Lonely Planet review
Founded in 1626 as a medicinal herb garden for Louis XIII, Paris’ 24-hectare botanical gardens are a serious institute rather than a leisure destination, but fascinating all the same, and idyllic to stroll or jog around.
Sections include a winter garden, tropical greenhouses and an alpine garden with 2000 mountainous plants, as well as the gardens of the École de Botanique, used by students of the School of Botany and green-fingered Parisians studying up on horticultural techniques. It also encompasses a zoo, the Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes, and the Musée National d’Histoire Naturelle, three separate centres comprising France’s natural-history museum. A two-day pass covering access to all areas of the Jardin des Plantes costs €25/20 per adult/child.