The Most Beautiful Parks in Paris, France

Enjoy one of the most exceptional views of the Parisian skyline from Belleville Park
Enjoy one of the most exceptional views of the Parisian skyline from Belleville Park | © Hemis / Alamy Stock Photo
Sonia Cuesta

The City of Love it may famously be, but the French capital is also a city of parks – the beauty of which only enhances its status among canoodling strollers. Whether you love Paris in the springtime or the autumn – when it sizzles or drizzles – there is a peaceful green space to suit you. Join Culture Trip on a wander around the city’s best, and make sure you have picnic ready…

1. Parc des Buttes-Chaumont


© JEROME LABOUYRIE / Alamy Stock Photo
Waterfalls, cliffs and temples are just a few of the beautiful sights you will probably stumble upon while walking through this pleasant, green landscape. It’s out in the 19th arrondissement, so hardly on the tourist circuit, but don’t let that put you off – the locals will have you know that this is possibly the best park in Paris. It is certainly one of the largest, with a lofty position and a splendid viewpoint. Watch moorhens and mallard ducks skim the lake before teetering your way over the ornamental bridge in search of a spot for your brie-and-baguette-laden picnic.

2. Jardin des Tuileries

Botanical Garden, Museum, Park

Kick back in the Jardin des Tuileries
© Fred Lahache / Culture Trip
Paris’s oldest and largest public garden is the Jardin des Tuileries, its formal layout traced with gravelled paths around perfectly manicured lawns. Wandering its famous central expanse you have unparalleled views of the spreading Place de la Concorde and the distant croquet hoop of the Arc de Triomphe: this perspective, along the Champs-Elysées, was created (1666-1672) by André Le Nôtre, principal landscape architect to the Sun King, Louis XIV, and the visionary behind the gardens at Versailles. It was declared a Unesco World Heritage site in 1991.

3. Jardin du Luxembourg


Jardin du Luxembourg
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The Jardin du Luxembourg makes a handy escape, in the 6th arrondissement, on the border between Saint-Germain-des-Prés and the Latin Quarter. It is popular with local joggers – join them and tick off the statues and artwork while burning off yesterday’s crêpes and cheese. Created in 1612, it has evolved into a beautiful space, comprising a French and an English garden, and somewhere in its midst is an apple orchard as well as a rose garden under greenhouse glass. The garden is statue central, featuring such august figures as French 19th-century writer Stendhal, Beethoven and Chopin. See, too, the Statue of Liberty: it’s a replica of the 19th-century model on which the American icon was based.

4. Jardin des Plantes

Park, Botanical Garden

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The most functional botanical garden in France, the Jardin des Plantes is undoubtedly one of the best parks in Paris. It is home to four museums and conserves a wholly functioning botanical school. It was originally intended to serve as a medicinal herb garden for French royalty, but before they knew it, it had morphed into the vast botanical garden it is today. You can explore the thousands and thousands of different plant species in this garden or you can wander around and lose yourself in the maze.

5. Jardin Anne-Frank


Paris, Jardin Anne Frank
© Viennaslide / Alamy Stock Photo
A relatively unknown park in Paris is the Anne-Frank Garden, inaugurated in 2007 and a hidden star of the Marais District. It is small yet delightful, and rarely crowded. There is a beautiful pond in the centre and romantic trellis-cocooned seats are beacons for romantics. Don’t come expecting extravagant flower arrangements or exotic plants – just arrive in the knowledge that this is a famous place of respite. At times you can find art exhibitions adorning the walls, adding an extra dash of magic and beauty.

6. Parc Monceau


© Hemis / Alamy Stock Photo
A green oasis in the 8th arrondissement, Parc Monceau is arguably Paris’s most diverse garden: its grounds contain an Egyptian pyramid, Corinthian pillars, a Venetian bridge and a Chinese pagoda, to name just a few Instagram-worthy features. It was created in the 17th century by order of the Duke of Chartres, a very wealthy aristocrat, and is styled in an English manner. Come for an afternoon and practise your French with the local regulars, whose children play among the 200-year-old trees, letting loose peals of laughter in the tranquil air.

7. Parc Floral de Paris

Art Gallery, Park

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What it lacks in age – the park was opened in 1969 as part of Floralies, a garden festival – the Parc Floral de Paris more than makes up for in visual beauty. It covers a significant area of the Bois de Vincennes, out in the 12th arrondissement, and architecturally nods loosely to the land of the rising sun – the landscaping of Tokyo Olympic Games of 1964 provided inspiration. Iris plants are a main draw in season – the park has a singular collection of 1,500 different types; but they have competition from the lake-like water mirror with its head-turning fountain, the fragrant pine forest and riotous outbreaks of rhododendrons and camellias.

8. Parc de Belleville


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It was only established in the 1980s, but Parc de Belleville, alluringly off the tourist track in the 20th arrondissement, enjoys one of the most exceptional views of the Parisian skyline. From up here, in its 4.4ha (11 acres) of greenery, you can see the Eiffel Tower in sharp relief. There’s something for everyone – families will love the longest waterfall in Paris, the ping-pong tables and the huge lawns on which to laze over a leisurely picnic. If you fancy improving your language skills there’s even an open-air theatre. The most notable beauty is provided by the flora – inhale the perfume of wisteria and hyacinths in season as you wander the bench-lined footways.

9. Parc André Citroën


© Viennaslide / Alamy Stock Photo
Built near the Seine on the site of the former Citroën car manufacturing plant, the Parc André Citroën is modern indeed: think glass houses, dancing fountains, waterfalls and gardens with computerized sounds. There is also an astounding elevated reflecting pool and several smaller gardens, each designed around a specific colour – blue, green, orange, red, silver and gold. As a surprise for the kids, take a ride in the tethered hot air balloon for unobstructed views of the Champs de Mars, the Sacré Coeur and Notre Dame.

10. Albert Kahn Musée et Jardins


This garden spreads over 4ha (10 acres) – a breath of fresh air and pure relaxation if you’ve committed to just a little too much sightseeing in the French capital. Its different sections are designed to represent gardens from countries all around the world (Japan, England, France, among them) – and for that alone it is one of the most unusual parks in Paris. Sign up for a great experience on Tuesdays or Sundays (April, May, June or September): a Japanese tea ceremony is held in the pavillon du thé.

11. Trocadéro Gardens

Botanical Garden

© imageBROKER / Alamy Stock Photo
You’ll be hard-pushed to get better views of the Eiffel Tower than from the Trocadéro Gardens, which have, since 1937, stepped up the incline on the opposite bank of the Seine in statue-studded glory. In summer, sun worshippers stake out the lawns surrounding its centrepiece Warsaw Fountains, where water cannons perform vertical ballets. If you’re with kids, don’t miss the garden’s Aquarium de Paris. It’s famed for sharks and jellyfish, and has a petting pool of sturgeons.

12. La Villette


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Bienvenue a Paris’s most happening park, out northeast in the 19th arrondissement, with sprawling lawns that hug the Canal de l’Ourcq. Here, major architectural pieces house concert halls (for example, the Philharmonie de Paris), science and music museums; even the trendy Vill’Up shopping mall, home to the iFLY indoor skydiving tunnel. Flower-lined paths meander through 12 themed gardens, linked by footbridges. There are, of course, play areas, and in summer, the park is home to hip music and open-air film festivals.

13. Bois de Boulogne

Park, Amusement Park, Zoo

© Hemis / Alamy Stock Photo
This vast former royal hunting ground is a natural tapestry of landscaped gardens, forested paths and boating lakes. Hire a bike – there are 15km (9mi) of paths to follow – or stroll the winding ways to the glorious Bagatelle rose gardens. The park is also home to the Jardin d’Acclimatation – a kids’ theme park – and the outer-space-funky Fondation Louis Vuitton – a billowing glassy home to temporary art exhibitions. Fancy a day at the races? There are two tracks to choose from, too: Auteuil and Longchamp.

14. Parc de Bercy


© Photononstop / Alamy Stock Photo
On the right bank of the Seine, across from the Bibliotheque Nationale de Paris, Parc de Bercy has a storied past as a wine storage area. It reveals its history with a vineyard, disused rail tracks and an old brick chai (warehouse). The contemporary garden is given over to biodiversity, with themed areas that lead to sweeping geometric lawns overshadowed by the AccorHotels Arena, Paris’s biggest concert venue. At the other end of the park, you’ll find Bercy Village, a busy outdoor shopping and entertainment mall, set in former warehouses.

15. Wall of Love/Jehan Rictus Garden Square


© Walter Pietsch / Alamy Stock Photo

Square Jehan Rictus is one of Paris’s most Instagrammable spots – a pretty, urban garden off Place des Abbesses, in atmospheric, historically arty Montmartre. There are tree-shaded benches and the Wall of Love, a tiled mural featuring “I love you” in 250 languages. It’s a place coveted by romantics and tourists alike, so get there early to avoid the crowds – with a breakfast croissant from a nearby bakery, perhaps, to munch as you contemplate the wall.

Anna Brooke contributed additional reporting to this article.

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