As the founder of Paris, Perfected, one of the things I love most about Paris is the way the city values park culture and green space. The city boasts some 480 parks and gardens throughout it so you have no shortage of opportunities to enjoy a bit of respite amidst mother nature.
My Favorite Parks In Paris
Slow morning walks, afternoon picnics, catch ups with friends over evening wine in the summer light…I could go on and on about all the favorite pasttimes I have about Paris’ parks. Each of my trips to Paris always includes time carved out specifically for me to enjoy some downtime in my favorite parks. So today I am sharing which green spots mean the most to me.
The Jardin du Luxembourg takes the prize for my favorite park in Paris. It manages to be strikingly beautiful in any season, in any weather and in any light. I have fond memories of visiting it when I was a little girl.
And, nowadays, I always prioritize a little rest in this park’s open air whenever I am in Paris. In addition, I love picking up treats and coffee from the nearby Pierre Hermé and bringing them along with a good book to sit in one of the iconic green chairs and soak up the sunshine on a nice day.
This sprawling park on the border between Saint-Germain-des-Prés and the Latin Quarter is known for its lovely lawns, tree-lined promenades, flowerbeds, model sailboats and the picturesque Medici Fountain built in 1620. The park was created beginning in 1612 by Marie de’ Medici for her new residence, the Luxembourg Palace and was inspired by the Boboli Gardens in Florence.
The gardens, which cover 25 hectares of land, are split into French gardens and English style gardens. The garden has 106 statues spread throughout the park and don’t miss seeing the tucked away yet striking Medici fountain.
Have kids? There are many activities for children such as puppets, pony rides on select days and a playground. You can also play chess, tennis or bridge in this park! There’s truly so much to explore.
This park is one of the places in the world I feel most at peace. If spending time in Saint Germain, be sure to check out my Guide to Paris’s Saint Germain.
The Luxembourg Gardens Through the Seasons:
My other favorite parks in Paris include:
Jardin du Palais Royal
This park is landscaped grounds of the 17th century Palais Royal which was originally built for Cardinal Richelieu by French architect Lemercier (who also designed the Sorbonne). Tucked away in what feels like a secret courtyard, this garden is always a must visit for me early in the morning for a peaceful walk. It features a soothing large fountain and other water features and strikingly beautiful tree-lined walkways and blooming florals.
After a visit, you can pick up a coffee at Cafe Kitsune, browse the shops under the covered archways and visit the famed art installation “Colonnes de Buren”, created by artist Daniel Buren in the 1980s. With its black-and-white-striped columns of varying heights it is sure to look familiar and always makes for the perfect backdrop for a very “I’m in Paris” photo.
I fell in love with this park when I studied abroad in Paris in 2005. My school was right nearby in the 8th arrondissement. I would go on runs and walks with one of my friends in the program in between classes.
This park is surrounded by some of the most striking residential architecture worth perusing before or after your visit to the park. The park was established in 1778 by Phillippe d’Orléans, Duke of Chartres, a cousin of King Louis XVI. It has a big walking loop, a beautiful pond, a great playground for children and overall is just more local in feel than the Luxembourg or Tuileries Gardens.
Place des Vosges
I always make sure to spend time on one of the park benches in Place des Vosges when I am in Paris. Tucked away in the Marais, Place des Vosges is the oldest planned square in Paris (and it was originally named Place Royale when built by Henri IV for French nobility). I find it to be one of the most charming, delightful parks in Paris. If you head there in the early morning it is largely empty, has beautiful light and is a welcomed spot for a morning coffee.
La Coulée Verte (Promenade Plantée)
This elevated park is further East in Paris than most tourists venture but it is a beautiful spot for a stroll. It is so fun to see Paris’ rooftops from up high. This park is particularly beautiful in Spring and Fall as the leaves change and blooms sprout.
Jardin des Tuileries
One of Paris’ most well-known and largest parks, the Tuileries Garden is situated between the Louvre and the Place de la Concorde in the heart of the city. It was created by Catherine de’ Medici as the garden of the Tuileries Palace in 1564 and later went on to be opened to the public in 1667.
The views from this park are beautiful and it is one of my favorites for long strolls with friends. It also makes for a great spot to have a little picnic (there is an Eric Kayser located in the park if you’re in search of a quick lunch to snack on in one of the park’s famed green chairs.)
You can easily access the Louvre, the Place de la Concorde and L’Orangerie from the Tuileries and you’ll also spot a beautiful view of La Tour Eiffel from the Eastern entrance to the gradens.
Jardin des Plantes
There’s so much to love about this sprawling park that is home to botanical gardens and even a zoo for the little ones to enjoy! It is particularly majestic in the Spring when its select cherry blossom trees bloom.
Do you have a favorite park in Paris? Which one are you hoping to visit?
If you’re heading to Paris for the first time, don’t miss my Paris First Time Visitors Guide and also know that I can help you plan the perfect trip to Paris through my Paris, Perfected service. I love helping visitors to Paris make the most of their trip!
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[Outfit photos by Carter Fish Photography]