12 Paris Parks Where You can Relax Like a Parisian


Kit surf/Barcelona

For most travellers, a stay in Paris equals an unforgettable experience exploring the city’s romantic architecture, grand historical sites, iconic culinary scene and world-famous artistic and cultural institutions. But sometimes—just like every Parisian—you need a bit of a palate cleanser, a place where you can stop, smell the roses, soak in the sun and return to your adventures refreshed. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful escape from the city bustle or need a place to let your kids burn off some energy, try visiting one (or more!) of these 12 iconic Paris parks and gardens.

12 of our favourite Parisian parks

Let's be clear. Everyone has their favourite spots in Paris. In the following list, we've tried to account for varying tastes and reasons to visit a park, whether you're looking for a nice park for your morning jog, a romantic setting for a Parisian picnic or a place to let your kids run free. Whatever you want from a park, we're pretty sure one of these destinations will offer it! Note that entry into most of these is free, but some of their special offerings may require a fee.

Square du Vert-Galant

Let’s start our journey in the heart of Paris on the Île de la Cité, the island birthplace of this storied city. At the western tip of the island, you’ll find the Square du Vert-Galant, a small but lush green space, where you can watch the boats float by on the Seine, view both the Left and the Right banks of Paris, and look back at the Pont Neuf and the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral. Take a moment to drink in the historic atmosphere along with the fresh garden air before heading on your way.

Jardin des Tuileries

Within sight of the Square du Vert-Galant on the Right Bank, the Jardin des Tuileries is the city’s first public garden (opened in 1667) and a classic choice for both Parisians and tourists. After a morning in the Louvre next door or at the Musée de l’Orangerie on site, stretch your legs with a stroll along the sweeping lawns and terraces and stop to view the statues by famous sculptors like Rodin as you go.

Brought your kids? Make their day by renting toy boats they can sail across one of three artificial ponds. They’ll also love offerings like the carousel, playgrounds and trampolines. For adults, people-watching is a time-honoured Parisian pastime.

Bois de Vincennes

If you’ve got more time on your hands and a yen for full immersion in nature, then hop onto Metro Line 1 and head out to the largest public park in Paris, Bois de Vincennes. One of the two “lungs” of Paris (the other being Bois de Boulogne), this massive reserve along the city’s eastern edge covers nearly 2,500 acres and includes lakes, forest, gardens, a zoo, a Bonsai house, a racecourse ... and we could go on.

What to do when you get there? Most obviously, you can take in the fresh air and natural scenery along the park's miles of walking and biking pathways. If you’re visiting with your sweetheart, we suggest you rent a boat at Lac Daumesnil and row out to Île de Reuilly to visit the island’s charming folly, the Temple of Love.

Families can’t miss the pleasures of Parc Floral, which includes not just spectacular flower beds and great picnicking lawns, but also fountains, a playground, a miniature railway and an 18-hole mini golf course that’s a tiny version of the city. Check out the garden’s schedule as well to see if any festivals are in progress.

Parc de Belleville

Next door in the 20th arrondissement, the famous Belleville neighbourhood awaits you. While you’re exploring the area, take time to stop by the modern Parc de Belleville, spread across a hillside. At the bottom, you can walk the broad, tree-shaded pathways and enjoy award-winning flower beds. But to really appreciate this park, head upwards.

As you go, admire the Fontaine de Belleville, the city’s longest waterfall fountain, which tumbles down the hillside between lawns and flowerbeds. At the hilltop, a viewing platform awaits with famous displays of street art and a truly spectacular view of the Paris skyline. Families will love the park’s famous playground, which boasts the longest slide in Paris!

Coulée Verte René-Dumont

If Bois de Vincennes sounds like too large a dose of nature for your city-loving heart, well, we’ve got an answer for that too. Try a stroll down the Coulée Verte René-Dumont, also known as the Promenade Plantée. Built on a former railway bed in the 12th arrondissement, this 4.7-kilometre-long pathway starts at the Place de la Bastille and ends at Bois de Vincennes.

Wander down a verdant corridor planted with beautiful trees and plants, notably roses, and enjoy great views of the surrounding neighbourhoods from the elevated portions. Don’t forget to stop off at the Viaduc des Arts to browse the artisan galleries and boutiques and admire their picturesque setting in the old railway’s brick viaduct.

Jardin du Luxembourg

Next, let's head back into the city centre to one of Paris’ most famous parks, the Jardin du Luxembourg. Maintained by the French Senate, this 60-acre historic garden routinely tops lists of the best parks in Paris. Set in the 6th arrondissement, it's an easy stop between your visits to the city’s top attractions.

After exploring the nearby Latin Quarter, relax with a walk along the formal promenades, wander the park’s old orchard, view exotic blooms in the orchid greenhouse or admire the sculpture garden populated by famous mythical and historical figures. The renowned Medici Fountain, tucked into a shaded grotto, makes an excellent place to rest during the summer. The park is friendly to your littlest ones too, who will love offerings like a merry-go-round, pony rides and a gated playground.

Parc Andre Citroën

Next up? Head southwest in the 15th arrondissement, where a 1990s creation, Parc Andre Citroën, provides a refreshingly modern take on park design. On entry, you can’t help but be impressed with the main garden’s wide-open spaces, clean lines and bold, massive shapes—all within view of the Seine. If you’re eager to get some Instagram-ready photos, now’s your chance! Even better? You can get a panoramic view of Paris on the park’s tethered balloon, which carries passengers up 150 metres.

Don't miss the informal gardens tucked to the sides of the main area and organised by theme. A field of water jets in the main plaza also offers you relief from the heat, while two tropical greenhouses display lush greenery even in the cold months.

Bois de Boulogne

Continue heading west into the 16th arrondissement, and you’ll reach the second-largest park in Paris—Bois de Boulogne. A little over 2,000 acres, this forested tract is the other "lung" of Paris and likewise offers a rich assortment of recreational areas. Explore 27 kilometres of walking, biking and bridle trails, or enjoy boating on one of the lakes. If you love sports, book tickets to a pro tennis competition at the Stade Roland-Garros, home to the French Open, or see the horse races at the Hippodrome de Longchamp and the Auteuil Hippodrome.

Prefer to enjoy nature at a more leisurely pace? Tour Parc de Bagatelle’s gorgeous château and gardens for a taste of French aristocratic life. Or get inspired by nature and the arts at once when you attend an outdoor performance at the Jardin Shakespeare or Théâtre de Verdure. Afterward, you can savour some of the city’s best cuisine at Bois de Boulogne’s famous restaurants Le Pré Catelan and Le Pavillon de la Grande Cascade, both Michelin rated. To stay close to these wonderful offerings, book one of the many lovely hotels nearby.

Parc Georges-Brassens

Formerly the site of a slaughterhouse, this hidden gem located in the 15th arrondissement offers a serene escape from urban life. Beautiful trees shelter wide pathways and benches, a lawn area surrounds a pond with a fountain, and gentle hills roll throughout the park. Take note of the many botanical varietals, and let your nose lead you to the aromatic garden created for the visually impaired. 

Visiting on Saturday? Browse the regular secondhand book sale that’s hosted in picturesque booths once used for a horse market. If you’re in luck, you’ll be in town when the park sells its own honey and wine, the latter made from grapes harvested in the park vineyard by neighbourhood kids.

Parc Monceau

A little over a kilometre long, this elegant, wooded park reflects its surrounding community, the wealthy 8th arrondissement in northwest Paris. The park was laid out in the 1700s as an English garden and dotted with follies, of which only an Egyptian pyramid remains. Today it makes a lovely oasis from the summer heat, a great spot for a jog or a walk, and a wonderful place to sit and read, especially if you’re staying in a nearby hotel such as Le Royal Monceau, Raffles Paris. If you’ve got kids, they’ll love the playgrounds, puppet show and mini carousel. Next door to the park, you can also browse the Musée Cernuschi, a century-old museum of Asian art.

Parc des Buttes Chaumont

Nearly straight east of Parc Monceau in the 19th arrondissement, Parc des Buttes Chaumont is a little off the beaten tourist track. So why visit? Its hilly but verdant landscape (transformed from former quarries) is a favourite with locals and offers a lovely escape into nature. You can walk the winding forest pathways, visit the grotto with an 18-metre waterfall, let your kids run around on the lawns (no one will care) or settle into one of the benches surrounding the park’s lake.

For panoramic views, cross a bridge to the park’s Temple de la Sibylle, a graceful folly that perches on a craggy cliff. If you’re a little farther east in this district, you can also visit Parc de la Butte-du-Chapeau-Rouge, which likewise offers great views of the area.

Parc de la Villette

A fitting end to this list, Parc de la Villette lets you experience contemporary Parisian culture in action. Created in the 1980s at the outer edge of the 19th arrondissement, the park boasts a playful deconstructionist design in its green spaces. Explore the quirky follies, sit by the canal or kick back on the wide lawns, which play host to some of the city’s hottest festivals, including the beloved Cinéma en Plein Air.

A large part of the park is a sprawling complex of world-class cultural and exhibition halls. Don't miss Europe’s largest science museum, the City of Science and Industry. If you're up for great entertainment, you can hear world-famous musicians play, attend live theatre performances or watch a movie in IMAX—whatever suits your mood.

Honourable mentions

Looking for a few more options within easy reach of the city centre? Our honourable mentions start with the Paris Botanical Gardens, located along the Seine in the 5th arrondissement. This large public park in Paris is the country’s botanical capital and also home to the Museum of Natural History. Next door at Grande Mosquée de Paris, you can wander the serene oriental garden and stop by the tea room for refreshments. Spending time in the Rue Saint-Honoré's luxury boutiques? The Jardin du Palais Royal offers a place to rest your feet and enjoy some sun.

With these gorgeous and interesting green spaces in mind, you can find the perfect hotel nearby and know you have all you need to fully relax during your stay in Paris.

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