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“Very good museum on Space flight”

Ranked #1 of 8 things to do in Kourou
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: More than 500 launches have left from this vital space center, begun in the 1960s. Guided tours of the facility and its six launch sites are among the region's most popular attractions.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
143 reviews
125 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
“Very good museum on Space flight”
Reviewed December 7, 2012

It's a very good and interesting museum. I was actually glad I didn't book a tour as there were only French guides and it meant I could avoid the big crowd on the tour. Everything is written down to explain things so I could read what I was interested and ignore the rest anyway. They have some really interesting items to check out and if you go downstairs there's a lot of interactive stuff. A lot of it is for kids, but there are some interesting things to try out as well.
It would be good to be in town on a launch day. People can see the launch from pretty much anywhere in town.

Visited April 2012
Helpful?
Thank Kalmaro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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207 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“If you are into it!”
Reviewed July 29, 2012

If you are into spaceshuttles this is the place to be. The tour is free and well arranged (make sure your understand French) and covers different launching sites on different days. It takes about three hours and is very informative. If you are not into spaceshuttles, I would not recommend going (I saw a lot of women yawning!), kids seem to love this tour though.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Willem85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
67 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
“Dont Expect Kennedy Space Centre!”
Reviewed July 2, 2012

I had tried really hard to arrange a tour of the centre (you need to do this in advance) but the phone numbers (and fax numbers!) on the website dont work!

So I had to make do with just going to the musuem rather than the full tour.

From a flyer I picked up in the musuem the email address to arrange the tour is:

visites.csg@wanadoo.fr

So basically I just did the musuem. Was 4 euros to get in and was ok. Had a human hologram which was cool. Plus lots of history and facts about the European Space Program.

Only took about an hour to do, was super impressed. But there isnt much to do in Kourou so worth a visit.

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank NigelTufnell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
101 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 142 helpful votes
“Be Sure to Reserve”
Reviewed April 13, 2012

To take the tour, be sure to reserve a place far in advance. Some "standbys" get lucky, but you can't count on it. The museum is excellent -- be sure to tour the lower section. It's supposed to be for children (and kids would love it) but the interactive exhibits are also great fun for adults.

Visited February 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank TalltrekkerTX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berkeley, California
Level Contributor
38 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 176 helpful votes
“One of the main reasons to visit French Guiana... better speak French, though”
Reviewed April 7, 2010

French Guiana's top tourist draw, the European Space Agency Guyane Space Centre is an obvious must-see for any tourist in French Guiana. The program varies depending on launch schedules (in days prior to launch, large portions of the base are off limits) but most guests can expect 1 to 2 hours on board a large air-conditioned passenger coach bus piloted by a French-only guide reciting a memorized script. The route slowly passes various assembly and launch facilities. A one-hour stop at "mission control" at the center of the base affords views of the various control and communication rooms which may or may not be active, again depending on the proximity to a launch. The tour concludes at the Jupiter Center - another command/control facility surrounded by glass - where a brief promotional video is presented. You then are shuttled into the inevitable gift shop where you can trade your guest badge in for your passport which was collected on check-in. A museum of space history may delight or bore you, depending on your energy level after hours of shlepping around the Centre.

As of April 2010, a translated audio-tour is inexplicably unavailable for non French speakers. This is especially maddening given the high-tech nature of the place. Even Cayenne's modest zoo offers multilingual wireless headset rentals! Promises that your guide will provide english Q&A on the side should be met with skepticism. Bring along your own translator otherwise the fundamental learning experience will be missed.

Launch schedules are kept secret until 3-4 hours ahead of actual launch time. When a launch is announced, the Space Center, some surrounding areas, and the Isles de Salut are promptly evacuated for security reasons. The trade off for this potential inconvenience is that one gets to see and hear an actual Ariane 5 or Soyuz rocket take off to space!

Logistical note: The other top attraction in French Guiana is a trip to Isles Du Salut, or the "Devils Island" penal colony. Both the space centre and the islands are best reached from Kourou... Cayenne is more than an hour away by car. Hotel options in Kourou are limited... I stayed at Hotel Des Roches and based on some snooping around, think it's the best option in the area.

Helpful?
9 Thank MRMinSF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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