A five-storey, 600,000 cubic feet industrial space is transformed for this walkthrough exhibit.
Designed by a trio of architects, this contemporary art museum has a distinctive façade covered in colourful pipes and external escalators. The permanent collection focuses on 20th- and 21st-century art, including works by Henri Matisse, Andy Warhol and Wassily Kandinsky. The Pompidou has a massive public library and a chic restaurant, Georges, with terrific views over the nearby rooftops.
District: 4e arrondissement
How to get there on Métro: Rambuteau
This collection of French Impressionist and post-Impressionist works is housed in one of Paris’ grandest beaux art buildings—a former train station built at the turn of the 20th century. Explore this renowned collection of paintings, photographs and sculptures before heading outside to stroll along the Seine or check out the neighbourhood’s antique stores.
District: 7e arrondissement
How to get there on Métro: Solférino
Housed in the magnificent 17th-century Hôtel Salé, this museum is dedicated to the works of Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. The museum reopened in 2014 following a renovation which doubled the size of the exhibition space. View sketches, studies, engravings, photos and sculptures—as well as works Picasso collected by artists such as Paul Cézanne and Joan Miró.
District: 3e arrondissement
How to get there on Métro: Chemin Vert
The Louvre’s massive collection includes work from Egyptian, Greek and Roman civilizations, and is famous for masterpieces you’ll recall from textbooks, like the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo. A former royal palace, the Louvre has been through many modifications in its 800-year history.
District: 1e arrondissement
How to get there on Métro: Palais-Royal – Musée du Louvre
Fun fact: Architect I.M. Pei designed the Louvre’s iconic glass pyramid.
Opened in 2006, this modern, Jean Nouvel-designed museum is surrounded by carefully cultivated gardens and a vibrant living wall covered in a variety of plants. The space is a tribute to indigenous arts and culture across Oceania, Asia, Africa and the Americas, with more than 700,000 photographs and 320,000 artifacts telling the story of several civilizations.
District: 7e arrondissement
How to get there on Métro: Alma-Marceau
This former church—constructed in the late 18th century and dedicated to Geneviève, the patron saint of Paris—serves as a tomb for some of the most iconic figures in French history, including scientist Marie Curie, writer Victor Hugo and philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Modelled on the Pantheon in Rome, massive stone pillars and large frescos inspire a hushed gravitas.
District: 5e arrondissement
How to get there on Métro: Cardinal Lemoine
[This story appears in the June 2018 issue of WestJet Magazine]