Parc Zoologique de Paris
Parc de Vincennes, 12th arrond.
Our Rating Neighborhood République, Bastille & Eastern Paris (11th & 12th Arrondissements) Hours Mid-Oct to mid-Mar Wed–Mon 10am–5pm; mid-Mar to mid-Oct Mon–Fri 10am–6pm, Sat–Sun and school holidays 9:30am–7:30pm Transportation Métro: Porte Dorée Phone 01-44-75-20-10 Prices 20€ adults, 17€ students 12–25, 15€ children 3–11, free for children 2 and under Web site Parc Zoologique de Paris
This lush, ecologically correct animal reserve invites visitors to five regions of the world, from the plains of Sudan to Europe, via Guyana, Patagonia, and Madagascar. Going for quality instead of quantity, the zoo may not have room for elephants and bears, but it does introduce visitors to animals they might not be familiar with, like the fossa, a catlike carnivore from Madagascar, or the capybara, a giant South American rodent. There is also a good sampling of zoo favorites like lions, baboons, penguins, and a troupe of giraffes—if you are lucky you can get an up-close look while the latter lunch in the giraffe house. The enclosures are well adapted to their inhabitants, so much so that at times it’s hard to see them. But if you are patient you’ll spy wolves peeking out of the foliage, or a bright red tomato frog gripping a vine. Home to more than 1,000 animals in all, the zoo still manages to feel human-sized—you can see the whole thing in a couple of hours. Don’t miss the huge aviaries, one of which is home to a large flock of flamingos.