Last Updated on 19th August 2019 by Sophie Nadeau
So you’ve mastered the art of the Parisian picnic and gathered a few friends together: now what? Well, now you’ll have to find some of the best picnic spots in Paris to enjoy your lovely baguettes, cheese, and wine! To help you out, I’ve put together a little guide to some of my favourite little spots in the city…
Somewhere along the Seine…
How could a picnic spot in Paris be any more iconic than being able to sit down and see an iconic Parisian landmark? Picture yourself sitting somewhere along one of the long quays that run alongside the Seine and looking onto Notre Dame Cathedral.
Your picnic is off to a pretty good start, right? Sipping on fruit juice, chatting with friends and watching all of the boats go by (oh, and waving to the occasional passenger); setting up a picnic on a little blanket along the Seine is definitely my go-to picnic place of choice.
Parc des Buttes Chaumont, 1 Rue Botzaris, 75019 Paris, France
Few places in Paris can boast a view like that of Parc des Buttes Chaumont. Created in the mid 19th Century, it was constructed under the supervision of Alphand (the same guy who had undertaken the massive projects of turning Bois de Boulogne and Bois de Vincennes into public parks).
The park is a short distance from one of Paris’ best-kept secrets, the forgotten village of Butte Bergeyre. This park is sprawling and boasts attractions such as a grotto, temple and even a whole load of cherry blossoms in the spring!
In a more secluded area than along the Seine (and as a result, with fewer tourists), Canal Saint Martin is the kind of place you can come and enjoy your Parisian picnic among locals. By night, this quirky area of Paris becomes a hotspot for bars, cafés and even people playing Boules with their friends. Oh, and it holds a kind of special significance for me because that bridge in the picture below is where Robin (my boyfriend) and I sat and drank wine the first time we met…
Place des Vosges, 75004 Paris, France
Nestled in the very heart of Le Marais district of Paris, Place des Vosges is one of the most impressive squares that Paris has to offer. With abundant green grass and some of the finest architecture (that’s not Haussmann) that the city has to offer, it’s the perfect place to grab a bite to eat before setting off to explore the area. Nearby, you can find gems like the oldest house in Paris and some of the best gelatos you’ll ever eat…
Parc Monceau (Monceau Park), 35 Boulevard de Courcelles, 75008 Paris, France
A real gem of the 8th arrondissement, Parc Monceau is one of my favourite places to head to on a sunny day. It’s also lacking on tourists and it’s here where you can find real locals hanging out. So practice those French skills, pack up your picnic and head to one of the greenest spots in Paris!
Bois de Boulogne, 75016 Paris, France
Commissioned by Napoleon in the 19th-Century, Bois de Boulogne is one of the most popular family attractions that the city has to offer. As the largest park in Paris, here you can find gardens galore, wooded scenery and even a Château. With all the activities on offer, it’s possible to spend an entire day just in the woods. Oh, and after your picnic (or even during), you can even rent a boat and row around the lake. To be honest, when I visited, there were even people munching a picnic (red wine glasses and all) while actually rowing!
Your own Parisian apartment
Yes, Paris can be expensive if you want to dine out… However, if you want to have your very own Parisian feast for a slice of the cost of any other picnic, then cook up your own buffet at home! Plus, if you’re in your own air BnB rental (sign up here for credit towards your first booking), or at a friend’s house, you can serve hot food to go along with your strawberries, wine etc…
One of the many hidden Vineyards around the city
Yes, it’s true! There are a whole lot of secret vineyards hiding around the city. From the slopes of Montmartre to the hidden area of Parc Georges Brassens, you’re never very far away from a vineyard. Of all the best picnic spots in Paris, heading to a hidden vineyard has to be my favourite option of them all. Wander around the hidden vines to experience life outside the big city without ever leaving its peripherique…