Palais de Tokyo
Contemporary and cutting edge exhibitions of modern art.
A chilled out, très chic restaurant.
Late night openings until 12am.
And a night time visit ensures a spectacular view of the Eiffel Tower.
It may depend on the current exhibition that is on offer to gauge an overall experience at Palais Tokyo but cutting edge, pushing the boundaries of modern art is generally what to expect.
Technically, Palais de Tokyo is not a museum but a gallery and does not own a permanent collection of art. Instead the gallery offers a rolling agenda of temporary exhibitions and installations, each one created especially for the large rustic spaces.
Originally built in 1937 for the Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne (International Exposition dedicated to Art and Technology in Modern Life). The eastern wing is home to the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, the free Museum of Modern Art of the City of Paris and the western wing; Palais de Tokyo.
Located across the road from the river Seine, this road, once named Avenue de Tokio but now Avenue de New York, is from where the ‘Palace’ took it’s name.
The high ceilings and expansive space of 22,000 square metres has been stripped back to bare basics of iron and concrete and without the traditional ‘journey’ or path that most museums adopt, allows for guests to roam around freely to experience the eclectic installations.
In 2014 for the first time in the gallery’s history, the entire space of Palais de Tokyo was handed over to one Parisian born artist, Philippe Parreno.
He was given carte blanche to do whatever he wanted with the enormous space, including changing the front desk, for a genuinely unique experience.
I had never experienced anything quite like it. Mesmerising and captivating with a surprise at every corner and yet I completely trusted the exhibition, not to be afraid but to be taken on the journey through darkened rooms, flashes of light, shadows, silhouettes and booming noises.
Multimedia, sound, light, large open spaces and participation is what made up this extraordinary exhibition, with the viewer having a presence and adding to the exhibition, our silhouettes enhancing the visual effects.
The stairwells boomed with sound and light and even the illuminated explanation cards flickered on and off.
The self serve vestiaire or cloak room is made up of clear perspex lockers, where a returnable €1.00 euro coin enables you to safely lock up and be free of carrying around personal items.
Having a meal at the gallery’s restaurant; Tokyo Eat before or after a stroll around this wonderful and innovative gallery can have you sitting amongst an arty bunch of Parisians, in an atmosphere that is warm and inviting, funky, yet relaxed and the food superb!
And an evening visit to Palais Tokyo allows for a sparkling surprise to top off the night!
Located only 1 km from the Eiffel Tower, next door to the free Museum of Modern Art of the City of Paris and over the road from Palais Galliera, the museum of fashion, there is plenty to keep you busy in the 16th arrondissement!
Please see links below for special deals that Palais Tokyo offers in conjunction with boat trips, free drinks and participating museums on their official website
Read about how I spent my time at Palais Tokyo, Palais Galliera and Museum of Modern Art of the City of Paris –
More Paris Museums :
- Musée Jacquemart-AndréI love poking around former residences of the bourgeois and Musée Jacquemart-Andre is one of the finest you will see in Paris.
- Maison de Victor HugoNestled in a corner of Place des Vosges, is the former home of famous author of the Hunchback of Notre Dame; Victor Hugo.
- Musée Nissim de CamondoA splendidly elegant mansion and former home of the Camondo's with an evocative, unforgettably tragic family history.
- Musée des Arts ForainsTransport yourself back in time. Ride spectacular antique carousels, play ancient fair-ground games and admire colourful memorabilia.
- Musée de la Vie RomantiqueTucked away behind an unassuming green gate, you will discover this enchanting hôtel particulier. An absolute delight.
- Fondation Louis VuittonNothing short of spectacular, offering panoramic views and modern art, this new museum is sure to become another Paris icon.
- Petit PalaisNot as small as its name suggests. Elaborate ceiling murals, magnificent mosaics, grand staircases a pretty garden café and it is free.
- Muséum national d’histoire naturelleThis museum would have to be the most dramatic and stylishly arranged natural history museum in the world. Be dazzled in awe ....
- Musée Cognacq-JayThis stunning home of Samaritaine Department store founder, Ernest Cognacq-Jay and his wife Marie-Louise Jay, includes Fragonard, Rembrandt, Cézanne ...
- Musée de la Chasse et de la NatureThis wonderfully, quirky, informative, interactive museum, doesn't take itself too seriously. Exploring the history of hunting.
- Musée BourdelleFormer home and studio of the artist; Antoine Bourdelle, who was famous for his monumental public statues and friezes, is an exceptional free museum.
- Musée ZadkineThe small sun drenched former home of Ossip Zadkine allow light to bounce off African influenced work, giving the museum a quiet sense of calm and elegance.
- Musée RodinThe newly renovated mansion and former home of the artist, has an equally rich and inspiring history as Monsieur Auguste Rodin himself and then there are the gardens.
- Maison La Roche – Foundation Le CorbusierAt the end of a leafy private lane is an iconic tribute to the architect of modern architecture.
- Musée CarnavaletLocated in the heart of the Marais, this museum is dedicated to the history of Paris. Boasting 600,000 pieces, ranging from the 17th to 20th centuries.
- Palais de TokyoContemporary and cutting edge exhibitions of modern art, a very chic restaurant, late night openings until 12am and a great view of the Eiffel Tower.
- Musée d’OrsayThe former railway station, sitting on the left bank of the Seine, has the largest collection of impressionist and post impressionist art in the world.