Founded by Napoleon and placed in a former royal residence, France’s National Archeological Museum has one of the top collections in the world of its kind. Dating back to pre-history, there are nearly 30,000 artifacts presented in its exhibits that tell the story of humanity through art, culture, religion, and technology. It is fascinating to trace the introduction and development of industrial and agricultural activity in France. The ability to see time periods stretching from earliest Paleolithic to the early Medieval in the same place is a draw for many.
The elegantly restored exterior of the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye is worth the trip alone. Inside, the Comparative Archaeology permanent collection, comprised of artifacts collected on five continents, is where you’ll want to spend most of your time. Exhibits are divided into era (Iron Age, Bronze Age, etc.) making it easy to tour in chronological order. Entrance to the museum is included in the Paris Pass.
You can get there on the RER A train at stop Saint-Germain-en-Laye (about twenty minutes from the center of Paris.) The museum is open daily from 10am to 5:15pm (closed on Tuesdays.) Guided tours are available daily. There is a German Blockhouse from World War II beside the chateau that’s also worth a visit.