Paris is much more than the impressive Eiffel Tower or the luminous Champs-Elysées Avenue. The City of Light turns out to be a green city as well. Take advantage of these numerous parks to have a rest, to recharge your batteries or to go for a picnic. Here, just below, are our favorite Parisian parks and gardens.
1 – Jardin du Luxembourg
Born from the desire of Marie de Médicis to enhance the eponymous palace, the Jardin du Luxembourg (“Luxembourg Gardens”) is an unignorable step of tour immersion to the discovery of the most beautiful parks and gardens in Paris.
It’s with an explosion of colors of 22,5 hectares that the garden reveals its flowering borders like the English or French patterns, its ocean of greenery and its orchard.
For lovers of beautiful flowers, the visit continues into greenhouses.
Visitors can also admire a nice grouping of statues, among them the minimalist representation of the Statue of Liberty and the ones of distinguished writers such as Baudelaire.
2 – Square des Batignolles
The Batignolles Square is a little verdurous and peaceful haven put up at the heart of the same name borough in the 17th district.
It was created by the order of Napoléon III who hoped to enliven Paris with English gardens.
It’s about an exotic frame sheltering a wide range of tropical species, ranging from thorny locusts of America to date plum tree of Japan; at the heart of this luxuriant countryside, a cave, a river and a lake found their place.
Throughout the years, these water points are the beats stage of some species of web-footed bird, in particular for ducks and swans.
3 – Parc des Buttes Chaumont
Ocean of greenery covering 25 hectares of the 19th district in the northeast of Paris, this public park is one of the largest green Parisian areas; the garden kept a big difference in height or level that appeals to footing buffs despite its building on a former quarry.
At the whim of its slopes, walking takes place under the shade of the various trees from the Lebanon cedar to the pagoda tree.
Above all, the Parc des Buttes Chaumont appeals to people for its vast lake in the middle of which chairs the Belvédère Isle encompassing a charming kiosk, the Temple of Sybille inspired by an Italian one.
4 – Jardin des plantes
An oasis set up into the 5th arrondissement in 1635, the Jardin des plantes (French for “Garden of the Plants”) was born out from a careful blend of the opposite styles of a French-English garden.
Proposing a motley sight in the shadow of its greenhouses, the garden owns an incomparable wealth.
From the winter garden’s tropical plants jealously preserved to the luxuriant ones from the Mexican, Australian and paleobotanical glasshouse, there is no shortage of discoveries.
Its vast rose garden trimmed with some 170 varieties surely attracts.
A Menagerie, one of the most ancient zoo parks of the world, is situated too.
5 – Parc Monceau
With an idyllic romantic setting, this park surrounded by singularly refined hotels and big buildings is located in the 8th arrondissement.
The Parc Monceau reveals its charm with its colonnade surrounding the oval pond of the Naumachie.
This sight point offers a charm out of the time to this predilection meeting place for the Parisians.
Crossed by stormed paths and grass flowerbeds, the park distinguishes itself also with some monuments, of which the rotunda, and its pyramid as well as a collection of statues, besides the ones of Chopin, Maupassant and Musset found their place.
6 – Parc Montsouris
Opened to the public in 1869 in the 14th borough, the Parc Montsouris is a wide expanse of green taking up about fifteen hectares.
Set up with a lake, that’s the popular playground of numerous birds. Swans, crested tits and rose-ringed parakeets are only a few species that found refuge in this park.
The walks happened at the shadow of close to 1500 varieties of trees whose major part is aged over hundreds of years.
Some notorious monuments stand in the heart of the park such as a building inspired by the Bardo palace, which welcomes, today, the meteorological observatory.
7 – Jardin des Tuileries
Charming French garden in the 1st borough and the most ancient of the capital, by the way, the Jardin des Tuileries had been created on bygone tiles, thus the name.
Skillfully fitted out with precise shapes flowerbeds surrounding nice ponds, the park has been listed as a Historical monument.
Even though it is a place of wonderful promenades, it is also a remarkable cultural break in Paris.
The Jardin des Tuileries, indeed, welcomes the Louvre Museum set in the palace of the same name and the Jeu de Paume, an exhibition place completely devoted to photography and contemporary art.
8 – Parc Bagatelle
The Parc Bagatelle is an ode to the countryside having flowered in the Bois de Boulogne.
The park has been created after a bet between the Count of Artois and Marie-Antoinette on the building of the eponym castle and of the park in 64 days. Sure bet.
Today, this huge space welcoming Anglo-Chinese gardens doesn’t run out of visitors.
The Parc Bagatelle is above all well-known for its two rose gardens counting all in all 9000 plants offering a show highly colorful at the moment of their flowering in June.
9 – Parc George Brassens
Homage to this French singer-songwriter-performer with sharp writing who lived not far away from here, the Parc George Brassens bedecks the 15th district.
Located at the place of formers slaughterhouses of which it kept some legacies such as its imposing doors and a belfry dominating the lake, this garden displays of an apiary and a beautiful wine-making space.
By the way, this vineyard is one of the biggest in its category. It produces a delicious vintage named le Clos des Morillons that is auctioned each year.
To brighten up this verdant space, a garden full of scented plants and another one with aromatic and medicinal plants flourished.
10 – Parc de la Butte du Chapeau-Rouge
Little known by the Parisians, the Parc de la Butte du Chapeau-Rouge yet doesn’t lack charm.
Rolling out grass carpets staked with trees providing shade for relaxation, this public garden which opened in 1939 can be visited in the 19th district in the quarter of America.
Stretching on slightly less than 5 hectares on gypsum quarries, this charming verdurous sanctuary is characterized by a pretty monumental fountain.
11 – Champ-de-Mars
It is certainly the most well-known of Parisian parks: the Champ-de-Mars spreads across the 7th arrondissement.
It has been used as a meeting and celebrating area ever since the 18th century, and is one of the most popular parks for locals, thanks to its 25 ha and the Eiffel Tower standing at its end.
Visitors can walk between numerous types of trees There are also merry-go-rounds, a puppet theater, and many statues as well.
It is also the ideal place to have a picnic during the summer evenings, as many people can attest, and enjoy the sight of the Tower lighting up every hour for five minutes.
Aside from the wide lawns and large alleys, the Champ-de-Mars also provides many popular events, such as the Bastille Day fireworks or concerts.
12 – Parc floral de Paris
In the Bois de Vincennes, in the 12th arrondissement, the flower park is both an urban park and a botanical garden.
This 30 ha park (one of the biggest in Paris), created in 1969, was freely inspired from Japanese gardens, as seen in the numerous pavilions and floral arrangements.
It is home to several thousand flower species, notably irises and tulips, which make for spectacular colors during blooming time.
It also hosts peacocks walking freely next to visitors.
You may also enjoy shaded paths and the welcoming fresh air of the pinewood in the summer.
Access to the park must be paid for (€2.50 at full price and €1.50 at a discounted price) between April 1st and September 30th. Yearly subscriptions are also available. More information on the website of the city of Paris.
13 – Parc de Belleville
This 20th arrondissement park makes for a welcome green and cool break since 1988.
Its wide lawns are an open invitation to picnics and outdoor games, while a cascading fountain falls to the bottom of the hill, and makes for an appreciable refreshing opportunity during warm days.
During a walk, you might also notice several tree species, from the most common ones (oaks, beech trees, chestnuts, apple trees) to the more exotic varieties (Mexican orange blossom, golden rain trees, pagoda trees).
As the park was used for a long time to produce wine, some vines were planted at its reopening, in memory of the celebrations that would once take place there.
14 – Jardin d’acclimatation
In the 16th arrondissement, the Jardin d’acclimatation (“acclimatization garden”) not only offers more than 40 attractions for children and adults but also 18 ha for walking and strolling.
The park, which was inspired from Hyde Park in London, hosts over 1,800 diverse species of trees, such as common oaks and pines, as well as more exotic ones such as sequoias and Himalayan cedars.
The paths spread through the park and wind around lawns, lookouts and ponds in a calm, natural and relaxing walk.
The park also hosts a farm, animals, an aviary, beehives and vegetable patches, as well as an original, pretty Korean garden.
A full-price entry costs €6.50, and a discounted entry costs €3.20. Several books of tickets and unlimited passes are also available at the ticket office.
15 – Parc de Bercy
Built on top of former vineyards in the 12th arrondissement, Parc de Bercy is actually made out of three separate gardens:
- The “romantic garden” makes for a walk among flowers, ponds and reed beds; a perfect place for a peaceful afternoon;
- The “flowerbeds” are used as an educational place thanks to its “gardening home” and its chiseled gardens, vegetable patches, vineyards and rose gardens;
- Finally, the “meadows” are a set of shaded lawns which are ideal to spend part of the day outdoors.
16 – Square Jean-XXIII
This square located in the center of the Île de la Cité lays right behind the Notre-Dame cathedral.
Originally created in 1848 as the “Archbishopric Square”, it was renamed in 1970 in honor of Pope John XXIII.
Sprinkled with benches and trees and generally little known among tourists, it serves as a peaceful haven in the middle of the city, with a fantastic view over the back facade of Notre Dame.
At its center stands the Fountain of the Virgin Mary, a neo-gothic sculpture perfectly imitating the cathedral’s style.
17 – Parc Clichy-Batignolles – Martin-Luther-King
Located just next to the Parc des Batignolles in the 17th arrondissement, this park is situated on top of a former train station of the SNCF.
Its rolling lawns are interspersed with playgrounds for children and sports grounds such as the skate park and football basketball and boules pitches.
The former train tracks can still barely be seen rising from the ground at places.
An area wooded with pines and an orchard complete the set by bringing some enjoyable shade and coolness to the table.
A tranquil haven away from mayhem and tourists.
18 – Parc André-Citroën
Created in 1992 on the site of a former Citroen plant, this park spreads over almost 15 ha and is completely open to the Seine riverside.
The docks, lawns and thickets mold together in a splendid green harmony that everyone can enjoy.
Two greenhouses are also open to visitors, one for exotic plants and one for Mediterranean plants.
The Ballon de Paris is also located there: a hot-air balloon permanently anchored to the ground, which rises up to 150 meters above ground to offer an aerial view of Paris.
19 – Parc Cité internationale universitaire
As it spreads over more than 30 ha, this university park in the 14th arrondissement is the third largest park in Paris.
Open to the public, its size and atmosphere make it a nice and familial place for walking and resting.
It serves as a nesting area for many bird species, including some very rare ones, such as the mistle thrush or the Eurasian tree sparrow.
Several remarkable tree varieties were also planted there, such as Caucasian wingnuts, American tulip trees or giant sequoias.
20 – Jardin du Palais-Royal
In the 1st arrondissement, barely a few steps away from the Louvre museum, the gardens of the Palais-Royal were originally ordered in 1633 by cardinal de Richelieu.
Amidst 17th to 19th-century architecture, the alleys spread between the flower beds, the well-placed tree rows and a few marble statues.
Ponds and water sprays bring a noisy and relaxing hint of coolness to the place.
The several benches spread across the park allow for nice breaks and people-watching, as do the cafés and restaurants patios around there.
21 – Jardin des Serres d’Auteuil
As the name indicates, this park in the 16th arrondissement is largely recognizable thanks to its huge cast iron greenhouses.
These host more than 5,000 plant species, among which are succulents, plants from Sahel and New Caledonia, and even begonias and azaleas…
Even though they are the main attraction, the greenhouses are far from the only point of interest in the park, which also hosts several French and Japanese gardens, with many kinds of statues and fountains scattered around.
Several rare tree species can also be seen along the alleys, such as a Chinese wingnut, a gingko or a crape myrtle.
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