When planning a trip to Paris it can almost be over-whelming as there is so much to see and do. Of course you’ll want to visit the Eiffel Tower, the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Arc de Triomphe, the Sacre-Coeur, the Louvre, and the list goes on. With so many attractions of note it is easy to forget to make the time to just enjoy being in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
Known as the ‘City of Light’, the capital of France could just as easily be given the alias ‘The Botanic City’. Paris boasts over 400 parks ranging from vast acres of unspoiled greenery to the charming little gardens that border the famous Champs- Élysées. Even the streets of the city centre are lined with beautiful little trees and you won’t have to search for long before stumbling across a small, tranquil garden at the end of an avenue where you can take a breather from sight-seeing or partake in a picnic.
Jardin du Luxembourg
The Jardin du Luxembourg is undoubtedly one of the most popular parks in Paris and the second largest in the whole of Paris. During the warm weather it is common for nearby workers to spend their lunch breaks on the deck chairs provided and for groups of students from the nearby Sorbonne University to gather on the lawns to study or relax in the sun.
The Jardin du Luxembourg is also a fantastic spot for families. In the centre of the park there is a pond that is very popular with children as it is possible to rent small boats. There is also a merry-go-round, a puppet theatre and the opportunity to go on pony rides.
Given its proximity to the Pantheon – of which there is a fantastic view from the Medici fountain, one out of two of the parks most noteworthy fountains – and of course the Palais du Luxembourg itself, it is a common spot for tourists.
Jardin des Tuileries
Another of Paris’ famous gardens is the Jardin de Tuileries; probably best recognised as one of the most prominent sights from the top of the Eiffel Tower. Located near the Louvre museum and the Place de la Concorde is it surely one of the city’s most romantic spots. With large, open walkways and lots of statues dotted around the park, it is a couples hotspot and similarly popular with those who like to walk.
The gardens are also home to two museums. Art fans will be pleased to discover Monet’s water lily paintings in the Musee de l’Orangeri, whilst those who are better acquainted with more contemporary art will enjoy a visit to the Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume.
Similarly to the Jardin du Luxembourg, the Jardin de Tuileries has deck chairs available free of charge.
Bois de Boulogne
Londoners will feel right at home at the Bois de Boulogne, an enormous park commissioned at the request of Napoleon III who wanted Paris to have its own equivalent to Hyde Park. The park features several beautiful gardens including the stunning rose garden, Parc de Bagatelle, and the Jardin des Serres d’Auteuil, a botanical garden featuring a very impressive greenhouse that makes for a perfect afternoon getaway for nature lovers.
The northern area of the Bois de Boulogne features an amusement park complete with a zoo and a science museum that holds workshops for children and teenagers, so it’s also a great park for those on a family holiday.
Parc de la Villette
Similarly to the Bois de Boulogne, the Parc de la Villette also has a science museum – the largest in Europe. There is also an IMAX theatre and several concert areas including Le Zenith that seats over 6,000 and the Cite de la Musique that also has a museum of musical instruments. It is a popular park for both Parisians and travelers from all over the world with an estimated 10 million visitors each year.
Bois de Vincennes
After the Bois de Boulogne was completed, another park was opened. Situated just outside of Paris on the Eastern edge in the town of Vincennes is the Bois de Vincennes, which is home to the massive 14th and 17th Century royal castle, the Chateau de Vincennes. Relatively unknown to most tourists who are visiting Paris, it makes a great alternative to the usual attractions and, for those who have visited Paris before, it provides something fresh and new – as well as the opportunity to scope out another area of France.
Parc des Buttes-Chaumont
Unsurprisingly many people come to Paris looking for love or on a romantic getaway with their other half. The Parc des Buttes-Chaumont is the perfect place to bring out your romantic side. Created in the 19th Century, this is truly one of the city’s most picturesque spots. The park is situated on a cliff, which is what makes it so unique amongst the city’s many gardens. There are fantastic, panoramic views of Paris as well as a breathtaking waterfall, so it’s no surprise that both locals and tourists flock to it during warmer weather for picnics or leisurely walks.
Parc de la Turlure
This wonderful little square officially known as Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet is located just behind the Sacre-Coeur in the heart of Montmarte, a district very popular with young travelers and artists. There’s a wonderful cascade fountain and beautiful pathways covered over with greenery, making it seem almost impossible that you can still be in the centre of a city when you’re surrounded by so much wonderful nature.
Whether you’re in search of the perfect romantic spot to pop that extra special question, a remote location to indulge in your love of nature, or somewhere that’s fun for the entire family, Paris has the perfect park. So, when you’re planning your trip to this magical city, be sure to put aside some time to enjoy all that Parisian nature has to offer.
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON LOWCOSTHOLIDAYS.COM