Few Parisians know about the Promenade Plantée, located in the XIIth Arrondissement. It is a pity because this green walk is a good way to escape the noise and hassle of Paris and enjoy a little bit of nature without leaving the city.
About the Promenade Plantée
La Promenade Plantée (also referred to by locals as La Coulée Verte) links Bastille Square to Porte Dorée and Bois de Vincennes, following part of the ancient railway (la Petite Ceinture) which closed in 1969. This 4,5 km path car free is a world apart, crossing tunnels, trenches and long bridges. We like to do this walk in summer, to escape the high temperatures, or in autumn for its colors. Pictures on this post were taken in July and October. We have split this stroll into different parts. For each part we indicate the distance, the closest metro station and the closest Vélib bike post (only the first part can be done by bike). We start our walk at Rue de Sahel but you can join us where you want thanks to its stairs and lifts all along the way.
Rue Sahel – Tunnel de Reuilly
- distance: 800m
- M. Bel Air L6; Vélib post #12022
We start walking the Promenade Plantée through Rue de Sahel /Avenue du General Michel Bizot. After walking some metres we enter the part built in trench, leaving the hassle of the city above us. This is a beautiful part, my favourite part, very green and with lush vegetation. A double path allows people to do it by foot or by bike. The path crosses two short tunnels nice illuminated. This part ends with a third long tunnel, le Tunnel de Reuilly. At the end of this tunnel we are again at the same level than other streets.
Allée Vivaldi – Jardin de Reuilly
- distance: 350m
- M. Dugommier, L6; Vélib post #12036
Allée Vivaldi is a kind of pedestrian avenue with trees all along its way. We like to walk it in autumn because of the colors of the trees. The ancient Reuilly train station was located along this avenue, you can see on old pictures how it looked like when the ancient railway was still working. Today the building is used for social events. At the end of this alley we need to climb some stairs to reach the bridge which crosses Reuilly Garden.
Jardin de Reuilly
- Distance: 210 m
- M. Montgallet, L6; Vélib post #12028
This is another cool part of the Coulée Verte because here we are walking 7 m above Jardin de Reuilly, through a hanging walkway. Maybe this part of the path reminds you of New York’s high-line? Well, you are right, the Promenade Plantée was its source of inspiration. In summer time Jardin de Reuilly is packed with people enjoying a picnic or sunbathing while in autumn this garden is only enjoyed by some lonely walkers.
Jardin de Reuilly – Rue de Lyon /Av Daumesnil
- Distance: 1,4 Km
- M. Montgallet, L6; Vélib post #12027
This is the last part of our stroll. We are always walking 7 m above the street level, sometimes we even go through the buildings!
I like to describe this part as a hanging garden with some water bodies, different kind of flowers and plants and some shady spots to take a break. This part is also cool because you can see Paris from another point of view, we are very close to the city’s roofs!
Viaduct des Arts
When you’ve finished enjoying the gardens, go down to the street level and wander along the Viaduc des Arts. This is the ancient Viaduct de Bastille, built to support the railway line Paris – Bastille – Vincennes. At the beginning of the 80’s the City Council decided to restore this place and dedicated it to Arts & Crafts. And that’s what you see today: ateliers, workshops, cafes and galleries have taken up residence in the vaulted arches below the garden. When you have seen this part it’s time to go to Bastille Square and surrounding streets for a more than deserved drink.
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