Jardin des Plantes - Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle

Address: Place Valhubert, Paris, 75005, France
Telephone: 01 40 79 56 01

- Mid-range


The best place to spot an ostrich in Paris.

You could easily spend a family day out in the Jardin des Plantes, which has a botanical garden, natural history museum and zoo, plus all the playgrounds, roundabouts and ice cream stalls of a local park. It originated as the royal medicinal garden of Louis XIII and has been open to the public since 1640. Within the park, the most spectacular part of the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturel is the Grande Galerie de l'Evolution with brilliantly displayed stuffed animals presented by habitat – strolling across the savannah or across Arctic wastes – while birds hang suspended as you rise up in the lifts. The park also contains a paleontology pavilion and newly renovated 19th-century greenhouses full of palm trees and other exotic plants, flower gardens and Alpine rockeries, historic trees and a curious hilly labyrinth. La Ménagerie is a small zoo with plenty for kids including wallabies and flamingoes, a lazy orang utang, giraffes, ostriches, aviaries and rare red pandas, plus rabbits and farm animals for toddlers and tanks of scary snakes and spiders.

Value for money

Price advice

The park is free but you do have to pay for some of the different attractions inside it: greenhouses 3 euros, assorted museums 7 euros each, 5 euros (4-11s), zoo 8 euros (6 euros 4-11s).

Expert tips

There are other entrances on rue Geoffroy-St-Hilaire and rue Buffon.

La Baleine (the whale) is a relaxed, stylish café-restaurant by the rue Cuvier entrance.

Recommended for

  • Backpackers / Students
  • Families with teenagers
  • Families with younger children
  • Mature travellers
  • Seasoned travellers
  • Education
  • Relaxation
  • Sightseeing
  • Nature / wildlife