It’s often said that Paris is lacking in green spaces. However, one visit to the city and you’ll see that this just isn’t the case. The problem with Paris isn’t that it lacks green spaces… it’s more that they’re often difficult to find. One of my favourite spaces in the city to enjoy a picnic, stroll around and enjoy nature is Parc Andre Citroen.
The park also happens to have a hot air balloon, a hidden gem offering unparalleled views over the city and across to the Eiffel Tower…
Parc Andre Citroen
Located in the 15e arrondissement of Paris, not far from Tour Montparnasse, you’ll find one of the greenest places Paris has to offer. Founded in 1992, and named after Andre Citroen (yes, like the car!), the park is located on the site of a former Citroën factory. At its opening, it was one of the largest parks to have opened in the city in more than a century.
Today, the park offers a wide range of facilities. The landscaped gardens have maintained an industrial aesthetic, and fountains dot the surrounding area. Rare and exotic plants can be found throughout the gardens and greenhouses, as well as play facilities. Ping-Pong tables, a ball games area, and, of course, the hot air balloavailablel availbale within the borders of the park.
To the fringes of the park, you’ll find plenty of modern buildings. This is the new Paris. The part of the city that is often left out of guidebooks, but where locals live and work. One of my favourite pieces of architecture in the entire city is located here. Not far from the lawn where the hot air balloon resides, you’ll find an entirely mirrored building. Shimmering in the sunlight, it’s the perfect place to practice camera settings!
Remains of the Petite Ceinture
As a park that lies on the fringes of the city, it’s not at all surprising that Parc Andre Citroen contains some remains of the Petite Ceinture. Napoleon’s Secret Railway once transported goods throughout Paris via a railway track which encircled the city. Although there are no railway tracks remaining in the park, you can retrace the path the track once went along.
Hot Air Balloon Rides (Ballon Generali)
Of course, the main attraction of Parc André Citroën is its hot air balloon. After all, the park is one of the only places in the city where you can find hot air balloon rides. Rather than seeing the city via a rooftop terrace, why not enjoy a bird’s eye view from a balloon?
The hot air balloon can fit up to 30 passengers and rises up to 300m into the air (though it tends to stick at 150m). This makes the Ballon Generali is one of the highest viewpoints in the city, second only to the Eiffel Tower.
Each year the balloon welcomes 50,000 visitors into the clouds above Paris. The tethered helium balloon offers rides lasting approximately 10 minutes. From the top, you get 360-degree views over the city, even across to the Eiffel Tower. Along with nearby Tour Montparnasse, this is one of the best viewpoints the city has to offer. Balloon rides are €12 for an adult. You can find opening times and further prices on the
Along with nearby Tour Montparnasse, this is one of the best viewpoints the city has to offer. Balloon rides are €12 for an adult. You can find opening times and further prices on the Ballon Generali’s Website.