Paris is a destination for romance, a center for fashion and a home to world-class museums. The only thing that makes this busy metropolitan capital even more beautiful is its resplendent stretches of green space and gardens, which serve as peaceful escapes from the everyday noise of this exciting city. Grab a baguette, a block of brie cheese and a bottle of Champagne, and check out some of our favorite places to picnic in the City of Light.
With its beautifully manicured flower beds, lavish lawns and tree-lined avenues, the Luxembourg Gardens serve as a lush escape from the bustling Parisian streets. This 60-acre park, which sits at the heart of the Left Bank, was created by Marie de’ Medici as an ode to the Boboli Gardens in Florence, Italy, and it has something for everyone. Find relaxation and romance in a shady spot next to the ivy-covered Medici Fountain, rent a toy sailboat for children to float in the Grand Bassin or step inside the Luxembourg Palace to attend a hearing of the French Senate. If you just want to sprawl out on one of the well-maintained lawns, do as the locals do and grab a chair—all Parisians know it’s forbidden to sit on the grass.
Originally planned and built as an English garden in 1778, the Parc Monceau is one of the most popular parks for Parisian locals, and is considered one of the most elegant gardens in Paris. Located in the 8th arrondissement, this tree-filled gem consists of over 20 acres of green space and is home to an intriguing collection of scaled-down architectural features, called follies. Visit this garden for a peaceful stroll away from the hubbub of the city, and be sure to visit the famous Naumachie, which is an oval pond partially lined with Corinthian columns.
The botanical gardens
For plant and flower lovers, a visit to Paris isn’t complete without a stop at the botanical gardens. These gardens, which are spread over 68 acres and are home to over 23,000 species of plants, were initially founded as a royal garden of medicinal plants in 1626. Visit to stroll through the labyrinth, which is one of the garden’s main attractions, and to peek inside the National Museum of Natural History, which houses an historic zoo and an evolution gallery.
>> See more of our favorite botanical gardens around the world.
The Tuileries Garden
Located between the Louvre and the Place de la Concorde, the Tuileries is prime real estate for people-watching. The garden was designed in 1664 by gardener André Le Nôtre, who also created the gardens of Versailles, and is now distinguished as the oldest public park in Paris. Although the Tuileries Garden was initially reserved for royalty, it is now a well-traveled gathering place for locals and tourists alike. The beauty of the garden has served as an inspiration to many famous artists, including Manet, Monet and Pissarro. Visit the Musée de l’Orangerie, located on the garden grounds, to see some of Monet’s famous water lily paintings.
Have you ever enjoyed a picnic in Paris? Tell us about it in the comments!