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France: City of Light is also the city of pigs, goats, sheep...

January 15, 2013|By Hugh Bowles
  • Town meets country at the Salon Internationale de l'Agriculture, a farm exhibition that will host nearly 700,000 visitors in February and March.
Town meets country at the Salon Internationale de l'Agriculture,… (Salon Internationale de…)

Ah, Paris. The wine, the food, the fashion, the pigs.

You may know the first three, but the last? They're part of the Salon Internationale de l’Agriculture in Paris, the largest agricultural show in France.

The show,  which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, will run Feb. 23-March 3 and will play host to more than  680,000 visitors. It's where town and country meet: cows, pigs, goats, sheep, 200 varieties of chickens, horses, dogs, plus a chance to sample food and wine from all over the country.

It may be winter in the City of Light but the show is  all indoors, all immaculately clean. The show is divided into four sections: animals, foods, plants and crops, and professions.

The show is held at the Porte de Versailles exhibition center. (For a copy of the map of the exhibits, click here.) Hours are 9 a.m.-7 p.m. daily (until 11 p.m. on March 1).  Admission for adults is about $17, about $8 for children 6-12. Children younger than 6 are admitted free.

Getting there is easy.  The center is a 20-minute Metro ride from the city center. Take Metro line 12 to Porte de Versailles, or Metro line 8 to Balard.  In both cases, the exhibition center is right outside the Metro station. 

If you prefer bus, take Line 80 serving Porte de Versailles, or Line 42 serving Balard. Each gets you out to the show and back into the city center.  (My favorite: Metro out, bus back.)

More info at the official website.

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