. Its main attraction is the Museum of Modern Art on the fourth and fifth floors, which are dedicated to art movements like Surrealism, Fauvism, Dadaism and plenty of other abstract art styles.

Pompidou Center
Pompidou Center

The main hall of the Pompidou Center feels like staring into a child's playroom. The bright colors, the large, friendly letters, the uncluttered layout of thousands of pieces of art – it's about as irreverent as a museum can get, and is noted as helping to revolutionize museum design, breaking down the image of museums as elitist monuments and making them more accessible to the public at large. It is also a statement in favor of functional art – the colorful tubes that define the Pompidou Center are vital for the building to operate, and designate exactly what you'll find inside them: yellow for electricity, red for transport, blue for water, and green for air.

The main draw for Le Centre Pompidou is the intriguing modern art, but there's more than just that. The first three floors are dedicated to a vast library. The center for industrial design is also housed here, featuring exhibitions detailing advances in twentieth century architecture and design. Another highlight is the Stravinsky fountain, a surrealist photo opportunity for curious visitors.

Take the Metro up to the Hotel-de-Ville stop, if you plan on putting the Pompidou Center on your Paris itinerary (and you should). It's open until 10 pm every night except Tuesday, which makes it perfect for those who are not morning people, not to mention that it is located near some of Paris's top nightlife options, including the Moulin Rouge. So you can amble around this collection of modern arts and immediately start drinking.

Noted not only for its modern take on design, many of Paris' most talented street performers - from painters to musicians to performance artists - spend a portion of their day near the museum's entrance, taking up residence in the Place Georges Pompidou, where you will find all sorts of wandering travelers, art enthusiasts and the occasional picnicker who have come to admire the inimitable style of Le Centre Pompidou Paris France. A relative newcomer to a city awash in monuments to the past, the center has already become one of Paris's most respected new tourist attractions, a symbol of what lies ahead for the great city.

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