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Updated on 20th of September 2021 by Lena

 

Coulée Verte – the high line in Paris

 

The Coulée Verte is one of the projects to improve the quality of life and recreation in the urban environment of Paris. If you’ve been to Paris a few years ago and would come back today, you’d probably realize the green difference already. But we’re just at the beginning!

The world’s biggest urban farm is opened in 2020 on the rooftop of the Paris Expo and plans to create a park that links the Trocadero and the Eiffel Tower are already approved.  We can also look forward to the transformation of the forecourt of the Parisian Town Hall – from a concrete desert to an oasis of trees and greens.

visit an alternativ Paris and take a walk on the coulée verte - high line paris
The Coulée Verte is an elevated park on the old railways of the Vincennes railway

 

However, the Coulée Verte! What is it?

You probably heard about the high line in New York – it’s quite a popular spot for locals and visitors to hang out or, more interestingly, to get a unique glimpse of Manhattan from an elevated level.

But did you actually know that highline in Paris was actually the world’s first inaugurated high line? Yep, that’s right! That’s the Coulée Verte (or Promenade Plantée)! It is opened to the public since 1993 and follows the former tracks of the Vincennes railway through the 12th arrondissement – from Bastille down to the Paris city limits.

The coulée verte is only one of the rail wails in Paris that are accessible for recreation. Big parts of the petite ceinture, the old railway belt around Paris, are open to the public now. Take a look here for more information. 

 

 

Coulée Verte Fun Facts
  • The Vincennes railway line operated from 1859 to 1969 between Bastille and Verneuil-l`Étang, a town 60 km outside Paris
  • The Coulée Verte was the world first and only elevated parkway for a few years, until the New York Highline was inaugurated in 2009
  • If you’re a fan of Ethan Hawk and Julie Delpy, the setting will seem familiar: The Coulée Verte was one of the filming locations of “Before Sunset”
  • Many Parisians considered it a waste of money at the time

 

The Paris Highline has a total length of 4.7 km and is subdivided into different sections. The elevated section starts at Avenue Daumesnil on top of the arcades of the Viaduct des Arts. After the Jardin de Reuilly, the Promenade Plantée descents to the street level and follows the rail track that leads out of Paris.

 

How to access the Coulée Verte?

 

You best start your Paris high line walk at the Viaduct des Arts near Bastille. You find here the first staircase to the Paris highline.

Bastille , Line 1, 5, and 8. Take Rue de Lyon with the opera on your right and after 200 m you’ll hit upon the Viaduct des Arts. Take the stairs to access the Promenade Plantée and start your walk!

 

Opening times

Every day!  From 8am (9am on weekends) to 5:30pm (winter) to 9:30pm (summer)

The promenade Plantée or the coulée verte are Paris highline - start at the Staircase to Paris highline at the viaduct
The Viaduct des Arts at the Avenue Daumesnil – access the high line Paris and start your walk on top of the arcades of the old viaduct

 

Editor’s tip: The Rue Cremieux one of the most beautiful streets in Paris is just a stone’s throw away!

 

Promenade Plantée: Activities

First, you can obviously walk the entire length of 4.7 km. You also can just walk parts of it and use one of the many exits that bring you back to street level.

The first section between the Viaduct des Arts and the Jardin de Reuilly is a pedestrian area. It’s a very popular track for runners, especially on Sunday mornings. The Jardin de Reuilly is the Paris high line park and a lush green patch which makes a nice spot for a picnic or just to take a break and relax a bit.

Jardin de Rueilly - promenade plantée. highline Paris
The Jardin de Reuilly is the Paris high line park and a good spot for a break

 

The eastern section from the Jardin de Reuilly can be cycled! The official track for the cyclist isn’t too long, though, but it’s a nice tree-lined stretch. It is also pretty safe, especially if you visit Paris with kids: there are 2 lanes separated by a green batch, one for pedestrians and one for cyclists. Check this post if you want to know how to use the shared bike service Vélib in Paris!

 

Tips for visiting the Coulé Verte:

Tip 1: zero waste, No need to pack bottled water for your walk! The coulée verte is equipped with water fountains, pack a reusable bottle and keep your footprint small!

Tip 2: If you want to grab some food for a picnic later – there’s an Ari’s Bagel store just across the street from the entrance at the Viaduct des Arts.

The arcades of the Viaduct des Arts are filled with artisan stores and manufactories
The arcades of the Viaduct des Arts are filled with artisan stores and manufactures
enjoy a unique view on Paris from the elevated Paris' highline - a great spot in Paris to take photos for Instagram!
The Promenade Planté grants you some spectacular views of Paris!
Location for Photographers in Paris: Coulée Verte - a good photo location to get a unique view on Paris
one of the lovely views that you get from the Paris highline when strolling along the Coulée Verte
The roofs of Paris seen as seen from the high line Paris promenade
The rooftops of Paris are always a good motive for Paris photographers
Discover Paris off the beaten Path and visit the Coulée verte. It's also a good spot for running in Paris!
Beautiful Haussmann Buildings as seen from the highline Paris
Discover Paris like a local - take a walk on the promenade plantée - great thing to do when visiting Paris with kids
beautiful Parisian Houses along the Avenue Daumesnil

it's one of the spots in Paris to see a high variety on vegetation

Coulée verte René-Dumont - secret Paris - visit Paris like a local

Film Location Before Sunset in Paris - Coulée Verte
Do you recognize those arcs? The Coulée Verte is one of the filming locations of Richard Linklaters “Before Sunset” – Part 2 of the Trilogy with Ethan Hawk and Julie Delpy

Paris off the beaten track - visit the coulé verte

visiting the promenade plantée is clearly on of the unusual things to do in Paris - especially great if you are visiting Paris with kids

Highline Paris Bastille - the lush coulee verte Paris

Do you need more ideas for your upcoming Paris trip? Check out our list with more than 80 non-touristy things to do in Paris!

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secret Paris ideas - coulé verte - promenade planté - paris high line