If the Louvre and the Musée d'Orsay focus on classical art, the Pompidou Center is geared toward modern and contemporary art. The museum houses pieces by Joan Miro, Brancusi, Matisse, Francis Bacon and other renowned painters and sculptors.
In case you are looking for what to see and do in Paris, you should include it in your route. The Pompidou Center is an amazing construction that adds a futuristic touch to the center of the capital.
What types of tickets are available? Are there skip-the-line tickets?
You can enter the Pompidou Museum in several ways. You can find the options below:
- Entrance to the museum + exhibitions: usually costs 14 €
- Entrance to the museum + exhibitions in galleries 3 and 4: also in this case you will have to pay about 14 €
- Shows and concerts: these are special events and the ticket goes up a bit in price. Normally, the price is around 18 € and there are special rates for children under 26 years
- Cinema: to see films and documentaries you will have to pay about 5 €
In these cases you will spend less, but you will not have an expert guide at your disposal. In addition, if you book an organized tour, you will not have to queue. Another plus point is the number of participants. Often there are no more than 5 people.
Are tickets to the Pompidou Museum included in any tourist pass?
Of course they do! If you want to visit it "for free", you will have to book the Paris Museum Pass (choosing between 2, 4 and 6 days) or the Paris Passlib, the official tourist card.
For more information, I recommend you to read the post that explains how it works, when it pays and what is included in the Paris Passlib card.
Are there special tickets for children?
Good news! Admission is free for visitors under 18 years old. You will only have to pay if you want to take a workshop or a special visit. Note that the museum has plenty of activities for all ages, from babies to 16-year-olds.
The French capital is a perfect destination for traveling with the youngest members of the family. The most famous museums have guided tours designed for children and the main parks have incredible playgrounds. For more ideas, I recommend you to read the post that explains what to see and do in Paris with kids.
Why is it worth buying tickets online instead of at the ticket office?
The Pompidou is the second most visited museum in the city after the Louvre Museum. The queues in front of the ticket office are long and frequent; therefore, I recommend you to book your tickets in advance. This way you will not have to wait in the street in the heat or cold.
If you still prefer to buy your tickets on the spot, you will have to go to the Pompidou Center's ticket office located inside the museum. Please note that the last admission is one hour before closing time.
What you can't miss at the Pompidou Center
The cultural institution at Place Georges Pompidou certainly does not go unnoticed. This unique building with exposed plumbing houses an unparalleled collection of modern and contemporary art. Below is my personal selection of the best works:
- "Fountain" by Marcel Duchamp, the urinal that changed the way we think. It is an icon of the ready-made: an object of common use subtracted from its original purpose and elevated to a work of art
- "The Frame" by Frida Kahlo, a self-portrait of the famous painter. In addition to her iconic face, it features two typical elements of Mexican art: colorful flowers and birds
- "Made in Japan - La grande odalisque" by Martial Raysse, the pop version of the painting "The Great Odalisque" painted by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres in 1815
- "Le jardin d'hiver" by Jean Dubuffet, a white "cave" decorated with black lines and silhouettes. The atmosphere is very suggestive, ideal for taking some photos that will triumph on Instagram
- "Les mariés de la Tour Eiffel" by Marc Chagall, an oil painting that unites symbolism and cubism. It depicts a large white rooster with the painter and his wife on his back.
How much time do you need to visit the Pompidou Center?
It usually takes about 2 hours for a complete visit. In any case, if you are passionate about contemporary art you could spend up to 6 hours.
If you travel to Paris in summer, before entering or after leaving I recommend you to have a refreshing ice cream at Amorino, which is located in the same square of the museum.
Best time to visit
In other museums, the mornings are usually quieter compared to the afternoons. At the Pompidou Center it works the other way around. There are usually some queues before the opening of the center; therefore, it is preferable to visit it in the afternoon (if possible, from 15:00).
The French capital is a very famous tourist destination and queues are frequent. However, in some months there are fewer tourists. If you visit Paris in October or April, you will not find so many crowds in front of the museum.
How to get to the Pompidou Museum in Paris
The cultural institution is located on Place Georges Pompidous, in the heart of the city. Its futuristic appearance creates a contrast with the classical buildings that surround it. It does not go unnoticed and will be easy to see once you arrive at the stop. You have three options to get there:
- Metro, Châtelet stations (lines 1, 4, 7, 11 and 14), Hôtel de Ville (lines 1 and 11) and Rambuteau (line 1)
- Bus, lines 29, 38, 47 and 75 stop a few meters away. You can also book one of the best tourist buses in Paris. Thanks to the hop-on/hop-off formula, you can hop on and off wherever you want
- RER, the region's suburban trains. The nearest station is Châtelet Les Halles (lines A, B and D).
Where to eat near the Pompidou Museum
Around the cultural institution there are several restaurants specializing in French recipes and food from other parts of the world. The list below lists some options within minutes of the Pompidou Center:
- Georges, unbeatable views and signature cuisine. It is located on the rooftop of the museum and also hosts some dj sets. It is recommended to book in advance
- Pain Vin Fromages, the ideal destination for cheese lovers. If you visit Paris in winter it is worth trying their fondues and raclettes accompanied by freshly baked bread (Rue Geoffroy-l'Angevin 3)
- Quick, a fast food chain specializing in burgers. It is a cheap option a few meters from the museum. Being French, it uses typical cheeses such as Brie and Camembert (Boulevard de Sébastopol 25)
- Crêperie Auguste, if you want to kill your appetite with a local specialty. You can also order crepes to go and eat them at the nearby Place Igor Stravinsky (Rue Saint-Martin 88)
- Olive & Thym - Par Man'ouché, Lebanese cuisine with a modern twist. They are famous for their bowls with typical Middle Eastern products. It also has vegetarian options (Rue Quincampoix 60)
When you have more time you can take a gastronomic tour in Paris. These tours usually have stops in the Latin Quarter, Le Marais, Montmartre and other areas of the capital.
Tips for visiting the Pompidou Center in Paris
In this article I have detailed all the relevant information. To finish off the task I leave you some more tips:
- Take your time to admire closely the Fontaine Stravinsky, the fountain dedicated to the Russian composer. It is the result of a joint work between the sculptor Jean Tinguely and the painter Niki de Saint Phalle. It is Dadaist style and is located in the same Place Georges Pompidou
- In case you are traveling with a newborn, you will be pleased to know that there are baby changing tables on floors 0, 4, 5 and 6. I take this opportunity to recommend you to read the post on visits to Versailles with children
- The museum is open every day except Tuesdays and May 1. Keep this in mind when planning your vacation
- The Pompidou Center juts out from the old town and is one of the best viewpoints in Paris. There is a ticket that only allows you to go up to the rooftop without visiting the museum. The price is around 5 €
- You cannot enter with backpacks, helmets, umbrellas, baby carriers, camera flash devices and selfie sticks. However, you can leave them free of charge in the locker
What to see and do near the Pompidou Center
The cultural institution is located a few minutes walk from the Île de la Cité, the original core of the city. Before or after the museum you can visit the Notre-Dame Cathedral or enter the Sainte-Chapelle, a magnificent example of radiant Gothic.
If you want to go shopping, I recommend you to go to the Westfield Forum des Halles shopping center. It occupies the surface of a former central market and is one of the most visited malls in France. It is located a few minutes walk from the museum (Porte Berger 101).