Les Machines de L'ile
Les Machines de L'ile
4.5
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
About
The Machines de l’Ile is an artistic and a tourist project. It is a blend of the invented worlds of Jules Verne, the mechanical universe of Leonardo da Vinci, and the industrial history of Nantes, on an exceptional site in the former shipyards. A ride on the 12-meter tall Great Elephant, climb aboard the Marine Worlds Carrousel of 27 moving sea creatures or the Heron Tree to fly over the hanging gardens.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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  • Andrew R
    23 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Jules Verne' spirit lives in Les Machines de L'ile
    Les Machines de L'ile is brilliant, and it's hard to imagine a first time visit to Nantes missing it. We booked a timed ride on the elephant, and it's important to know that it makes a three stop tour around the grounds, and your ride is for one of those legs between the stops, We got on at the giant carousel, which lets you off next to the heron, then it travels around the back of and through the studio. From there it goes back to the carousel. I think the most interesting would be through the studio, but with needing to buy timed tickets, I'm not sure you can choose. Watching the elephant from a distance is probably more interesting than riding on it, though it gives you a great view of the hordes of kids running in front waiting to get sprayed by the elephant's trunk. I'd instead recommend getting your ticket for the carousel, whose fantastic creatures cannot be seen from outside. You can buy a ticket for admission only, to see the ride, or with a tour around on it as well. Any admission tickets gets you into the gallery as well. Due to long lines and a tired teenager, we skipped that.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 16, 2023
  • Zoe D
    London, United Kingdom608 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Never seen anything like this. Impressive
    I saw this on trip advisor before we travelled and I must say I have never seen anything like it before. We didn’t manage to see everything due to having such a long day but I would recommend you make time for it. The elephant is fantastic. It sprays water as it walks around. You can also pay to sit on it. It was so funny getting wet when it sprayed us. The children loved it. The carousel is a must too. Very interesting things to go on. I am sure there is a lot more there so I would definitely go again. It was free of charge for the part we went into.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 17, 2023
  • EboracumYork
    York, United Kingdom504 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A must do in Nantes - book ahead!
    A ride on the giant elephant is a must! Make sure you book in advance as gets sold out in peak season. Watching the elephants coming out of the building was amazing - then following to the carrousel to board. Well worth a trip into Les Machines de l'Île as well.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 31, 2023
  • Evelyn J
    Beaufort, South Carolina3 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    An Amazing, Unique Experience
    What an AMAZING, UNIQUE experience. This museum and the mechanical elephant are a MUST in Nantes. This is something you will not see anywhere else. Paris may be gorgeous, but Nantes has some incredibly unique offerings and this is one of them. Don't miss it.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written September 1, 2023
  • mariedesjardins
    Prince George, Canada6,916 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Very unique experience, gigantic mechanical creatures
    I ride the giant elephant and got soaked when the driver turned the trunk on the passengers. It was excellent though on the 30c+ day in September. After the ride, I enjoyed the gallery display of robotic creatures and the demo. The ticket for the gallery and canopy is separate from the elephant ride. It’s easy to reach by tram from the Nantes train station and visible along the river.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written January 28, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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BrakiWorldTraveler
Belgrade, Serbia18,060 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2021
Although I doubted I'd like it, I went to check myself as it's on top of TA list.
This installation is set in former shipyards on Loire, not in the very center and far from prime tourist attractions.
You encounter problems starting with driving there, finding a parking spot, waiting in line to enter and finally seeing barely nothing through huge crowds - not desirable any time, but specially during the pandemic.
The biggest attraction - the elephant can be seen from outside for free, while for smaller I had much better experience in Chateau du Clos Luce where Leonardo actually lived and created.
Written December 26, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Paul
Nantes, France13 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023
Was looking forward to seeing this place and did enjoy the visit.

However, i was surprised by the small amount of things to see when actually inside. It is a small building that quickly became very crowded with 100+ people standing shoulder to shoulder while trying to watch the machine demonstrations.

Children were unable to see so many parents lifted their children onto their shoulders making it worse for those behind them.

And this is in the off-peak season. I can only imagine what it would be like in summer as it quickly become hot enough inside for some people to leave early.

Those interested in seeing the walking elephant can do so without buying a ticket to the gallery. The elephant moves outside near the carousel and across the parge open area giving plenty of photo opportunities for free.
Written February 19, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rob M
18 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023
This is a remarkable place and it is still being created. There is a lot to see and the website can be confusing so do your research. Check the on-line diary carefully to make sure the rides you want are available and check the opening times. If you want a ride on the elephant get there 30 mins before opening time, it fills up fast. The gallery of machines has the most amazing machines, you can only go in once per ticket and there is a 50 min tour but you can stay and watch it again so long as you don't exit.. Allow time for this if you go before your elephant ride.
The Carousel is a walk away with its own ticket office. If you want to ride be sure to go on a "Fairground mode" day. The entry prize includes one ride, but you can keep buying more rides for 3Eu a go and you don't need to join the main queue, but nowhere does it say this, we asked.. Where else could you ride in a puffer fish, on a stingray or be pulled by a shoal of mechanical flying fish? The labour that has gone into this is astonishing. We spent 2 half days - about 6 hours. The more time you spend the more detail you see.
Written April 9, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LCousins1974
Norwich, UK32 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022 • Family
Absolutely amazing place to visit and one of a kind. We took our 10 and 13 year old and parents in n 70s so great for all ages. The French always know how to put on a spectacle and entertain and we were not disappointed. An hour and a half wait for tickets from 11am so maybe go later in the afternoon in peak but we didn't mind. The wait was so worth it. Entertained by the truly unique giant elephant whilst in the queue and later in the square as it blew water over all! And in the gallery all the machines are demonstrated and whilst in French, again, it didn't matter as visually is so impressive. Loved it.
Written August 24, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Andrew R
23 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Family
Les Machines de L'ile is brilliant, and it's hard to imagine a first time visit to Nantes missing it. We booked a timed ride on the elephant, and it's important to know that it makes a three stop tour around the grounds, and your ride is for one of those legs between the stops, We got on at the giant carousel, which lets you off next to the heron, then it travels around the back of and through the studio. From there it goes back to the carousel. I think the most interesting would be through the studio, but with needing to buy timed tickets, I'm not sure you can choose.

Watching the elephant from a distance is probably more interesting than riding on it, though it gives you a great view of the hordes of kids running in front waiting to get sprayed by the elephant's trunk. I'd instead recommend getting your ticket for the carousel, whose fantastic creatures cannot be seen from outside. You can buy a ticket for admission only, to see the ride, or with a tour around on it as well. Any admission tickets gets you into the gallery as well. Due to long lines and a tired teenager, we skipped that.
Written August 16, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Technobot
London, UK145 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2022
We did not pay to visit the machine gallery itself, but paid instead for a ride on the elephant. This ticket also allowed us to visit the prototype for the 'flight of the herons' installation and to watch a very interesting video about the construction of the elephant. The 30 minute ride was well worth the money as it is a truly unique experience. It is also worth walking alongside the elephant after the visit, to experience the fun of it spraying water on excited children and unsuspecting tourists.
I would recommend booking in advance as the queues at the ticket office were long.
Written February 18, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Danica Sapit
4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022
I am a solo American traveler who speaks a little French, so I did not mind all the tours being in French. It also helps to know French since they ask for volunteers, and the interactivity is really a highlight of this place. To be honest, though, this was a main reason for my going to France, as I am a fanatic of automata (especially among real life vegetation and Jules Verne-esque mysticism), so I was prepared. I think it is best to use the full time to listen to all the interactions and to spend some time to observe all the spaces and details. The machines are incredible, and just treating it as a walk through takes away from that. It is important to really cherish the craftsmanship behind all the magical things you are seeing. Of course, the smaller children's carousel and the sea life carousel, also, are hilarious and extremely fun. I did not ride the elephant but I did let myself get sprayed by it a bunch of times. You also are near a fun part of Nantes against the river. Truly a marvelous place!
Written August 21, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

terry s
Manchester, UK139 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2022
The machines of Nantes are an excellent experience. The range of animatronics, Spiders, Flying Birds, Snakes, and of course the 9-metre-high Elephant are fascinating. A must when in the Nantes area. The Park itself is large and mainly uncovered with various eateries some of which have inside seating. The main exhibition of machines is undercover. But a good weather day is best for a visit. You can ride the Elephant which is a great experience. But the creature animatronics are just as interesting. If you have children who are interested in Engineering, then this will inspire them.
Just a little warning if you are buying a day ticket ensure you "do the Elephant" first as once you enter the indoor exhibition you cannot leave and return. There is also a good chance that you could be absorbed into a Group who are doing a tour if you can avoid this do so as you may miss out on some exhibits.
Written September 30, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Charles S
Apalachicola, FL52 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2022
I was expecting too much I guess. Kids may like some of the rides, though the elephant is sloooow and crowded. Kids on at the same time as us got bored and fidgety. Designs of animals carosels are fantastical, but it's ultimately just a carosel. I mistakenly thought the big elephant was an actual robot that walked. I was disappointed to learn that it just rolls on big rubber tires, and the walking motion is simulated. It just rolls very slowly around the theme park. The big bird ride and spider ride were not in service when we went. Though the designs look fantastic, they are really just rather tame carnival rides. We are an older couple, and had added Nantes to our itinerary just for this place, and wish we had allocated those days elsewhere in France. Families with kids may like it, but many adults will not.
Written November 1, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Claudette G
2 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022 • Family
Very disappointing experience. Does not cater to anyone who does not understand French. My son was so disappointed that he could not participate as they only asked for volunteers in French and he did not understand. I spoke to a couple of the presenters and they spoke and understood English and none were willing to include him in any of the volunteer sessions…. Waited for more than an hour to enter, not worth the time or money….
Written August 1, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Les Machines de L'ile - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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