Montpellier Zoo (Zoo de Montpellier)
The Montpellier Zoo (Zoo de Montpellier) covers 80 hectares (198 acres) just north of the city center. Opened in 1964, the zoo has the look and feel of a safari park with open enclosures where most of the wild animals roam free. With 120 species and 1,104 animals, the zoo covers a lot of ground, from zebra and lions to lizards and birds.
As the second largest zoo in France, Montpellier Zoo has a large population of animals spanning the world’s continents including lions, bears, giraffes, and the rare white rhinoceros. Travelers may explore the Montpellier Zoo and its Amazonian Greenhouse along with other top attractions in Montpellier with a discount city card, which offers free admission to museums and other attractions, plus unlimited use of public transit.
Things to Know Before You Go
The Montpellier Zoo is suitable for solo travelers, couples, and families with small children.
Admission to the zoo is free, but there’s a charge for the Amazonian Greenhouse (Serre Amazonienne), which contains about 3,500 tropical plants.
An audio guide is available in English, French, German or Spanish for one Euro and provides an hour of commentary.
Guided tours are offered, but must be booked via the zoo's website well in advance.
How to Get There
Montpellier Zoo is located about three miles (five kilometers) north of the city center. Take tram No. 1 to the St-Eloi stop and catch the free No. 13 shuttle bus (labelled La Navette) to the zoo.
When to Get There
Montpellier Zoo is open year-round, with later hours April through September. It is closed on Mondays, except school holidays. The best time to go to Montpellier is during spring and fall to avoid crowds and high prices.
Rainforest in the South of France
Inside the zoo is the Amazonian Greenhouse, which has about 8,500 square feet (2,600 square meters) of floor space. The greenhouse replicates the humid conditions of the Amazon over seven climatic zones, through which visitors walk. Every two hours rain pours down, creating the ideal conditions for thousands of lush tropical plants and cold-blooded inhabitants such as piranhas, alligators, anacondas, alligators, and tarantulas.