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Bois de Boulogne Boat Rental Paris, France!

Is there anything more relaxing than being on the water? Whether it be at sea, on a lake or floating in the swimming pool, there is just something to alluring about spending time on the water. If you’re looking for something to do on the weekend in Paris but don’t fancy straying too far from the city, then you need look no further! Bois de Boulogne boat rental is the perfect activity for a Sunday afternoon…

bois de boulogne boat rental

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If you don’t feel like going for a Sunday Brunch in Paris, or for one of the matcha lattés at Palais Royal, then why not try your hand at paddling your way around the largest lake in Bois de Boulogne for a couple of hours? While you’re in Bois de Boulogne, be sure to also check out Parc de Bagatelle, which is one of four botanical gardens in Paris and is nestled right in the heart of the forest.

renting a boat in bois de boulogne
renting a boat in bois de boulogne

A history of Bois de Boulogne

The park of Bois de Boulogne is one of the most famous (not to mention one of the largest) in the city. With little parks like Parc Monceau being the norm, larger parks like Bois de Boulogne and Bois de Vincennes are harder to get to (since they’re on the fringes of the city).

Declared a public park under the reign of Emperor Napoleon in 1852, it’s about 2.5x larger than Central Park in New York. Very much unlike Central Park in New York, Bois de Boulogne is home to a Château (named Bagatelle), and English Landscape Garden, an amusement park and the tennis courts.

I say ‘the’ because it’s where the French Open is held! The wood also happens to be home to the chic art collection and museum, the Louis Vuitton Foundation. Bois de Boulogne is in the district of Paris that’s known as the 16th arrondissement.

renting a boat in bois de boulogne
haha, me on the boat!

Bois de Boulogne Boat Rental

Not only is there a palatial garden and a château, but there’s also the chance to row on the largest lake in the park (obviously the best bit)! What’s more is that you can even spot the Eiffel Tower from the lake where you rent boats!

The rowboats themselves are wooden and can take a little bit of effort to get going. This has been a popular activity in the Parisian park for several decades and is perfect for the summer months when the weather is warm and the sun is shining.

renting a boat in bois de boulogne

How to rent a boat

Although it’s free to visit Bois de Boulogne (with the exception of the Bagatelle gardens), you have to pay to rent the boats. When you rent a boat, you have to put down a €50 deposit in cash (or a cheque). In order to rent a boat, you should head to Service Des Bateaux Du Bois De Boulogne (which is clearly listed in Google Maps if you type it in).

In order to make the most of your day out, I highly recommend going with a group of friends- you can sit up to 4 people per boat. Don’t panic about getting your cash deposit back as this is returned promptly with the return of the boat!

Boats cost €8 for 30 minutes and €12 for an hour. You can typically rent boats from mid-February to late October though the exact timings when the boat rental service opens changes on a yearly basis: 12 midday – 5pm Monday-Friday, 10am-6pm at weekends. And if you’re wondering what to wear/ pack for renting the boat?

Well, I’d suggest wearing comfortable shoes as you have to climb into the boats! I’d also recommend clothes you don’t mind getting wet as how much you get splashed definitely depends on the rowing ability of your boat crew!

On a side note, when I went with my boyfriend and his family, I noticed that a number of people had definitely come prepared. People had brought Parisian picnics complete with wine and cheese. To be honest, it didn’t look like a bad idea!

renting a boat in bois de boulogne

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Renting a boat in Bois de Boulogne, Paris, France

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Offbeat Paris: 7 Secret Spots To See In Paris | We Are Travel Girls

Thursday 1st of March 2018

[…] of greenery that serves as an ideal escape from the noise. And what better way to do so than “boating on the forest’s lake“? While a perfect romantic choice for a couple, it can also be a splendid way for a solo […]

Joanna

Monday 31st of October 2016

The deposit is quite high for renting a boat, I wonder why is though. I would like to rent one if I visit, I think that rowing on a lake is very relaxing and easy, and a great way to be near the water on a sunny day. It's amazing that from some angles you can even see the Eiffel tower!

Jan Michael

Monday 31st of October 2016

Isn't it expensive to rent this boat? well i think because it is in Europe then everything is expensive. :) anyway, it looks worth to get a boat and explore the beautiful place JM | Man Of Wanders

Munchkin Treks

Sunday 30th of October 2016

Padding around Bois de Boulogne sounds amazing! I enjoyed reading about the history of the park as well. I have been to Paris a few times but have never visited Bois de Boulogne. I will definitely have to keep it in mind on my next trip.

Allison

Sunday 30th of October 2016

I agree I am always drawn to the water. I would definitely rent the boat. Have no interest in the tennis though lol. I had no idea this was possible in Paris and I missed it in my last two visits. Next time!

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