Located in the grounds of the Citadelle, the zoo is Lille's most popular attraction with 1.2 million visitors annually. The Zoo is free and houses about 400 animals representing 80 different species: monkeys, zebras, panthers, rare birds. See my Travelogue for more pictures.
Open Second Sunday of February to Second Sunday of December
Monday to Friday: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
Saturday to Sunday: 9:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Monday to Sunday: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
I'm not normally a fan of zoos and hadn’t been in one for many years until our visit to the zoo in Lille. It was Sunday afternoon, we had seen most of the sights in Lille and we were wandering in the Bois de Boulougne when we came across Lille's zoo. As there was no entrance charge we decided to go in for a quick look around and ended up staying a couple of hours. I almost missed the start of the French open final between Federer and Nadal!
The highlight of the zoo was Monkey Island where a number of very active monkey's kept us onlookers amused. We also saw panthers, zebras and a good number of South American birds - useful for when we go to the Amazon in 2008.
Just across the river near the site of the citadel is a small zoo which is free to enter. Not a zoo that can bear any comparison to the large ones people travel all over the world to see, but good enough for an hour's enjoyment.
If you have kids they will surely enjoy it as there are many unusual creatures which can be viewed close up in large enclosures. Best of all though is watching the gibbons playing around on their little island on the far side of the zoo. Good fun!