Luxembourg Garden Paris metal chairs

14 Of The Best Parks In Paris

14 Of The Best Parks In Paris

Last updated on March 9th, 2022

Paris is a city that spoils its residents and locals in so many ways. In this post, we’ll visit the best parks in Paris and see where you can have that perfect picnic lunch, or just grab a break from all that walking in the City of Lights.

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I had the privilege of spending three memorable months in Paris and what I loved the most about Paris, is that the city is made for people to live in it. Every neighborhood has everything its residents need: from schools to bakeries to beautiful green spaces.

I’ve listed my favorite Parisian parks in this post and you’ll find a link to the park’s neighborhood guide in nearly all the listings. The best thing is to visit these parks as you explore the neighborhood – so whenever you need a break, know that you’re never too far from one of these urban gems.

Before we head out to explore the most beautiful parks in Paris, it’s important to note that most parks shut their gates when night falls. It’s a good idea to avoid Parisian parks as it gets dark outside, but during the daytime, you will have no problems. Paris is a big city after all, with big-city dangers – so just use your common sense.

Bois de Boulogne – Western Paris

Metro Station: Porte Dauphine

Modeled after London’s Hyde Park, the Bois de Boulogne is a place that Parisians flock to if they want to visit the countryside without leaving town. Miles and miles of tracks snake their way across this massive park, which seems more like a forest at times. The highlight is no doubt renting an old fashioned rowboat and hanging out with the baby ducks in the giant lake. During May & June, you might even hear the roar of the crowd as Rafael Nadal makes another impossible shot, next door at the Roland Garros. The only things to watch out for are the poison ivy during the summer months and the drug dealers during the night.

Bois de Boulogne Paris romantic park

Bois de Boulogne Lake

Bois de Boulogne paris park rowing

Bois de Boulogne Paris park

Bois de Boulogne

Parc Montsouris – Southern Paris

Metro Station: Glacière

A creepy surprise awaits you as you enter Parc Montsouris from the Rue Liard entrance. Right beneath you, is an ominous-looking abandoned railroad track. This is Chemin de fer de Petite Ceinture (‘little belt railway’), a railway that was constructed in the mid 19th century to connect all the major stations in Paris. It has been abandoned since the 1930s but is still a popular sight. There’s something about abandoned tunnels that just fires up our imagination. Maybe in this case it’s because it is rumored that you can secretly enter the Catacombs from here…

abandoned paris railroad Chemin de fer de Petite Ceinture

The park itself was opened up in 1869 as the designated large green space for the southern residents of Paris. It was built on the site of a former quarry with the added complexity of having miles of Catacomb tunnels right beneath. Dissected in the middle by one of the RER lines, Parc Montsouris offers wide stretches of grass to relax on and a lake that makes you forget you’re in the middle of Paris. The park itself is not a ‘must-see’, but if you’re exploring the Butte aux Cailles, this will be a nice spot to end the day.

Parc MontSouris Paris
Pro Tip

Have a look at this Montparnasse & Southern Paris itinerary and see what else is around the park.

Parc des Buttes Chaumont – Northeastern Paris

Metro Station: Buttes Chaumont

One of the best parks in Paris, the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont is another masterpiece created out of a disused quarry. Opened in 1867, the park’s main feature is the towering rock coming out of its central lake. You can get there via a suspension bridge or even rent a boat to chill out in the water. It’s a popular spot for the area’s residents and you won’t find too many tourists around here, as the major tourist attractions are a 15-minute metro ride away. Grab a spot on the grassy hill overlooking Paris and enjoy the views!

Parc des Buttes-Chaumont east paris

Parc des Buttes-Chaumont paris
Pro Tip

Visit the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont on a day spent exploring the Canal Saint-Martin area!

Champs de Mars – Eiffel Tower District

Metro Stations:  La Motte-Picquet–Grenelle, École Militaire, Champ de Mars-Tour Eiffel

Extending from the Ecole Militaire to the Eiffel Tower, the Champs de Mars is one of the most popular photo spots in Paris. On a fine day, grab a spot on the grass, lie down – and enjoy the view of the Eiffel Tower right in front of your eyes. This grassy field was used back in the day for military drills and after the French Revolution, was the site of festivals celebrating the new freedom. As a rule of thumb, the further away you walk from the Eiffel Tower (in the direction of Ecole Militaire), the less you’ll be bothered by touts selling you cheap souvenirs.

From of Eiffel Tower from Champ de Mars. Paris

Esplanade Jacques Chaban-Delmas – Eiffel Tower District

Metro Stations: Saint-François-Xavier, Sèvres – Lecourbe

Still in the Eiffel Tower district, the Esplanade Jacques Chaban-Delmas is worth stopping by en route to the Rodin Museum. You might even have this narrow park all to yourself, with a great view across to the Eglise du Dome – where Napoleon Bonaparte is buried under a giant dome.

Esplanade Jacques Chaban-Delmas

The Rodin Museum – Eiffel Tower District

Metro Station: Varenne

Not technically a park but worth a mention, the Rodin Museum has one of the prettiest gardens in all of Paris. The museum is a beautiful mansion dedicated to the famous French sculpture, but you can just hang around in the gardens for a mere €2 if you feel like you’ve got museum phobia. This ended up being one of the highlights of my 3-month visit to Paris. The gardens are simply beautiful and scattered across the property are famous ironworks likes the Gates of Hell and The Thinker. It’s the perfect spot to laze around for a few hours on a sunny day.

Rodin Mudeum Paris gardens and fountain
Rodin the thinker and gates of hell Paris
Picnic in Rodin Museum Paris
Rodin museum Paris
Pro Tip

The Eiffel Tower district is one of my favorites in Paris. Check out this travel guide for the 7th arrondissement.

Parc Monceau – 8th Arrondissement

Metro Station: Monceau

Lined with unbelievably fancy mansions on its perimeter, you can easily tell that Parc Monceau was designed as the playground for the wealthy aristocrats of the 8th arrondissement. Built in 1779 by the Duke of Chartres, beautiful gilded gates greet you as you enter, and from the western end, you can even catch a glimpse of the Arc de Triomphe. Check out the rotunda and the other architectural highlights in the park, or just grab a spot with the rest of the locals and kill a few hours. Popular with joggers and families, if you’ll come during the week you’ll see schoolchildren playing at lunchtime and if you come during the weekend, picnics are the signature mark of the park. Not too many tourists make it here, but with one of the best markets in Paris just 5 minutes away at Rue de Levis – a picnic in one of the most beautiful parks in Paris is not a bad idea.

Parc Monceau Paris Gates

Parc Monceau Paris

Parc Monceau Paris - yoga in the park
Parc Monceau Paris picnic

Continue to the next page to see the rest of the best park in Paris!

Palais Royale – Grands Boulevards

Metro Stop: Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre

You can rarely enter the former palace that now houses government offices but the highlight is the garden which occupies the courtyard. It’s another one of those romantic spots in Paris and a great place to take a quiet break, away from the madness of the city. For such a beautiful spot, it seems to get less traffic than it deserves – perhaps due to its somewhat secretive entrance. Lining the garden are lots of antique shops and if you’re a fan of old coins and stamps – you’ll have a blast. At the southern entrance, you’ll find Cafe Le Nemours, with one of the best terraces in Paris for people watching and a prime spot to watch the extraordinary street performances which usually take place in the square.

Palais Royal Paris

Jardins du Palais Royal Paris

Paris romantic spot Jardins du Palais Royal Paris

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Chilling at Jardins du Palais Royal Paris

Playing petanque Jardins du Palais Royal Paris
Pro Tip

See what else is around Parc Monceau & the Palais Royale with this guide to the Paris Grands Boulevards.

Place des Vosges – Marais

Metro stop: Saint-Paul

When things got too crowded on Ile de la Cite & Ile Saint Louis, the aristocrats of Paris erected their mansions across the right bank in the former marshy ground known as the Marais. Even the king took notice and Henri IV planned his royal palace right here, complete with a beautiful square to catch some fresh air. Lucky for us, the palace moved to Versailles and today, Place des Vosges is one of the prettiest parks in Paris. It’s the perfect spot to catch some sun, have a picnic or catch up on some sleep – and the best part is that it’s in one of the coolest neighborhoods in Paris.

Place de Vosges Marais Paris

Place de vosges marais picnic girls

Place de Vosges

Relaxing at Place de Vosges Paris
Pro Tip

The Marais is best explored on a Sunday in Paris. Read more about this neighborhood and plan your visit.

Jardin des Plantes – Latin Quarter

Metro Stations: Gare d’Austerlitz, Place Monge

The massive complex that makes up the Jardin des Plantes started as a medicinal herb garden in the 17th century and you can still stroll through its collection of plants today. Today, the giant green lung is the largest botanical garden in France. If you’re into tropical plants or just want to warm up a bit, head inside the hothouses where you can even climb up to canopy level.

Aside from just walking the beautiful grounds of the Jardin des Plantes, you can also visit a small zoo, an impressive rose garden, and the Museum of Natural History. So there’s plenty to do rain or shine at the Jardin des Plantes. Most tourists head over to the nearby Luxembourg Garden, leading to a more intimate feel in this park.

Jardin des Plantes Paris

Jardin des Plantes Paris hothouses

Jardin des Plantes Paris flower

Jardin des Plantes Paris panoramic view

Jardin des Plantes Paris museum natural history

René Viviani Square – Latin Quarter

Metro Stations: Saint-Michel, Cluny – La Sorbonne

Good things often come in small sizes and if you need a short break as you explore the Latin Quarter, grab a seat on one of the benches at René Viviani Square. The view across the Seine to the Notre Dame is priceless and the massive broken tree is said to be one the oldest in Paris!

René Viviani Square Paris
Pro Tip

The Latin Quarter is not something you want to miss. Check out this Latin Quarter itinerary guide.

Square du Vert Galant – Île de la Cité

Metro Stations: Pont Neuf, Cité

This tiny sliver of land just might be the most romantic spot in Paris. Sitting at the very tip of Île de la Cité, this is the spot to go if you want to enjoy a romantic picnic on the Seine. You’ll be treated to views of both river banks and couples celebrating their love around you. It’s Paris after all…

Square du Vert Galant - Île de la Cité Paris Park

Picnic on Seine Paris
Pro Tip

Île de la Cité is the birthplace of Paris with tons of must-see highlights. Have a look at this itinerary guide to the islands of Paris.

Tuileries Garden – Champs Elysees Area

Metro Station: Tuileries

Connecting the Louvre with Place de la Concorde, there are few more pleasant walks in Paris than walking the length of the Tuileries Garden. The location, beauty, and symmetry are unrivaled throughout the town. It’s one of the most beautiful parks in Paris and one of the best urban parks in the entire world – you don’t want to miss this (and probably won’t).  

The center of the Tuileries Garden is the most superb section. Grab one of the metal chairs that are randomly scattered throughout the garden and catch some sun next to the central pond. Around you are Classical sculptures, some by famous artists like Rodin and the finely cut lawns certainly add an element a royalty to this park that once housed a palace. As you head towards Place de la Concorde, on both sides are dozens of chestnut trees that are just a haven on a hot and muggy Parisian summer day. 

Tuileries Gardens Paris fountain view

Tuileries Gardens view of concorde

Tuileries Gardens Paris

Tuileries Gardens Cafe
Pro Tip

The Champs Elysees area is not just about fancy boutiques. See what else is around with this itinerary guide.

Luxembourg Garden – Saint Germain

Metro Stations: Odeon, Rennes

An absolute must-visit, some would say the Jardin du Luxembourg is even prettier than the Tuileries Garden (I am among those). The Luxembourg Garden is a world of its own, right in the heart of Paris. Every day, thousands pass through the park, dotted with beautiful classical sculptures, lots of randomly distributed metal chairs, one fine museum, beehives, and quite a few more attractions that can keep you here for a good few hours!

Luxembourg Garden Paris

Luxembourg Garden Paris metal chairs

Luxembourg Garden Paris musical concert gazebo

At the heart of the garden is the famous pond overlooking a former palace. The pond is a popular spot for children, trying their luck with toy sailboats and for folks chilling on those metal chairs. The area just south of the pond is home to rows of finely chopped trees shading the only grassy lawn in the park that you can sit on. It’s the absolute perfect place for a weekend picnic or just catching some sun with the rest of Paris! Head over to the western edges of the garden to get away from it all – but don’t forget to take a book with you.

Luxembourg Garden Paris toy yachts

Luxembourg Garden Paris sit down lawn
Romance in the Luxembourg Gardens
Pro Tip

Have a look through this Saint Germain guide and plan what will be a perfect day in Paris.

As you can see, every part of Paris has its own green spaces. Small or large, Paris is a city that treats its residents and visitors with plenty of nice spots to relax. So there’s very little doubt that you’ll always be just a few minutes away from some of the best parks in Paris. All that’s left to do is grab a chair, bring a picnic lunch and just enjoy la joie de vivres!

What’s Next?

Plan the perfect trip to Paris with free and in-depth Paris travel guides, including the Best of Paris collection and a guide to all major Parisian neighborhoods.

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