Part of the sweeping complex at Les Invalides, the Army Museum (Musée de l’Armée) was officially founded in 1905, following the merging of two separate institutions. It is now the largest museum of military history in France, containing thousands of rare weapons and artifacts dating from antiquity to the 20th century.
The Army Museum was created with the joining of Musée d'Artillerie and Musée Historique de l'Armée in 1905. The institution, housed at Les Invalides, is home to one of the world’s most significant military art and history collections. Today, the museum comprises eight spaces including a courtyard with cannons; an area featuring armor and weapons from the 13th–17th centuries; the Charles de Gaulle Monument; and Napoleon’s Tomb.
The Army Museum can be visited independently and is a stop on select central Paris walking tour itineraries. Les Invalides can also be glimpsed from river cruises and hop-on hop-off bus tours. Purchase an admission ticket in advance for seamless entry.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Tickets for the Army Museum include access to other sites at Les Invalides, including the Museum of the Order of Liberation (Musée de l’Ordre de la Libération) and Museum of Relief Maps (Musée des Plans-Reliefs).
- Audio guides are available in eight languages and can be purchased for a small additional fee. A smartphone app is free to download and use.
- Most areas of the museum are accessible to visitors with mobility issues (excluding Napoleon’s Tomb); wheelchairs can also be rented.
How to Get There
There are numerous ways to access the Army Museum. Take Métro lines 8 or 13, or the RER C, to the Invalides stop, or take line 8 to La Tour-Maubourg. Bus routes 28, 63, 69, 80, 82, 83, 87, 92, and 93 serve the museum. The museum is accessible by foot, rental bike, car, or taxi.
When to Get There
The Army Museum is open daily. The museum is closed on Dec. 25, Jan. 1, and May 1. In summer, areas of the museum remain open until 9pm on Tuesday.
Treasures of the Collection
The Army Museum’s wide-ranging collection includes numerous priceless treasures, from a ceremonial necklace and pistols owned by Napoleon to a suit of armor worn by Francis I and an Enigma cryptography machine from World War II.