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Les Machines de l'Île

Artistic park attraction with a giant elephant & heron, inspired by Jules Verne & Leonardo da Vinci.

Parc des Chantiers, Bd Léon Bureau, 44200 Nantes, France
📞 +33 810 12 12 25


  • Wheelchair-accessible car park
  • Wheelchair-accessible entrance


  • Good for kids

Nantes, France is home to one of the most unique museums in the world: Les Machines de l'Île. This museum is a unique combination of art, science, and technology, offering visitors an unforgettable experience.

The museum is located in the former shipyards of the city, and is housed in an impressive building with an impressive industrial-style architecture. Inside, visitors will find a variety of interactive exhibits, from a giant mechanical elephant to a carousel with real horses. The museum also features a variety of activities and workshops, allowing visitors to explore the world of engineering and technology.

The highlight of the museum is the giant mechanical elephant, which stands at 12 meters tall and weighs a whopping 50 tons. Visitors can take a ride on the elephant, which moves its legs and trunk, and is accompanied by a live musical score. The elephant is a truly impressive sight, and visitors can also explore the inside of the elephant, which has been designed like a theater.

The museum also offers a variety of other activities, such as a carousel with real horses, a Ferris wheel, and a variety of workshops. Visitors can also explore the museum's gardens, which feature a variety of plants and sculptures.

Visitors to Les Machines de l'Île have overwhelmingly positive reviews. On TripAdvisor, the museum has a 4.5/5 rating, with many visitors praising the unique experience. One visitor wrote, "This is a truly unique experience that you won't find anywhere else. The mechanical elephant is a must-see, and the other exhibits are also very impressive. Highly recommended!"

Overall, Les Machines de l'Île is a must-see for anyone visiting Nantes. It's a unique combination of art, science, and technology, and offers visitors an unforgettable experience.


33515 reviews
4 stars

It's neat and has a lot of interesting machines to see. The machines as art are really amazing. They're intricately designed and really quite beautiful. They do shows of the machines that are displayed in the gallery, then a walk up the terrace to see the workshop and a short movie, and finally a walk along a metal tree lined with plants. 8.50 to see the gallery, 8.50 to ride the elephant, 8.50 to ride the carousel. The gallery ticket and elephant ticket allow you to go up to the terrace as well. With that said the machines movements and actions are all quite simple so don't expect any great feats or robotics.

5 stars

Amazing place to visit! The machines are incredible and they demonstrate all of them with some people getting to ride (talks are in French, obviously, fair enough). Worth staying in the gallery until they do all the demos as once you leave each section you can't go back. The ticket price is fair, just be aware it's either for the gallery OR a ride on the amazing mechanical elephant. But you can still see the elephant up close and in action. There is also a view of the workshops and you can climb down the incredible Heron tree and see its prototypes. Check the opening times if you're going at all "out of season" as it was afternoon only on the day we visited. Highly recommended.

4 stars

The Gallery is somewhat underwhelming, however the elephant ride is good fun and overall it is very good value for money. The large carousel also looked like fun but probably better if you have children with you. It was also a bit more expensive. The small carousel looked great for younger children and good value.