High culture is a quintessential part of Paris’ personality, and nowhere is that better expressed than in the city’s wealth of world-class museums. From art-world heavyweights to modernist stylings, here are six of the City of Light’s top museums.
Paris Zoological Park (Parc Zoologique de Paris)
Route de la Ceinture du Lac, Paris, Ile-de-France
Founded in 1934, the Paris Zoological Park (Parc Zoologique de Paris) is now the best place in Paris to discover rare wildlife and learn more about habitats around the world. Divided into five different biozones—Amazon-Guyana, Europe, Madagascar, Sahel-Sudan, and Patagonia—and host to more than 180 different species, the zoo is also invested in global conservation and breeding programs and offers educational opportunities for kids and adults alike.
As the Parc Zoologique de Paris is included in the Paris Pass program, it can be easily added to your local sightseeing itinerary. The zoo is also one of many highlights in the sprawling Bois de Vincennes park and can be paired with other nearby excursions.
Things to Know Before You Go
One of the Parc Zoologique de Paris’ most visible highlights is the Great Rock (le Grand Rocher), a sculpted rock that stands 213 feet (65 meters) high.
The zoo is host to two on-site restaurants, several other casual eateries, picnic areas, and a souvenir shop.
The Parc Zoologique de Paris is fully accessible to visitors with limited mobility and also offers wheelchair rentals.
How to Get There
There are numerous ways to get to the Parc Zoologique de Paris. Take Metro line 8 to Porte Dorée (less than a 10-minute walk away), or take line 1 to Saint-Mandé (a 15-minute walk away). The zoo can also be reached by bus 46, 86, or 325; by the T3 tram; and by car or by Vélib’ bike.
When to Get There
From May through August, the Parc Zoologique de Paris is open 9:30am–8:30pm daily. From September to late October, it’s open on weekdays 9:30am–6pm and on weekends 9:30am–7:30pm. From late October through April, it’s open 10am–5pm daily, except Tuesdays. As the museum’s hours also change during school and public holidays, it’s advisable to double-check its opening hours prior to your visit.
Bois de Vincennes Highlights
As Paris’ largest public park, the Bois de Vincennes offers plenty of other attractions for those who’ve made the journey to the Parc Zoologique de Paris. Its highlights range from the stately Château de Vincennes and the Parc Floral de Paris (a lovely botanical garden) to the Vélodrome de Vincennes, a historic cycling stadium.
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- Aquarium Tropical du Palais de la Porte Dorée
- Bois de Vincennes
- 12th Arrondissement
- Paris Floral Park (Parc Floral de Paris)
- Museum of Fairground Arts (Musée des Arts Forains)
- Bercy Village
- La Cinémathèque Française
- Parc de Bercy
- French National Library (Bibliotheque Nationale de France)
- Viaduc des Arts
- Marché d’Aligre
- Père Lachaise Cemetery
- Promenade Plantée
- 11th Arrondissement
- Bastille Opera House (Opéra Bastille)