Centre Pompidou: An insider's guide

Do as the Parisians do around the multi-coloured, exo-skeletal Pompidou Centre...

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Centre Pompidou

Centre Pompidou


The Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers designed Centre Pompidou (also known as 'Beaubourg') is one of the most iconic and colourful pieces of architecture in Paris. Inside you'll find the largest collection of modern art in Europe - some 50,000 works of art by 5,000 artists, representing Primitivism, Fauvism, Cubism, Dadaism, Surrealism, American Color-Field painting and Abstract Expressionism, of which only a fraction - about 600 works - can be seen for real at any one time.
Avoid the queues by coming after 6pm (the museum is open until 9pm - sometimes later during temporary exhibitions); or you'll just have to grin and bear it.

We have, however, complied this list of the best eateries, bars, shops and attractions around the Pompidou Centre. Follow it and you should be rubbing shoulders with a resolutely Parisian clientele.

For more information on the Pompidou Centre, click here.

Around the Centre Pompidou...

Museum: Musée de la Poupée

Down a narrow alley in the Beaubourg area, this small, private museum and doll hospital enchants little girls and boys (and their parents) with its collection of some 500 dolls, mostly of French

  1. Impasse Berthaud, 3e
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Restaurant: Le Hangar

It's worth making the effort to find this bistro by the Centre Pompidou, and a stone's throw from the doll museum (Musée de la Poupée), with its terrace tucked away in a hidden alley and excellent

  1. 12 impasse Berthaud, 3e
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Café: L'Estaminet

When hunger strikes in Beaubourg head north to L'Estaminet, a charming neighbourhood café tucked away in the Marché des Enfants-Rouges market, the oldest market in the city. The café has a warm

  1. 39 rue de Bretagne, 3e
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Bar: Le Georges

When the Pompidou Centre closes at 9pm, those in the know head to the top floor via the transparent escalators to Georges, the museum’s panoramic French-fusion restaurant. From this privileged

  1. Centre Pompidou, 4e
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Bar: La Fusée

Good bars are hard to find in this corner of Beaubourg, but Le Fusée attracts plenty of young people with its warm atmosphere, charming little terrace and reasonable prices for the area. Its

  1. 168 rue Saint-Martin, 3e
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Gay & Lesbian: Raidd Bar

Between the Pompidou Centre and Hôtel de Ville, Le Raidd is a Marais LGBT venue to be reckoned with. Famous for its bare-chested barmen straight of a modelling agency the major draw is surely the

  1. 23 rue du Temple, 4e
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Jazz Club: Au Duc des Lombards

Set on the corner of Paris's 'jazz alley', rue des Lombards, and just a few minutes from the Centre Pompidou, this venerable jazz spot goes from strength to strength, attracting a high class of

  1. 42 rue des Lombards, 1er
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Bakery: Legay Choc

Run by two brothers (one gay, one straight) whose surname just happens to be Legay, this Marais boulangerie and pâtisserie is very popular. The pastries are delightful, and the lunch-hour sandwiches

  1. 45 rue Ste-Croix-de-la-Bretonnerie, 4e
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Shop: Free 'P' Star

Late-night shopping is fun at this Aladdin's cave of retro glitz, set in the heart of the Marais, just a few minutes walk from Beaubourg. Among the accessories, jackets, fur hats, 70s shirts and 80s

  1. 8 rue Ste-Croix-de-la-Bretonnerie, 4e
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Shop: I Love My Blender

Christophe Persouyre left a career in advertising to share his passion for English and American literature: all the books he stocks were originally penned in English, and here you can find their

  1. 36 rue du Temple, 3rd
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