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Romance is always in the air in Paris, but so is pollution and stuffiness, synonymous with bustling European cities. Luckily, there is a large number of beautiful gardens in Paris that gives you just enough room to get out of the concrete and into some semblance of nature.
These Paris gardens are spaces where you can sit back and break open a baguette, just like the movies tell you all Parisians do. So, stop and smell the roses at these famous gardens in Paris tous les hours.
In general, all the gardens of Paris to visit are free and they usually open with sunrise and close at sunset. The Paris gardens may be closed without prior notice in case of violent winds or thunderstorms, or heatwave episodes.
Most Beautiful Paris Gardens
1. Tuileries Garden
When you think of a Paris garden, this is undoubtedly the one that springs to mind. The Tuileries Garden is so iconic it was even captured by Manet in one of his seminal works, La Musique aux Tuileries.
The Tuileries Garden is the oldest of the Parisian gardens. The garden was commissioned in 1564 by Cathérine de Medici as the garden of the Tuileries Palace but became a public space after the French Revolution, and to this, we say vive la revolution!
In 1664 André Le Nôtre redesigned the entire garden and transformed it into a formal jardin à la française, a style he had first developed at Vaux-le-Vicomte and perfected at the Gardens of Versailles, based on symmetry, order and long perspectives.
The park is centrally located in the 1st Arrondissement, between the Louvre and the Place de la Concorde and was the blueprint for many parks to follow. The central Grand Axe is a spacious walkway that runs through ponds and splits off into smaller walkways and gardens. You can find the Paris Ferris wheel close to the Louvre or go on the hunt for smaller landmarks like the vast number of statues decorating the grounds.
TIP: learn the history and legends of the Tuileries Garden while having fun with our Tuileries Garden Scavenger Hunt (self-guided)
2. Jardin du Luxembourg
This stunning garden in Paris is heightened in popularity thanks to its family-friendly atmosphere and perfect central location close to the neighborhoods of Saint-Germain-des-Près and the Latin Quarter. You only need to walk seven minutes east of the Panthéon or just over one kilometre to see Notre Dame.
The creation of the garden began in 1612 when Queen Marie de Medici, the widow of King Henry IV, constructed the Luxembourg Palace as her new residence. The garden today is owned by the French Senate, which meets in the Palace regularly. This beautiful garden covers 23 hectares and is known for its lawns, tree-lined promenades, and flowerbeds, as well as the picturesque Medici Fountain.
The Jardin du Luxembourg is one of the most romantic places in Paris. On any given day, you will see scores of people sunbathing and hear the joyful hollers of children enjoying the sandpits and pony rides. You can get stuck in a chess game or watch families sail miniature boats on the octagonal Grand Bassin. This is also where you will find one of the versions of the Statues of Liberty in Paris and the puppets from the Luxembourg Gardens’ theatre.
TIP: find Queen Marie’s hidden treasure with this fun Treasure Hunt in the Luxembourg Garden (self-guided)
3. Jardin des Plantes
The Jardin des Plantes sits on the south bank of the Seine River in the Latin Quarter and is also the grounds for the National Museum of Natural History.
These botanical gardens in Paris have a fascinating history which dates back to the 1600s during the reign of King Louis XIII. The Jardin des Plantes was first established as a royal medical garden, but it opened to the public not long after.
Most of the diverse garden area is free, and you can pay to visit the large art déco greenhouses and the Ménagerie, which houses a few small exotic animals. There is also an impressive botanical library to visit and one of the best carousels in Paris, but you will want to spend most of your time outside, admiring the nearly 10,000 species of plants that flourish in Jardin des Plantes.
If you visit Paris in winter, don’t miss the Paris Festival of Lights, which takes place after sunset in the garden’s main alleys. This unique show usually starts at the end of November and lasts until the first week of January. If you visit Paris in spring, head to the garden’s main alley to admire some of the most spectacular cherry blossoms in Paris.
4. Parc Monceau
This is one of the most beautiful gardens in Paris and sits in the affluent 8th Arrondissement. It is about a 20-minute walk northeast of the Arc de Triomphe, and you can get off the train at the Monceau metro stop and walk right into the garden. The garden is surrounded by lavish private mansions (hôtels particuliers) and Haussmannian buildings, emblematic of the city’s upper classes.
What makes this Paris garden unique is that it is based on an English Garden rather than a more structured French one. Walkways wind seemingly aimless through the dense vegetation, and miniature structures like an Egyptian Pyramid and Corinthian pillars decorate the gardens and pond. These make for excellent, albeit unexpected, photo opportunities.
Parc Monceau was one of the favorite painting spots for Monet in Paris. Nine of his masterworks from 1876 to 1878 were inspired by these Monet gardens in Paris though it is difficult to find the exact spots where he put his easel.
5. Parc des Buttes-Chaumont
This unique park is a little out of the normal tourist routes and it was built at the site of an old quarry, hence its hilly layout. It is just north of Belleville in the 19th Arrondissement and around a 30-minute walk from Gare du Nord railway station.
This is where you come to escape tourists and just meander in a space that feels slightly removed from the city. You can enjoy the serenity of the lake, lush trees, and rocky cliffs and also visit a few man-made points of interest like the hidden waterfall, the metallic bridge designed by Gustave Eiffel or the mysterious Temple de la Sybille overlooking the lake from the cliff.
This is one of the favorite picnic spots in Paris for locals. When the weather is good, visitors like to enjoy some drinks in the park’s two guinguettes (Pavillon Puebla and Rosa Bonheur) or a meal indorrs or outdoors at the more fancy Pavillon du Lac.
6. Jardin du Palais Royal
If the French Ministry of Culture officially classifies a place as a “Remarkable Garden”, you better pay attention. One of the best gardens in Paris also for its history, the Jardin du Palais Royal had its origins in the 1600s and was Louis XIV’s playground during his first years and later one of the hotspots of the French Revolution in Paris.
Le Jardin du Palais Royal remains one of the most beloved spaces in the city. And don’t let its diminutive size fool you either. This small garden just north of the Louvre has a few tricks up its tree-lines sleeves.
One of the most charming attractions in the garden is the Petit Canon (sundial noon canon) that sits on a pedestal and is no bigger than your average bottle of Bourdeaux red. The Alley of Colette is another iconic pathway, lined on both sides with impossibly green trees while the Buren Columns are a must of any Instagram account. If you visit Paris in February, the magnolia blossoms cover the garden in pink.
7. Parc Montsouris
This park is slightly out of the way and sits on the southern edge of the inner ring road of Paris, not far from the Cité Universitaire and the Catacombs of Paris. This is where you will find markers of Paris’s imaginary meridian that runs from north to south and was long used as the zero point for longitude on French maps.
You can also visit the impressive Column of the Armed Peace that shoots up from the sprawling lawns or walk along the circle path around the lake.
8. Parc de Belleville
If you are after a park with a view, look no further than Parc de Belleville. Located in the 20th Arrondissement, you will have one of the best views of Paris, and yes, that includes the Eiffel Tower. It is one of the newer parks in the city and was built in the late ‘80s but it doesn’t make it any less special.
One of the most popular aspects of the park is the wooded village for children that was built on the slopes. Let the young ones clamber up and down the robes and walls while you unwind on the grass and soak in the scenery. The park also features a charming 140-vine strong vineyard with pinot Meunier from Champagne and chardonnay from Bourgogne.
9. Promenade Plantée
The Promenade Plantée (also known as Coulée Verte) is one of the best off-the beaten path gardens of Paris. The viaduct that once connected the former train station of Bastille to the Bois de Vincennes had its swan song in the 60s but it has been given a new lease on life as the world’s first elevated park walkway. This 5km garden is just 10 meters above street level but for a city almost devoid of skyscrapers, this is plenty.
The Promenade Plantée runs from the intersection of rue de Lyon and avenue Daumesnil in an easterly direction towards Saint-Mandé. One of the most popular aspects of this Paris garden are its quirky views of Paris from above and the bicycle paths that take you away from the busy streets and sidewalks of Paris.