Not far from Les Halles, the Centre Beaubourg or better known as the Pompidou Center, created a lot of mixed feelings with its radical architectural design. 


The Pompidou Center is divided into five floors : temporary exhibitions in the Grande Galerie on the fifth floor; museum of Modern Art from 1905 to present time on third and fourth floors.

The huge public library covers three floors with books, video-discs, microfilms, videos… A movie-theater celebrating the 7th art with festivals according to special themes on 1st floor.

Don’t leave before taking a ride on the escalators. As you go up, you will discover Paris as a horizontal skyline appears: the Sacré-Coeur, St-Eustache, the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame, the Panthéon, the Tour St-Jacques, and La Défense. From the platform at the top you can look down on the château-style chimneys of the Hôtel de Ville, with their flowerpot offspring sprouting over the lower rooftops.

Designed for 6000 visitors a day, it has had more like 25,000 – proof of its outstanding success as an enduringly popular building. 

Outside the Center

In front of the Center, there are always the street performers, jugglers, musicians, fire-eaters and the like, capturing the attention of the crowds milling along the pavement. There is also the clanking gold Défenseur du Temps clock in the Quartier de l’Horloge; a trompe-l’oeil, as you look along rue Aubry-le-Boucher from Beaubourg; and colourful sculptures and fountains by Tinguely and Nicky de St-Phalle in the pool in front of Église St-Merri. This waterwork pays homage to Stravinsky and shows scant respect for passers-by; it is the ceiling for IRCAM, the centre for contemporary music founded and directed by the composer and conductor Pierre Boulez. A new, overground extension to IRCAM has appeared, squeezed beside the old public baths on rue St-Merri.

The centre is open, free (with admission charges for the exhibitions and art museum), every weekday except Tuesday from noon to 10pm, and at weekends from 10am to 10pm.

Location : 19 Rue Beaubourg 75004 Paris

How to get there : 

  • Metro line 1 or 11 : Rambuteau, Hotel de Ville, Chatelet
  • RER A, B or D : Châtelet-les Halles
  • Bus : 38, 47, 72, 76, 85, 21, 29, 58, 69, 70, 74, 75, 81, 96.

Opening :

  • Centre Pompidou: from 11am to 12pm except on tuesdays and on May 1st.
  • Library: from 11am to 10pm everyday except on the week-ends: from 11am to 10pm
  • Museum and special exhibitions: from 11am to 9pm 
  • The tickets Exposures and Museum the very same day give access to the Gallery of the children and the panoramic Point of view on Paris (level 6)

Official website : 

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