Paris is home to some of the most beautiful and best maintained parks in the world. Perfect for a stroll on a warm summer’s afternoon, a nap beside one of the many stunning fountains or to let your children play and run free.
Here are our top 5 favorite parks in Paris:
Jardin du Luxembourg
The famously beautiful Jardin du Luxembourg is located in the 6th arrondissement in the heart of the Latin Quarter and is a favorite amongst locals and visitors alike. The garden was created in 1612 by Marie de Medici, the widow of King Henry IV, as part of the Luxembourg Palace, which now serves as the modern day senate and hosts all sorts of fun things to do.
In the heart of the garden is the stunning round Medici Fountain where children can sail old-fashioned sailboats for hire in the park. Each sailboat boasts the flag of a different country and is steered only by the gentle breezes and a stick.
There is also a lovely puppet theatre, a carousel and multiple large playgrounds for children to play in. There are also several cafes and gazebos for resting and relaxing after a stroll around the gardens, including a small Angelina’s cafe that features luxury patisseries and amazingly rich hot chocolates.
For a more active adventure hire out one of the tennis courts or join the locals in a game of pétanque!
RER B Luxembourg, Metro Rennes
Jardin des Tuileries
Set between the Louvre and Place de la Concorde in the center of Paris is the immaculate Jardin des Tuileries. Created in 1564 by another widowed queen, Catherine de Medici, as the gardens of the Tuileries Palace which used to fill the grounds opposite the Louvre Palace. The palace and gardens get their name from the old tile factories (tuileries in french) from the 13th century which used to make roof tiles for Paris homes.
While the garden was still connected to the old Tuileries Palace, the many kings who resided there changed the gardens to suit their whims. Throughout its history it has been transformed into a hunting ground, riding circuit, orangery and one king even hoped to transform it into a silkworm farm though this was never realized.
Now the Tuileries gardens is home to large walkways and several lovely fountains where children can sail boats and everyone can soak up some sun.
In the summer a large fairground is erected along one side of the park, complete with rides, games and food stalls.
Metro Tuileries, Concorde
Champ de Mars
Best known for its location between the Eiffel Tower and Ecole Militaire, the Champ de Mars is a lovely park with unparalleled views. Enjoy an afternoon walk through the park, snap photos of the Eiffel Tower or enjoy a picnic on the grassy stretch in the center of the park or in one of the more secluded leafy areas on either side of the park.
There is also tons of space for kids to run around, as well as four charming playgrounds! It is well worth also having a ride on the old-fashioned carousel just next to the Eiffel Tower and kids of all ages will love the little puppet theatre and pony rides also available in the park grounds.
Learn more about the Champ de Mars at our Things to See page.
Metro Ecole Militaire, Bir Hakeim.
Jardin des Plantes
The Jardin des Plantes is perfect for photographers, amateur botanists and lovers of nature. It is home to the Botanical gardens of Paris and hosts hundreds of species of plants and flowers, all organized into their respective groups. There is an Alpine garden, a rose garden, an enclosed winter garden in a stunning art deco building, plus Mexican and Australian hothouses boasting collections of their respective origins.
There is also charming little zoo in the park which is a favorite for children and adults alike. The collection of animals is fairly small but they are housed in lovely art deco enclosures which makes for a very unique experience.
For curious minds there are also four museums that surround the garden; the museums of Mineralogy, Paleontology, Entomology and Evolution.
You might need a few days to explore every corner of the Jardin des Plantes, but an afternoon stroll through the gardens, a trip the the zoo and a quick visit to one of the museums is an easy and fun way to spend some time outdoors in Paris.
Metro Jussieu, Gare d’Austerlirz
Bois de Boulogne
Inspired by London’s Hyde Park, the Bois de Boulogne is the second largest park in Paris (the Bois de Vincennes is the largest) and covers 845 hectares, about 2.5 times the size of Central Park! It stretches along the length of the 16th arrondissement and borders the seine along the western edge, so on one side you can enjoy typically Parisian streets and the other a lovely river view.
Nestled in this large park are all sorts of fun things to do and see; like the many man-made lakes, a stunning artificial waterfall, several botanical and landscape gardens, greenhouses hosting thousands of plants, a chateau, a zoo and an amusement park!
The garden is also home of the famous horse track the Hippodrome de Longchamp (namesake for the luxury French fashion brand) and Roland Garros where the French Open tennis tournament is held.
Whether you spend a day exploring one of the many attractions in the park, or just enjoy a jog or a stroll, the Bois de Boulogne is a lovely place to spend some time while in Paris. Just make sure to enjoy the park during the daytime when it truly is safe and family friendly, there are areas within the park that become less wholesome at night.
RER C Gare de Neuilly – Porte Maillot, Porte Dauphine, Avenue Henri Martin. Metro Porte D’Auteuil.
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