Transportation Strikes in France 2023
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About La Coulée Verte, Paris
La Coulée Verte, Paris (also known as La Promenade Plantée) is a public park built on a historical rail line in eastern Paris. Saved from demolition by neighborhood residents and the City of Paris, the Coulée Verte opened in 1993 as a hybrid public space where visitors experience nature, art, and design.
Few Parisians know about La Coulée Verte located in the 12th Arrondissement of Paris. And it is a pity because this free, 5-km stroll from Bastille Square to Bois de Vincennes is a very scenic walk, perfect for escaping Paris’s hassle without leaving the city.
La Coulée Verte is not the same as La Petite Ceinture, they are two different things! La Coulée Verte follows the former Vincennes Railway Line which linked Place de la Bastille to Varenne-Saint-Maur from 1859. La Coulée Verte goes from Paris 12 to Paris 10 while La Petite Ceinture is a railway line that circumnavigates Paris.
The Coulée Verte is one of our favorite secret places in Paris. Click here for the list of the most beautiful hidden gems in Paris.
History of La Promenade Plantée
The Vincennes Railway Line was a freight and passenger railway line that opened on 22nd September 1859. This was one of the last lines in the Paris suburbs to see steam locomotives running until the late sixties. The Vincennes Railway Line worked for passenger traffic until 1969, and it stopped working in 1985.
While the Opera Bastille replaced the Bastille station, the viaduct was converted into glass-fronted workshops and boutiques for local artisans (the Viaduct des Arts), and the old rail tracks became La Coulée Verte of Paris.
La Coulée Verte is a nature walk that crosses tunnels, trenches, and parks. At times elevated 10 meters above the streets of Paris, La Coulée Verte was the world’s first elevated park walkway that later inspired the Highline in New York City.
How to Visit the Coulée Verte
The best way to experience the Coulée Verte is to wander, though as you explore, you may want to linger at some of the park’s most distinctive spots listed below.
We like to walk La Promenade Plantée in the summer to escape the high temperatures, and it is also lovely to explore under the fall colors. The pictures on this post were taken in July and October to see La Coulée Verte of Paris through the seasons.
We have split this stroll into short sections, walking from east to west. For each section, we give you the walking distance, the closest metro station, and the closest Vélib station (click here for the Velib map) in case you are moving around Paris by bike.
This itinerary starts at Rue de Sahel, but you can access La Promenade Plantée where you want, thanks to stairs and lifts all along the way.
Section 1: Rue Sahel – Tunnel de Reuilly
Walking Distance: 800m
Metro Station: Bel Air Line 6; Vélib Station#12022
We access La Coulée Verte through Rue de Sahel /Avenue du General Michel Bizot. After walking some meters, we reach the section built in a trench, leaving the city’s hassle above us.
This is a beautiful section – my favorite part – very green and with lush vegetation. This part is also accessible to bikers, rollerbladers, and skateboarders and it goes through two short tunnels beautifully illuminated.
This part ends with a third long tunnel, Le Tunnel de Reuilly. At the end of this tunnel, the section heads to the street level.
Section 2: Allée Vivaldi – Jardin de Reuilly
Walking Distance: 350m
Metro Station: Dugommier Line 6; Vélib Station#12036
Allée Vivaldi is a kind of pedestrian avenue with trees all along its way. We like to walk it in October- November because the trees with the fall colors are magnificent.
Along this avenue, we can still see the ancient Gare de Reuilly, one of the train stations of the former Vincennes Railway Line. In the picture below, you can see how it looked like when the line was still working. Today the train station is used for social events.
At the end of this alley, it is necessary to climb some stairs to reach the Reuilly Garden bridge.
Section 3: Jardin de Reuilly
Walking Distance: 210 m
Metro Station: Montgallet Line 6; Vélib Station #12028
This is another cool part of la Coulée Verte. In this section, the path runs along an elevated walkway 10 m above Jardin de Reuilly.
Perhaps this part of the walk reminds you of New York’s High Line? Well, you are right! The Promenade Plantée, inaugurated in 1993, was its source of inspiration.
In the summertime, Jardin de Reuilly is packed with people enjoying a picnic on the grass or sunbathing. In contrast, in the fall, this garden is usually enjoyed by a few lonely walkers.
Section 4: Jardin de Reuilly – Rue de Lyon /Av. Daumesnil
Walking Distance: 1,4 Km
Metro Station: Montgallet, Line 6; Vélib Station #12027
This is the last part of this beautiful nature walk in Paris. At one point, the walkway runs through a modern building, which is very cool! Walkers are still above the street level, and it is interesting to see the surrounding architecture from another point of view.
For example, there is a relatively modern building with reproductions of Michelangelo’s Rebellious Slave, today part of the Louvre collections. These slaves are 2 floors high!
I like to describe this part as a ‘hanging garden,’ with some water bodies, different kinds of flowers and plants, and some shady spots to take a break.
There are never many people around, so even if it is a narrow stretch, it is nice to stop and sit in the shade for a break.
Viaduc des Arts
This beautiful stroll finishes at Viaduc des Arts. This is the ancient Viaduct de Bastille, built to support Paris’s railway line – Bastille – Vincennes.
At the beginning of the ’80s, the City Council decided to keep and restore this place and dedicate it to arts & crafts. And that’s what you see today: ateliers, workshops, cute cafes, and galleries have taken up residence in the vaulted arches below the garden.
Once you are done with this part, it’s time to go to Bastille Square and the surrounding streets for a more than deserved drink.
Did you enjoy this scenic nature walk in Paris? Are there similar walks in your city?
Click here to explore other Paris Hidden Gems
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JONA | BACKPACKING WITH A BOOK02/08/2017 at 1:39 am
I’m a huge fan of gardens and greeneries. This place perfectly fits the bill! I wouldn’t mind walking around here for hours. Or perhaps have a lovely date with a book.
WorldInParis02/08/2017 at 8:01 pm
from what you say, la promenade plantée is perfect for you 🙂
Vicky and Buddy01/25/2017 at 2:57 pm
I’ve been to Paris twice now and had no idea this existed! And how cool that New York’s high-line was modeled after Promenade Plantee. I’ll definitely add it to my list of things to do next time I’m in Paris; it looks so beautiful and peaceful!
WorldInParis03/01/2017 at 8:46 pm
It is, it is!! I am sure you will enjoy it a lot. So next time . . .
Megan Jerrard01/25/2017 at 7:41 am
I’ve been to Paris a couple of times, but I seem to have missed this! So much greenery, what a lovely walk! I’ll have to make a note to remember Promenade Plantee on the next trip, and then Viaduct des Arts after we’ve finished in the gardens 🙂 Thanks!
WorldInParis03/01/2017 at 8:46 pm
I am sure you will enjoy it, especially if you walk it during summer time. So refreshing!
Indrani01/23/2017 at 8:59 am
Promenade Plantee is so fascinating. I wish I was there for a couple of days more to explore Paris in detail. The 5 days I spent there flew off in no time. 😛 🙂
Aga01/23/2017 at 4:13 am
I’ve been to Paris so many times and had no idea there are such beautiful green places! Will have to explore this side of Paris next time I’m there. Thanks for sharing!
Sumti01/22/2017 at 6:41 pm
Paris is really beautiful. Lovely Photos. I never know there is so much greenry to see which is the best place to have a walk and roam around the city
Vicki Louise01/22/2017 at 4:59 am
What an amazing green space in the middle of such a bustling city! It would be so lovely to spend a couple of hours surrounded by nature without actually having to travel outside the city. The few Parisians that know about it must love having this area on their doorstep.
WorldInParis02/26/2017 at 11:12 pm
Yes, we do love it! It is a charming place especially in spring and summer time
Anne Slater-Brooks01/21/2017 at 6:34 pm
This reminds me of the Trans-Pennine Trail which is near where I live. I love cycling or running along it and think I would feel the same about this place. I love that building with the sculptures on top.
WorldInParis02/26/2017 at 11:13 pm
Never heard about Trans-Pennine trail. Where is it? It would be interesting to have a look . . . 🙂
Jerny11/26/2016 at 12:13 am
A little stroll wouldn’t hurt! or maybe run around these greens. I am a fan of parks and gardens. I always tend to be a watcher of people, observing them. It’d be awesome to walk here with a loved one as well, a girlfriend perhaps, and talk about just anything enjoying the scenery. Sweet! Thanks for sharing!
WorldInParis11/26/2016 at 10:16 am
You are welcome 🙂
Marge11/25/2016 at 8:50 pm
To me it’s a good thing that few people know about the La Promenade Plantée or else it would be crowded and may make that bit about “escaping the city” impossible. It’s lovely though, and I can definitely imagine myself walking through there, to the view of all those greens, down to the tunnel.
I have always wanted to go to France, it is my lifelong dream. When the universe takes me there (hopefully in the near future), I will take a walk to the promenade plantee for sure.
WorldInParis11/26/2016 at 10:11 am
if the universe takes you there, just give me a call 😉
Rashmi and Chalukya11/25/2016 at 1:29 pm
We have always known Paris as a bustling city. Its great to know about such green places away from the hustle bustle to spend some peaceful time amidst the nature. Thanks for the post!
WorldInParis11/26/2016 at 10:14 am
you are welcome! i love to write about this less known places in Paris 🙂
neha11/25/2016 at 10:12 am
This place is so green. I simply feel like staring forever on its greenery. The locals must understand the importance of such a place and nurture it with all their love..ask someone like me whose hometown is deprived of greenery
WorldInParis11/26/2016 at 10:18 am
there is so much to see and do in paris that it is impossible to know everything
Danica11/25/2016 at 9:37 am
I’ve always dreamt of going to Paris someday. Haven’t heard of this Promenade but definitely worth to visit! I love walking around and one day, I hope to see myself walking around this exquisitely beautiful place.
WorldInParis11/26/2016 at 10:15 am
hope you will make it to Paris soon 🙂
SindhuMurthy11/24/2016 at 5:20 pm
Woow is the word! I just love all the wonderful pics in this article. I very much enjoyed reading about this face of Paris which is otherwise considered synonymous to the famous Eiffel tower.Thanks a ton for the visual tour 🙂
WorldInParis11/26/2016 at 10:14 am
thanks a lot for your nice comment 🙂
Gypsycouple11/19/2016 at 10:01 am
We’re especially fond of green areas in a city and this seems to be perfect in so many ways. Hopefully we will have some time when we visit Paris to go on a walk in this promenade 🙂
WorldInParis11/22/2016 at 5:11 pm
I hope so, it is a nice stroll! 🙂
Ferna11/18/2016 at 1:19 am
Never heard of this from other bloggers (maybe there are some write up) and friends. I like places unknown to many. I haven’t been to Paris yet, but will certainly take note of these places. I wonder how wonderful will it be during autumn, your photos are stunning.
WorldInParis11/22/2016 at 5:12 pm
Thanks Ferna 🙂 Hope you will make it to Paris soon
Thelittlelai: Beyond limits11/17/2016 at 11:19 pm
By the name itself Promenade Plantee sounds really refreshing. Who would not love to traipse their feet on this fresh and lively color green path, right? I would certainly visit this place when I get the chance to visit Paris. I actually just found out about this place, it is really interesting.
WorldInParis11/22/2016 at 5:13 pm
Yes, it is a refreshing walk, especially in summer time 🙂
Vyjay11/17/2016 at 6:50 am
Wow! The Promenade Plantee is lovely. Would love to stroll around there. It is a pity we missed it while in Paris. Will head there next time for sure.
WorldInParis11/17/2016 at 10:19 am
Thanks Vyjay for your kind comment. Good to read there will be a next time in Paris for you!
trisha velarmino11/16/2016 at 5:17 pm
How I really pity Parisians if they will not take advantage of this beautiful promenade. Not all mega cities in this world have something like this.
I hope that people will see the importance of green spaces. Architects, Engineers and Urban planners believes that with more green spaces, people are more motivated to exercise which is great in fighting some diseases.
WorldInParis11/22/2016 at 5:13 pm
Thanks for your feedback, Trisha! 🙂
Mary - A Mary Road11/16/2016 at 12:01 pm
Such a great compilation! I’ve been to some of these places, but I hope I get to see Jardin de Reuilly 😀
Gel11/16/2016 at 11:32 am
This green walk looks like a place perfect for introverts like me! haha. Seeing the places makes me imagine I’m walking there, or just hanging out with a good book. Thankyou for this post! 🙂
Indrani11/15/2016 at 3:48 am
I should have explored more.
Such lovely scenes from the walk, very soothing and refreshing.
Nathan11/14/2016 at 4:35 pm
I love finding areas of cities that aren’t all hustle and bustle. Love the pictures on this blog!
Louiela11/14/2016 at 3:58 pm
I love how green it is during summer as shown in your photos, I can’t imagine how beautiful it is during autumn… Such a peaceful place, hope I can walk around Promenade Plantee also.
Erica M Poyaua11/14/2016 at 3:43 pm
How can Parisians overlook this place! Good thing you shared it here. I wouldn’t be clueless if I happen to find myself in a Paris tour some time in the future… Promenade Plantee! It’s now officially in my must-visit list!
Castaway with Crystal11/14/2016 at 1:31 pm
Absolutely amazing pictures! I love the gardens! So cool!!!
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melody pittman11/14/2016 at 1:15 pm
This looks like a fabulous place for strolling around and enjoying nature. Promenade Plantée…such a sophisticated name, too. I love finding parks like this.
Cai dominguez11/14/2016 at 10:49 am
I was surprised when you said that only few Parisians know about this part of Paris. How could be? This is a beautiful place to walk. A breath if fresh air. A different perspective to what we usually think about Paris. Hope more of your people could recognize this place and promote a clean and green city.
WorldInParis12/02/2016 at 11:49 am
Oh, don’t be that surprised . . there is so much to see and do in Paris that it is impossible to know everything 😉
Mike11/14/2016 at 5:55 am
So much green! Its great when cities bring in greenery to their parks. I especially love that wall of vines. I hope I can make it here during the spring so its full of life!
Andi11/14/2016 at 1:20 am
A very pleasing landscape. I am always a fan of a nice horizon. It makes me calm. Indeed, Paris has a lot of nice places like this. My cousin is in Paris right now doing a leisure tour. I am jealous, I want to go there too. In the near future, I’ll visit and take nice pictures like these ones.
Andi | http://www.wizardandi.com
Lisa11/13/2016 at 4:32 pm
Love the off the beaten path places. I think I could wander for days around here taking it all in. Nice areas to have a picnic and relax when your done. Thanks for sharing.
Brianna11/13/2016 at 3:45 pm
What a beautiful place for a walk and some great photography! I love when you can find places of quiet and solitude right outside big cities!
Nic11/13/2016 at 3:44 am
This looks like such a cool place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Next time we visit Paris we will definitely have to check it out! Thanks for sharing
Lara Dunning11/13/2016 at 2:42 am
As a lover of small towns, the hustle and bustle of the city can wear me down easily. Love this insider tip as it sounds like it would be a great way to balance out the fun of the city and peacefulness.
Jimmy and Tina11/12/2016 at 9:02 pm
I would have never have thought there were so many beautiful green walking trails in Paris. Your photos are lovely.