Revolutionary? Monstrous? Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers and Gianfranco Franchini’s dare-to-bare Pompidou Centre building has its lovers and haters, but few can deny its iconoclastic clout, nor its stature as the 4th arrondisement’s most cultured spot. Throngs of visitors muse over the Museum of Modern Art’s iconic pieces, or make use of the public library and Institute of Musical Research within. But many come to ride the space-age escalators to the top floor to gaze over Paris’s rooftops. Beaubourg’s not all boundary-pushing multimedia hubs – the Passage Molière is a cobbled wynd back time in time.
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When to go
There's always something cutting edge to cast your eyes over in the Modern Art Museum.
PlanesParis Charles de Gaulle airport is a 40-minute taxi ride from the area; British Airways, EasyJet and Vueling fly direct from major European cities, and Air France flies direct from the US and major destinations in Asia. Orly airport is a 40-minute drive south from the hotel, for EasyJet and Vueling flights.
TrainsThe Eurostar departs frequently for Paris Gare du Nord from St Pancras International, London; on arrival, Beaubourg's a 20-minute taxi ride away. Direct trains from Brussels, Amsterdam and Cologne also terminate here; book tickets via Thalys.
AutomobilesIf you’re ready to face labyrinthine alleyways, madcap ring roads and largely theoretical parking rules, then we wish you luck. The Metro is far less nerve-rattling than navigating the city by car. If you must drive, there’s a car-hire booth at Charles de Gaulle.