🐘 The 25 Zoos and Animal Parks in French-speaking Switzerland in 2020

Introduction


There are many places in French-speaking or Western Switzerland where it is possible to observe animals, especially for small children. La Torpille presents here the places where they can be watched all year round in the cantons of Geneva, Fribourg, Valais, Vaud and Neuchâtel.

Categories


There are five main categories of animal spaces listed below:

  • 7 Zoos
  • 4 Aquariums
  • 6 Exotic spaces
  • 9 Animal parks
  • 3 Unclassifiable

Several animal parks or zoos are present in two or three categories:

  • Bois du Petit-Château Zoo and vivarium (zoo and vivarium)
  • Aquatis (aquarium and vivarium)
  • Papiliorama (exotic space, animal park and aquarium)

Legend:

📍 Location
👍 Interesting point
🆓 Free attraction
💡 Attractions in the same location or in close proximity
👶 Interactivity with animals
🎢 Playground
ℹ️ Useful information
Torpille rating (max 3 ⭐)

Zoos


Zoos present many animals in enclosures that visitors can observe with information about them. These are animals from our regions with the exception of Servion Zoo, which has animals from Africa and all over the world such as lions and tigers. The Challandes Park near Geneva also has some exotic animals.

The difference between zoos and animal parks is that zoos are larger and present wild animals while animal parks present domestic and farm animals.

List of the seven zoos:

  1. Servion zoo
  2. Garenne zoo
  3. Marécottes zoo
  4. Bois-de-la-Bâtie zoo
  5. Petit-Château zoo
  6. Juraparc
  7. Challandes park

Servion Zoo


Servion Zoo logo

  • ⭐⭐⭐
  • 📍 Servion VD
  • 🔗 Détails about the Servion Zoo
  • 👍 Large wild beasts unique in Western Switzerland
  • 🎢 Large playground in the zoo
  • 💡 Tropiquarium of Servion

The Servion Zoo is the largest in French-speaking Switzerland. Situated north of Lausanne, it has the particularity of having large wild animals such as tigers and lions.

The famous tigers of the Servion zoo, here visible from close up through the glass walls during their meal.
The famous tigers of the Servion zoo, here visible from close up through the glass walls during their meal.

A video on the visit of the Servion zoo.

Garenne Zoo


Garenne Zoo logo

  • ⭐⭐
  • 📍 Le Vaud VD
  • 🔗 Détails about the Garenne Zoo
  • 👍 Large aviaries with birds of prey
  • 👍 Highest aviary in Europe (28 m)
  • 🎢 Playground in the zoo
  • 👶 Goats in the large aviary

The Garenne Zoo is located on the Vaud Coast. It has only animals from our region and it is well-known for its large aviaries.

The large aviary at the Garenne Zoo.
The large aviary at the Garenne Zoo.

A video on the Garenne Zoo.

Marécottes Zoo


Marécottes Zoo logo

The Marécottes Zoo in the Trient Valley offers animals from temperate regions and above all has the particularity of being located next to a particularly original swimming pool inside the rock of an ancient moraine. Open in summer, you can enjoy it at the same time as the visit of the zoo.

Aerial view of the Marécottes zoo and pool.
Aerial view of the Marécottes zoo and pool.

A video about the pool and Marécottes zoo.

Bois-de-la-Bâtie Zoo


The Bois de la Bâtie Zoo exhibits local fauna free of charge and participates in the preservation of endangered regional species.

The aviary of the Bois-de-Bâtie zoo with the concrete roof.
The aviary of the Bois-de-Bâtie zoo with the concrete roof.

A descriptive video of the Bois-de-la-Bâtie animal park.

Bois du Petit-Château Zoo


Bois du Petit-Château Zoo logo

The Bois du Petit-Château Zoo is located in the heart of the town of La Chaux-de-Fonds. It offers free visits of animals from our regions.

The wooden bridge when entering the Bois du Petit-Château Zoo.
The wooden bridge when entering the Bois du Petit-Château Zoo.

video about the Bois du Petit-Château Zoo.

JuraParc Zoo


JuraParc Zoo logo

  • 📍 Vallorbe
  • 🔗 Details about the Juraparc Zoo
  • 👍 Raised walkway for a better view of the animals
  • 👶 Accessible enclosure with donkeys and goats
  • 🎢 Playground at the entrance and outside the zoo

The Juraparc is a small park offering the visit of bears, buffaloes and wolves along an elevated route. For children up to 10 years old the park offers to pet donkeys, goats or ponies in their enclosure.

Buffaloes and the elevated course at Juraparc.
Buffaloes and the elevated course at Juraparc.

A promotional video about the Juraparc zoo.

Challandes Park


Challandes Park logo

The Challandes Park is located just before the runway at Geneva airport in Bellevue. It contains wild and domestic animals and has the particularity of offering a walk in the wallaby enclosure.

The path next to the wallabies.
The path next to the wallabies.

A video about the Challandes Park Zoo.

Aquariums


There are only four places where it is possible to look at fish in aquariums in French-speaking or Western Switzerland. The largest of them is of course Aquatis, which has the largest total volume of fresh water in Europe. Fish from all over the world can be found there. In the Léman Museum, the aquariums present species from Lake Geneva and in the River House, fish from rivers and streams. The Papiliorama presents a few fishes, some of which are salt water fish, a unique case in French-speaking Switzerland.

List of the 4 aquariums:

  1. Aquatis aquarium
  2. Léman museum
  3. River House
  4. Papiliorama

Aquatis Aquarium


Aquatis Aquarium logo

  • ⭐⭐⭐
  • 📍 Lausanne Vennes VD
  • 🔗 Details about Aquatis
  • 👍 Europe’s largest freshwater aquarium

Aquatis is the largest freshwater aquarium in Europe. Located in the heights of Lausanne in Vennes, it allows you to discover the aquatic fauna of the whole world.

A tunnel under an aquarium at Aquatis on the heights of Lausanne.
A tunnel under an aquarium at Aquatis on the heights of Lausanne.

A video on Aquatis.

Léman Museum


Léman Museum logo

Located in Nyon at the edge of the lake, the Léman Museum presents on the ground floor some aquariums containing fish from Lake Geneva.

The five aquariums of the Léman Museum.
The five aquariums of the Léman Museum.

River House


River House logo

The River House is an educational centre on the theme of nature. It offers several aquariums showing fish from Lake Geneva and aquatic river animals.

The aquariums of the River House.
The aquariums of the River House.

Papiliorama


Papiliorama logo

A few ponds in the Nocturama and Papiliorama greenhouses are home to a variety of fish species.

The Papiliorama’s greenhouses.
The Papiliorama's greenhouses.

A video on the Papilorama.

Tropical Spaces


Tropical areas include species such as turtles, crocodiles, snakes, amphibians and insects.

List of the 6 tropical spaces:

  1. Papiliorama
  2. Tropiquarium of Servion
  3. Vivarium of Aquatis
  4. Vivarium of Bois du Petit-Château
  5. Turtles Protection and Recovery
  6. Vivarium of Meyrin

Papiliorama


logo papiliorama

The Papiliorama is the most visited animal park in French-speaking Switzerland with 400’000 visitors per year. Tropical animals can be observed in its three greenhouses: the Papiliorama, the Nocturama and the jungle trek.

The greenhouses of the Papiliorama. This is by far the most visited animal park in Western Switzerland.
Les serres du papillorama. Il s'agit, de loin, du parc animalier accueillant le plus de visiteurs.

A video on the Papilorama.

Tropiquarium of Servion


Tropiquarium of Servion logo

The Servion Tropicarium is located right next to the Servion Zoo. You will find all the usual tropical species such as snakes, insects or turtles, as well as penguins that the visitors will come to observe at the time of their fish meal.

The entrance of the Tropiquarium of Servion.
The entrance of the Tropiquarium of Servion.

A video on the Tropiquarium of Servion.

Vivarium of Aquatis


Vivarium of Aquatis logo

The Aquatis Vivarium has taken over the animals from the former vivarium in Lausanne under Sauvabelin. All the usual tropical species are presented.

A space for monitor lizards at Aquatis.
A space for monitor lizards at Aquatis.

A video about the arrival of a Komodo dragon in the Aquatis vivarium.

Vivarium of Bois du Petit-Château


Vivarium of Bois du Petit-Château logo

A little crocodile in the vivarium of the Bois du Petit-Château zoo.

A little crocodile in the vivarium of the Bois du Petit-Château zoo.
A little crocodile in the vivarium of the Bois du Petit-Château zoo.

A video about the vivarium part of the Bois du Petit-Château Zoo.

Turtles Protection and Recovery


Turtles Protection and Recovery logo

The turtles protection and recovery space in Chavornay is a centre for the care and rescue of abandoned turtles. One will be able to observe in new spaces all kinds of turtles from the smallest to the biggest like alligator turtles.

The new turtle basins.
The new turtle basins

Vivarium of Meyrin


logo Vivarium of Meyrin

The Meyrin vivarium is located after the take-off runway at Geneva airport. It presents species typical of a vivarium such as snakes, insects, turtles or small crocodiles.

The terrariums on the ground floor.
The terrariums on the ground floor.

A video of the Vivarium of Meyrin.

Animals parks


Animal parks feature farm animals such as geese and ducks or domestic animals such as donkeys, goats or pigs. The Gavotte’s Farm offers the best place in Western Switzerland to interact directly with animals such as donkeys, ponies, sheep or goats. These areas are well suited for children up to 8 years old.

List of the 8 animal parks:

  1. Gavotte’s Farm
  2. Crétillons Arch
  3. Petit Oiseau Snack Bar
  4. CSC Foundation Farm
  5. Papiliorama Small Zoo
  6. Sauvabelin Park
  7. Relais Panoramique des Crosets
  8. Signal of Bougy
  9. Botanical Garden of Geneva

Gavotte’s Farm


logo Gavotte's Farm

The Gavotte farm is an old-fashioned farm which has the big advantage of offering a large park where children can pet sheep, alpacas and other sheep and goats. It is the farm that offers the best interaction with the animals of Western Switzerland.

The juniors of la Torpille team walk around the enclosure of the Gavotte’s Farm where children can pet sheep, ponies, alpacas, donkeys and goats.
The juniors of the Torpille team walk around the enclosure of the Gavotte's farm where children can pet sheep, ponies, alpacas, donkeys and goats.

A video about the Gavotte’s Farm.

CSC Foundation Farm


logo CSC Foundation Farm

The farm of the CSC Foundation is located below the castle of Saint-Barthélémy in the Gros de Vaud region. Many animals are visible but without any possible interaction.

The duck area at the CSC Foundation Farm.
The duck area at the CSC Foundation Farm.

Crétillons Arch


logo Crétillons Arch

The Crétillons Arch allows you to discover in its enclosure the typical animals of the farm with a nice view of the Rhone valley. it is possible to feed the animals but there is no interactivity with them.

The enclosures of the Crétillons Arch near Sierre.
The enclosures of the Crétillons Arch near Sierre.

A video about the Crétillons Arch.

Petit Oiseau Snack Bar


logo Petit Oiseau Snack Bar

The Petit Oiseau Sanck Bar (cabane du petit oiseau) presents some farm animals such as ducks but above all it allows small children with a ladder to come and stroke the goats in their enclosure.

The goat enclosure at the Petit Oiseau Snack Bar.
The goat enclosure at the Petit Oiseau Snack Bar.

Papiliorama Small Zoo


logo Papiliorama Small Zoo

  • ⭐⭐ 🆓
  • 📍 Kerzers FR
  • 🔗 Details about Papiliorama
  • 👶 Interactivité avec les animaux qui viennent vers le visiteur
  • 🎢 Playground

Outside the Papiliorama is a mini-zoo that allows children to see some farm animals up close for free.

Children near goats. Photo: blognouveauparent.com
Children near goats

A video on the Papilorama.

Sauvabelin Park


Sauvabelin Park offers the visit of some domestic species such as rabbits, wild pigs or cows. At the same time, don’t forget to climb up the magnificent wooden tower of Sauvabelin from which you can enjoy, above the trees, a beautiful view of the Lake Geneva basin and the Alps.

Lake Sauvabelin.
Lake Sauvabelin.

The mini zoo of the Sauvabelin park.

Relais Panoramique des Crosets


Relais Panoramique des Crosets

The Relais Panoramique des Crosets is an animal park containing about 50 animals for less than 10 species. Its natural environment is the magnificent Dents du Midi.

The Relais Panoramique and the Dents du Midi.
The Relais Panoramique and the Dents du Midi.

Signal of Bougy


Signal of Bougy logo

The signal of Bougy proposes a very small park with some animals like ducks or geese.

The Mini-zoo of the signal of Bougy.
The Mini-zoo of the signal of Bougy.

A video presenting the numerous activities of the Signal of Bougy.

Botanical Garden of Geneva


Botanical Garden of Geneva logo

The conservatory and botanical garden of the city of Geneva include in their park a mini-zoo with traditional domestic species such as ducks, chickens, deer, sheep or geese.

The duck area of the mini-zoo of the Geneva Botanical Garden.
The duck area of the mini-zoo of the Geneva Botanical Garden.

A video about the conservatory and botanical garden of the City of Geneva.

Unclassifiables


Parks that do not fall into the first three categories.

List of the 2 unclassifiables:

  1. Barryland
  2. Marmottes Paradise
  3. Gab’s Farm

Barryland


logo barryland

The Barryland makes it possible to see Saint Bernard dogs sleeping in cages and small enclosures. The only interesting moment may be when the staff takes out a dog for the children to pet, but unfortunately the dog will be quickly assaulted by the children who will come out disappointed.

An accompanying person allows a few children to pet a dog at the Barryland in the town of Martigny.
An accompanying person allows a few children to pet a dog at the Barryland in the town of Martigny.

A video about the Barryland of Martigny

Marmottes Paradise


  • ⭐ 🆓
  • 📍 Rochers-de-Naye terminus station
  • ℹ️ Groundhogs (Marmottes) hibernate from about October to May.
  • 🔗 Details about the Marmottes Paradise
  • 💡 Rochers-de-Naye summit and alpine garden

The Marmottes Paradise is a groundhog park at the Rochers-de-Naye train station just below the summit. It offers a few parks on the side of the mountain and one next to the train station. It is not possible to observe the marmots from October to April which hibernate at that time. You can enjoy the exceptional view by climbing to the top of the Rochers-de-Naye 10 minutes from the station.

The marmot enclosure next to the Rochers-de-Naye station.
The marmot enclosure next to the Rochers-de-Naye station.

A video about the attractions at the Rochers-de-Naye.

Gab’s Farm


logo ferme à gaby

The Gaby’s farm is an agro-touristic structure which offers a small museum and a goat farm. Every day in summer from 4.15 pm, it is possible to see the goats in the barn and their milking.

The goats in the barn.
The goats in the barn.

Comparative table


Drag the table to the right to see the entire contents.

 CantonLieuCréationNombre d'animauxSurfaceInteractivitéPlace de jeuxPrix [francs]Site WebWebcamVisiteurs en 2017
ZOOS🐘🐘🐘🐘🐘🐘🐘🐘🐘🐘🐘
Zoo de ServionVaudServion1974200
70 espèces
55'000 m2✔️✔️Adulte: 12
AVS/AI/étudiant: 10
6 à 15 ans: 7
Site Web159'000
Zoo de la GarenneVaudLe Vaud196530037'000 m2✔️Adulte: 21
AVS/AI: 18
18-24 ans: 16
16-17 ans: 15
6 à 15 ans: 10
Site Web62'000
Zoo du Bois de la BâtieGenèvePetit-Lancy45025'000 m2✔️🆓Site Web
Zoo du Bois du Petit-ChâteauNeuchâtelLa Chaux-de-Fonds188922031'000 m2✔️🆓Site Web
Zoo des MarécottesValaisSalvan195680-100
20 espèces
35'000 m2✔️Adulte: 12
Étudiant/AVS/AI: 11
5 à 14 ans: 8
Site Web105'000
Zoo JuraParcVaudVallorbe1987?84'000 m2✔️✔️Adulte: 7
6 à 16 ans: 5
Site Webhttps://www.juraparc.ch/webcams/31'000
Parc ChallandesGenèveBellevue1991🆓 première visite
PARCS TROPICAUX ET AQUATIQUES🐬🐬🐬🐬🐬🐬🐬🐬🐬🐬🐬
TropiquariumVaudServion25'000 m2✔️Adulte: 12
AVS/AI/étudiant: 10
6 à 15 ans: 7
Site Web
AquatisVaudLausannePrix unique: 19 Site Web104'000
Protection et Récupération des TortuesVaudChavornay?🆓Site Web
PapilloramaFribourgKerzers/Chiètres200310'000 m2✔️✔️Adulte: 19
AVS/AI/étudiant: 16
4 à 15 ans: 9.50
Site Web260'000
Musée du LémanVaudNyonAdulte: 8
AVS/AI/étudiant: 6
Enfant: Gratuit
Site Web
Vivarium du zoo du Bois du Petit-ChâteauNeuchâtelLa Chaux-de-Fonds✔️🆓Site Web
Vivarium de MeyrinGenèveMeyrin
PARCS ANIMALIERS🐐🐐🐐🐐🐐🐐🐐🐐🐐🐐
Arche des CrétillonsValaisChalais1 consommation
Ferme de la GavotteGenèveLancy?1984✔️🆓Site Web
Signal de BougyVaudVillars-Bougy?✔️✔️🆓
Ferme CSCVaudSaint-Barthélémy✔️🆓
Cabane du Petit OiseauFribourgChâtel-Saint-Denis✔️✔️🆓
Parc de SauvabelinVaudLausanne✔️🆓
Mini-zoo du papilloramaFribourgKerzers/Chiètres15'000 m2✔️✔️🆓Site Web
AUTRE🐶🐶🐶🐶🐶🐶🐶🐶🐶🐶
BarrylandValaisMartigny✔️ faibleAdulte: 11
Enfants/ étudiants: 6
Dès 60 ans: 9
Audioguides (DE/FR/EN): 3
Site Web

Cartography of zoos in Western Switzerland


The following link shows the geographical location of the zoos in Western Switzerland.

map zoos western switzerland

Questions


What are the attractions recommended by la Torpille?

  • Servion Zoo (wild animals)
  • Papiliorama (butterflies)
  • Gavotte’s Farm (interactivity with the animals)
  • Marécottes Zoo (with the pool)
  • Marmotte Paradise (with view from the Rochers-de-Naye)

What is the most beautiful zoo in French-speaking Switzerland?

  • Servion Zoo presents the most impressive animals in Western Switzerland.

Which zoos and animal parks allow children to pet animals?

  • Gavotte’s Farm
  • JuraParc Zoo
  • Petit Oiseau Snack Bar
  • Barryland (low)
  • Garenne Zoo (low)
  • Papilorama Mini-zoo (low)
  • Bois du Petit-Château Zoo (low)

Which zoo has the most beautiful playground?

  • Servion Zoo (inside the zoo)

Which animal park has the most beautiful playground?

  • The Bougy signal (free)

What are the zoos where you can see Bears?

  • Servion Zoo
  • Marécottes Zoo
  • JuraParc Zoo
  • Bois du Petit-Château Zoo

What are the zoos where you can see crocodiles?

  • Aquatis
  • Bois du Petit-Château Vivarium
  • Tropiquarium of Servion
  • Meyrin Vivarium

What’s the most original zoo?

  • The Zoo des Marécottes is right next to the pool nestled in the rock of an ancient moraine.

What to take from the zoo?

  • It may be useful to bring a pair of binoculars to the zoo to better observe the animals in the large enclosures.

Which animal park attracts the most visitors in French-speaking Switzerland?

  • The Papiliorama welcomes more than 400’000 visitors every year.

What are the 3 most visited zoos in the whole of Switzerland?

  • Zurich Zoo. About 1.75 million visitors/year.
  • Basel Zoo.  Approximately 1.75 million visitors/year.
  • Bern Zoological Park Dählhölzli. Approximately 1.0 million visitors/year.

What are the free zoos and vivariums in French-speaking Switzerland?

  • Bois-de-la-Bâtie Zoo
  • Zoo and vivarium of the Bois du Petit-Château
  • Challandes Park
  • Turtle Protection and Recovery Space