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Musee de l'Armee

I'll be in Paris with my teenage son in early July and we plan to see the Musee de l'armee. I'm wondering if the lines are long and whether I should purchase tickets in advance prior to arrival. I believe my son's entry is free (age 14) so maybe just the one ticket.

Posted by
2030 posts

Musee d 'Armee is covered by the Paris Museum Pass, so if you have one, the line should be minimal, only for going through the security check.

Posted by
14 posts

Thanks, but I won't have a museum pass because this is the only museum we'll be seeing in our 'free' time (the rest of the time we'll be with our tour group).

Posted by
504 posts

Be sure that you get to the top floor, where they keep the fortress models. It was one of the highlights of our trip.

Posted by
767 posts

Definitely no need to pre-purchase the tickets. We've been there twice, and never had more than 1-2 people in front of us in line. It's a gem of a museum - you will love it!

Posted by
14 posts

Thank you Dav for the tip, and Dawn for your reply. That's great news! Appreciate your help. :)

Posted by
32268 posts

SJM,

I've always had a pass when touring the Museum, but I've never seen long queues for entry. Of course, that could be different in peak tourist season in July.

A few thoughts to mention......

  • the Museum is huge and it could take all day to see everything, especially if you're tripping over numerous other visitors. I'd suggest visiting only those parts that you're really interested in, such as WW-I or WW-II. Those will still take a few hours to see. Unless you're really interested in medieval armour and that sort of thing, you can skip those parts.
  • be sure to have a look at the magnificent Cathedral in the Museum. As I recall, they have flags of all the campaigns that France fought in lining the walls.
  • Napoleon's Tomb is out the back of the Museum as I recall, and it's quite impressive. I can't remember if there's a separate admission charge for that?
  • as I recall, there was a theatre downstairs that was devoted entirely to deGaulle's exploits.
Posted by
11507 posts

I have been 4 times ( various kids with me , hubby and a friend once)

Always in summer ( so height of crowd season)

Never had a long wait.. lines might be 5=10 minutes long at most.

Museum has never been crowded.. and when its hot outside the cool marble inset ledges were lovely to sit on.. lol

Its a lovely museum , take your time.

Note , son is free( if he looks old for age bring copy of his passport, my boys didn't need it at 14 but some kids might.. they must be 17 or younger ) but you still have to get him a free ticket . No need to purchase a pass for this one museum visit.

Posted by
12172 posts

I don't think it gets too crowded but have only gone with the museum pass.

I really liked the armor. I never thought I'd see so much in one place. I also liked to listen to the descriptions of key battles. The place is huge. Somewhat like the Louvre, you have to focus on the part that interests you most.

I was also surprised how much the French like Napolean. I guess I thought his ultimate defeat would put a damper on their enthusiasm for his generalship.

Posted by
14 posts

This is all excellent information, thank you everyone. We'll figure out the exhibits and what we want to see ahead of time as it sounds like we won't have time to see the entire museum. Napoleon's tomb and medieval armour/weapons is definitely on the list!

Posted by
115 posts

You will love it! Deinately take the RS guide to Napoleon's Tomb in the Paris book or you won't get half of what you could out of it because when you go in there it is really impressive but otherwise you have no clue what is what. Unlike a museum there are no placards or writing to explain what you are seeing. My oldest was really entertained when he realized Waterloo was not listed as one of the key battles around his Tomb :) This was one of their favorite stops and they thoroughly enjoyed the medieval armor as well. My 10 and 8 year old could have stayed for days!

Posted by
2028 posts

I don’t think too to be worried about the crowds. A few years back I only wanted to visit the tomb, but there was no seperate ticket for that, the museum was included so visited it too.

My visit was on that symbolic remembrance date of 18 June 2015 and there was almost no attention to Waterloo, really had to look for it, just a few books and some leaflets in the shop, that was it.....

Posted by
14580 posts

"...Waterloo was not listed as one of the key battles...." Very observant! Neither is the major defeat, Battle of Leipzig, or what the Germans call, the Völkerschlacht.

@ SJM....I've never had a Museum Pass so every time I go the Army Museum, I buy a ticket then and there, never had to wait long for one either. I'll also be back there in early July. Be sure to check out the museum shop, has a good amount of Napoleon "stuff" too, a small separate table is set aside for books in English as well. That part one may access without having to buy a ticket first, likewise with the cafeteria.

Posted by
3941 posts

We visited a few yrs back (it was late Sept). No issues at all with lines. I think we spent a good 3 hrs there (including a stop for lunch) and still only saw 2/3rds. But I can only take so much war stuff. But we did see what we were interested in.

Posted by
14269 posts

I just went last Thursday because that is where I usually pick up my Museum Pass. There was a bit of a line for security at the outer gate as there was a bag inspection and then a soldier wanding everyone, including overweight, gray-haired American tourists. Up one side , down the other and front and back. Fortunately my RS money belt did not set anything off.

Inside at the ticket counter there was no one else there.

I love the WWI and WWII galleries. In one of the displays there is a taxi that was used to take guys to the front in WWI!! A darn taxi! Also lots of interesting stuff about early air warfare.

If you and your son have an interest in WWII, I did a wonderful Paris Walks tour on Sunday called Paris during the Occupation. Brad, the leader, was wonderful, altho looking back I see you're on a tour. You can note that down for next time!

Posted by
60 posts

I'm here in Paris now, planning on stopping in later this week to the Musee Militaire. I've been there twice over the last 6-7 years & never found any big lines, though last year there were military bag inspections & wanding on entering the grounds. The advice given thus far has all been spot on. I'd like to second the recommendation about the top floor. Beginning in the 17th century, the french army commissioned detailed models, highly accurate, of coastal & border towns, so young officers could study how to defend them in wartime or re-take them if they were lost. They are really beautifully made & well worth a look. You'll see the signs directing you to the "Plans Relifs" . Needless to say, these have also proved to be treasure troves for historians studying the towns, since they model every building & feature of terrain down to the smallest detail.
(There's also a large room with the most amazing display of toy soldiers i've ever seen)

Posted by
8293 posts

If you go around to the back of Les Invalides you will find a nice garden with lots of benches, where you can rest up for the next museum. You may glimpse some nurses taking injured soldiers out for a bit of air and exercise.