Aquarium in the Neighborhood

We are annual pass holders at the Porte Dorée Aquarium in Paris— and it’s only 33 euros a year for our whole family. That’s a fantastic deal. And if you ask Jackson, you can even see dinosaurs (they are actually alligators but it sounds so cute when he says it).


There’s a great array of tanks that the kids can peer into, two albino alligators, four adult Mississippi alligators and a few rotating expositions and films about the underwater world. It’s nice and cosy and warm too, which makes it a perfect indoor destination when it’s cold and rainy.

But, it isn’t just for rainy days. The large Parisian monument housing both the aquarium and the immigration museum is an art deco building boasting a fantastic terrace with perfect afternoon sun. There are about 15 outdoor seating areas with couches, chairs and coffee tables. Today I sat with my coat off and let the first spring day warm my face as I made some phone calls. I felt so spoiled. When the couches are more solicited, I’m sure they’d appreciate it if you buy a beverage inside at their little café but the prices are modest (2 euros for a café, I think).

Enjoying the terrace which has a view of the Bois de Vincennes (and a busy street)

I can imagine us hanging out on the terrace as a family after walking around Lac Daumesnil and having space for our kids to be kids. I hate feeling the pressure to “contain” our kids in crowded cafés, but here there’s room to crawl on the couches and drops crumbs on the ground.

Practical information: métro line 8: Porte Dorée, T3a: Porte Dorée.  Closed Mondays. Tuesday-Friday 10-17h30  and Saturday-Sunday 10-19h30

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