Well-known amongst Parisians, these wonderful gardens have been largely ignored by tourists. With seven different types of gardens, embracing all kinds of plants, there is also a maze and a quirky zoo as well as the five galleries of the Natural History Museum.
Just at the end of Boulevard Saint-Germain, (metro stop 'Austerlitz'), the Jardin des Plantes is a large two-hectare botanical garden on the banks of the Seine.
The gardens are an astounding display of biodiversity and range from ancient rosaries to exotic hothouses. The Jardin des Plantes is a key example of the French Enlightenment fascination with the natural world; originally created as a medicinal collection of plants under the direction of Guy de la Brosse, it now incorporates the Royal Menagerie of Versailles since 1792 and the donations of several prominent French personalities from history. On the same grounds is the Museum of Natural History.
The ensemble of the gardens and the museum is one of the most underrated "attractions" in Paris