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A trip to the zoo and the pleasures of outdoor cinema

A trip to the zoo and the pleasures of outdoor cinema



With summer now in full swing, Paris presents her loveliest aspect to visitors and offers a wealth of activities that are simply a must for anyone who wants to get to know the true face of the City of Light. The city is a jewel and we would love to talk about all her facets, but for now we will have to be content with just two; the zoo of the Jardins des Plantes and the Open Air Film Festival.

The zoo of the Jardins des Plantes; discover rare species

Opened in 1794 and today listed as a historical monument, the Ménagerie at the heart of the Jardins des Plantes is the second oldest zoo in the world! Providing an exciting, fascinating and educational experience for all the family, this much loved Parisian institution can be accessed quickly and easily from the Hotel Royal Cardinal. Here we offer a friendly atmosphere and a privileged location in the famous Latin Quarter, only minutes from the Pantheon, the Ile Saint Louis and Notre Dame Cathedral. 

Take a short stroll from the hotel and discover this wonderful zoo by the Seine and the many rare species it houses. Here you can meet Nénette, the famous female orangutan who has lived here since 1972 and has become world-famous, just as the giraffe called Zarafa did back in the 19th century. The Ménagerie of the Jardins des Plantes is home to more than 1,200 animals representing some 180 species, some of which are under threat of extinction in their natural habitats. The zoo engages in a breeding programme involving endangered species, and has had considerable success with such as the little bustard, Arabian oryx and golden lion tamarind, all of which are represented in the collection of this venerable institution.  

Films in the open air; a great way to experience the magic of cinema

For those looking for a unique way to experience the magic of the silver screen, the Cinéma en Plein Air festival returns to the Parc de la Villette from July 22nd to August 23rd, 2016. The concept is a simple one; it’s an opportunity to enjoy a selection of Hollywood blockbusters, cult movies and cinematic classics by great directors on a big screen set up in the open air beneath the starry night sky of Paris. Make yourself comfortable on the grass, bring a picnic and enjoy your favourite movies in a wonderfully convivial atmosphere. Highlights on the programme for this year include Gravity, Interstellar, Casino Royale, Star Trek, Fargo and even the 1966 Batman! All films are presented in their original versions with French subtitles, and deckchair hire is available from €7.

Between the Jardins des Plantes and this fun-filled festival, you’ll be able to indulge both your love of the natural world and your passion for movie magic in the French capital this summer.


Learn more:
Jardin des Plantes (Botanical garden)
Parc de la Villette


Picture copyright holder: Conseil départemental des Yvelines by

Hotel Royal Cardinal, a 2-star hotel in Paris, in the heart of the Latin Quarter