Where to Picnic in Paris
When the sun is out in Paris, there are few better things to do than pack up your picnic basket and head off for an al fresco feast in one of the numerous picnic spots in Paris.
Despite hosting a population of over 2 million people, there are plenty of beautiful places to picnic in Paris in which you can make a day out of al fresco dining. We all know the usual picnic hangouts near the Eiffel Tower or in Montmartre, but there are also plenty of smaller or more unusual green spots where you can settle for a quiet and scenic Parisian picnic.
Where to picnic in Paris? We’ve drawn up a list of favorite spots for a picnic in Paris or a French apéritif. Whether you’re after a secluded spot, a hub of activity, or a unique place, we’ve got you covered.
NEED FOOD AND DRINKS FOR YOUR PARISIAN PICNIC?
The perfect Parisian picnic includes homemade salads and tarts, a crunchy Parisian baguette with cold cuts and your favorite cheese, and a good French wine bottle.
If you cannot bring your own picnic, you won’t have to wander far before you hit a boulangerie selling fresh sandwiches and small desserts or a restaurant offering take-away food.
Best Places to Picnic in Paris Center
Square du Vert Galant (Paris 1)
This small triangle of tranquility on the western side of Ile de la Cité does not have much decoration, but it provides a pleasantly refreshing environment for a picnic in the heart of the city.
Enjoy the views of the Seine River and the iconic Parisian rooftops while dangling your feet over the water.
Palais Royal Garden (Paris 1)
If you are looking for a beautiful and tranquil place for a quick sandwich break, the Garden of the Palais Royal is ideal. Surrounded by beautiful 17th-century architecture, the garden is adorned with lime trees, chestnut trees, and a large central pond.
The walkway is lined with benches, perfect for a quick picnic or a spot for reading under the shade of a tree. If you visit in March, the magnolia blossoms give the garden a beautiful pink touch.
Near the garden, the Palace’s Cour d’Honneur hosts the famous Buren’s black and white striped columns. If you leave the garden to the north, instead, you will stumble into some of the most beautiful covered passages of Paris.
Place des Vosges (Paris 4)
Nestled in the heart of the Marais, the oldest of the royal squares in Paris, Place des Vosges is also a popular Paris picnic spot when the temperatures rise.
There are no best views here, but you are in the most elegant square surrounded by some of Paris’ finest architecture. After lunch, you can explore some of the art galleries that line the square or visit Victor Hugo’s house, at number 6, which is now a municipal museum.
Jardin des Rosiers – Joseph Mignared (Paris 4)
This secret garden in the heart of the Marais is a hidden gem of Paris and a peaceful picnic place in Paris with a unique atmosphere.
The garden is reached through the hall of the Hôtel de Coulanges at 35 rue des Francs-Bourgeois, in the most famous Jewish neighborhood in Paris. Here, you can have a quiet lunch on the grass, take a quick nap near the bamboo and birch trees, or smell the roses that gave this garden its name.
In Jardin des Rosiers, there’s no need to bring your homemade picnic: you are at only a few meters of the best falafels to-go of all Paris!
Arènes de Lutèce (Paris 5)
Lovers of heritage sites can enjoy an al fresco meal in true Roman-style while sitting on the tiered steps of the city’s Roman Theater.
Built in the 1st century AD, the Arènes de Lutèce is the oldest monument built in Paris that offered during its hey-days spectacular animal fights, gladiatorial combats, and aquatic sports.
Nestled in the touristy Latin Quarter, this vestige of Roman Paris is today a relaxing place to picnic in Paris, far from the district’s hustle and bustle. Come to this unique site for a break from sightseeing and perhaps a couple of pétanque rounds.
Best Paris Picnic Spots Near the Eiffel Tower
Champ de Mars (Paris 7)
The Eiffel Tower provides a unique setting to this long patch of grass, offering one of Paris’s most quintessential views. Champ de Mars is one of the most popular picnic spots in Paris, but luckily there’s room for everyone.
Once you’ve had your fill, there are plenty of activities near the Eiffel tower, from unique museums to scenic Seine cruises.
Best Picnic Spots in Northern Paris
Parc de la Turlure (Paris 18)
There are many beautiful picnic spots in Montmartre, but when the sun is out most of them get very crowded.
A beautiful exception is the quiet Parc de la Turlure, one of the locals’ favorite green spaces in Montmartre. Located at the corner of rue de la Bonne and rue du Chevalier de la Barre, this park offers a breathtaking view of the Sacré Coeur, and it is perfect for an alfresco dinner with one of Paris’ most iconic views.
The park’s name comes from the Moulin de la Turlure, the 13th windmill of Montmartre, which dominated this place from 1770 to 1827. The park is officially named Square Bleustein-Blanchet, but locals in Montmartre still like to call it for its former mill.
Bassin de la Villette (Paris 19)
From early spring to late fall, Bassin de la Villette becomes a social life hub, far from central Paris’s hustle and bustle. This large man-man body of water between Canal Saint-Martin and Canal de l’Ourcq is the ideal place to picnic, play pétanque, or improvised dances.
During the summer, Bassin de la Villette is one of the Paris Plages event settings, and it is a fun and lively place to be with its artificial beach and plenty of water games.
Bassin de la Villette also offers kayak and paddleboats, sightseeing canal cruises, and fun sailing on electric boats.
Parc Buttes Chaumont (Paris 19)
When the weather starts heating up, Parc Buttes Chaumont is the first port of call for many Parisians living in the north. The setting is beautiful, with its artificial pond and islet crowned by a classic temple, plus it has a couple of popular guinguettes for food and drinks, a puppet theater, and all kind of swings for kids.
Parc Buttes Chaumont is huge and has plenty of good places for your Parisian picnic. We recommend, however, finding a spot high on the slopes for a unique view of Montmartre and the Sacré Coeur.
There you have it, the ultimate list of best picnic spots in Paris! Sure, there are many more places to picnic in Paris but this is a good start for your next visit.