As the French capital’s oases, the parks and gardens of Paris play an integral part in the life of locals and travelers alike. Here are 10 of our favorites.
The parks and gardens of Paris are much more than just green spaces for strolling, relaxing and breathing some fresh air away hustle and bustle of the city. These verdant spaces are home to culture and history and play an integral part in Parisian social life year-round. Here’s a look at ten parks and gardens in Paris and how to make the most of them.
1. The Acclimatization Garden
Nine months, the time from conception to birth, was also how long it took to renovate the Acclimatization Garden, which reopened its doors on the north side of the expansive Bois de Boulogne in summer 2018 with 17 additional attractions. Originally inaugurated on October 6, 1860 by Napoleon, this 16th arrondissement, history-rich park spans over 111 acres of walkways, is home to 400 animals and offers a choice of 41 attractions—but also many diverse and varied workshops throughout the year (especially during school holidays!).
2. Paris Floral Park
Located in the heart of the Bois de Vincennes, Paris Floral Park covers 86 acres of gardens and is home to more than 3,000 collectible plants! One of the four botanical gardens of Paris, together with the Arboretum (also located in the Bois de Vincennes), the Parc de Bagatelle and the Auteuil Greenhouses (both of which are located in the Bois de Boulogne).
3. The Rodin Museum and Gardens
A visit to the Rodin Museum would be incomplete without a walk through the adjoining garden. Take time to stroll between the two thematic paths of the Biron Hotel, “the Garden of Orpheus” and “the Garden of Sources, ” and lose yourself amidst roses and sculptures without forgetting to stop at the feet of one of the most famous works by the artist of the same name, The Thinker . If you have some free time, treat yourself to a snack in the garden café. If you’re short on time or museums just aren’t your thing, it’s possible to buy a ticket for the garden only.
4. The Renoir Gardens
We hold the Renoir Gardens are to our hearts. Particularly pleasant in spring and summer yet evocative all year round, they are undoubtedly one of Paris’ most poetic and romantic places. If you decide to drop in, it would be a shame not to visit the Montmartre Museum—one will never tire of Suzanne Valadon’s workshop.
5. Buttes-Chaumont Park
With its panoramic view of the city and Montmartre in particular, this 62-acre hilly green space is ideal for a family picnic or an evening aperitif with friends. A favorite terrain for 19th-century joggers, it’s also appreciated for the lake and caves that give it its unique charm. Children can regularly take part in animations and other activities.
6. The Parc de la Villette
The Parc de la Villette is an integral part of local culture and social life in Paris. It’s home to some of the major cultural and entertainment venues such as the Cité des sciences et de l’industrie, the Zenith and the Philharmonic Orchestra de Paris. Throughout the year, the park’s 136 acres are animated by numerous cultural events, plays, concerts, open-air cinema, and in particular, the renowned Jazz à la Villette festival.
7. Luxembourg Gardens
Did you know that the Luxembourg Gardens, created in 1612 upon the request of Queen Marie de Medici, were inspired by the Boboli Gardens in Florencee? It’s nice to frolic through the park with the Palais du Luxembourg (now home to the French Senate) in the background and children playing with remote-controlled sailing boats in the pond. But if you venture just a bit further into the gardens, you can admire an orange grove and greenhouses that house a superb collection of orchids.
8. Monceau Park
Bordered by centuries-old trees and splendid mansions, Parc Monceau is one of the most elegant green spaces in the French capital. Swing open the large, 18th-century wrought-iron and golden gates to discover the park’s decorative elements that have survived the test of time, such as its famous rotunda and the naumachia, or tribute to staged naval battles organized by the Romans for mass entertainment.
9. The Tuileries Garden
From 1519 to 1996 the Tuileries Garden passed through many owners and has undergone continuous redesigns and improvements. Commissioned by Louis XIV and designed by André Le Nôtre in 1664, the Tuileries became the first public park in the entire city of Paris. The garden as we know it today was conceived by landscape architects Louis Benech, Pascal Cribier and François Roubaud, who remained faithful to Le Nôtre’s perspectives. Plop down in a chair with a book in hand and enjoy the luxury of taking some time out.
10. Georges-Brassens Park
Not everyone knows that Paris is home to vines from which grapes are still harvested to this day. We’ve already told you about the vineyards of Montmartre but never mentioned this 15th-arrondissement vineyard. 700 vines of pinot noir bask in a pleasant park where lovers still snuggle on public benches where the Vaugirard slaughterhouses once stood.