Petit Futé
  • Français
  • English
  • Español

Top 5 experiences at the Air and Space Museum at Le Bourget

Founded in 1919, the Air and Space Museum is one of the first aeronautical museums in the world. Installed on the site of Le Bourget airport since 1975, it presents an exceptional collection of flying machines from the past and more than 120 aircraft including two Concorde! Under the supervision of the French Ministry of the Army, this incredible museum located near Paris offers a fascinating journey through its exhibition halls. You can climb aboard a Boeing 747, admire the Super Frelon helicopter, the gliders of the air pioneers, the Massia-Biot glider, a model of a hot air balloon from 1783, rockets and multiple fighter and aerobatic planes. But more than just an exhibition space, the Air and Space Museum also offers activities to better understand the history of aviation, to put yourself in the shoes of a pilot and simulate a flight, without forgetting the Planetarium, a real immersive place offering a journey through the starry sky. Here are 5 experiences to enjoy in one of the most captivating museums in France!

1- Travel back in time by visiting the Art Deco style Labro terminal

A visit to the Air and Space Museum is a must for architecture lovers. To host the 1937 Universal and International Exhibition, the Ministry of Air launched a call for tenders which was won by the architect Georges Labro. He designed a magnificent 233-meter long and 30-meter wide terminal, drawing his inspiration from the worlds of navigation and rail transport. Now restored to house the Grande Galerie and its collections from the pioneers of the air to the Great War (1914-1918), the terminal is the starting point for visitors embarking on a discovery of the museum's treasures. In the center, the Salle des Huit Colonnes, a jewel of Art Deco and the historic hall of Le Bourget airport, has been restored to its former glory with its large clock, monumental staircases and splendid dome that floods the space with light. Thousands of translucent glass paving stones are embedded in it. The place is simply sublime!

2- Climb aboard the mythical Concorde 001

The Concorde Hall is one of the most fascinating areas of the Air and Space Museum at Le Bourget. This is where you can admire the Concorde 001, the prototype of the legendary supersonic aircraft that made its first flight in March 1969. It is always a great emotion to admire this jewel of aeronautics, which finally landed in the museum in 1973 after 812 hours of flight, including 255 at supersonic speed, and 387 takeoffs. Please note that you will need a " Check In + Boarding Pass " to have the chance to board this mythical aircraft. The visit includes access to another historic aircraft, displayed next to Concorde 001: the Concorde Sierra Delta, one of the last Concorde operated by Air France to have flown, author of two speed records on the world tour.

3- Get into the skin of an astronaut

The Air and Space Museum is a place to discover at all costs with children. Budding aviators aged 6 and over will appreciate stopping by Planet Pilot, a 1,000m2 edutainment area where they can put themselves in the shoes of an astronaut, pilot, stewardess or passenger. This could be an opportunity to start a career! Accompanied by their parents or adults, they can freely use nearly 40 interactive manipulations on the themes of aeronautics and space. Performing manipulations in an astronaut's suit, riding a bicycle in a space station to stay in shape, observing space from a window are some of the experiments offered. One thing is sure, they will have fun as well as learn!

4- Admire the life-size Ariane 1 and 5 rockets

We now head for the tarmac of the Air and Space Museum, where there are many military and civilian aircraft, including the unmistakable Boeing 747. This is also where space enthusiasts will have the chance to admire two life-size models of the Ariane 1 and 5 rockets! Ariane 1, whose height reaches 48 m high, forms a single tube, while Ariane 5, whose height reaches 54 m high, presents a central part and two lateral thrusters. True emblems of the museum, visible from several kilometers, the two Ariane launchers required a building permit to be installed in the museum. They are even equipped with lights so that they can be seen by planes passing through the sky

5- Watching planes take off from Le Bourget airport

In addition to a stroll through its impressive Grand Gallery and exhibition halls, the Air and Space Museum offers to complete the visit with a moment spent on its terraces, from where you can observe the aerial spectacle of the runways of Paris-Le Bourget airport. Overlooking the runways like the deck of a ship on the sea, a nod to the "liner" style architecture designed by Georges Labro, the terminal and terraces also offer a unique view of the tarmac where various aircraft and Ariane 1 and 5 rockets are on display, in addition to the planes that take off and land!

The Air and Space Museum is an impressive place with a wide range of experiences. A prestigious place that allows you to dive into the history of aviation and the conquest of space. You can admire planes that flew during the two world wars as well as amazing helicopter models that you never knew existed, and be transported beyond the earth's atmosphere. The place will fascinate young and old alike, with immersive experiences such as initiation to piloting on the terminals located in the exhibition halls. And don't forget to visit the historic control tower, one of the only ones in the world permanently open to the public, with its breathtaking view of the runways of Paris-Le Bourget airport.

To be read next:
Top 10 most beautiful walks in France with the Decathlon Outdoor application
10 ideas for trips by train or bus in the Centre-Val de Loire region
The most beautiful treks in Asia
10 places in the world to watch whales
The must-sees of the Pays de la Loire region
Top 5 cities to discover during a weekend this summer in France
5 good reasons to discover the village of Roquebrun and its vineyard
5 destinations for an unforgettable catamaran cruise
The 10 most beautiful airports in the world