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Travel bucket list idea:

Last updated: 28 May, 2023
Expert travel writer: Anna Brooke

Housed in an impressive Baroque setting, this trio of French military museums is full of treasures.

The Musée de l’Armée, the military museum of the French army, has collections ranging from armour to World War II film footage; the Musée des Plans-Reliefs is a museum of military models; and the Musée d’Histoire Contemporaine (contemporary history museum) contains some 1.5 million artefacts from French political, social and cultural history.

Don’t miss 

Highlights include the Enigma cryptography machine, used by the Nazis during WWII, and a ‘Taxi of the Marne’, one of the red Parisian taxis used by the French to transport reinforcement troops to the front line in 1914. 

The gilded Eglise du Dome church, in the same complex, contains the imposing tomb of Napoleon I.  


Price from: £12
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 18+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

Take the metro to Invalides or La Tour Maubourg (both line 8), Saint François-Xavier or Varennes (both line 13). If you’re driving, there is a (paid) underground car park accessible via Esplanade des Invalides.  

Digital guides are available for a small extra fee, with two different itineraries – one focusing on the museum’s essential exhibits, the other on the current temporary exhibition. A wide range of guided tours are also available for individuals or groups.  

When to do it

The museum is open all year round, seven days a week. It opens until late on Tuesdays. 

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Ile-de-France, France

Aerial view of Paris with the Eiffel Tower in frame against a beautiful golden sunset

Crammed with iconic buildings, world-class art and a culinary scene steeped in history, Paris is one of the world’s great capitals, overflowing with style, romance, and art de vivre.