Top Paris Parks
In every city I visit I’m always on the hunt for their best green spaces. I love the outdoors but also enjoy big cities. So, any chance I can catch a dose of nature, whether its in a garden, park or hidden oasis, I take it. Paris is home to some of the best parks in Europe. Paris is home to over 400 parks and gardens. These incredible green spaces cover over 7000 acres and are home to over 250,000 trees. Many of Paris’ parks are fashioned after some of Italy’s celebrated parks. While you may be familiar with some of Paris’ famous parks like Champ de Mars, home to the Eiffel Tower, there are so many more amazing parks to explore. The following are my top Paris parks.
My all-time favourite of Paris’ parks is Parc Monceau. Located in the 8th arrondissement it covers 20 acres and is also popular among locals. You can wander its shaded trails or take in all the cool treasures within. There’s a Roman colonnade wrapped around a picturesque pond, an Egyptian pyramid, various statues of famous French figures and even a small bridge modeled after the Rialto Bridge in Venice. Parc Monceau is beautiful, from the moment you stroll through its stunning wrought-iron gates to the scenery within, that it even inspired Claude Monet.
Parc des Buttes-Chaumont
Located in the 19th arrondissement, Parc des Buttes-Chaumont opened in 1867. Another of Paris’ large parks, it also has a ton of treasures to explore. There’s a lake with an attractive island housing the Temple de la Sibylle, a model of a Roman temple. The park is also home to gardens, a grotto, waterfalls, and cool bridges. One of the bridges is a suspension bridge designed by Mr. Gustave Eiffel himself.
Bois de Vincennes
Created between 1855 and 1866, Bois de Vincennes is the largest park in Paris, three times larger than Central Park. Located in the 12th arrondissement, you can easily spend the whole day exploring the park and still not see it all. Home to four lakes, the Château de Vincennes, a Buddhist Temple, the Temple of Love and a floral park that’s home to hundreds of plants. Bois de Vincennes is also where you’ll find Paris’ Zoological Park.
Jardin des Plantes
A close runner up for my top Paris park is Jardin des Plantes. Opening to the public in 1640, the garden is located in the 5th arrondissement and is full of things to do and see. Considered the main botanical garden in France, its home to a huge rose garden, historical glass houses housing an alpine garden, as well as tropical and Australian plants. There is also an enchanted labyrinth, small zoo and a Natural History Museum.
One of Paris’ more resent parks, La Promenade-Plantée was created in the 1990’s. Located in the 12th arrondissement it is an elevated park, built on a 19th century railway line. Spanning 4.5km, from Opéra Bastille to Bois de Vincennes, it is Europe’s longest elevated park. Also known as Coulée Verte, French for green course, this unique park passes though residential Paris and over other green spaces. A stroll along it is a nice change of pace, lined by trees, shrubs, bamboo and other greenery it’s like discovering a whole new Paris.
Bois de Boulogne
One of Paris’ largest parks, Bois de Boulogne is over two times the size of Central Park. Created in the 1850’s and located in the 16t arrondissement, the park is home to a wealth of things to do and see. Home to an amusement park for children, Jardin d’Acclimation, two lakes where you can rent a boat to explore, or go visit the Swiss Chalet, now a restaurant that is on one of the islands. Its also quite the romantic spot where you can take a stroll along its pathways or opt for a horseback ride.
Jardin du Luxembourg
The Luxembourg Gardens were created in 1692 by Marie de’ Medici, the widow of King Henry IV of France, to surround her massive Luxembourg Palace. Located in the 6th arrondissement, the gardens cover over 60 acres and is a favourite to both locals and tourists alike. You can sit and enjoy a picnic in the gardens or wander the grounds to browse the over 100 statues, monuments and fountains. Some highlights include; Musée du Luxembourg (an art museum), a pond, orchard, greenhouses, and the Fountain of the Observatory. For me the main attraction is the impressive Medici Fountain. A long trail of water, flanked by huge stone flower pots and under the serene tree canopy, all leading up to the star – the stunning fountain head. Topped by two nymphs pouring water from pitchers, in the middle crouches the giant cyclopes Polyphemus, in bronze, discovering the lovers Acis and Galatea, in white marble. As this wonderful treasure is tucked away many tourists miss it, but it is not to be overlooked!
Probably one of Paris’ most famous of parks, Parc Champ-de-Mars is home to Paris’ iconic Eiffel Tower. Its named after the Roman God of War, Mars, due in part to it once being the space where the French military trained. Located in the 7th arrondissement, the park opened in 1780 and stretches from the Eiffel Tower down towards École Militaire. Well-known for its large lawns, great for picnics or taking in the awesome beauty of the tower herself. But there’s more! The park is also home to winding paths, pretty flower beds, ponds and even a little grotto with pond and plenty of turtles and waterfowl.
Jardin des Tuileries
Definitely one of Paris’ most visited parks, due to its central location in the 1st arrondissement, it is still popular with locals who flock to the lawn chairs encircling the fountains. Extending from the Louvre, along the Seine, to Place de la Concorde, you get unobstructed views of the Arc de Triompes and Champs-Élysées. Created in 1640, Jardin des Tuileries is the oldest public garden in Paris. Home to perfect lawns for lounging and picnicking, flower beds, large fountains and various exquisite sculptures and statues.
Which are your favourite Paris parks?
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