The Botanical Garden called Jardin des Plantes in Paris, situated in the 5th arrondissement, is one of the most beautiful parks in the city.
It is one of the top tourist attractions in Paris and gives a great opportunity to visitors as well as locals to get some fresh air in nature in the heart of Paris. There are numerous nice Parks and Gardens to Visit in Paris, but this one is the most impressive by far.
In this guide to the Jardin des Plantes you will find out everything about its attractions, history, tickets, tours and helpful information on how to get there.
What can I do at the Jardin des Plantes ?
The Jardin des Plantes covers an area of 23.5 hectares, featuring a zoo, a botanical school and several exhibition rooms, greenhouses and gardens. The Jardin des Plantes is part as well as heart of the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, the National Museum of Natural History in Paris. Know more about the 30 most important Museums of Paris
In the Jardin des Plantes, visitors can expect a spacious green oasis with numerous gardens and paths that invite to stroll and linger. During a stroll through the various gardens, children and adults can discover a magnificent flora and fauna. Colorful flowers, a wide variety of plants and venerable tree-lined avenues that frame the walking paths attract both locals and tourists.
With its various exhibition rooms and collections, the Jardin des Plantes also offers a deeper insight into the world of plants and living organisms. The main attraction is the zoo (Ménagerie in French), which makes the Jardin des Plantes one of the most popular attractions for children in Paris.
Gardens in the Jardin des Plantes
- Perspective squares (Carrés de la Perspective)
- The Garden of useful plants (Jardin de Plantes Ressources)
- The Botanical School (École de botanique)
- The Alpine Garden (Jardin alpin)
- The Ecological Garden (Jardin écologique)
- The Rose and Rock Garden (Jardin de roses et de roches)
- The Peony Garden (Jardin des pivoines)
- The Bee and Bird Garden (Jardin des abeilles et des oiseaux)
- The Maze
- The Iris and Perennials Garden (Jardin des iris et des plantes vivaces)
The Exhibition Rooms, Greenhouses and the Zoo
The Jardin des Plantes houses the following six areas open to the public :
- The Ménagerie : A highlight of the park is the Ménagerie from the 18th century. It is one of the oldest zoos in the world and particularly popular with children. Red pandas, kangaroos, flamingos, monkeys and giant tortoises live here.
- The Greenhouses : The greenhouses are home to a wide variety of tree species and plants from different parts of the world. You can see desert cacti, tropical palm trees and exotic plants.
- The Grande Galerie de l'Évolution : The Gallery of Evolution illustrates the development of living beings and biodiversity with the help of around 7,000 stuffed animals and lifelike animal replicas such as dinosaurs, giant squids and whales. It also includes the Galerie des Enfants (Children's Gallery) and the Cabinet of Virtual Reality.
- The Galerie de Paléontologie et d'Anatomie comparée : The Comperative Anatomy and Paleontology Gallery guides visitors through 540 million years of history using a chronological arrangement of around 650 skeletons. It presents fossils, skeletons of extinct animals, including dinosaur bones, as well as skeletons of living organisms that still exist in nature.
- The Galerie de Minéralogie et de Géologie : The Mineralogy and Geology Gallery shows in its exhibition “Trésors de la terre” (Treasures of the Earth) around 600 of the most impressive exhibits on the subject of mineralogy and geology. Highlight is a collection of huge crystals. The exhibited jewels and precious stones from the royal and imperial collections as well as the meteorite collection are also worth seeing.
- The Galerie de Botanique : The Botanical Gallery is dedicated to the world of herbariums and botany. Countless specimens show the extraordinary diversity of the plants.
Temporary Exhibitions in the Jardin des Plantes
There are temporary exhibitions several times a year, which are presented in the Grand Amphithéâtre du Muséum and the auditorium of the Gallery of Evolution in the garden complex. For an up-to-date overview, please visit the Jardin des Plantes' official website.
Cafés in the Jardin des Plantes
Jardin des Plantes houses several cafes. Visitors can treat themselves to a snack in the numerous cafés and stands. A popular place to go is, for example, the café at Gallery of Evolution. There are also picnic areas in the Jardin des Plantes.
Entrance, Tickets and Tours in the Jardin des Plantes
How to get to the Jardin des Plantes
The Jardin des Plantes is located on the Left Bank of the Seine River, in the 5th arrondissement of Paris.
It can be easily reached by public transport. The easiest way is to get to the “Gare d'Austerlitz” station, which is served by the metro lines 5 and 10 as well as the RER C. In addition, the bus routes 24, 57, 61, 63, 67, 89 and 91 as well as the metro line 7 stop near the Jardin des Plantes.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
The Jardin des Plantes is the botanical garden of Paris and one of the top tourist attractions of the city. On an area of 23.5 hectares, it comprises eleven gardens, greenhouses, a zoo and several exhibition rooms that show various collections on the subject of evolution, botany, mineralogy, geology, anatomy and paleontology. As a green oasis and destination, the Jardin des Plantes is extremely popular with both Parisians and tourists.
The Jardin des Plantes is located in the 5th arrondissement of Paris, in close proximity to the traffic junction Gare d'Austerlitz. The full address is: Galleries, Gardens, Zoo - Jardin des Plantes, 57 Rue Cuvier, 75005 Paris
The Jardin des Plantes is open daily from 8:00 to 17:00 in winter and from 7:30 to 20:00 in summer. For the lastest information about the opening hours of the gardens, greenhouses and exhibition rooms, please consult the official website.
Admission to the Jardin des Plantes and its gardens is free for all visitors. However, there are admission fees to visit the exhibition rooms, greenhouses and the zoo.
History of the Jardin des Plantes
The origins of the Jardin des Plantes go back to the year 1626. This year, on behalf of the French King Louis XIII, a personal royal garden with medicinal herbs was established. About a decade later the garden was opened to the public under the name "Jardin du roi".
It served as a popular place for walking and studying nature. In the 17th century, it was also used as a training facility for surgeons, where various courses in anatomy, botany and chemistry were taught. This made it an important institution that contributed significantly to the education of future doctors and pharmacists.
The former royal institution was able to survive the French Revolution (1789-1799) unscathed. When the National Museum of Natural History (Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle) was founded in 1793, the Jardin des Plantes, as it was now called, was placed under the administration of the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle. It is therefore the oldest part of the Museum of Natural History.
A year later, the Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes was opened on the east side to provide a home for the exotic animals that once belonged to the nobility and were abandoned as a result of the revolution.
In the course of the 19th century new buildings were added to house the steadily growing scientific collections. Today the Jardin des Plantes is the largest and most important botanical garden in France.