Aquarium Tropical du Palais de la Porte Dorée
This small but well-designed aquarium on the lower floor of Paris’ art deco Palais de la Porte Dorée makes a great rainy-day stop for families and anyone with a keen interest in marine life. More than 300 species of colorful fish, coral, stingrays, and other aquatic creatures fill the historic exhibit hall, which is a work of art unto itself.
The entire aquarium can be seen in less than 2 hours, so it can easily fit into a day of sightseeing or a visit to the Paris Zoological Park nearby. Highlights include a pair of rare albino alligators, while temporary exhibitions take on weighty subjects such as global warming and ocean conservation.
The building that houses the aquarium was built in 1931 by French architect Albert Laprade as part of the Paris Colonial Exposition. Its distinctive colonnaded façade resembles a classical Greek temple, with walls covered in bas-relief carvings of more than 250 figures and animals depicting life in the French colonies. Upstairs, a separate ticketed museum examines the story of immigration into France. Admission is included with the Paris Pass and other Paris attraction cards.
Things to know before you go
- Informational placards on the marine life exhibits are provided in French and English.
- A small café in the building serves coffee, snacks, and light fare.
- Look for friezes of colonial scenes and stylish art deco furniture on display in the banqueting hall upstairs.
- The main entrance is accessible by wheelchair and stroller, but the aquarium is not.
- Admission for children under the age of 4 is free.
How to get there
The Palais de la Porte Dorée is located at 293 Avenue Daumesnil in the 12th arrondissement. It is easily reached by taking Metro Line 8 to Porte Dorée.
When to get there
The aquarium is closed on Mondays. Visit on another weekday for fewer crowds, as the relatively small space can get cramped on weekends and rainy days.
A Day at the Paris Zoo
The Aquarium Tropical du Palais de la Porte Dorée makes a convenient stop en route to the Paris Zoological Park, located a short walk away in the Bois de Vincennes—the largest park in Paris. The zoo is a favorite diversion for Parisian families and a great way to get away from the urban crowds for wildlife encounters. Spacious and well-maintained enclosures are arranged on a loop so visitors won't miss any exhibits, featuring African giraffes to monkeys and exotic birds inside a domed tropical zone.
- Things to do in Île-de-France
- Things to do in Marne-la-Vallée
- Things to do in Blois
- Things to do in Deauville City
- Things to do in Lille
- Things to do in Dijon
- Things to do in Brussels
- Things to do in Bruges
- Things to do in Zaventem
- Things to do in Luxembourg City
- Things to do in Horley
- Things to do in Nantes
- Things to do in London
- Things to do in Normandy
- Things to do in Nord-Pas de Calais
- Paris Zoological Park (Parc Zoologique de Paris)
- Museum of Fairground Arts (Musée des Arts Forains)
- Bercy Village
- Bois de Vincennes
- La Cinémathèque Française
- Parc de Bercy
- 12th Arrondissement
- Viaduc des Arts
- French National Library (Bibliotheque Nationale de France)
- Paris Floral Park (Parc Floral de Paris)
- Marché d’Aligre
- Père Lachaise Cemetery
- Promenade Plantée
- 11th Arrondissement
- Bastille Opera House (Opéra Bastille)