Top Places Related to Napoleon in Paris (with Map!)

Paris Under Napoleon I

Napoleon Bonaparte was the Emperor of France (known as Napoleon I) from 1804 to 1815. He had a great impact on the world, but more importantly on France and Paris.

Napoleon was born in 1769 on Corsica Island and passed away in 1821 on the island of Saint Helena.

In this post, we will walk through the most notable places related to Napoleon in Paris, where Napoleon left his mark on the city. Let’s enjoy the history of Paris under Napoleon through the top places related to this prolific character.

Napoleon in Paris

READ MORE: 55 Best Quotes about Napoleon to help you conquer the world!

Suggested Napoleon Paris Tours

If you want to extend your knowledge of Napoleon, Paris has a couple of Napoleon tours on offer. If you really are into Napoleon, we recommend booking an in-depth tour with a professional guide – usually an expert in History and Napoleon-passionate himself –  to visit the main Napoleon sites in Paris.

2.5 hours
3 hours
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Where Did Napoleon Live in Paris?

Here’s the list of Napoleon’s residences in Paris, from his first years in the capital to the Imperial residences.

  • École Militaire. After his training in Brienne, the young Bonaparte stayed at the Paris Military School from 1784 to 1785. He left as second lieutenant in the artillery, assigned to the La Fère regiment in Valence.
  • Château de Malmaison. Napoleon lent 325,000 francs to Joséphine for the purchase of Malmaison. The future emperor stayed in Malmaison from time to time.
  • Château de Saint Cloud (today disappeared). Napoleon’s main residence when he was First Consul.
  • Tuileries Palace (today disappeared). Napoleon’s main residence when he was First Consul and later Emperor.

Where Did Napoleon live as Emperor?

  • Château de Saint Cloud (today disappeared). When Napoleon moved to the Tuileries Palace, Saint Cloud became his secondary residence.
  • Tuileries Palace (today disappeared). Napoleon’s main residence when he was First Consul and later Emperor.
  • Château de Fontainebleau (on the outskirts of Paris). A royal residence, home to the French Kings, Napoleon regularly stayed in Fontainebleau.

Top Napoleon Sites in Paris

Below is the list of the best Napoleon sites in Paris in no particular order. Read the stories behind these places of Paris under Napoleon and some quirky anecdotes about his personal life.

Napoleon Sites Paris – Map by Google Maps (c)

Click here to view the Napoleon Sites in Paris Map on Google

1. École Militaire

Ecole Militaire - Paris

In the past, École Militaire was an academic college for cadet officers from poor noble families. It was founded by King Louis XV after the War of the Austrian Succession.

Napoleon Bonaparte entered the École Militaire in 1784 when he was 15 years old. When his father’s death reduced his income, Napoleon was forced to complete the two-year course in only one year. He was the first Corsican to graduate from the École Militaire.

The École Militaire is located southeast of Champ de Mars. It is open to visitors only during special occasions like the European Heritage Days (usually on the 3rd week in September).

Address: 1 Place Joffre, 75007 Paris

2. Café Le Procope

Cafe Le Procope Paris

This café-restaurant located at Cour du Commerce Saint-André, in the 6th arrondissement of Paris, dates from 1686. Le Procope was a common meeting place for Napoleon and some intellectuals of the time like Voltaire, Rousseau, and Montesquieu.

Bonaparte once left his hat at the restaurant, which you can still see in the window without entering the building.

Americans visiting Paris will be interested to know that Benjamin Franklin wrote a good part of the American Constitution at Le Procope.

Address: 13 rue de l’Ancienne Comédie / Cour du Commerce Saint André 75006 Paris

3. Les Invalides – Musée de l’Armée

Les Invalides - Paris

The Musée de l’Armée in Paris, located inside Les Invalides, houses a fantastic collection of objects that belonged to Napoleon, as well as the uniforms and weapons of his soldiers. Make sure to see the statue of the emperor presiding over the main courtyard – Click here to buy your skip-the-line tickets to Les Invalides

4. Rue d’Autin – Joséphine and Napoleon Got Married

In this building – the former Mairie of the 2nd Arrondissement –, Napoleon and Joséphine got married. Their marriage bans were published on 7 February 1796, and the wedding was set for 9 March 1796 at 3 rue d’Autin.

The wedding was to occur at 8 pm. Joséphine arrived on time, dressed in a simple but fashionable muslin dress and wrapped in a warm coat, but Napoleon was nowhere in sight. After a while, the public officer who was supposed to marry the couple got tired of waiting, and he went home.

Napoleon did not arrive at his wedding until 10 pm as he lost all track of time with his maps, and it was the acting registrar who married the couple. The marriage took less than 30 minutes to complete.

The wedding certificate purposely contained all sorts of false information. Joséphine was 6 years older than Napoleon. To avoid the humiliation she might feel, Joséphine’s birth date was changed from 23 June 1763 to 23 June 1767, which made her four years younger. As an act of gallantry, Napoleon also changed his birth date to make him 18 months older.

5. Rue Chantereine – The Wedding Night

For the wedding night, Napoleon went to Joséphine’s house that she was leasing at 6 Rue Chantereine, located in a fashionable part of Paris called Chaussée D’Antin (Paris 9). But just like the wedding ceremony, the wedding night did not go exactly as expected, and Napoleon found himself using his military skills rather than his lover’s skills. Here’s the story:

Joséphine owned a pug named Fortuné. Apparently, Fortuné was not inclined to share the bed (and Joséphine) with Napoleon, even on his wedding night! So when Napoleon attempted to get into bed, Fortuné bit him on the shin.

Napoleon’s war against Fortuné did not last long. Two days later, Napoleon had to leave Paris to join his army in Italy.

Joséphine’s house – also known as Hotel Bonaparte – was one of the most beautifully decorated in Paris. From this house, Napoleon orchestrated the coup d’etat, which brought him to power on 9 November 1799.

Unfortunately, the Hotel Bonaparte was demolished during the Second Empire to make way for the current Rue de Châteaudun.

Today, Rue Chanteraine is named Rue de la Victoire. It took this name in 1797 after the success of Napoleon’s campaign in Italy.

6. Marché aux Fleurs

In 1808, Napoleon signed a decree to cede the vacant land on the Ile de la Cité to the City of Paris to accommodate a floral market.

Today, the Marché aux Fleurs is must see in Paris and always outstands by the profusion of flowers and shrubs. Now renamed the Queen Elizabeth II Flower Market, its metal pavilions have been rebuilt several times.

7. Madeleine Church

Napoleon commissioned the Madeleine as a temple dedicated to his military services. However, the construction was finished long after his rule, and in the end, the city decided to turn the temple into a church.

Just in front of La Madeleine, but on the other side of the Seine River, there is the National Assembly building. Napoleon ordered to cover the back of the National Assembly, which is the side facing La Madeleine, with a similar colonnade, so today, these two buildings look like twin buildings.

8. Canal Saint-Martin – Bring them Water!

Paris 10 - Canal Saint-Martin

Canal Saint-Martin is today a lovely area for a stroll or a romantic cruise in Paris. The construction of the canal was ordered by Napoleon I in 1802 when he was First Consul. It is said that Napoleon asked Gaspard de Chabrol, prefect of the city of Paris: “‘What can I do for the Parisians?.” And Chabrol answered: “Bring them water!”

Until that moment, Parisians only had access to a small supply of drinking water from the Bièvre River and Seine River, often very polluted.

A new tax on wine funded the construction of Canal Saint-Martin. The canal is fed by the Ourq River, located 100 km northeast of Paris.

This new source of fresh water and its fountains helped to avoid diseases such as dysentery and cholera. The canal was also used to transport different goods on big boats – Click here to explore Canal Saint-Martin by boat

9. Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre Dame of Paris was the place where Napoleon was crowned Emperor of France. The ceremony took place on 2 December 1804 in the presence of Pope Pius VII.

For this occasion, the Gothic interior of Notre Dame was turned into a Roman temple. On the facade, a triumphal arch was erected resting on four columns, two of which symbolized the Merovingian and Carolingian dynasties and the other two the ‘good towns of France.’ The Capetians (King Louis XVI’s dynasty) were knowingly forgotten.

The future Emperor and Empress arrived at Notre Dame separately, and they received the triple anointing from the hand of the Pope.

Against all usage, Napoleon wished to crown himself before taking the constitutional oath at the end of the coronation. He also crowned Empress Joséphine, so the Pope had to content himself with blessing the crown.

Address: 6 Parvis de Notre Dame, 75004 Paris

10. The Tuileries Palace and Tuileries Garden

Tuileries Garden Paris

The Tuileries Palace was the Napoleon Palace in Paris. Located on the right bank of the River Seine, the Tuileries Palace was home to many French kings, from King Henri IV to Napoleon III, until the Paris Commune burned it down in 1871.

Napoleon turned the Tuileries into the official residence of the First Consul. From this Napoleon Palace, Paris was ruled. When Napoleon was crowned Emperor, the Tuileries Palace became the Imperial Palace.

The Tuileries Palace was redecorated in the Neoclassical Empire style by the best architects of the time. Today, visitors wandering around the Tuileries Garden can still see a few remains of the Palace destroyed by the fire on the side alleys.

TIP: learn the history of the Tuileries Garden whilst having fun with this self-guided scavenger hunt!

11. Palais du Louvre

Napoleon sites in Paris - Louvre Museum

The Louvre Museum is one of the most famous museums in the world. Home to the Mona Lisa and the Venus of Milo, the Louvre also displays the 6×10 meter painting by Jacques-Louis David on Napoleon’s Coronation Ceremony. It is really impressive!

The resemblance of the characters and the detail of the costumes give this painting the realism of a portrait gallery – Click here to buy your tickets to the Louvre Museum

Address: rue de Rivoli, 75001

Did Napoleon live in the Louvre?

During his time as a Consul and later as Emperor, Napoleon never lived in the Louvre Palace. Here’s what Napoleon thought about the Louvre:

The Louvre will never be a comfortable dwelling. I see it as a parade palace in which you have to bring together all that you have in terms of objects of art and science, such as statues, bronzes, paintings, libraries, archives, medals – Napoleon I

However, Napoleon multiplied artistic acquisitions throughout Europe and ordered works at the Louvre in order to welcome and present these treasures with dignity.

12. Place Vendôme

Place Vendôme - Paris

Place Vendôme, in the 1st Arrondissement, is one of the royal squares in Paris. Here, you can see the column of the same name the Colonne Vendôme which was commissioned by Napoleon in honor of his victory at Austerlitz in 1805.

The column is of bronze, and many scenes of the battle are sculpted around it. On the top, there is a Napoleon statue represented as Caesar, overlooking the Tuileries and Paris.

13. Arc de Triomphe

Skip the line Arc de Triomphe

In Paris, Napoleon commissioned the famous triumphal arc in 1806 to celebrate his victory at Austerlitz and to memorialize the heroes of the war. The Arc de Triomphe is located in the 8th Arrondissement of Paris, and you can climb up to the top for one of the best views of Paris! –Click here to buy your tickets to Arc de Triomphe

Address: Place Charles de Gaulle, 75008 Paris

14. Les Invalides – Tomb of Napoleon in Paris

Tomb of Napoleon in Paris - Les Invalides

Wondering where Napoleon is buried? Les Invalides also has a part that is a church, Saint-Louis des Invalides Church. This is the burial site of Napoleon Bonaparte, where you can find Napoleon’s tomb.

Napoleon lies in a seven-layer coffin placed under the dome of the church. The remains of Napoleon were brought here from Saint Helena in 1840, 19 years after his death.

Les Invalides hosts a mass at the tomb of Napoleon every year on 5 May to commemorate his death. The people behind the tomb, in the picture below, are Napoleon’s successors during the mass.

TIP: Taking place at nighttime, Aura Invalides is an immersive experience that showcases this iconic Parisian building through lights, video mapping, and orchestral music. Get ready to discover the Dôme des Invalides’s rich architecture and heritage, where you will uncover illuminating revelations. This is a unique, multisensory tour that will surely be unforgettable – Click here to buy your ticket to Aura Invalides

Tomb of Napoleon

NAPOLEON’S ORIGINAL TOMB. The original tombstone, which was on Napoleon’s grave on the island of Saint Helena, can be found also at Les Invalides. This tombstone was repatriated from the island in 1840, at the same time as the body, by the ship La Belle Poule.

The tombstone is located outside the Church, hidden by bushes in the garden. The garden is not open to the public, but you can see the tombstone from the windows, more precisely from the Nîmes Corridor or from the staircase leading to the Army Museum (GPS 48.855669; 2.312328).

15. Château de Malmaison

Château de Malmaison

Château de Malmaison was one of Napoleon’s residences in the countryside, not far from Paris. The Château was bought by his wife Joséphine in 1799 when Napoleon was First Consul.

One of the best castles near Paris to visit, Château de Malmaison was – together with the Tuileries Palace – the heart of the French government during the Consulate.

Napoleon spent long periods in Malmaison. When he became Emperor of France in 1804, the couple moved to Château of Saint-Cloud, more worthy of Napoleon’s new rank.

Napoleon and Joséphine, however, frequently visited Malmaison until their divorce in 1809. After the divorce, Joséphine kept Malmaison where she died.

This Napoleon residence makes a beautiful half-day trip from Paris. It is located 16 km east of Paris, and it is very easy to reach from the French capital by public transportation.

TIP: the entrance to Château de Malmaison is included in the Paris Museum Pass. You can read our Paris Museum Pass review here.

Sleep Like Napoleon in Paris

Hotels can be so much more than a simple place to rest your head. For some travelers, the right hotel is part of what makes the travel experience an interesting one.

If you are a fan of Napoleon, book your stay at one of the Napoleon-themed hotels for a total Napoleon experience. These hotels certainly know how to give their guests a memorable stay in a “First Empire” atmosphere.

Hotel Napoleon Paris

Located in Paris 8, at a stone’s throw from the Champs-Elysées and the Arc de Triomphe, Hotel Napoleon Paris is a romantic and luxury hotel inspired by Emperor Napoleon’s history.

The spacious and beautiful rooms are decorated in an elegant Empire style with a contemporary touch. This is also one of the best hotels with an Eiffel Tower view (from some rooms), Arc de Triomphe, or both! Rare in Paris, the large connecting rooms are ideal for familiesClick here for the Latest Prices

Hotel de l’Empereur

Napoleon fans cannot go wrong with a hotel dedicated to France’s first Emperor. Hotel de l’Empereur is located in Paris 7,  not far from the Eiffel Tower, and it features awesome views of Les Invalides and its imposing golden dome.

The hotel is decorated in an elegant and luxurious Empire style, with beautiful fabrics and furniture. The rooms are spacious and with large and well-lit bathrooms. Most of the rooms come with a view of the Invalides Dome – Click here for the Latest Prices

Hotel de Joséphine Bonaparte

Located in the historic neighborhood of Le Marais and hidden behind a flamboyant courtyard, Hotel de Joséphine Bonaparte is the intimate and delightful refuge after a long and busy day following Napoleon’s steps.

Joséphine Bonaparte and the Directoire style inspire the hotel’s design right down to all the carpentry details. Rooms are individually decorated – each with its own character – and they all have interesting fabrics, wallpapers, and unique carpets.

The hotel offers connecting rooms to create your private apartment – Click here for the Latest Prices  

Napoleon Statues in Paris

In Paris, there are still some Napoleon statues or sculptures outdoors or in places easy to spot.

» The Genius of France in the guise of Napoleon. This sculptural set is located in the Louvre Museum at Cour Carrée. It decorates the pediment of the north wing.

» Goddess Minerva, surrounded by the muses of Victory, crowns the bust of Napoleon. This sculptural set is located in the Louvre Museum; it decorates the pediment of Pavillon Marsan.

» Napoleon Triumphant. This statue is found inside the Louvre Museum at Cour Puget.

» Napoleon as Cesar. This is the statue on the top of the Vendôme Column at Place Vendôme.

» Napoleon I dominates History and the Arts. This sculptural set is located in the Louvre Museum; it decorates the pediment of Pavillon Sully.

» Renowned, crowning the bust of Napoleon. This sculpture is located in the Louvre Museum, at Cour Carrée, south wing.

» Napoleon I. Statue located at the Courtyard of Honor of Les Invalides.

Click here for more Paris Attractions

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Quirky Parisian explorer with a preference for lesser-known sights, I am continuously looking for new ideas and tips to bring you the best of the City of Light! Read more about me.