National Museum of Natural
History (Musée National D'Histoire Naturelle)

Musée National D'Histoire Naturelle is recognized as one of the three largest museums of natural history in the world today

Visitors enjoying a hands on exhibit during the Incredible Cetaceans Exhibition at the Museum National D'Histoire Naturelle
Visitors enjoying a hands on exhibit during the Incredible Cetaceans Exhibition at the Museum National D'Histoire Naturelle cc licensed photo by dalbera

The National Museum of Natural History in Paris France was established in 1793 and has a very interesting history that actually predates this. It is said the actual origins of the museum are in the medicinal gardens of King Louis XIII or Jardin royal des plantes medicinales, which were later renamed and modified by King Louis XV to simply Jardin du Roi or the Kings Garden which then enabled the gardens to focus on a broader spectrum of natural plants and later on natural history in general.

From 1739 to 1788 the Royal Garden was run under the direction of Georges-Louis Leclerc, de Buffon who was the leading naturalist of his age, the Royal Gardens survived the French Revolution and was later changed under the Republican Government to the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle. The original aims of the museum were to educate the public and increase the natural collection as much as possible.

There are a number of branches of the museum throughout France but the main one is still in the original location of the Jardin des Plantes, 5th arrondissement of Paris or Metro Place Monge. The museum is recognized as one of the three largest museums of natural history in the world today and is also recognized legally as the National Reference Centre or the Natural World.

The museum's huge collection is estimated to exceed 60 million specimens from a variety of disciplines including geology, botany, palaeontology, zoology and anthropology.

One of the biggest attractions at the museum is the world famous Great Gallery of Evolution which is an enormous, slightly overwhelming space that houses an incredible array of species and specimens from throughout our natural history. These range from dinosaur skeletons and fossils to extinct species of animals and a very detailed look at how these different species including man have evolved over the years. The museum itself has evolved with the times and presents a number of installations with interactive mediums as well.

Nearby attraction: Jardin des Plantes

Facts For Your Visit

Fee: Yes

Musée National d’Histoire Naturelle Hours:
Opening hours may differ on holidays

  • Monday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Tuesday: Closed
  • Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Thursday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Friday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Saturday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Sunday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Address: 57 Rue Cuvier, 75005 Paris, France

Phone: 01 40 79 56 01

Official Website: Musée National d’Histoire Naturelle

Musée National d’Histoire Naturelle Reviews

Rated 4.5 out of 5 Star Rating

4 Star Rating I've been to this park before and fell in love with the trees and flowers there, but this was my first time in this museum (they have another museum on the other side of the park). I'm fascinated by butterflies and seashells and marine life. Sometimes the lights change color to resemble night time so it's a bit dark and hard to see, but this is a very beautiful museum.
Rachel Ngn - 3 months ago

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5 Star Rating The Felines Exhibit was detailed with some of the best taxidermy I’ve seen in my life. We were able to witness a live theatrical performance that moved me literally to tears. The museum focuses heavily on how humans are negatively impacting our planet. There are tons of interactive exhibits to keep the little ones entertained. They even have virtual reality!
Nikki Jones - a month ago

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4 Star Rating A great visit, set amongst so beautiful gardens. If your in Paris for 3+ days then I would add this to your list. Nice to break up our trip to Paris with some history.
Joe Stoker - a month ago

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4 Star Rating We had a great time visiting this museum, there were lots of figures of animals up for display with some information, although it could've been more, such as the dates, quantity, etc.
Élie - 2 months ago

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5 Star Rating A museum that enables you to trace the evolution of man and the animal kingdom and their impact on our planet. It is rich in information and specimens that can be discovered, and it left us speechless because of its beauty and the abundance of things that can be seen and discovered, fossils, dinosaur skeletons, and creatures that you would not believe lived millions of years ago on the planet. I highly recommend this museum to those who want to discover and learn where we come from!
Mohammad Ayoub - 4 months ago

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Metro / RER Line Nearest Station Walking Time
M7 or M10Jussieu Station5 minutes
M5Quai de la Rapée Station5 minutes

How to get to Musée National d’Histoire Naturelle by Metro / RER

By Metro: Exit Metro M7 or M10 at Jussieu Station and go to your left walking straight south along Rue Linne to the entrance via the gate at the southeast corner or exit Metro M5 at Quai de la Rapée Station and go to your right throught the plaza and right again across Pont d'Austerlistz (Bridge) to the entrance gate on the far side of the traffic circle and make your way through the gardens to the entrance.

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