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Paris Jardin des Plantes, Evolution, La Ménagerie, and Natural History

Scheduled for an April week in Paris. Was thinking of spending a day visiting the Zoo area including the museums of Evolution, Natural History, and gardens. Not speaking any French might hurt the experience in some. Are they worth spending a day in?

Posted by
1896 posts

The zoo at the Jardin des Plantes, la Ménagerie, is for children in my view. The other museums are definitely worth a visit, as is the greenhouse and the Alpine garden. While you are there you might walk out the southwest gate and visit the Roman amphitheater which is nearby.

Posted by
136 posts

The gallery of paleontology and anatomy is amazing, as is the building it is in. It is in French but you don't need to know French to appreciate it. And I disagree that the zoo is only for children. It is small, but well run (not a sad little zoo), with an impressive diversity of animals. There is a lot of good research that goes on there, also.

Posted by
9525 posts

Do check the opening times for the Alpine Garden. To me the entrance is a little difficult to figure out as you enter thru a small tunnel from the main garden area. In April there may still be some blooming in the Iris Garden and it is closed on Weekends. I'd plan to visit during the week anyway. When I was there in early April 2019 the Japanese Plum trees were in full bloom in the Jardin and were exceptional!

https://www.jardindesplantesdeparis.fr/en/opening-times-prices-access-2932

Here is a map of the garden.

https://www.jardindesplantesdeparis.fr/en/map-jardin-plantes-3709

There is also this cool statue of a lion eating a human foot. The Atlas Obscura entry has the location incorrect - it's at the entrance at the corner of Rue Linné and Rue Cuvier.

https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/lion-of-the-botanical-gardens

https://goo.gl/maps/wpfVzeT8zsiMcFHJ7

Posted by
8 posts

Thank you everyone for the great feedback. Pretty sure we are adding these to the trip.

Posted by
6507 posts

How does the Evolution exhibit there compare with the one at the Field Museum in Chicago for someone who has seen both?

Posted by
6507 posts

If I could K2, I wouldn't have asked. Our museum has a wonderful evolution exhibit -- I'd like to know if going to the one in Paris adds to that experience. I am guessing someone has done both.

Posted by
6507 posts

So parade of animals? The one in Chicago is organized around the 6 major extinctions and is very didactic as well as of course full of animals, dinosaur skeletons etc.