Located in the heart of Bastogne, The 101st Airborne Museum is a fitting tribute to the American outfit, whose courage and sacrifice helped the Allies win WW2. The museum itself features a rich collection of objects from the Second World War, from personal outfit guns to uniforms. Spread across three floors, from the outset it looks very modest, a testament to a humble generation. Many of the items are in excellent condition and members of staff are on hand to answer any questions.
The HBO award winning series, ‘Band of Brothers’ helped bring the plight of the 101st Airborne to a new audience. And today, this museum is visited by thousands of people from around the world, who wish to pay their respects and learn more about this incredible Band of Brothers. In the basement, you can experience a real life ‘bombing’ (not suitable for children under 2). Which gives you just a hint of what some of the brave men faced in Bastogne and innocent civilians across Europe and the UK.
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BOOKING YOUR TRIP
BEST TIME TO VISIT
Despite not being well advertised in the actual town itself, a steady stream of tourists continue to walk through its doors. Coach trips (which follow the route taken by men from the 101st Airborne, branded as Band of Brothers tours) tend to visit first thing in the morning or towards the end of the day. It will only take around an hour to make the rounds so any time is good. The majority of the memorabilia is indoors so accessible all year round. May to September would be classed as ‘peak’ times for visitors.
Closed on Mondays from May – September. From October to December they are closed on a Monday and Tuesday. The weekend of the 13th – 15th in December is ‘NUTS’ and can be very busy. Standard opening times are from 10AM to 5PM. On the 24th and 31st of December they are open from 10AM to 12PM. Click here for 2019 opening times.
Pay on the door when you arrive. Prices are as follows:
Adult – €9
Children (aged 4-10) – €6
Military in active service – €8
Disabled – Free
WW2 Veterans – Free
School Groups (groups of 20 people) – €6
Guided Tour (groups of 10) – €8
Free parking on the street available (limited spaces) and opposite the street. If you drive further down the main road, to the left is a much larger a car park and you can walk (around 10 minutes) to the museum.
No restaurant or cafe due to the fact that the building is small and run by a committed team of volunteers. There is a small vending machine where you can get a drink or snack. Personally, I wouldn’t take food or drink inside, because it is only for an hour and the displays are mainly glass.
NAPPY CHANGE FACILITIES
Toilets are located to the right as soon as you enter the first set of doors at the entrance. Baby change facilities can be found there.
A small set of steps to overcome to reach the main entrance door. Wide floors and plenty of space downstairs but there is no lift to get upstairs. We had to leave our stroller downstairs and carry George to the second floor. You cannot participate in the recreation of a bombing, which can be found in the basement, with children under the age of one.
- Leave the stroller in the car/van and make sure you have fed your baby or children before entering.
- Ask the members of staff any questions you have, they are really welcoming and keen to share their knowledge!
- Arrive early to snag a car space (free of charge on the street)
Park for free on the street and you will spot the infamous Airborne logo on a flag flying from the red brick second storey. Two large double doors stand in the way of a well kept, loved and frequented WW2 museum. From colour co-ordinated maps that allow you to see that path taken by soldiers from all nations that fought for the allies. Glass display cabinets feature uniforms and letters from home. An entire feature has all the different brands of cigarettes and sweets that soldiers from that era would have been given as part of their army rations and no doubt, collected along their travels.
The second floor has recreated war cabinets and a cafe, with life like models and decor. A projector screen plays footage of the brave veterans. An impressive array of guns, personal items and postcards are on display in floor length ‘shop windows’. Be sure to visit the basement and experience a minor bombing in comparison to the real thing. But it sure does open your eyes and give perspective.
To the left of the entrance is a small seating area with a vending machine. On the walls you will see magnets, photographs and clothing that you can purchase. Books, pen knives and metal tins – there is plenty to choose from and modestly priced. On your way out, be sure to sign and read the visitors book.