The best parks in Paris – beautiful gardens you need to visit!
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Last updated on the 8th April by Lena
Paris is a humming, busy, and polluted metropolis. And even though the gorgeous boulevards and majestic Haussmann buildings are making up for it, getting a fresh breeze in one of the parks in Paris is needed every so often. Hence, knowing where to find the best green spaces in Paris can be a real game-changer.
Below you find our list of the best parks and gardens. Make sure to add some to your Paris bucket list!
Just click the markers to know where to find the best gardens of Paris:
Place des Vosges
Straddling the 3rd & 4th arrondissement of Paris, tucked away in the fashionable Marais district, the Place des Vosges is one of the oldest parks in Paris, and certainly, one of the most beautiful.
What it lacks in size, the perfectly symmetrical square park makes up for in beauty. This symmetry starts outside the park with the red brick facades of the surrounding townhouses, and infiltrates inside, with flowerbeds, and neatly manicured lawns echoing the trend.
Once called Place Royale, the park was renamed after the French Revolution. These days, it’s a popular place for the locals to enjoy picnics, read on the lawn, take shelter from the sun under the leafy trees, or simply sit and take in the regal atmosphere. It’s stunning in Autumn when the trees turn all colors of ochre, but it’s equally enchanting at any time of the year.
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Jardin d’Albert Kahn
Tucked away in Boulogne-Billancourt lays this treasure of a garden. It’s just a short Metro ride from the center of Paris and a hidden gem you shouldn’t miss if you are keen on exploring the green side of Paris. The garden of Albert Kahn is an incredible oasis, with different garden styles and landscapes.
You will find yourself exploring a Japanese village, complete with a fishpond and a red Guzei bridge, and a French orchard full of apple and pear trees. A few steps further you’ll be standing in an English rose garden from where you can take a stroll through a forest, inspired by the French Vosges region, but also by aquatic marshlands.
Jardin des Tuileries
In the middle of exciting Parisian landmarks in the 1st arrondissement, like the Louvre, the Obelisk of Luxor, and the Champs-Élysées, is a haven of greenery, the Jardin des Tuileries.
Queen Catherine de Medici commissioned the garden as part of the Tuileries Palace in 1564. It was finally opened to the public by King Louise XIV exactly a hundred years later, these gardens have been free for Parisians and visitors to enjoy for more than 350 years.
Gravel paths are lined with chestnut trees that lead to a large circular pond in the center of the garden. Benches surround the pool and toy boats are often sailed on the pond in their dozens.
Grand statues, another pond, a maze, and the incredible Monet waterlily paintings in the Musée de l’Orangerie, are all part of the 55 acres of manicured gardens. In Autumn, the canopies of trees and shrubs change their leaves from green to a vibrant palette of yellow, gold, orange, and russet. The Jardin des Tuileries is one of the best spots in Paris to watch the turning of the seasons.
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Parc du Champ-de-Mars
One of the largest and greenest parks that Paris has to offer lies in the shadow of its most famous monument… The Eiffel Tower, bien sûr! The Parc du Champ-de-Mars happens to be one of the few gardens in the city where people have the right to sit on the grass. Hence, making it one of the best places in the French capital to enjoy a picnic.
This is an especially good idea during the summer months. Visitors can grab a few friends, some picnic supplies, and a blanket to watch the sunset over the city, and following that, the Eiffel Tower sparkle during its nightly light show.
As well as being a great place to enjoy the Parisian cherry blossom season, the park’s number of green trees also makes it a fantastic spot to admire fall foliage during the autumn. Or simply to take gorgeous photos of the Eiffel Tower.
Visitors during the winter months may even be lucky enough to see the park dusted in a blanket of snow, provided that the city gets cold enough. As such, considering that there is so much to see in each season, there is no best time per se to visit the Champ de Mars.
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The Jardin Tropical is truly a hidden gem in Paris, but also a secret! Most Parisians have no idea that it exists, and you can be excited to find a calm hideout with historic relevance, after exploring the buzzing city center.
The park lays at the eastern corner of the Bois de Vincennes and hosted the Colonial Exhibition in the early 20th century. Those exhibitions were popular for promoting colonialism and to show off the French Empire.
Parisians came to see exotic plants, teas, and original artifacts on display, as well also reproductions of indigenous villages, including architecture, agriculture, animals — and yes: men, women, and even children from the colonies. It was the human zoo of Paris.
Many of the old buildings and structures are still there and give the garden a very surreal atmosphere.
Jardin des Plantes
The Jardin des Plantes is a beautiful botanical garden and, certainly, one of the most beautiful gardens in the French capital. It has a size of 23.5 hectares and is located on the southern bank of the Seine. Its history dates back to 1626 when it was established as the Jardin des Plantes Médicinales, a medical garden, and it is still a scientific garden today.
As a visitor, you can move freely in the area, learn about botany and discover historical trees like the 315-year-old pistachio tree. Interesting is also the cactus house and the greenhouses, which can be visited even in winter.
A visit to the park is worthwhile at any time of the year, but especially beautiful is the time between spring and summer, when the flowers bloom in full splendor! You should also visit the Natural History Museum with its giant exhibition or the zoo of the Jardin des Plantes.
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Jardin du Luxembourg
You’ll find Jardin du Luxembourg, one of Paris’ most stunning gardens, in the 6th arrondissement. It’s the second-largest garden in the city at 23 hectares (56.8 acres).
The park dates from 1612 when Henry IV’s widow, Marie de Medici, directed a series of gardeners to build a park that resembled one that she’d known as a child in Italy, Boboli Gardens in Florence. For Medici, a massive garden would be the perfect accompaniment to her recently commissioned Luxembourg Palace.
She had two thousand elm trees planted, and two terraces added, so she could enjoy the beautiful garden from the palace The beautiful Medici fountain—which still delights visitors today—was constructed later in 1861.
Today, this garden in the heart of the left banks of Paris includes sculpture, ponds, flowerbeds, food kiosks, and even pony rides and a marionette theater for children. From the goddess Diana to Vulcan, god of fire, Classic Roman and Greek statues are everywhere. And in fall, the massive urns full of flowers transition to autumn hues.
You’ll find students and workers here on a lunch break, garden lovers strolling the paths or playing chess, and individuals just enjoying the solitude of a book in a shady spot on a hot sunny day. The Jardin du Luxembourg makes a wonderful stop on any Paris itinerary.
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Bois de Vincennes
Bois de Vincennes, located on the eastern edges of Paris, is the largest park in Paris. Originally, a forest, the former royal hunting grounds got transformed into a landscape park by Emperor Napoleon III in the mid-1800s. It is not just big, but beautiful too, with many things to explore and enjoy.
At its edges is the Château de Vincennes, a medieval castle that was home to many of the French kings. Much of these buildings are open to the public today.
The park is also home to four lakes, a zoo, an arboretum, a botanical garden, landscaped gardens, and more. There’s also a velodrome, horse-racing track, and a campus for the French national institute of sports and physical education. However, this park is so big that it feels far from crowded.
A highlight of the Bois de Vincennes is the Park Floral de Paris. This botanical garden is not only showing off an insane variety of plants but is also known for its jazz concerts during the summer months. Many visitors come however with their children. The Park Floral has some of the most beautiful playgrounds and surely keeps kids busy for hours. It’s a great getaway if you are visiting Paris with kids.
There is an entry fee to the Park Floral, which can vary depending on the time of the year and any events taking place. Bois de Vincennes is worth visiting at any time of year, with different things to see in different seasons.
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Parc des Buttes-Chaumont is a wonderful park in the northeastern part of Paris. It’s one of the biggest green spaces in Paris, and yet still in the heart of the city!
In spring and summer, you’ll see the locals picnicking and relaxing on the grass or eating a crêpe from the nearest stand. In the colder months, you’ll still see many people jogging the trails, as the park is really vast and a bit hilly.
It’s a very natural park, but the main attraction is a lake in the middle with steep cliffs and a small temple at the top.
Besides having this beautiful landscape, the Buttes-Chaumont is also famous for having one of the best views of the Montmartre neighborhood and the famous Sacre Cœur.
You can reach the park by going to either the Buttes-Chaumont or Pyrénées metro station and then walking. It should definitely be on anyone’s bucket list for Paris if you have the time and want to experience the city like a local!
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Jardin du Palais Royal
The tranquil Jardin du Palais-Royal is located at the heart of the bustling 1st arrondissement. Its main entrance is right by the lively Place Colette, where you enter the gates of the Palais-Royal and cross the elegant Cour d’Honneur with its iconic black and white striped Buren columns. If this sounds familiar, you probably watched the popular Netflix show “Emily in Paris” — don’t miss our extensive post about “Emily in Paris” filming locations!
Four stately neoclassical galleries, once-thriving shopping passages, frame this romantic garden of the former Royal Palace. The variety of flowers and plants, such as fragrant rose bushes, lime, and chestnut trees, that encompass the beautiful fountain make it a great place to linger in any season.
Soak in the tranquility of the Jardin du Palais-Royal from one of the intimate parterres and read some poems and quotes of renowned French authors that are engraved in the green chairs dotting the grounds. The Galleries and Garden of the Palais-Royal are open to the public daily and can be visited free of charge.
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Le Jardin de Sculptures, Musée Rodin
Surely, one of the most secret gardens in Paris! Hidden by a tall outer wall and trees, the garden of the Rodin Museum is full of surprises: prepare yourself to walk among fascinating sculptures made by Auguste Rodin, an incredibly famous French sculptor from the 19th century.
All the while surrounded by delicate flowers, from winter to summer. And if the garden isn’t enough, make sure to have a walk in the museum (settled in a breathtaking mansion from the 18th century) to discover Rodin’s life and creative process.
The Sculpture Garden is particularly lovely from May to June when roses bloom and spread their divine perfume along the garden’s alleys. It’s also the season during which Parisians come and relax on the large grass, a book in hand. Take some inspiration and spend a lovely afternoon at the Rodin Museum!
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Square du Vert Galant
Although not generally included in any Paris itinerary, the Square du Vert Galant, literary the Place of Gallant Green, is a small garden (ecological green space since 2007) situated on the western end of Île-de-la-Cite.
The small park can be accessed through stairs situated behind the equestrian statue of Henri IV on Pont Neuf and offers breathtaking views of the river, the Louvre Museum, and the Institute de France.
Sunsets are particularly glorious to watch from here, and many locals bring a picnic or a baguette to eat while enjoying the view. Although it is the departing point for touristic boat rides along the Seine, the park itself is generally peaceful, especially when compared to the hustle and bustle of the city.
The highlight of the park is the lush weeping willow at the very top of the island, but it’s by far not the only tree variety that you find in this little romantic park. Besides chestnut trees, Ginkgo Biloba, Acer negundo, and lilacs, you even have a black walnut tree with edible nuts! Entrance is free, but there are designated entry times.
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Unlike Champs de Mars and the likes of Tuileries, Parc Monceau which is located in the 8th arrondissement is one of the lesser frequented parks by tourists, yet it’s equally beautiful.
With a grand, beautiful golden gate that leads to the diverse features within the park, Parc Monceau has a little of everything compared to others.
From a large water pond where you can enjoy some bird watching to various sculptures that will give you a glimpse of French art. From a Renaissance archway that adds to the beauty of the park to a little Venetian bridge. You even have a small Egyptian pyramid, not to mention the various trees and flower species that complete the look. Parc Monceau is truly one of the most disparate and beautiful Parisian parks.
And while you can visit the park any time of the year, it’s during spring that it shines the most with the beautiful cherry blossom. But fall is also not so far behind as it puts on a beautiful display of fall colors.
So whether you’re planning a picnic in Paris, just want to take a quick break from sightseeing, or even go jogging, Parc Monceau offers that and much more!”
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