As an arts lover in Paris, you’re spoilt for choice. But once you’ve ticked off all the major art museums and galleries – such as the Louvre and Musée D’Orsay – you might want to explore some of the lesser-known options in the city with the added bonus of avoiding long queues, crowds, and sometimes even entry fees. Here’s our guide to arts off the beaten track:
Palais de Tokyo
Constructed in 1937 for the Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques, Palais de Tokyo was designed to house the modern art collections of both the French state and the city of Paris. During World War II, its basement was used to store pillaged Jewish goods and property. Superseded in its original purpose by the opening of Centre Pompidou, the building was eventually gutted and abandoned. The Palais de Tokyo as we now know it was inaugurated in 2002.
Unless you’re like me, you probably don’t organise your holidays around art exhibitions. Which means, it can be a bit of a gamble what you might see when you finally arrive at an art gallery or museum. I find nothing more frustrating than discovering that an exhibition I would have been interested in seeing finished the day before I arrive, or starts the day after I leave a city. But luckily, no matter what exhibition is on, there are some museums in Paris that are worth visiting all year round. Whether it be stunning architecture or impressive permanent collections, these museums never fail to impress!
For all the architecture nerds out there, Centre Pompidou was designed by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers and is a prime example of ‘constructivist’ architecture. The skeleton of the building is exposed, revealing all of its inner structure, functions and mechanics. Visitors zig-zag their way up the building via the external escalator.