Paris

Parks, gardens and open-air venues in Paris

In summer, some areas of Paris are transformed into beach resorts with real sand, umbrellas, deckchairs and sunbeds to satisfy the seaside cravings of tourists and citizens alike.
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Paris is full of magnificent parks and gardens, lush green spaces that invite you to relax, far from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Around the city you will find plenty of them, perfect to visit especially with the arrival of fine weather: they are an opportunity to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city and from visiting museums, to relax in the greenery, strolling among flowerbeds and manicured lawns.

From the best-known spots to the lesser-known corners, here is a selection of the most beautiful parks and gardens in Paris, which attract millions of visitors every year.

Bois de Boulogne

1Paris, France

At the gates of Paris lies a veritable green lung of 865 hectares, the Bois de Boulogne.

Designed by the same architect as the grand boulevards, it is the Parisian counterpart to Hyde Park in London.

In the more than 125 hectares of forest, there are 15 km of cycle paths and 28 km of footpaths.

The Luxembourg Gardens

275006 Paris, France

The Luxembourg Gardens are a green oasis in the centre of Paris, created by Napoleon as an amusement park for children.

Built around the Palais du Luxembourg, from which it takes its name, the park boasts an extension of 35 hectares interspersed with magnificent palaces, ponds, chestnut groves and flowery paths where you can spend a few hours in total relaxation.

The Luxembourg Gardens combine the style of English and French gardens and is particularly suitable for families with children.

Parc de la Villette

3211 Av. Jean Jaurès, 75019 Paris, France

It is the largest park in Paris and was designed to be a place for children to enjoy themselves but at the same time a cultural centre and a multifunctional space.

Featuring sculptures and geometric shapes dotted around the park, such as the Géode, an immense steel sphere housing a cinema, and the folies, red cubic pavilions, it is an extremely pleasant stop for those travelling with children and young people with some time on their hands.

On sunny days you can picnic along the banks of the Canal de l’Ourcq, take a boat ride or explore the adjacent area.

Within the park you will also find the beautiful City of Science and the Cité des Enfants, entirely dedicated to children.

The Tuileries Garden

475001 Paris, France

The Tuileries Garden covers an area of 28 hectares and is dotted with sculptures, including the famous The Welcoming Hands by Louise Bourgeois.

The Tuileries is a favourite place for Parisians to stroll or jog.

Jardin des Plantes

575005 Paris, France

This spectacular botanical garden opened in 1626 as a herb garden and is one of the most bucolic and relaxing places in Paris, ideal for a stroll through the greenery.

Over the centuries, it also became a school of botany, natural history and pharmacology and today includes the Natural History Museum and the Zoological Garden , which also serves as a research centre for the reproduction of rare or endangered species.

You can admire an alpine garden, tropical greenhouses, a winter garden, plants from the Himalayas, Morocco and a magnificent cedar of Lebanon.

Don’t miss the rose garden, the peony garden and a beautiful 17th-century labyrinth.

Champ de Mars

675007 Paris, France

The elegant Champ de Mars stretches out at the foot of the Eiffel Tower and was created in the 18th century as a parade ground for parades and gatherings of the nearby Military Academy. In this building with its severe French neoclassical architecture Napoleon Bonaparte also graduated and the Wall for Peace built of etched glass and steel is worth mentioning.

In 1780, Charles Montgolfier chose this very spot for the take-off of the first hot-air balloon in history. The park has also been the site of several Universal Expositions: 1867, 1878, 1889 (when the Eiffel Tower was erected), 1900 and the Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne in 1937.

This huge park shows its most atmospheric side in the mild seasons when it becomes a pleasure to stroll along its avenues and improvise a romantic Parisian-style picnic and enjoy the magnificent view of the Eiffel Tower.

Paris Plages, the beaches of Paris

Born in 2002 from the ingenious idea of the then Mayor of Paris Bertrand Delanoe, Paris Plage quickly went from being a much-criticised initiative to one of the most beloved and eagerly awaited summer events of the year.

Between July and August, certain areas of Paris are transformed into beach resorts equipped with real sand (thanks to 6000 tonnes of sand poured for the occasion), umbrellas, deckchairs and sun loungers to satisfy the desire for summer and the sea of all those who cannot move from the city.

From 8 a.m. until midnight, it is possible to access the beaches for many different activities: sunbathing, drinking aperitifs, kayaking, renting rowing boats or pedal boats, listening to live concerts, playing beach volleyball, foosball, pin pong and tennis, or taking water aerobics courses in the small pools, dancing or fitness classes.

These areas organise many courses, concerts, cultural events and activities for children to experience the beaches not only during the day but also in the evening.

Some areas are fixed from year to year while some beaches are added or removed according to municipal planning. To find out exactly which areas are equipped, consult the official Paris website.

The beaches from the Louvre to Pont de Sully

7Voie Georges Pompidou, 75004 Paris, France

This portion of beaches runs directly along the right bank of the Seine for almost 3 kilometres.

Here, you will really feel like you are at the beach (deckchairs, cabins, umbrellas and even showers) but with a superb view of the Parisian palaces: an illusion artfully created to faithfully reproduce seaside shores.

Between an ice-cold drink and a good read, you can also indulge in the many activities organised for both adults and children. Also not to be missed in the evenings, when there are open-air concerts and aperitifs on the beach.

The beaches at Bassin de la Villette

875019 Paris, France

In the heart of the 19th arrondissement is this reservoir, the Bassin de la Villette connected to the south with the Canal St. Martin and to the north with the Canal de l’Ourq.

Here, too, you will find a large, well-equipped beach with a water sports centre: in fact, the reservoir is perfect for kayaking, small pedalo rides or trying out the thrill of sailing.

In addition, the area is extremely pleasant for continuing the evening thanks to the small restaurants, bistros and clubs full of people.

What to avoid on the beach

Although you may have the illusion that you are on the beach, never forget that you are in the city.

At the Paris Plage, there are therefore a few rules that must be respected if you do not want to be fined by the traffic police:

Promenade Plantee

91 Coulée Verte René-Dumont, 75012 Paris, France

The Promenade Plantee (tree-lined promenade), also called the Coulée verte, is a small section of the old Parisian elevated railway line that runs for 4.7 kilometres from Place de la Bastille to the Boulevard Périphérique. It is the Paris version of New York’s Highline.

A magnificent work of urban reconversion capable of creating a green space in the middle of the metropolis’ buildings, a place for citizens to experience the city in an alternative way.

Strolling among flowers and trees a few metres above ground level is truly suggestive, with romantic corners, benches and spaces for reading, meditating and chatting.

Below ground level, on the other hand, a cycle lane has been created while the arcades of the viaduct house workshops and artisans’ shops.

Parc des Buttes-Chaumont

1075019 Paris, France

Another Parisian gem is this magnificent park, commissioned by Napoleon III and redesigned for the Universal Exhibition of 1867 under the supervision of Baron Haussmann.

Unlike the capital’s other large parks, Buttes-Chaumont is a green space that holds many surprises: hidden by beautiful trees are grottoes, waterfalls, a lake with a mysterious temple dedicated to the Sibyl, rocks and scenic bridges.

It is much loved by Parisians and is a great opportunity for a regenerating walk with children and teenagers for a picnic or a puppet show.

Map

In the following map you can see the location of the main places of interest mentioned in this article

Insights

Bois de Boulogne

Bois de Boulogne

If you want to immerse yourself for a few hours in an immense, neat park a stone's throw from the centre of Paris, you can visit the Bois de Boulogne, perhaps by bicycle.
Champ de Mars

Champ de Mars

The Champ de Mars, one of the largest gardens in Paris, offers the most impressive view of the Eiffel Tower and hosts the big fireworks display on 14 July.
Canal Saint-Martin

Canal Saint-Martin

The Canal Saint-Martin is one of the most romantic spots in Paris, made famous by the film The Fabulous World of Amélie and loved for its vintage, relaxed atmosphere.
Tuileries Garden

Tuileries Garden

The Tuileries Garden has a long history of transformation, abandonment and finally rebirth due to wars, revolutions and rulers, but today it is a favourite place for Parisians to relax.
Luxembourg Gardens

Luxembourg Gardens

The Luxembourg Gardens are home to 35 hectares of French and English-style greenery, landscaped to the finest detail and embellished with fountains, statues and ponds.
Parc de la Villette

Parc de la Villette

The Parc de la Villette is one of the largest parks in Paris and includes a mixture of museums, theatres and children's attractions: a masterpiece of modern urban planning.

How to save on transport and entrance fees

City Card allow you to save on public transport and / or on the entrances to the main tourist attractions.

Paris Museum Pass: 2, 4, or 6 Days
Paris Museum Pass: 2, 4, or 6 Days
Visit more than 60 of the top museums and monuments in and around Paris with a convenient and affordable Paris Museum Pass. Explore famous sites, like the Louvre and Versailles, and visit the Centre Pompidou.
From 79,00 €