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Esplanade des Invalides

Esplanade des Invalides: Our most recommended tours and activities

Les Invalides: Napoleon's Tomb & Army Museum Priority Entry

1. Les Invalides: Napoleon's Tomb & Army Museum Priority Entry

Discover the Hôtel des Invalides, which was founded by Louis XIV to house veterans and wounded soldiers. Explore this prestigious setting for the Musée de l’Armée at your own pace on a self-guided visit with priority access. In the museum's collections are more than 500,000 pieces, covering the period from the Middle Ages up to the present day. As you follow a newly designed educational route, you'll find armor and weapons of the kings of France, swords, cannons, uniforms, paintings, photographs and the personal effects of important figures such as Francis I, Louis XIV and Charles de Gaulle. Your visit also takes you to the Dome Church, which since 1861 has been home to the monumental tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte. The golden dome is over 110 meters high.

Army Museum: Invalides and Napoleon's Tomb Guided Tour

2. Army Museum: Invalides and Napoleon's Tomb Guided Tour

Most tourists to Paris are impressed by the 26 pounds of gold leaf that make the Invalides stand out against the skyline, and take a photo of the dome. But few visitors realize the multiple facets of society on display within. Originally constructed under Louis XIV, the dome contains the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte. The vast complex surrounding the cathedral is dedicated to preserving and exhibiting the many chapters of French military history, including the jousting of medieval knights, the Emperor’s European conquests, and the World Wars of the 20th century. Your guided visit of the site lasts 2.5 hours, and features meaningful stories not only about the French but also about the many nations that have come to fight on French soil. Of particular interest are the exhibits about the D-Day Landings in Normandy and the Liberation of Paris in 1944. Your expert guide will take you on a historical journey. You’ll get into the military theme as you admire the decorated armor and cannon the XVIIth century. Hear of the exploits of General Bonaparte and learn how he became Emperor Napoleon.  Next visit the church to discover tomb of the most famous military leader in European history. After taking the imperial crown for himself in 1804, Napoleon continued his program of European conquest right up to his ultimate defeat at the Battle of Waterloo. Napoleon died in exile in 1821, but his remains were returned to France in 1840 and entombed according to his wishes in the heart of his capital. Napoleon’s son, nicknamed the Eaglet, also died on foreign soil; his body was reinterred here by Hitler in 1940. Join this thrilling voyage through conflict, disaster, heroism and united victory.

Paris: Invalides Dome - Skip-the-Line Guided Museum Tour

3. Paris: Invalides Dome - Skip-the-Line Guided Museum Tour

Your guide will lead you through the epic courtyard of the Invalides, discussing its 17th century roots as a veteran’s hospital under King Louis XIV. You’ll visit the cathedral that Louis built for his former troops, who found respite here after returning from battle. After discussing the Sun King’s contributions to France’s military history, you’ll learn all about the nation’s most elite leader, Napoleon Bonaparte. A brilliant general and audacious emperor, he is synonymous with France’s golden days of military conquest. Ultimately pushing too far, Napoleon died in exile, though his remains are interred underneath the magnificent gold dome. See his tomb up close, as well as the tombs of those closest to him, while basking in the ornate homage to this leader. Spend some time in the museum to learn all about this man, beyond his famous stature, through artifacts, recreations and military maps that walk you through his many wins and defeats.

Invalides War Museum the World Wars Guided Tour

4. Invalides War Museum the World Wars Guided Tour

Take a tour of the Invalides War Museum with an expert guide. Begin by exploring the 19th century roots that lead to one of the bloodiest wars ever, learning about characters like Bismarck during the Franco-Prussian War. From there, your guide will piece together the chain of events, including the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, that set off World War I. Come face to face with the equipment, uniforms, weapons, and other artifacts that were used during the war’s many battles. Relive the famous Battle of the Marne while seeing one of the iconic taxis that played a crucial role. Watch original footage detailing the atrocities before finally understanding how the Treaty of Versailles ended things. You’ll even see the train car where the armistice was signed, ending the war. Afterwards, learn how the threat of Adolf Hitler came to be a reality, launching World War II. Discuss significant events like the Ligne Maginot, Dunkerque, and the Occupation of Paris while meandering among artefacts collected from the battlefields. Your guide will discuss famous men like Pétain and De Gaulle who helped guide France through this horrendous war. You will discover stories behind the battles of Normandy and the Liberation of Paris, which lead ultimately the preservation of the city that you can still enjoy today.

From Disneyland: Paris, Eiffel Tower, Louvre Tour and Cruise

5. From Disneyland: Paris, Eiffel Tower, Louvre Tour and Cruise

This full-day tour will allow you to discover Paris’ most cherished landmarks, including the Louvre, the Champs Elysees, the Opera Garnier, the Pont de l'Alma, the Concorde, and many more.  You’ll start the tour by departing from Disneyland on a coach, embarking on the perfect day in the French capital. After your drive, you’ll then board a riverboat and admire more must-see attractions while cruising along the River Seine. You’ll see La Conciergerie, l’Ile de la Cité, and the Grand Palais. Finally, you’ll travel up to the second floor of the Eiffel Tower to enjoy breathtaking views of one of the most beautiful cities in the world, rounding off the ultimate Paris experience adequately before being dropped off back at your pickup point.

Other Sightseeing Options in Esplanade des Invalides

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What people are saying about Esplanade des Invalides

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 2,289 reviews

an amazing experience well worth the visit there is an exhibition within this as well that goes all the way to the end of world war 2 there are uniforms from around the world machinery and beutiful art within the tomb as well a fab and interesting visit. a must see !!

When entering the Museum go directly to the tomb and then work your way backwards to the war exhibitions as otherwise you may run out of time during your visit unless you plan on spending a entire day there

Great value for money. Many interesting things in the museum to see, especially for history enthusiasts. Gift shop at the end is quite pricey.

Very entertaining. Lots to see and immaculate. A very pleasant visit for the whole family. Well preserved and presented

Very easy entry into the museum. It was a worthwhile visit