European Heritage Days: our favourites

Published on by Elodie Chauderlot - updated on

Every year, the heritage days are the perfect opportunity for people to find out just how culturally rich the country is. But what should people choose to visit during these two days of utter abundance?


To make things easier, Rétromobile has decided to share its favourites with you, with the emphasis firmly placed on vehicles and everything related to them.  

The urban transport museum: a fantastic journey through time.

Every morning, millions of Parisians cram themselves into the metro on their way to work, to the sound of buskers and underground travel announcements. But have you ever wondered how people in your grandparents' or great-grandparents' generations got about? Find out how at the urban transport museum, with an exhibition of more than 70 public transport vehicles – from 1863 right up to the present day.

Visitors will find everything from tramways and trolleybuses to horse-drawn omnibuses – an exceptional journey through time which will leave you thinking that actually, being on the tube at 8 o'clock in the morning is not quite so bad.


Discover the urban transport museum with an incredible collection !

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Musée des Arts et Métiers

Featuring permanent exhibitions of the various scientific revolutions that have marked human history, the Musée des Arts et Métiers – Paris's industrial design museum – will be organising activities for children and adults alike on a broad range of topics during the heritage days.  For children, games and investigations will be held tackling major topics of scientific enquiry, such as light and transport. Demonstrations of legendary objects which have revolutionised science – such as the calculator invented by Blaise Pascal or Foucault's pendulum – will also be on show, and visitors will be able to engage in a wide range of activities to do with the various aspects of this museum which is the only one of its kind.

The musée des Arts et Métiers, the best place to discover the differents revolutions of the history of Science

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Citroën Museum: rediscover a legendary brand  

Everybody has heard of Citroën, France's flagship car manufacturer which has left its mark on automotive history with legendary models such as the DS and the 2 CV. The Citroën conservatory will be opening up its doors for an exhibition featuring more than 300 of the manufacturer's vehicles, from 1919 up to the present day.  Visitors will also find press kits, old posters and numerous other relics that will help paint a picture of this legendary company.


The Citroën Museum, where classic cars, which made the history of french industry, are exhibited

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Behind the scenes at the RATP: mystery and poetry in the Paris metro.

Okay, sure, perhaps next to the Musée d’Orsay or the Pompidou Centre, the RATP – Paris's public transport operator – might seem somewhat less glamorous. But make no mistake, this organisation, which – for better or for worse – forms part and parcel of the lives of Parisians, has an exceptional heritage and a history full of anecdotes about various metro stations.

This year, the RATP is giving visitors the opportunity to have a look behind the scenes of this timeless metro system, with new activities such as visits to the cinema station – a station that is closed to the general public where numerous films were shot in order to give them a typical Parisian feel. Visitors can also enjoy rides on 1930s buses, as well as guided tours and a look behind the scenes of the RER “A” line, as well as an escape game about the organisation's former means of transport.

Discover the RATP behind the scenes

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The Angoulême ramparts circuit race: when old cars invade the city

Internationally renowned since 1939, the Angoulême Circuit des Remparts race transforms the city into a giant museum of old cars. This year's programme will include an elegance contest to find the finest car. Then numerous races, trials and demonstrations will all ensure that this year's event is of epic proportions. At the same time, there will be a whole host of exhibitions and events in the city – you certainly won't get bored. 

Angoulême will be invaded by classic cars during the Heritage Days

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The Compiègne Museum: when Napoleon meets classic cars.

As official partner of the Rétromobile show, the Compiègne museum is organising original events for the heritage days. This historic royal residence which was home to France's great kings – from Clovis to Louis, and then Napoleon I who made it one of his main residences – also houses an exhibition of classic cars which is a must-see for all classic car enthusiasts. Discover some never-before-seen places within the palace as part of themed visits and enjoy the concerts which will be held on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 September right in the centre of the palace.

The Compiègne Museum owns an amazing classic car collection

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Reims automobile museum

Ranked among the five most important museums in France, the Reims automobile museum has reduced-price entry on Saturday 16 and Sunday, 17 September 2017. It features more than 230 vehicles made by many forgotten manufacturers, as well as a collection of miniature cars and period posters… and many other treasures from the history of the automobile. 

The Reims automobile Museum, more than 230 vehicles are exhibited for all the passionates of classic cars

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We hope we've given you a few ideas for your visit and that you’ll enjoy what you learn during these heritage days!