One of life’s simplest pleasures is spending an afternoon in the park. And in Paris, a day at the park is that much more magical, with lush greenery mixed with Parisian charm that will make you feel like you’ve walked straight into a magazine spread. If you’re planning a trip to the City of Lights, we’ve curated a list of the best parks and gardens to visit, and nearby cafés to pick up a café au lait or pain du chocolat, because, Paris.
Jardin du Luxembourg
- Why it’s great: The Luxembourg Gardens is perhaps Paris’s most famous park, one that really feels like Paris. Although small compared to some of the other parks on this list, it’s beautiful, buzzy and grand, and completely Instagram-worthy on a nice sunny day.
- Food recommendations nearby: Oysters at l’Huîtrerie Régis, La Terrasse de Madame
Bois de Vincennes
- Why it’s great: Paris’s largest garden certainly lives up to its grandiose expectations. Bois de Vincennes has four lakes where you can rent rowboats, and a beautiful Temple of Love on the Lac Daumesnil. You’ll also find the Parc Floral – a cross between a botanical garden and an amusement park, where jazz concerts are held on weekends in summer.
- Food recommendations nearby: Pâtisserie Blé Sucré for flaky croissants and madeleines.
Promenade Plantée / La Coulée Verte
- Why it’s great: In 1993, the Promenade Plantée was the first urban garden of its kind in the world. It even inspired the design of the New York Highline. The elevated trail features tree-lined cycle paths, a scenic route through the city, and views into plenty of glitzy Parisian living rooms.
- Food recommendations nearby: East Mamma for some of the best pizza north of Italy.
Parc de Belleville
- Why it’s great: Parc de Belleville features outdoor summer concerts, drinks en terrasse at Moncoeur Belleville, and quite possibly the best views in the city. From its slopes you can see as far as the Eiffel Tower in the west.
- Food recommendations nearby: Septime La Cave. When Paris chefs want to unwind they head for this little wine bar. The chalkboard menu changes constantly and a great selection of natty wines.
Parc des Buttes-Chaumont
- Why it’s great: A local favorite and one of Paris’ largest parks, Buttes-Chaumont draws in people looking for a lively place to relax and enjoy scenic views from all angles. You can picnic under the towering trees and flora, unwind by the lake or waterfall, or people-watch from the sloping green lawns. There are also man-made lakes and grottos to explore, as well as the majestic Temple de la Sibylle.
- Food recommendations nearby: Le Pavillon Puebla for a fantastic pizza night and glass (or bottle) of wine.
- Why it’s great: Tucked away behind the Museum of Jewish Art and History, this modest garden is a gorgeous space for reflection and a moment of peace away from the crowds. Here you can sit in one of the discreet alcoves hidden amongst the gorgeous flowers to read, enjoy a cup of coffee, or simply meditate for a few moments.
- Food recommendations nearby: Cafe Loustic for a mean espresso or an equally amazing coffee drink of your choice. The cafe has a partnership with Belgium-based roasters Caffènation.
Parc André Citroën
- Why it’s great: Located at the site of an old car factory, this post-modern park is sandwiched in-between two greenhouse pavilions on one side, and the glorious Seine on the other. On good weather days you can take a hot-air balloon ride to experience some of the best views of the city you can find.
- Food recommendations nearby: La Javelle – An open-air venue where you can grab a bite, a beer, and a breathtaking view of the Seine.
These beautiful parks and gardens are the perfect places to spend an afternoon in Paris, and as we all know by now – Paris is always a good idea. Looking for a place to stay? Check out the beautifully reinvented, newly opened Kimpton St. Honoré!