Despite the name, the National Museum of Natural History is not a single building, but a collection of sites throughout France. Its historic home is in the Jardin des Plantes, and it's here that you'll find the greatest number of branches: taxidermied animals in the excellent Grande Galerie de l'Évolution; fossils and dinosaur skeletons in the Galeries d’Anatomie Comparée et de Paléontologie; and meteorites and crystals in the Galerie de Minéralogie et de Géologie.
Created in 1793, the National Museum of Natural History became a site of significant scientific research in the 19th century. Of the three museums here, the four-floor Grande Galerie de l’Évolution is a particular winner if you’re travelling with kids: life-sized elephants, tigers and rhinos play safari, and imaginative exhibits on evolution, extinction and global warming fill 6000 sq metres. The temporary exhibits are generally excellent. Within this building is a separate attraction, the Galerie des Enfants – a hands-on science museum tailored to children aged from six to 12 years.