It’s often said that in comparison with other major cities such as London and New York, Paris is severely lacking in green space. And while this may well be true in terms of park size, beautiful squares and gardens are there to be found, if only you know where to look… One such example of a beautiful Parisian Park is Parc Monceau, which is tucked away in the 8th arrondissement of the city!
After all, on a warm summer’s day or sunny crisp fall day, there’s perhaps nothing better to do in the city than head to a park and soak up some rays, relax with a good book, or simply sit on a welcoming bench and watch the world go by. Parc Monceau is home to the typical fare such as a Parisian carousel, plenty of meandering pathways, and of course plenty of beautifully maintained borders. But what makes this Parisian garden that much more unusual is its wealth of 19th-century follies and monuments.
A quick google search showed that Monceau Park is a beautiful gem in the very heart of the 8e arrondissement of Paris. The nearest metro stations are Malsherbes (line 3) and Monceau (line 2). The park itself is an oasis of green in the heart of the city. There are few tourists there and it’s a place where real Parisians go to escape the hustle and bustle of daily city life.
A brief history of Parc Monceau
Created in 1778 by Phillip D’Orleans, Duke of Chartres (a wealthy cousin of King Louis XVI), the medium-sized park is filled with grottoes, follies and meandering rivers crossed by elegant bridges. Unusually for Paris and even France, much of the garden has been created in an ‘English‘ style. The original garden featured a Dutch windmill, a Roman colonnade, an Italian vineyard, a grotto and a mini Egyptian pyramid. Many of these features are still present today!
Sat on a small bench to myself, near a particularly beautiful water feature, it was easy to forget that I was still in the very heart of one of the World’s most visited capital cities. You could barely hear the distant buzz of traffic noise amidst the calls of local wildlife and families enjoying a day out in the sunshine. It’s the perfect place to read a book, eat a picnic, go for a walk, or even smell some roses…
Attractions close to Parc Monceau
Of course, the 8th arrondissement of the city is jam-packed with plenty of Haussmannian architecture, many a café, several churches, and even a couple of museums. As such, you can’t go wrong by dedicating at least a little of your time in Paris to exploring this oh-so-French arrondissement.
Arc de Triomphe: Other than the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe is probably the most iconic monument Paris has to offer. Located in the 8th arrondissement, if you pay for one activity while in Paris, make it ascending the spiralling steps to enjoy the sunset from the top. Purchase your Skip-the-Queue Arc de Triomphe Rooftop Tickets here in advance.
Champs Élysées: The world-famous street is characterised by its wide boulevard and wealth of shops and eateries. Filled with the big brand names you’d expect to find anywhere in the world, at one end you’ll find the Arc de Triomphe, while the other end leads onto Place de la Concorde.
Musée Jacquemart André: One of the more unusual things to do in Paris is to visit the sumptuous house museum of Jacquemart André. Filled with Renaissance-era furniture and a collection of Italian Renaissance works to rival any museum in Italy, this stunning cultural space is well worth a visit.