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The centuries-old Natural History Museum and surrounding Jardin des Plantes have so much to offer that you can easily spend an entire day here. The museum’s two main galleries are both impressive architectural gems offering all things natural sciences: from a great parade of animals – both stuffed and skeletons – to examples of insects, rocks, minerals, plants, and everything in between.
Entering the garden across from the Gare d’Austerlitz, you’ll first see the impressive red brick building housing the Galerie de Paléontologie et d’Anatomie Comparée. Inside, dinosaur bones, all sorts of skeletons, and fossils await, sure to please anyone interested in paleontology, young or old.
On the other side of the gardens stands the Grande Galerie de l’Evolution, focusing on evolution and biodiversity. Here, you can get up close and personal with a multitude of (stuffed) animals to retrace the evolution of life on Earth. The modern mise en scène is stunning and the lighting is both beautiful and an integral part of the exhibits.
Outside the galleries, something is always flowering in the garden. The Jardin des Plantes also boasts one of Paris’s oldest and grandest cherry trees, bursting into magnificent pink blossoms in early spring. There are beautiful Eiffel-esque greenhouses filled with veritable jungles as well as a small zoo.
Carefully placed art and beautiful parkland add to the overall experience, which is lovely with or without kids or scientifically-minded visitors. It’s perfect for a day of learning and exploring in Paris.