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Musee de l'Armee in Paris

My daughter and I want to visit the Musee de l'Armee with my 3 grandchildren (ages 12, 14, & 15). I know the price for the kids is free, but there are so many different prices listed for adults that I really am not sure what the actual price will be. We would like to wait to purchase the tickets on site because I understand that pre payment really doesn't have any real advantages. Does anyone one know the actual cost for adults? Also, since this museum is so huge and we only have a few hours available to spend here, is it recommended to join a guided tour, or should we wing it so that we can target only those areas that are most interesting to our group? Do you know if are audio guides available & recommended? Thank you for any help you can give. Linda

Posted by
1229 posts

Do it on your own! We started in the room with the tombs. Then we went to a couple of rooms with armor and swords. Thats all we did. 3 kids. Really fun, but one can only look at so many shields, breast plates and swords before your eyes start to glaze over. I liked doing it at our pace and picking what to see. We went midday without pre-planning and it was not busy

Posted by
2619 posts

I had the Paris Museum pass, went midday during the week and spent about 2.5-3 hrs; aside from seeing Napoleon’s tomb I focused on my main area of historic interest, the two world wars. I walked the rest quickly, stopping here and there if something caught my eye. It gets to be just a lot of weapons & uniforms otherwise.

Posted by
648 posts

We were there with our grandchildren as well. I would definitely do it on your own since there are so many, many rooms and exhibits and you'd want to go to the areas of interest to your grandchildren. Besides the armor room, of interest to our grandchildren was Napoleon's horse. It is across the courtyard from the armor room. interesting place for kids.

Posted by
8293 posts

If you are weary after seeing it all, go to the back of Les Invalides where there is a garden/park area. Lots of benches where you can spend a bit of down time before you soldier on.

Posted by
11507 posts

This is a good museum for kids - it’s arranged chronologically so you can start with the medieval weapons ( my kids enjoyed that part ) - and eventually progress to the two world wars . We’ve been several times , always in summer , and there have never been long lines ( so no need to pre purchase tickets ) - you do need to get a ticket for each child - but they are free - I guess it’s so they can count heads ?

We’ve never bothered with a tour .

Posted by
32245 posts

lindah,

What prompted the desire to visit the museum? The answer to that should provide an indication of which parts of the museum to focus on. As you only have a few hours, you'll have to be somewhat selective as the museum is huge!

You may want to concentrate on the WW-I and WW-II sections as that's more "recent" history. I've never bothered with a guided tour and don't know of any audio guides, although those may be available. The exhibits are well marked. The large chapel is worth having a look at, as is Napoleon's Tomb if you're interested. As I recall, there's also a theatre that highlights the accomplishments of Gen. de Gaulle.

If you're going to be visiting any other sites in Paris, you may find a Paris Museum Pass to be a good idea. The cost for a two day adult pass is €48. Regarding the children, their website states......

"children under 18 and european citizens under 26 are allowed FREE access in most of the museums and monuments included in the PARIS MUSEUM PASS itinerary."

You may find it helpful to pack along one of the Rick Steves France or Paris guidebooks, as there's a lot of useful information there.

Posted by
12172 posts

I also used a museum pass.

It is huge. Napoleon's tomb is worth 30 minutes, then add the period that is most interesting to you for the rest of the time.

I've been twice, the first time I was interested in the "shining armor" days. I never would have believed there was so many suits of armor on the planet, let alone in one place.

The second visit I focused on Napoleonic wars. It's possible to spend a lot of time watching an explanation of each battle. I watched a couple of the biggies and wandered through the rooms. It probably took a little more than two hours but could have spent more than twice that.

I was surprised the French revere Napoleon so much. He is regarded as a hero and military genius. I would've thought he'd be less admired because of the cost, both lives and money, his wars cost France.

Our civil war generals were taught Napoleonic tactics at West Point. Unfortunately, arms/artillery were improved and the tactics resulted in a lot of carnage.

Posted by
9429 posts

In addition to Napolean’s actual, stuffed horse (notice how small it was) they also have his actual dog. My son was impressed!

Posted by
14580 posts

@ Lindah....Last summer the Army Museum held a special exhibit on "Napoleon as Strategist."

If you're interested in Napoleon, this extensive special exhibit was great, fantastic, captivating, and enlightening, plus a special book section featured a specialized bibliography on Napoleon, only in French or in French translation from the English. Both Austerlitz and Waterloo were featured with special electronic displays.

This event was featured on the French news when I turned on a French news channel. The exhibit was presented as one of the " things to check out in Paris." As one approached Les Invalides in front of that moat was long banner on "Napoleon as Strategist." ...one couldn't help but see it.

The Army Museum was the very first site I went to see in Paris a few hours after I landing there from SFO in July 1973, the TWA 742 landed ca 9 am, close to 2 pm I was at the Museum after checking in at the hostel and having a hot lunch.

Then it was off to the Museum on the Metro.

Posted by
14580 posts

Hi,

Part 2 here....Are you going to be in France prior to July 5. If so, you're in luck if you are in Paris and want to see more on Napoleon.

Currently, in Fontainebleau is a special exhibit on Napoleon and the Imperial Household. Last day is July 5. I had expected some sort special exhibit would be held in the Chateau Fontainebleau on Napoleon since this year marks the 250th of his birth.

About 35 minutes from the Chateau is also the Napoleon Museum on Art and Military History, it's on Rue St Honaire....very worth seeing plus its atmosphere. There is more in other towns...Brienne-le-Chateau (near Troyes) and Compiegne.

From Oct 2017 to Nov. 4, 2018 in Arras/Nord Pas-de-Calais ( I missed it but have the brochure). was an extensive exhibit on Napoleon. military, biographical, etc.

Posted by
7662 posts

There are digital guides available for 5 euro, might be worth getting one for reference..

Posted by
14580 posts

At least 30 mins for Napoleon's tomb if you are taking numerous pictures from different angles and of the others, eg, Duroc, Vauban, Turenne, (can't remember exactly), on the bottom floor as well as of the battle columns. Of course, the column on Waterloo is omitted as well as that of Leipzig.

Posted by
11507 posts

We have generally spent 3-3.5 hrs in the museum , but less than 30 minutes in Napoleons Tomb , it’s very impressive , however we’ve found that being impressed isn’t the same as being interested to our children

Posted by
8293 posts

“Nappy’s tomb?”

Would it be OK if I refer in the same manner to “Abie’s Tomb” or “Georgie’s” grave?

Posted by
2008 posts

Think not to miss for the kids in Musée de l’Armée will be a visit to the Relief Map Museum / Musée de Plan-Reliefs with numerous scale models of fortified places in and outside France. The website is in French, but the pictures give an idea what to see. http://www.museedesplansreliefs.culture.fr/