Ready to explore Paris’ picturesque parks and gardens? Grab a baguette, some brie, perhaps a bottle of local wine, and head out to one of the best-loved spots in the city.
10 of the best and most famous parks in Paris include:
- Bois de Boulogne
- Bois de Vincennes
- Parc Floral de Paris
- Parc des Buttes-Chaumont
- Jardin du Luxembourg
- Jardin des Tuileries
- Parc de Belleville
- Jardin des Plantes
- Parc Monceau
- Jardin Anne-Frank
Let’s explore these beautiful spaces a little further, so you can choose the one that suits you best.
1. Bois de Boulogne
Bois de Boulogne is among the best-known parks in the city. Emperor Napoleon III began building it in 1952 to offer ordinary Parisians more natural space. Boulogne is one of the so-called ‘lungs of Paris’, alongside the Bois de Vincennes, which flanks the city to the east.
There’s something for everyone at the Boulogne park, from two lakes and a waterfall to a botanical garden, the Louis Vuitton Foundation, and the beautiful Shakespeare garden. This vast park is a favourite among locals and visitors alike. Head there for a picnic or stroll, or catch an event or some open-air theatre in the summer months.
What you shouldn't miss: the botanical garden, the Louis Vuitton Foundation, and the rose garden of Parc de Bagatelle.
2. Bois de Vincennes
Bois de Vincennes, or ‘Wood of Vincennes’, is Boulogne’s counterpart and the largest of the two parks. Vincennes is packed with woods, gardens, fields, and lakes which give visitors the impression of being far away from urban life.
Stroll along shaded walking trails or cycle, fish, picnic, or sightsee in this beautiful Parisian gem. The park attracts mostly locals, making it a great spot to escape the bustle of landmarks and fashionable boulevards. The area gave up its role as a royal residence in the 1660s when King Louis XIV began moving his court to Versailles. However, Bois de Vincennes remains the home of France’s best-preserved medieval fortress.
What you shouldn't miss: the botanical garden, the zoo, and the Château de Vincennes.
3. Parc Floral de Paris
The Parc Floral de Paris is most popular among nature lovers. Located in the heart of the Bois de Vincennes, the park features 35 hectares of garden and world-renowned floral collections.
Explore over 3,000 types of plants, or head to Parc Floral for events and exhibitions throughout the year. This area is one of the highlights of Vincennes with lots to explore, plenty of beautiful spots to relax, and family activities including miniature golf and table tennis.
What you shouldn't miss: the Japanese bonsai pavilion, the azalea garden, and lots of activities for kids.
4. Parc des Buttes-Chaumont
Parc des Buttes-Chaumont is an informal greenspace that’s well worth a stroll during your time in the city. It’s set in the 19th arrondissement, which makes it even more intriguing as it’s far from the tourist trail.
Explore gently winding paths or sit for a while beneath the French sun. There are two places to stop off for refreshments in the park, the bar Rosa Bonheur and Pavillon Puebla, which is set inside a charming Napoleon III-era listed house. Grab a coffee or a cocktail for the perfect way to finish your day at the park.
What you shouldn't miss: the Temple de la Sibylle, Gustave Eiffel’s suspension bridge, and the waterfall in the Grotto.
5. Jardin du Luxembourg
The Jardin du Luxembourg, or Luxembourg Gardens, is in the 6th arrondissement, nestled between Saint-Germain-des-Prés and the Latin Quarter. The beautifully landscaped gardens are inspired by the Boboli Gardens in Florence, making them the first in France to be influenced by Italian Baroque style.
These gardens are also a meeting point for many of the most enthusiastic chess players in the city. If you fancy a game, challenge one of the more relaxed-seeming locals or get there early to secure your own table.
What you shouldn't miss: model boat sailing, the ancient orchard, and 106 statues and sculptures.
6. Jardin des Tuileries
The Tuileries gardens are in the bustling 1st arrondissement, making them one of Paris’ most central gardens and a perfect place to visit after the Louvre or during a hot day in the city. Thanks to the traditional French formal garden style, Tuileries is popular with tourists and Parisians alike.
There are two ponds to relax beside, as well as an art gallery featuring work from Monet, and the famous Fête des Tuileries fairground running from June to August.
What you shouldn't miss: the Musée de l’Orangerie art gallery, three restaurants, and Fête des Tuileries in the summer.
7. Parc de Belleville
The sloping lawns of Parc de Belleville, in the 20th arrondissement of Paris, are a perfect place to relax with views across the city. As far as panoramas go, this is one of the best. The landscape was created in 1988 to bring a much-needed breath of green into the area.
If you’re looking for a park to visit with the kids, choose Belleville for its large wooden play area and the longest slide in Paris! The lawn is another beautiful place for children to play while you relax and take in views of the city.
What you shouldn't miss: views of the city, the longest children’s slide in Paris, and a small heritage vineyard.
8. Jardin des Plantes
With a name like the Garden of Plants, you know you’re in for something special when you visit this sprawling park in the 5th arrondissement. This Parisian nature retreat is home to a botanic garden at the cutting edge of research, offering visitors a varied experience like no other.
Discover ancient trees including an over 300-years-old pistachio tree, stroll through French gardens, or explore museums within this garden of science. There’s also an excellent zoo, a restaurant, and a bookshop, so you’re sure to please everyone when you plan a visit here.
What you shouldn't miss: more than 10,000 species in the botanical garden, the menagerie, and the Grand Gallery of Evolution.
9. Parc Monceau
Parc Monceau is one of the most beautiful parks in Paris and a perfect reflection of the wealthy district in which it sits. Stroll around and look out for various statues, a Renaissance archway, towering trees, and a diverse bird population.
The park is also surrounded by breathtaking Parisian mansions, so take a walk around the outskirts to see how elegant locals live. There’s a café to pick up refreshments, and a playground for children, perfect for keeping the little ones engaged.
What you shouldn't miss: the children’s playground, the traditional French bridge, and statues of famous figures.
10. Jardin Anne-Frank
This small but meaningful community garden is a perfect place to stop for a rest if you’re in the neighbourhood. Overlooked by the Museum of the Art and History of Judaism, this little park was built to commemorate Anne Frank.
The Jardin Anne-Frank is home to a vegetable garden, a pergola, a small children’s playground, and several benches to take it all in.
What you shouldn't miss: the young chestnut tree, taken from the original tree mentioned in Anne Frank’s diary.
Taking the train to Paris
Many of the best parks in Paris are in its outer neighbourhoods, and you can easily reach them by train if your hotel is in the city centre. Commuting around the French capital couldn’t be easier. With lots of stops and stations scattered throughout the city, there’s sure to be one just a stone’s throw from your greenspace of choice.
For local travel, look out for a Metro or underground RER service, which can have you in another part of the city in moments. Pick up a day ticket and flit around at leisure, or buy a single fare to get you from A to B. Just remember to validate your ticket at one of the yellow machines on your platform.
There are six major train stations in Paris, which mostly link up the city with other parts of France and Europe. For example, you can travel from Lyon to Paris and from Bordeaux to Paris in about 2 hours on SNCF fastest services. From the UK, you can get to Paris in a little over 2 hours thanks to the direct services operated by Eurostar on the route from London to Paris.
With such reliable and convenient train travel in Paris, spend less time worrying about the logistics of your trip and enjoy your time away!