The Geroge Pompidou Museum, Paris

The Centre George Pompidou, Paris' modern art museum

The Pompidou is Paris' homage to 20th-century creativity.

Aside from the gallery of modern art—featuring the works of Matisse, Chagall, Kadinsky, Bonnard, Ernst, Pollock, Calder, Duchamp, and Henry Moore—there are exhibits on industrial design, music research, photography, and the history of film.

A personal favorite: An interactive sculpture by Jean Dubuffet called Jardin d'Hiver (Winter Garden), a lumpy white room laced with undulating black lines that you can enter and walk around (pictured to the left).

The cafeteria on the top floor has some fantastic views.

Even if you don't want to go inside, come by to shake your head at the wildly colorful and controversial see-through inside-out architecture—it reminds me of nothing so much as the Habitrail network of plastic tubes my hamster used to scurry around in—and to enjoy Paris' best street performers on the sloping square out front.

Also don't miss the studio of Constantin Brancusi, reconstituted in a separate structure out in front of the museum and open Wednesday to Monday 2–6pm (pictured to the right).

Pompidou tips

Planning your time

Taste in art is subjective—and that goes doubly for taste in modern art. Some people simply wander through, shaking their heads at the odder exhibits, in 90 minutes or less. Others will delightedly spend an entire morning here. Much depends on the quality of, or interest you have in, the frequent and substantial temporary exhibitions.

Put it this way: when I gave the teenagers in my Boy Scout troop an afternoon on their own to spend doing whatever they wanted in Paris—and this was the final afternoon of their month-long European vacation—as a group they all decided to return to the Pompidou.

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Free admission with a sightseeing card

Get into the Pompidou for free (and skip the line at the ticket booth) with either the Paris Museum Pass (sights) or the Paris PassParis Pass (sights + transport + attractions).

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Take a tour of the Pompidou
The Pompidou is free once a month

Admission to Pompidou is free—and the museum is intensely crowded—on the first Sunday of every month.







Jean Dubuffet's Jardin d'Hiver (Winter Garden) at the Pompidou, Paris
Jean Dubuffet's Jardin d'Hiver, or Winter Garden (1969–70)



A room at the Pompidou, Paris
The Pompidou. (Photo courtesy of Context Travel)