Nuit aux Invalides

Nuit Aux Invalides display

Last night, in the pouring rain, we went to La Nuit aux Invalides. I can’t remember where I read about the sound and light show, but it caught my eye. The theme of the projections is “3000 Years of Stories” and it was absolutely stunning from start to finish.

Although I’ve visited Les Invalides multiple times, I went ahead and put La Nuit aux Invalides on my August in Paris list of things to do.

Nuit aux Invalides Entrance
Nuit aux Invalides walking in


I got our tickets in advance because I’ve learned the hard way about showing up to an event in Paris sans tickets. We decided to pay an extra 5€ to have seats instead of just standing. That ended up paying off in the long run because it poured rain.

We also added the optional visit of the Dôme at the end. The Dôme visit dictated the day we went because there are a limited number of tickets available. The Dôme visit ultimately added a lot to our experience.

Les Invalides Louis XIV

The Show

Because of the rain we didn’t want to arrive super early. The show started at 10PM and our tickets said that you could arrive at 9PM. We received a text from the organizers before the show saying we didn’t need to arrive before 9:45PM.

We arrived at 9:35PM and went through the security. Because we had seats we were able to go in early while the people with standing tickets only had to queue. I’m glad we got there when we did because even with the rain our best seating options were already off to the side and not in the first row.

Les Invalides French Flag
Les Invalides Normandy Beaches

Because we were on the side (and maybe because of the rain) we could only see the front panel well. It would’ve been really spectacular to see all three panels at once as the two side panels were different from the front.

The show started right on time. It was in French, so I definitely couldn’t follow everything, but I got a lot out of the 3000 years of stories.

I think even for someone who speaks little to no French it would be an interesting event. I picked up on a lot of names from French history and the show helped me place their roles. Also, the sheer experience of seeing the newly cleaned facade of Les Invalides with the famous gold Dôme was spectacular. Add in the 4k laser projections and sounds and the whole story really came to life.

Nuit aux Invalides Belle Epoque
Nuit aux Invalides

Even Romain, who can’t stand the sound and light shows at Atelier des Lumières (which I love), enjoyed the show.

The Dôme

The show lasts 50 minutes and the visit to the Dôme is directly after the show. We were inside the Dôme for probably 20 minutes or so and left when we were done, but there were still a lot of people inside.

You were free to explore and walk around the area and go down to Napoleon’s tomb. The lights changed colors every so often I liked seeing the colors with the candlelight and stained glass windows.

gold dome at night
Pink Dome at night
Invalides dome alter
Nuit Aux Invalides Napoleon Tomb
Napoleon Tomb gold
Dome Napoleon Tomb Blue

I’ll look forward to going to the incredible Nuit aux Invalides again next year!

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