If the Louvre and the Musée d'Orsay focus on classical art, the Centre Pompidou is oriented towards modern and contemporary art. The museum houses pieces by Joan Miró, 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 Centre is a striking construction that adds a futuristic touch to the centre of the capital.
What types of tickets are available, are there queue-free tickets?
You can enter the Pompidou Museum in several ways. You can find the options below:
- Entrance to the museum + exhibitions: this usually costs €14
- Entrance to the museum + exhibitions in galleries 3 and 4: here too you will have to pay around €14
- Shows and concerts: these are special events and the ticket costs a bit more. Normally the price is around €18 and there are special rates for under 26s
- Cinema: to see films and documentaries you will have to pay around €5
In these cases you will spend less, but you will not have an expert guide at your disposal. And if you book an organised tour, you won't 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 a 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 read the post that explains how it works, when it pays and what the Paris Passlib card includes.
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 travelling with the youngest members of the family. The most famous museums have guided tours designed for children and the main parks have amazing playgrounds. For more ideas, I recommend reading our post on 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. 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 won't have to wait in the street in the heat or cold.
If you still prefer to buy your tickets on the spot, you should go to the Centre Pompidou ticket office inside the museum. Please note that the last admission is one hour before closing time.
What you can't miss at the Pompidou Centre
The cultural institution in Place Georges Pompidou certainly does not go unnoticed. This unique, exposed-pipe building houses an unparalleled collection of modern and contemporary art. Here 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: a commonplace object removed 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 elements typical of Mexican art: colourful flowers and birds
- "Made in Japan - La grande odalisque" by Martial Raysse, the pop version of "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 evocative, ideal for taking photos that will be a hit on Instagram
- "Les mariés de la Tour Eiffel" by Marc Chagall, an oil painting that combines symbolism and cubism. It depicts a large white cockerel with the painter and his wife on its back.
How much time do you need to visit the Pompidou Centre?
A complete visit usually takes about 2 hours. However, if you are passionate about contemporary art, you could spend up to 6 hours.
If you are travelling to Paris in summer, I recommend having a refreshing ice-cream at Amorino, which is located in the same square as the museum, before entering or after leaving.
Best time to visit
In other museums, the mornings are usually quieter compared to the afternoons. At the Pompidou Centre it works the other way round. There are usually queues before the centre opens, so it is best to visit in the afternoon (from 15:00 onwards, if possible).
The French capital is a popular tourist destination and queues are frequent. However, in some months there are fewer tourists. In case 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 spot once you arrive at the stop. You have three options for getting 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 just a few metres away. You can also book one of the best tourist buses in Paris. Thanks to the hop-on/hop-off formula, you can get 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 specialising in French recipes and food from other parts of the world. The list below lists a few options within minutes of the Pompidou Centre:
- Georges, unbeatable views and signature cuisine. It is located on the rooftop of the museum and also hosts dj sets. We recommend booking in advance
- Pain Vin Fromages, the ideal destination for cheese lovers. If you visit Paris in winter it's worth trying their fondues and raclettes accompanied by freshly baked bread (Rue Geoffroy-l'Angevin 3)
- Quick, a fast food chain specialising in burgers. It's a cheap option just a few metres 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 speciality. You can also order crepes to take away and eat them in 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. Vegetarian options are also available (Rue Quincampoix 60)
When you have more time, you can take a gastronomic tour of Paris. These tours usually have stops in the Latin Quarter, Le Marais, Montmartre and other areas of the capital.
Tips for visiting the Pompidou Centre in Paris
In this article I have detailed all the relevant information. To top it all off, here are a few more tips:
- Take the time to admire 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 in style and is located on Place Georges Pompidou
- If you are travelling with a newborn baby, you will be pleased to know that there are baby changing tables on floors 0, 4, 5 and 6. I would like to take this opportunity to recommend you read the post about visiting Versailles with children
- The museum is open every day except Tuesdays and 1 May. Keep this in mind when planning your holiday
- The Pompidou Centre 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 at the left-luggage office
What to see and do near the Pompidou Centre
The cultural institution is located just a few minutes' walk from the Île de la Cité, the original heart of the city. Before or after the museum, you can visit Notre-Dame Cathedral or enter the Sainte-Chapelle, a magnificent example of radiant Gothic architecture.
If you want to go shopping, I recommend you to go to the Westfield Forum des Halles shopping centre. It occupies the surface of a former central market and is one of the most visited malls in France. It is a few minutes walk from the museum (Porte Berger 101).