Paris is known to its visitors and residents for the many parks and gardens scattered across the city. But, what to do in the French capital when it’s raining, cold or snowing? Find the answer with our roundup of Paris’ best indoor green spaces.
Situated within the Bois de Boulogne in the western part of Paris, Les Jardins des Serres d’Auteuil is a beautiful greenhouse that dates back to 1761. Les Jardins des Serres d’Auteuil is one of four botanical gardens maintained by the city of Paris, and today, the main function of the greenhouse is to produce plants for the interior decoration of municipal buildings in the city. Inside the serres, or greenhouses, one will find many plants of the tropical variety, including palm trees and succulents. The garden is open daily and is free, making it a perfect activity for when the typically rainy weather of Paris proves to be too much.
The Jardins Rosa-Luxemburg is located on the edge of the Boulevard Périphérique in the 18th arrondissement, the boulevard that encircles Paris and separates the city from the outside suburbs. The garden is a part of the Halle Pajol project, in which the city of Paris purchased an abandoned SNCF (a French train company) warehouse and redeveloped the space. It is clear that sustainability was a running theme for the project; in addition to the Rosa Luxemburg garden, almost all of the building materials used came from the old warehouse, and the building itself features solar panels on the roof that provide electricity for the entire project. The garden includes covered and uncovered sections, and there is the opportunity to plant kitchen gardens for local residents. This is a perfect place to come with the whole family on a cold or rainy day, as it also includes a play space for children.
The large Jardin des Plantes is the main botanical garden in France. It is located along the banks of the Seine river in Paris, in the 5th arrondissement. The Jardin d’hiver (winter garden), Serre Mexicaine (Mexican greenhouse), Serre Australienne (Australian greenhouse), and the Serre de Paléobotanique (greenhouse of the history of plants), are the set of four greenhouses that make up the Grande Serres (large greenhouses). Construction of the oldest greenhouse dates back to 1635, and between the years 2005 and 2010 all four of the greenhouses were closed and restored. With plants hailing from all over the world, the Grandes Serres are a great place for those who would like to learn more about the world’s botany.
The Parc Floral, located in the Bois de Vincennes in the 12th arrondissement, is another one of the four botanical gardens maintained by the city of Paris. The park itself is massive, and featured inside the park’s grounds is the Jardin des Papillons, or the butterfly garden. The garden is inside a greenhouse and only open for six months of the year, between the months of May and October. The greenhouse is home to around 300 different types of butterflies, and is the home to many other types of insects as well. This is another great place for families, as the butterfly garden caters for children.
This greenhouse is located in the Luxembourg Gardens, a large and beautiful garden centered between Saint-Germain-des-Prés and the Latin Quarter. The Luxembourg gardens were brought to their current condition after Haussmann’s beautification of Paris, and the greenhouses have been operating since 1879. Inside the greenhouses, you’ll find an enormous collection of orchids; the greenhouses are home to over 150 varieties of the flower, with more than 10,000 in total. The collection features orchids from places like Nepal, Vietnam, and the Philippines. Although this greenhouse is most famous for its orchid collection, there are other examples of tropical plants to see there as well.
The Parc André Citroën is a modern park located in the 15th arrondissement of Paris. The park was built on the site of a former Citroën car manufacturing plant. The construction and completion of the park in 1993 made it the largest Paris park to open in more than a century. The two large identical greenhouses in this park are the most modern on our list. The greenhouses here house many varieties of exotic, tropical plants and also Mediterranean vegetation. Although the entire park is obviously not indoors, there is plenty to see and do. Features such as a large reflective pool make this park one of the most unique in Paris.
Located in the middle of the Latin quarter in Paris stands the Grande Mosquée. The large mosque was inaugurated in 1926 to honor the 100,000 Muslims who fought for France in the First World War. In addition to the many prayers rooms, a large tea room, and a Turkish bath, there is a breathtaking, beautiful garden in the middle of the mosque. The walls and floors are covered in amazing mosaic tiles, and the tranquil energy of the mosque can’t help but relax any visitor. This is a perfect place to visit when the hustle and bustle of Paris takes over.