Plumbing, pipes, vents and scaffolding aren't normally design features. Hence it took Parisians a while to get used to Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers' out-there 1970s creation. But the nation's premier cultural center is now a Paris icon.
Tube-enclosed escalators run up the building's western facade to the sixth floor with phenomenal panoramas from its viewing platform (and from its pricey restaurant, Georges).
Inside, cultural offerings include temporary exhibitions, the Bibliothèque Publique d’Information (public library) and cinemas. Its pièce de résistance is the Musée National d’Art Moderne, which picks up the baton from the Musée d'Orsay by housing over 65,000 works from the 20th and 21st centuries. Plastic arts, new media, design, photography and architecture star alongside such modern masters as Chagall, Kandinsky, Miro and, most impressively, Matisse, with dozens of his works on display.
The Centre Pompidou is closed on Tuesdays but opens late the rest of the week; head here after 5PM to skip the worst of the crowds.
- Open Hours: Monday from 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM, Wednesday to Sunday from 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM
- Credit Cards Accepted: mastercard, visa
- Nearest Train: Rambuteau