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Updated on 8th of April 2022 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.
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.
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!
Every day! From 8am (9am on weekends) to 5:30pm (winter) to 9:30pm (summer)
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.
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.
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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