You want to breathe some fresh air? Be it with your family or on your own, by walking or by riding your bike, there is nothing better than this original and atypical walk to charge your batteries. Here is some information to make the best of your stroll.
- a calm walk in a green oasis in the heart of the capital
- an area which is not crowded with tourists
- the diversity of the route
- the possibility to walk or ride a bike
- the many accesses
We don’t like as much
- the occasional lack of indications
- the presence of joggers who can get in the way of the ramblers
In short, we really recommend the Coulée Verte. With the trail which goes above roads, parks and buildings, you will not get bored!
What is the Coulée Verte?
The Coulée Verte follows the tracks of the old Vincennes railway line, which linked the Bastille station to Verneuil-l’Étang since the 2nd Empire, passing through Vincennes. It ceased operation in 1969, thus the Paris-Vincennes section was completely abandoned, and nature took back its rights.
Ten years later, the former line was totally renovated. This is how the Opera Bastille and the Zac the Reuilly were created. The Promenade Plantée was put into place at the same time in order to reuse the rest of the abandoned line between the Bastille and the old Montempoivre gate to the city.
In 1988, landscape architect Jacques Vergely and architect Philippe Mathieux designed the parkway, which was inaugurated in 1993. It was named after the French agronomist René Dumont, who was also the first ecologist to run for the presidential election in 1974.
The splendid arcades of the Viaduc des Arts were renovated too in 1989, and the Jardin the Reuilly was set up from 1992 to 1998.
This walk is an atypical 4.5 km path, enlivened with all sorts of lime and hazel trees, climbing plants, rose bushes and plants, and offers the strollers some remarkable and surprising view points.
Other abandoned railways have been converted into parks and parkways, but the Promenade Plantée was the first green space constructed on an elevated viaduct. It inspired the transformation of a part of the High Line of New York City into a park which opened in 2009.
The Coulée Verte is the result of a successful combination between the wild vegetation which grew along the railway and the more modern landscape planning. It will allow you to cross the 12th arrondissement lengthwise while being away from the road traffic.
How to Get to the Coulée Verte?
The Coulée Verte starts in the area of the Opera Bastille at the start of the Viaduc des Arts, and follows a 4.7km long trail until the Paris ring-road near the Porte Montempoivre.
For the strollers
The first part is reserved for pedestrians. It is located on the Viaduc des Arts, and is accessible through stairways and elevators at different places in the Avenue Daumesnil.
Access : metro stations Ledru Rollin (line 8), Bastille (lines 1, 5, 8), Gare de Lyon (line 1, 14), Montgallet (line 8), Daumesnil (lines 6, 8), and Bel (line 6).
For the cyclists
The second part is designed to enable pedestrians and cyclists to move separately. It may be accessed through the tunnel de Reuilly located under the Rue de Reuiilly.
Access : metro stations Montgallet (line 8) and Dugommier (line 6).
What Is the Best Time to Go for a Walk?
Open everyday from 8.30am.
The closing time depends on the months:
- up to the end of February: 5.45pm
- 1st of March until start of daylight savings time: 7pm
- start of daylights saving time until the 30th of April: 8.30pm
- 1st of May until the 31st of August: 9.30pm
- 1st to 30th of September: 8.30pm
- 1st of October until end of daylight savings time: 7.30pm
What Is the Ideal Time of the Year to Go to the Coulée Verte?
The Coulée Verte is open during the whole year. But as for any walk, it is more pleasant when the weather is nice!
During the spring, the cherry and apple trees are blooming, which enables you to enjoy the beautiful colors of the green trees.
We also recommend you go for a walk during the summer days, but not during the hottest hours of the day. Thanks to the vegetation, it is shady and the temperature is pleasant: a nice getaway in the warmth in the city.
Length of the Walk
The Coulée Verte is about 4.5km, so the whole walk should last more or less one hour and a half. This is the perfect amount of time to stretch your legs while discovering Paris in a different way!
Who Go on the Coulée Verte?
The Coulée Verte is perfect for a family outing. The kids will be happy to stretch themselves and have fun in the playgrounds of the Coulée, while the adults will appreciate the calmness and tranquility of this green area. The trail is not aimed for athletes, but there are nonetheless some stairs, near the footbridge.
Pets are allowed in the alleys, but you must, of course, keep them on a leash.
Accessibility for disabled people
Only some areas are accessible to disabled people.
- from the rue Edouard-Lartet to the avenue Emile-Laurent : rue du Sahel
- from the Tunnel de Reuilly to the avenue Emile Laurent : place rue Brahms, rue du Sahel/rue de Toul
- from Bastille to the Jardin de Reuilly- Paul-Pernin : elevator at the 34 rue de Lyon, elevator rue Jacques-Hillairet.
What Does it Look Like?
The different steps
- From the Opéra Bastille, take the rue de Lyon then the stairs on your left next to the entrance of the parkway. You will be above the avenue Daumesnil, on the viaduct des arts. If you want, it is also possible to wander around the small art shops and the workshops located under the arches of the viaduct and to get back to the path a little bit further.
- Go on the former railway bridge above the Boulevard Diderot.
- Take the footbridge, to cross the whole Jardin de Reuilly in the air! An original way to discover one of the many gardens in the capital. When the weather is nice, the park is filled with Parisians coming to sunbathe.
- Go straight forward and follow the allée Vivaldi.
- At the end of the allée Vivaldi, enter the tunnel de Reuilly located under the rue de Reuilly. The tunnel is quite dark and was designed to look like a small cave where you can see rocks and small fountains. This is the second part of the promenade, which now also includes a bicycle lane.
- When you are out of the tunnel, go straight forward, you will reach the promenade plantée. There is an old wagon, a remnant of the old railway.
- The trail ends at the peaceful Square Charles Péguy. If you want to rest, you can relax in the middle of the flowers and bushes while listening to the sound of the water in the fountain. The kids can have fun in the playground in the middle of the garden.
And there you have it! Your stroll is finally over!
Don’t Miss out on this During your Stroll!
Something unusual: at the entrance of the Parc de Reuilly, you can find a public water fountain which distributes cost-free room-temperature water, cold water, and, more importantly, sparkling water! It is currently the only one in France to do so.
If you go for a walk during daylight savings time, you might get to see some bats! These harmless little creatures find shelter in all the small areas under the roofs and under the bridges of the Coulée Verte during the Winter.
Where to Eat near the Coulée Verte
Pizzeria Il Quadrifoglio €€ – €€€
Pizza is, while an Italian staple, also loved worldwide. As such, we weren’t going to miss out on this delicious spot.
While the food itself is of great taste and prepared on the spot with quality ingredients, the greatest strength of this pizzeria is its special brand of homemade gluten-free flour. Il Quadrifoglio serves gluten-free pizzas and pasta with the exact same taste and texture as their wheat-based counterparts.
On a final note, the pizzas have an extra touch which might take you by surprise. The pizzas are heart-shaped. Some might find it funny while others might find this romantic; one thing everyone will agree on is that they’re cute.
Address: 19 boulevard Bourdon, 75004 Paris
Schedule: Tuesday through Saturday (12:00 pm – 3:00 pm; 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm)
Cost: around 30€ per meal
Bistrot de l’Oulette €€ – €€€
If you want exquisite cuisine in a chic -yet not posh- atmosphere along with portions that will satisfy you, search no further, you’re at the right place.
While originally a restaurant in the Bercy area, The Bistrot de l’Oulette’s food (foie gras, cassoulet, terrine…) was so popular that they opened a second shop near the Bastille.
While their food is good, they don’t try to rip you off and you can eat a nice meal in a cozy and friendly atmosphere.
In other words, if you want to eat some South-Western specialties but are stuck in Paris, then just go to the Bistrot de l’Oulette.
Address: 38 rue des Tournelles, 75004 Paris
Schedule: Monday through Saturday (12:00 pm – 2:30 pm; 6:30 pm – 10:30 pm)
Cost: 17€ – 41€
Saveurs d’Atika €€ – €€€
This tiny restaurant with no more than twenty seats is owned by, wait for it, Akita and her mother (Finally a restaurant that is really named after its owner). This Moroccan restaurant provides national specialties such as the kefta briwat or chicken pastillas as well as an incredible amount of different couscous and tagines each of which are more succulent than the last.
While the prices are pretty low, the portions, on the other hand are surprisingly big.
The last thing to mention is most probably that if you were to come during the afternoon, between lunch and dinner, the restaurant turns into a tea house, serving nice warm, sweet mint tea.
Address: 14 rue des Tournelles, 75004 Paris
Schedule: Monday (12:00 pm – 4:00 pm); Tuesday through Thursday (12:00 pm – 3:30 pm; 6:30 pm – 10:00 pm), Friday and Saturday (12:00 pm – 10:00 pm); closed on Sundays
To finish with, here is a short video to show you some images of the Coulée Verte at different steps of the way :
Mona knows Paris like the back of her hand. Bars, restaurants, hotels… whether you want to sleep, eat, party or just take a walk in Paris, Mona gives you her best advice. Follow her lead, she will gladly give you all her good tips and best addresses!