A 30min drive north of Metz lies Amnéville, an easy-to-overlook town off the A31 motorway. But, just outside, in the Parc Amnéville-Les-Thermes, there is a gigantic tourist site with a conglomeration of attractions, cinemas, restaurants, spas and hotels which you expect to see in North America rather than Europe. There are three large spas, Centre Thermal St Eloy (with a more therapeutic-medical orientation), Waterland (fun for the family) and Villa Pompéi (offering massage and beauty treatments), which have been built over natural thermal springs; sports arenas that include the largest indoor ski slope in Europe, an 18-hole golf and mini-golf course, a “Fitnessium”, an ice-skating rink and an Olympic-size swimming pool. There’s also an IMAX cinema, a bowling alley, a dinosaur exhibition, a discotheque and a live venue – the list is endless. But the main attraction is the zoo – one of the largest in France. You need a car to get there – and to move around the site. The zoo holds a large number of rare species; many of them are photogenic mammals, such as snow leopards, Siberian tigers, dwarf hippos, a big number of monkey species and, since 2012, a family of very active gorillas. Feeding of animals takes place several times a day; the wolf-pack feed is the biggest draw.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

France features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

An expert’s guide: the best area to stay in Paris

An expert’s guide: the best area to stay in Paris

All the clichés about Paris are true – stylish, romantic, glamorous and utterly compelling – yet it retains surprises that continue to delight even the mos…

26 Sep 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
7 reasons why Lyon should be your next European weekend break

7 reasons why Lyon should be your next European weekend break

The ingredients for a great European weekend break are simple. You’ll need a walkable city centre, a handful of excellent restaurants, some cool bars, afforda…

26 Aug 2016 • Eleanor Aldridge insert_drive_file Article
22 incredible pictures of Corsica

22 incredible pictures of Corsica

Just off the south of France, and closer to the coast of Italy, the small, mountainous island of Corsica lies in wait for the three million tourists that visit …

14 Jul 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month