Megan Hill

Pack a Picnic: The Best Paris Gardens & Parks

Pack a basket and spend a sunny afternoon in some of the best Paris gardens and parks

While a traveller's immediate thoughts of Paris may turn to its landmarks and city streets, it happens to be full of quiet spots of greenery scattered throughout its many arrondissements. From France's largest botanical garden to historical manicured lawns, take it slow one day, head outside and make time for some of the best of Paris' gardens and parks.

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Jardin Des Tuileries

Perfectly manicured and daintily planned by architect André Le Notre, the Jardins des Tuileries is one of the oldest public gardens in Paris and was awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 1991. Filled with ponds, intricate statues, a merry-go-round and green lawns perfect for tossing down a picnic blanket, it's just a stone's throw from the Louvre and offers beautiful unobstructed views of the Place de la Concorde and the Arc de Triomphe.

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Jardin du Luxembourg

Filled with local students from nearby universities sprawled out in the sun with textbooks and tourists looking for green reprieve, the Jardin du Luxembourg is arguably the most famous park in Paris and certainly one of its largest an area of 25 hectares. Located in the 6th arrondissement, this lush park has a keen artistic side to it with the Medici Fountain providing a dash of romance and even a small Statue of Liberty standing proudly upon its pedestal.

Champs des Mars

This is one of the busiest parks in Paris and with good reason - it's located just metres away from the Eiffel Tower. Named after the Roman god of war Campus Martius, the park isn't quite as impressive as the others on this list and in all honesty is little more than a sprawling green lawn. But with an unbeatable view of the Eiffel Tower and the Ecole Militaire, what more do you need?

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Jardin des Plantes

Be prepared for a world of colour at the Jardin des Plantes, a gigantic botanical garden bursting with museums, glasshouses and themed areas. As one of the most important horticultural centres in all of France, it's packed with exotic flora and foliage that'll excite any traveller with an iPhone camera. After finding your way through the maze and greeting the animals at the zoo, make your way to the delicate rose garden for a breath of tranquility.

Parc des Buttes Chaumont

If you're looking to get away from the downtown hustle, Parc des Buttes Chaumont out in the 19th arrondissement is a refreshing break from the city. Formerly a limestone and gypsum quarry, it has since been transformed into a precious pocket of greenery with twisting paths, an emerald lake and waterfalls. Take your time exploring the park and make sure you see its impressive Temple de la Sibylle, a replica of Italy's own Temple of Vesta.
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