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Natural History Museum - Whales

"My kids loved it!"

  • March 2016

reviewed by Michael from France

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Natural History Museum


Impressive dinosaur skeletons

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Who is it for?

Paris for you
Paris for you
Paris for you

Why you will love it?

For those in Paris with kids looking for an off the beaten path experience, visit the Natural History Museum in Paris. Different buildings, all located in the Jardin des Plantes, house different aspects of Life Science. Probably the most famous of them is the Gallery of Paleontology and Comparative Anatomy, where you can walk among skeletons of both modern day and prehistoric animals. 

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About this place

1 Rue Buffon, 75005
Line 5 - Gare d'Austerlitz Line 10 - Gare d'Austerlitz
Line C - Gare d'Austerlitz

Tuesday : Closed
more less
Monday : 10:00 am - 18:00 pm Tuesday : Closed Wednesday : 10:00 am - 18:00 pm Thursday : 10:00 am - 18:00 pm Friday : 10:00 am - 18:00 pm Saturday : 10:00 am - 18:00 pm Sunday : 10:00 am - 18:00 pm
1 January 1 May 25 December

Our Insiders' Article

An active research campus since the 17th century

The Gallery of Paleontology and Comparative Anatomy is probably the most famous part of the Natural History Museum of Paris. This is where the skeletons of modern day and dinosaurs are exposed.
Built in 1898 for the Universal Exposition, this gallery was where collections of great historic and scientific importance were shown to the public.
Today, the Natural History Museum of Paris is an active research campus, housing a collection of over 62 million specimens of fossils, plants and animals, making it the 3rd largest collection after Washington and London.

Dinosaurs, animals and more

The Natural History Museum of Paris is a perfect place to visit if you are in Paris with kids. The dinosaur skeletons always strike fear and fascination, making it highly entertaining.
Combine this with a visit to the second oldest zoo in the world, La Ménagerie, created in 1793 (11€ / open daily 9AM to 5PM), the Grande Galerie de l'Evolution (7€ / 10AM to 6PM / closed on Tuesday) and the Grandes Serres greenhouses (6€ / 10AM to 5PM / closed on Tuesday).
These places are all in the same area and belong to the Natural History Museum of Paris.

Prehistoric Animals

The dinosaur skeletons are located on the second floor. There, you will get to rub shoulders with fascinating creatures such as the Allosaurus Fragilis, which looks like the famous T-Rex, the long Diplodocus, the massive Mammoth and the three-horned Triceratops. Other impressive dinosaur skeletons include the carnivorous whale-like Basilosaurus and the biggest crocodile species that ever lived on the planet, Sarcosuchus Imperador.

Go all the way to the top floor mezzanine to get a global view above the dinosaurs.

Modern Day Animals

The modern day animal skeletons are located on the ground floor. The impressive whale skeletons are at the back of the hall. Seeing them from below is already quite impressive, but make sure you see them from the balcony above the staircase. Many skeletons of modern day animals date back from the 17th and 18th century.

Sad Fact: On March 29th 2013, a thief broke into the museum and sawed off the tusk of a 17th century elephant skeleton. This elephant, given as a present from the King of Portugal to the King of France Louis XIV in 1668, died in 1681. Its skeleton was offered to the naturalists.

A collection of high scientific and historical value

The Natural History Museum of Paris is set in the lush gardens of the Jardin des Plantes (Garden of Plants).
Back in the 17th century, the area was used as a medicinal plant garden which gradually became a university for the study of plants. Later on, research was expanded to the animal kingdom.
Naturalists Buffon (1707-1788) and Lamarck (1744-1829) did all the research that later influenced Charles Darwin and his On the Origin of Species.

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