Green spaces are always hidden in the strangest of places in Paris. From rooftop gardens in the most unexpected locations to little enclaves tucked away at the end of seemingly dead-end alleyways, here’s your complete guide to the best green spaces, gardens, and parks in Paris that are totally worth your time (and most definitely worth a visit!)
- #1 Bois de Boulogne
- #2 Jardin du Luxembourg
- #3 Bois de Vincennes
- #4 Square René Viviani
- #5 Jardin des Tuileries
- #6 Parc des Buttes Chaumont
- #7 Parc Monceau
- #8 Parc de Belleville
- #9 Parc André Citroën
- #10 Square du Vert Galant
- #11 Parc Montsouris
- #12 Jardin Atlantique
- #13 Parisian-style park day trip: Sceaux
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#1 Bois de Boulogne
Located in the 16e arrondissement of the city, Bois de Boulogne is the second largest public park in Paris and first started out as a hunting park for royalty complete with its own château. Today, it’s where you’ll find the greenhouses of Auteuil, the Grand Cascade falls, as well as the opportunity to rent and row a boat on the glittering waters.
#2 Jardin du Luxembourg
Not far from the Paris Pantheon and close to Saint Sulpice (you know, that crumbling church from the Da Vinci Code), Jardin du Luxembourg is ever filled with flowering plants and perfectly manicured gardens.
During the summer months, small wooden boats float across the waters and the area surrounding the Medici fountain provides a cool little escape from the summer sun.
#3 Bois de Vincennes
Complete with a fortified château and moat, Bois de Vincennes is the largest of the parks in Paris. Easy to get to by hopping on metro line one (the yellow metro which cuts its way through central Paris, stopping off at key destinations like La Defense, Charles de Gaulle d’Étoile, and Hôtel de Ville), you can reach Bois de Vincennes within ten minutes from the centre of the city!
Highlights of the park include an English landscape garden and four lakes, one of which you can rent boats on in the summer months. Other things to do in Bois de Vincennes include visiting the medieval Chateau de Vincennes and taking a peek inside one of the last remaining Sainte Chapelle churches in France.
#4 Square René Viviani
Located alongside the Seine and not far from the iconic Anglophone Bookshop, Shakespeare, and Co, Square René Viviani is home to what is reportedly the oldest tree in Paris. Located on the site of a former 6th-century cemetery, nearby places of interest include the cherry blossoms of Notre Dame, as well as the church of Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre.
#5 Jardin des Tuileries
In the very heart of the city, Jardin des Tuileries may well be the most famous of all Paris parks. Home to iconic sites such as the Orangerie (where you’ll find Monet’s waterlilies), and of course, next to the Louvre Museum, the Jardin des Tuileries are free to visit and got their name from the tile factories which used to sit on site.
#6 Parc des Buttes Chaumont
Of all the best parks in Paris, the Parc des Buttes Chaumont may well be my favourite. And not just because it’s filled with follies, winding pathways, and even its own grotto complete with waterfall. Instead, it’s also a little off the beaten tourist track and where the locals actually hang out.
Perfect for if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, but not the city limits, head to Buttes Chaumont to see a different side of Paris, as well as a glimpse of Paris’ secret and abandoned railway line, the Petite Ceinture.
#7 Parc Monceau
The leafy 8e arrondissement is pretty, chic, and located on the right bank of the Seine. Home to the ever famous Champs Élysées, as well as the Arc de Triomphe (you seriously have to climb this iconic Parisian monument at sunset when you visit the city!), it’s also where you’ll find Parc Monceau. This pretty park is filled with plenty of follies and surrounded by Haussmannian architecture, making it the perfect spot to enjoy a picnic or simply read a book.
#8 Parc de Belleville
Located in the 20e arrondissement, somewhere between Père Lachaise Cemetery and Parc des Buttes Chaumont, Parc de Belleville offers breathtaking views of Paris (including that of the Eiffel Tower) and even has its own secret vineyard, one of the few remaining within the city limits to this day.
#9 Parc André Citroën
Named for a car factory which once stood on the same site, Parc André Citroën is a blend of old meets new, and traditional meets quirky. While parts of the park are the traditional flower beds and grassy green lawns that you might expect to find anywhere in the city, one section of the green space was formerly part of the Petite Ceinture
Meanwhile, more modern designs in this area reflect the park’s industrial past. Elsewhere in the park, a hot air balloon whisks visitors into the sky on a daily basis, offering some of the best views of the city from above.
#10 Square du Vert Galant
Situated just below the illustrious Pont Neuf (which is ironically the oldest still standing bridge in Paris, despite being called ‘New Bridge’), the Square du Vert Galant is characterised by its weeping willow tree and sweeping vistas over the River Seine, as well as the left and right banks of the city.
The perfect spot to enjoy a picnic with friends along the Seine during the summer months, Square du Vert Galant can be found on the most Western edge of Île de la Cité. In use as baths before being used as a concert cafe, the land was ceded to the City of Paris in 1864 and has been used as a park ever since.
#11 Parc Montsouris
Located in the 14th arrondissement of Paris, one of the most delightful peaceful spots in the city is that of Parc Montsouris. Parc Montsouris even boasts a small piece of the Petite Ceinture, a former railway which once encircled Paris and was abandoned during the 20th-century in favour of the more efficient metro.
Parc Montsouris was established in 1875 as a public park and is one of the four largest public parks in the French capital. Some of the more interesting features of the park include a waterfalls, large lawns, a guignol theatre, and countless species of trees and flowers.
#12 Jardin Atlantique
One particular hidden gem of both the 14th and 15th arrondissement that I discovered quite by accident a few months ago when strolling around the area with my boyfriend is that of the Jardin Atlantique.
An elevated green space on the rooftop of Gare Montparnasse, this tranquil area is home to a number of smaller subdivided ‘themed’ gardens. The border between the 14th and 15th actually passes straight through the middle of the garden, firmly placing it in both Parisian districts.
#13 Parisian-style park day trip: Sceaux
Any garden enthusiast who also wants to escape the city and head on a day trip from Paris simply must head to the beautiful Sceaux Park. Complete with its own fairytale castle and expansive landscaped gardens, you can’t go wrong by hopping on the train and heading to this picturesque French town for an afternoon or so. Best seen in spring when the cherry blossoms are in bloom and the birds are singing, Sceaux is easy to reach from Paris- you simply have to hop on the ReR B at Chatelet!