This is a must-stop for me on every Paris trip. The gardens were planted as specimen & medicinal gardens by Louis XIII's physician & are surrounded by glass houses & specialised museums: including the Grande Galerie de l'Evolution, the Mineralogy, Paleontology & Entomology Museums.
Take the Metro to Gare-d' Austerlitzou Jussieu and enter the gardens at the Bone Museum. This is my favourite. Not only are the skeletons & bottled specimens impressive & awe-inspiring, but I love the backdrop of the structure too.
All wood & slightly creaky, a large room with central display of giant animal skeletons (elephant & whale etc.) & then a surrounding catwalk with wood & glass cabinetry. The floors are lovely & worn, revealing their history as a public space, whilst the iron detailing & custom cabinetry are gorgeous.
After you have poured over everything, enter the gardens & take as long as you need. The Grand Musee sits majestically at the end of the gardens that are always abundant with seasonal flowers: gladiolas, clematis, windmill flower, echinacea, daisy, rose, cosmos, kale, rainbow chard, rosemary & lots of others.
On the right hand side stroll under the avenue of canopied plane trees (leaves or no leaves, it's magic), to the alpine & tropical gardens and various official buildings that are dotted around specimen monkey-puzzle & fir trees. Lose yourself in a labyrinth as you head toward the grand hall of the Natural History Museum.
Hang out here or head up to the library with mint cabinets housing an extensive range of mounted specimens that line the room: to read, write, reference or just admire & absorb. Finish this perfect day with honey sweets & pastries and mint tea under the fig tree in the Mosque across the road. There is a wonderful history of collecting in The Coral Thief by Rebecca Stott, including Jardin Des Plantes- highly recommended!!