The parks of Paris are amazing all year round. You can walk around the parks in the winter time with a cup of hot chocolate, in the summertime, sip on an Aperol Spritz in Paris’ best parks. Read on to find out more about the best outdoor spaces in the city of light!
Jardin des Tuileries
The Jardin des Tuileries run from opposite the Louvre all the way to Place de la Concorde. It is one of the best parks in Paris thanks to its location. It’s only a short walk from tourist attractions such as the Champs-Elysées and Arc de Triomphe.
Set in central Paris, the gardens were part of the official residence for French royalty back in the day. You can find sculptures throughout the park from history’s best French sculptors. The gardens are the perfect place to stop for a picnic in the summertime. The more formal entrance is the one opposite the Louvre, where you can spot yoga and boxing classes taking place early on Sunday mornings. The other entrance, towards Place de la Concorde, is full of trees and shrubs, as well as a striking fountain.
Throughout the year, different events take place within the gardens. In the summer, there is a fun fair to celebrate the Prise de la Bastille (14th July), and in the winter, the Christmas market takes place in these stunning gardens, where you can jump in the Ferris Wheel and see Paris’ incredible views from high up!
Jardin du Palais Royal
Just a 20-minute walk from Jardin des Tuileries, you can find Jardin du Palais Royal. It’s tucked away in central Paris, and allows you to escape from the hustle and bustle of the 1st arrondissement. The Palais Royal was commissioned by Cardinal Richelieu in 1629 and passed onto King Louis XIII after his death. Over the centuries, it has been a meeting point for the greatest intellectuals and artists. In fact, the Café de Foy, in the gardens’ galleries, is where “Aux armes, citoyens” was called out. This was two days before the Bastille was taken. Today, it is a meeting spot for tourists and locals alike.
It is one of the best parks in Paris thanks to its three galleries – Galerie de Valois (east), Galerie de Montpensier (west) and Galerie Beaujolais (north), where you can shop local produce and luxury brands as well as discover amazing artwork. It is the ideal place to stop and sip on coffee from your favorite coffee shop, and see the temporary outdoor sculpture exhibits that take place throughout the year.
Meet Paris’ coolest hangout! Buttes Chaumont is the place every local flocks to when there is a ray of sunshine. The park isocated in the north-east of Paris, in the 19th arrondissement. The park measures and impressive 25 hectares. Plus, you can climb up to the top of the tallest hill to admire the views of Paris’ old-meets-new architecture.
Its layout is pretty unique! There are Japanese-themed gardens, caves and waterfalls to admire. You can cross its jaw-dropping suspension bridge spanning 200 feet above the lake. It was actually built by Gustave Eiffel, long before he erected the iconic Eiffel Tower.
Within the park, you can find some of Paris’ trendiest bars. The Rosa Bonheur is open up until midnight and can be accessed from the park. Buttes Chaumont is located near hip Belleville, where there are plenty of stylish bars for you to enjoy a drink while admiring the Seine!
Jardin du Luxembourg
The Jardin du Luxembourg is a sumptuous garden located between the chic Saint-Germain-des-Près and the Latin Quarter. The gardens were created upon the initiative of Queen Marie de Medici in 1612. The park was inspired by the majestic Boboli Gardens in Florence, reminiscent of her childhood in Italy. Like the Boboli Gardens, there are 3 grottos and beautiful flower beds to take your breath away. Romantic statues are placed around the park and are inspired by Greek and Roman mythology. You can see Venus, the goddess Diana, and Vulcan, the god of fire, through the park.
Why are the gardens so famous? Today, they are owned by the French Senate, which meets inside the Palace. It is also known for its size and variety – it has exotic palm trees, tree-lined promenades, tennis courts and the iconic Medici Fountain which was constructed in 1620.
There are plenty of activities for all ages here – you can play tennis, chess or even pétanque! In the summertime, puppet shows are held for your little ones, to ensure that they’re having fun during their day out. Or go for a ride on the carousel! They will also love to race toy sailboats across the pond that can be rented out for fun and sunny afternoons!
Parc Monceau are romantic gardens situated in the 8th arrondissement of Paris and borders the 17th arrondissement. It was built in the 17th century, under the orders of the Duke of Chartres. He employed writer and painter Louis Carrogis Carmontelle to design the gardens. Its link to royalty has made this park so decadent and blossoming. It spreads across over 20 acres and is the ideal place to go for joggers and wanderers. Once inspired by ancient architecture, the original design had a pyramid, a Roman colonnade and antique statues. As trends changed, the style changed, and it is now seen as a mix of Anglo-Chinese landscaping.
At the entrance of Parc Monceau, you will see the Pavillon de Chartres, and as you walk through, you can admire the statues of some famous public figures such as Chopin and Guy de Maupassant.
The park has been a source of inspiration for many, including some of the world’s biggest artists. Claude Monet painted the park in the late 1870s in a series of six paintings. Gustave Caillebot also painted Parc Monceau twice, which is very little considering how close by he lived.
Bois de Boulogne
Once a hunting ground for the Kings of France, Bois de Boulogne is now the perfect daytime getaway for Parisians. Located in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, near Boulogne, the park allows you to escape the hustle and bustle of Parisian life. It covers over 850 hectares, or 2000 acres. Bois de Boulogne has striking lakes for you to admire. The Lac Inférieur is the park’s largest lake, and you can access either side by boat. Row to either side and make an afternoon of it! You can discover the different islands within the park and row to Chalet des Îles.
Chalet des Îles is a picturesque dining spot located on one of the islands of the Lac Inférieur. Here, you can enjoy a dinner in the restaurant or a drink by the lakeside, to really take in the incredible views. It is also an idyllic place for a picnic, and you can set yourselves up between the trees. The Grande Cascade is a waterfall that will set your heart racing, and makes a beautiful photo spot! Near the park, you can enjoy the modern and striking Fondation Louis Vuitton. Its unique architecture will fascinate you, and you can enjoy various exhibitions of contemporary art exhibitions.
Jardin des Plantes
Jardin des Plantes is a stunning park in the 5th arrondissement. The botanical garden is over 359 years old, and was created for the official doctor of the King of France so he could grow medicinal herbs. After the King’s passing, the Paris school of Botany was built here and it is still here to this day. The park is also home to one of the 14 sites of the Museum of Natural History, and is known to be one of the largest collections of minerals and fossils in the world. Take the family to see full sized dinosaur skeletons!
If you are an animal lover, then the Menagerie will be on your itinerary. It takes up around a third of the Botanical Garden, and you can discover 200 species of animals. 2000 animals are waiting to be seen, some of these being on the endangered list! The institution is dedicated to bettering the animals’ life and welfare, and research is done regularly to ensure that their needs are being respected.
For sports fanatics, the park is a great place to keep fit! Its vast space is great for jogging, and the paved routes are perfect for roller skaters and skateboarders. With this being Paris, of course, it is also a perfect cycling spot! Finish off your day with a picnic in the glorious Parisian sun. Or, stop off for crêpes at the occasional food trolley!