Join us for a stroll through some of the most amazing parks in Paris.
When it comes to parks in Paris, there’s a lot to choose from: the French capital is home to more than 400 green spaces with a quarter million trees among them. From the delightfully classic to the more unusual parks, here are some of our favorites.
1. Parc Monceau
How do you imagine a typical Parisian park? Fabulously elegant and chic, just like all things French? Throw in a pond, an old-fashioned merry-go-round and a candy shop for the kids, and you have a picture-perfect place for Parisians to enjoy a lazy Sunday afternoon.
Parc Monceau is precisely this kind of dreamy place, and it also holds a few surprises. You’ll stumble upon marvels including a tiny Egyptian pyramid, a Dutch windmill and a Chinese fort. King Louis XVI’s cousin, who designed this magical space in 1778, intended to amaze and surprise Parisians. The park still manages to do that today.
Ideally located a stone’s throw from Champs-Élysées and Arc de Triomphe, Parc Monceau is the best spot to unwind in between sights. Pick up a delicious French loaf at Maison Kayser, known for baking some of the best baguettes in Paris, then sit back and enjoy the scenery.
Parisian parks are typically flawlessly-manicured spaces. There is an exception to the rule: Buttes-Chaumont. This park in the heart of the 19th arrondissement is a tad unruly—if you ask us, refreshingly so. As if its rolling hills and meandering paths were not enough, it also encompasses cliffs, waterfalls and even a cave. For a truly local experience, leave the tourist crowds behind and get running, rollerblading and cycling along with the Parisians.
If you prefer to take it easy on a sunny spring day, Buttes-Chaumont has a few unbeatable spots for that, too. This is one of the few parks in Paris where you are allowed to sit on the grass. You’re welcome to take a nap, have a picnic, stroll and feed the ducks to your heart’s content. Make sure to head to the charming Pavillon Puebla for a drink.
Insider’s Tip: Don’t miss the sweeping views of the city from the Temple de la Sibylle in the center of the park.
3. Parc André Citroën
Parc André Citroën, named after a car factory that once stood on this site, is the only Parisian park on the banks of the Seine. This expansive green space is the largest urban park in the capital. Thematic gardens, each with plants in different colors, enormous greenhouses, lush lawns and computerized fountains are some of the many features of this Parisian gem. With its modern structures in glass and metal, seamlessly merging with nature, it is unlike any other park in Paris.
Want to know the best part? To make your visit even more memorable, you can do some sightseeing in a helium balloon for only €11. Ballon de Paris will carry you on a ten-minute ride at an altitude of 500 feet above the park. Get your cameras ready: you are in for some of the most spectacular panoramic views of Paris from above.
4. Promenade Plantée
Who would have thought it was possible to convert an abandoned 19th-century railway into a fabulous green walk in the middle of the city? In 1993, the Promenade Plantée was the first urban garden of its kind in the world. It even inspired the design of the New York Highline. And yet, it still counts among the city’s jealously guarded secrets.
This elevated park stretches for almost three miles through eastern Paris, all the way from Viaduc des Arts at Bastille to the Bois de Vincennes. The paths lined with bamboo, maple trees and rose bushes are ideal for leisurely strolls.
There’s no better way to celebrate the arrival of spring than by admiring the magnificent cherry blossoms while walking amid the rooftops of Paris. Look around, and you might also catch a glimpse of a Haussmannian interior or two.
5. Jardin des Rosiers
Ready for a true Parisian gem? Look no further than the trendy Marais in the 4th arrondissement. Among its cobblestone streets and pretty buildings, this district hides the extraordinary Jardin des Rosiers, completely invisible from the street.
Here’s the secret to get into this lovely public garden: open the gate of the private mansion Hôtel de Coulanges and then cross the yard. You’ll be greeted by a green oasis in the middle of the city.
Jardin des Rosiers is a welcoming space with its wooden benches, its organic vegetable patch and an old fig tree beloved by locals. Don’t miss the 35-meter-high chimney that was part of a factory that used to separate gold from dust!
Insider’s Tip: Grab lunch from the famous L’As du Fallafel around the corner and enjoy it while soaking in a quiet moment in the garden that only a handful of locals (and you) know about.
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Irma fell in love with all things French while studying in Paris. She currently lives in Norway, making sure to travel to Paris as often as possible. She is always on the lookout for those unique, local experiences that remain unknown to most tourists.