The National Car Museum (not to be confused with the National Automobile Museum of Mulhouse) is located at the Château de Compiègne, a few minutes’ walk from the city centre. It covers mobility from the18th century to the beginning of the20th century through its different forms, horse-drawn vehicles and automobiles, cycles, motorcycles… In addition to the vehicles themselves, many scale models, models, drawings, photos and illustrations testify to the birth and rise of transport in the19th century and early20th.

As the collections are rich and growing steadily, the National Car Museum plans to eventually extend its presentations to automobiles of the1st half of the20th century.


The museum is therefore mainly interested in the beginnings of the automobile, with about thirty vehicles built from the late19th to the 1920s. We discover the creativity of pioneers exploring different engine solutions, steam electricity or internal combustion engines. Among the Museum’s gems are Camille Jenatzy’s Jamais Contente (the first car in the world to exceed 100 km/h in 1899) and a Citroën autochenille from the Croisière Noire (1924). The Museum also exhibits several models by Amédée Bollée, including the Mancelle, defender of steam. The first gasoline cars of Panhard and Levassor or Renault represent the gasoline engine trend, which will prevail for more than a century.

Besides cars

The National Car Museum exhibits nearly 80 horse-drawn carriages, from the18th to the beginning of the20th century. This is one of the largest French collections. The different categories of cars are represented: transport, travel, pageantry, walking, sports, sledding… It must be remembered that French bodybuilders were then among the most famous in the world. This also makes it possible to understand what the design of the first automobiles owes to the harnessed bodies. The collections also offer several cycles from the19th and early20th century, and see all the options explored before arriving at the ancestors of our bikes.

Besides this transport part, be sure to visit the castle itself, along with the Imperial Apartments, the Second Empire Museum and the Empress Museum. A shop is at your disposal, as well as lockers at the reception. You can then finish with a walk in the castle park.

Temporary exhibition “Vitesse”

Until March 28, 2022, the National Car Museum is offering a temporary exhibition on the theme of Speed. Only a few cars, but among the most beautiful and iconic racing cars: Bugatti, Mercedes, Talbot-Lago, Ferrari, Lotus… A few motorcycles and a very rich iconography complete this superbly presented exhibition. You still have a few weeks to visit it!

Practical information

Website (in French):


From March 15 to November 1: Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, from 2 pm to 6 pm

From November 2 to March 14:

Mondays and Fridays: from 4:15 pm to 6 pm

Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays: from 2pm to 6pm


Outside the exhibition periodDuring the exhibition period
Full price7,50€9,50€

For the conditions of reduced rate or free, see the site:

Automobile Museums’ tips

A few minutes from the Museum, on the banks of the Oise, the restaurant Les Ferlempins offers gourmet cuisine, organic and from local products, at reasonable prices. Service and frame at the height of the plate. A gourmet stop to pleasantly complete your visit! It is advisable to book.

13 cours Guynemer, Compiègne – Tel : 03 44 83 53 31 – on the internet : Les Ferlempins

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