One of my absolute favorite things to do when visiting the City of Light is stroll through the beautiful gardens and parks of Paris. Paris really has some of the best parks and gardens of any city in Europe!
And, if you follow the plan in my 3 day, 5 day, or 7 day Paris itinerary, youll notice some of these spots making an appearance!
Parisians love hanging out on a park chair or relaxing on the grass, spending quality time with their friends and family. If you want a true local experience, head to the gardens!
Additionally, the gardens make it super convenient to enjoy a picnic lunch – really, Paris is so well set up for picnics! It’s easy to grab something from a nearby boulangerie or grocery store and enjoy your food in one of these beautiful spots.
(Check out my picnicking in Paris post for lots of ideas and suggestions of easy and delicious meals to pick up for a perfect Paris picnic.)
Now onto the best parks and gardens of Paris ! For different reasons, these are all some of the the best gardens and greenspaces of Paris. As you will see, these Parisian parks all have unique aspects to them, but are all beautiful areas to relax and enjoy nature.
1. Jardin de Luxembourg
This garden is situated right in the heart of the Latin Quarter, and is one of the larger parks in Paris. Right at the main entrance is the Palais de Luxembourg, where the French Senate meets.
This garden was commissioned by the Queen Mairie de Medici in the 1600’s. She intended to use the palace as her second residence, but the grounds opened as a public park in the late 1600’s.
This garden is known for its large basin, beautiful sculptures and pretty flower beds. Green chairs are plentiful, or you can relax on one of the many grassy areas. There are walking/jogging trails through the trees, and a playground for children.
In the summer, you can rent little boats to sail in the ponds. Numerous tennis courts, a basketball court, a cafe, and other smaller gardens are tucked away in the back corners of the garden.
One notable spot is the Medici Fountain – you can find it on the east side of the Luxembourg palace. This is a beautiful fountain, and you’ll find a different sculpture/fountain structure on the opposite side pictured here.
From the east entrance you get a great view of the Pantheon. This park is particularly popular with students and early morning joggers.
2. Jardin de Tuileries
The Jardin de Tuileries is right along the major tourist line in Paris. The garden starts at the Louvre and ends at the Place de la Concorde and Champs Elysées. While it used to be a private garden for the royal family, it became a public park after the French Revolution.
There are so many amazing views in this park! You can see the Louvre, walk along the bank of the Seine, and see the Eiffel Tower peeking out above the buildings and trees. My favorite viewpoint, though, is from the Grand Allée, the main thoroughfare, which has the obelisk of the Place de la Concorde framed by the Arc de Triomphe.
In the middle of the garden is the Grand Couvert, which is a well-designed, forested area. You can explore the paths through manicured trees, and the sculptures and small basins hidden in them.
There are several basins with lots of green chairs encircling them. You’ll find grand sculptures scattered around, that include sculptures from the 1600’s and 1900’s alike.
In the Jardin de Tuileries, the grassy areas are pretty much just for looking at, not for lying on, but you will find benches and chairs throughout the park..
It’s a popular garden with locals and tourists alike, and for good reason!
3. Champ de Mars
The Champ de Mars is the long, grassy area that leads up to the Eiffel Tower. It is lined with trees and is the best garden in Paris if you want spectacular views of the tower. This park is much more chill (no fountains or sculptures or flowers), but the grass is open for relaxing and enjoying a picnic.
In fact, it really would be a crime to not enjoy a picnic lunch on the Champ de Mars before heading up to climb the tower. You can pick up a variety of picnic foods on the nearby Rue Cler, a market street that has a boulangerie, fromagerie, wine shop, and several fruit stands. Read all about my suggestions for a perfect picnic in Paris here!
While you absolutely can come back here at night to watch the Eiffel Tower light up and sparkle, I actually prefer watching the light show from the Trocadero platform, across the river on the other side of the tower. The way the ledge perfectly frames the base of the tower is *chef’s kiss*.
The Eiffel Tower lights up at dusk, and it sparkles for five minutes at the top of the hour.
4. Parc Monceau
Parc Monceau is a hidden gem for tourists, but definitely a local favorite in the upscale neighborhood of the 8th arrondissement.
The gates around the park are a fancy black wrought iron with gold tips at the top, and there are numerous interesting features in the park, including a rotunda at the main entrance, a carousel for children, a pond with a beautiful weeping willow and curved line of columns, a bridge, a waterfall feature, a playground, and several sculptures scattered among the grass.
Plus, there are lots of natural trees and grass for people to relax and play on, and wide walking paths with park benches lining the paths.
When I did a 3 month study abroad in Paris, I lived about 10 minutes from Parc Monceau. So, I might be biased, but to me, this is THE best garden in Paris!
Bonus: You can get a magnificent view of the Arc de Triomphe through the gate at the east end of the park.
5. Parc des Buttes Chaumont
This is another local favorite of a park, this time located even farther out in the 19th arrondissement.
This park is a little bit less “fancy” than other parks in Paris -fewer sculptures and landscaped features. But it is still beautiful. You’ll find a large pond and a bridge with a towering cliff face, but most of the park is grass, trees, and walking trails.
It’s a great spot for a relaxing picnic and to get a feel for a local Parisian experience, and because the park is set on a hill (the butte), you get a unique view over Paris.
6. Cimetière Père Lachaise
As a cemetery, this may be the most unconventional “park” on this list, but hear me out! While yes, Père Lachaise is a cemetery, it’s also a very peaceful, beautiful, and nature-centric cemetery.
At 110 acres, there are a lot of lovely, cobblestoned, tree-lined paths to walk, and the old, ornate, above ground tombs and sepulchers make for interesting scenery. There is no grass or benches to sit on, but if you’re looking for a peaceful, relaxing spot to stroll through, Père Lachaise delivers.
7. Bois de Boulogne
On the southwest edge of the city, on the edge of the 16th arrondissement, you’ll find a VERY large park – it’s just over 2000 acres of land! Unsurprisingly, there is a LOT to do in this park.
You’ll find 10 lakes and ponds, plus 3 streams. You can rent a boat on the Lac Inferieur.
There is an English garden, a zoo, and a series of greenhouses. A horse track and tennis complex are also found on the grounds, where annual horse races and the French Open occur.
Of course, like any public park, there are numerous trails for walking, biking, or jogging, and lots of grassy areas to relax on.
8. Bois de Vincennes
As massive as the Bois de Boulogne is, the Bois de Vincennes is just slightly bigger. This park is located on the southeast edge of the city, essentially opposite from Boulogne.
In the Bois de Vincennes, you can explore 4 different lakes, each with different features (like a grotto or the “temple of Love”). You can tour the old Château de Vincennes, visit a small botanical garden, a zoo, and an arboretum.
The Bois de Boulogne and the Bois de Vincennes have a lot of similarities, and I would say both of them are the best garden in Paris for really escaping city life and feeling like you’re immersed in nature (due to the large size and natural state of the parks).
The Chateau of Versailles is about a 45 minute train ride southwest of the city of Paris, and it is one of the most well-known landmarks in France! As beautiful as the chateau is, the grounds are just as stunningly intricate and groomed.
The park and gardens are actually free to enter (on days when there is not a musical fountain show, check the schedule for the dates), and there are a few gates where you can access the grounds directly. The easiest way is by entering on the left hand side of the front of the palace, through the Courtyard of the Princes.
You can stroll down the Tapis Vert, or explore the many manicured groves off the Tapis Vert. Each grove has paths winding through it and a focal point in the middle – be it a large fountain, statues, or even a mini-amphitheater.
Continue walking towards the back of the estate and you’ll hit the Grand Canal, which is in the shape of a cross. This canal extends deep into the grounds, and you can find many walking paths along or near the canal. Alternatively, you can rent a rowboat and experience Versailles from the water!
The grounds of Versailles are truly spectacular and are for sure worth a visit.
Park/Gardens Cost: Free, except on Musical Fountains days, cost of ticket to the palace starts at 18 euro
10. Jardin des Plantes
The Jardin des Plantes is the main botanical garden in Paris and is located in the Latin Quarter (the 5th arrondissement), right along the Seine.
As a botanical garden, the Jardin des Plantes has gorgeous flower and tree displays, plus areas like an alpine garden, a menagerie, and a greenhouse. A natural history museum is also on the premises.
Entrance Fee: 6 euro
11. Place Des Vosges
Place des Vosges is a small but absolutely charming garden square in the Marais area of Paris.
It’s the oldest planned square in Paris, and is unique in that it’s perfectly symmetrical, with regularity in the buildings that line the square. These buildings are made with red bricks and beige stone, a style unlike anything else in Paris.
The entirety of the square (apart from the road on the perimeter) is filled with this little park. Place des Vosges is very symmetrical, with two gates on either end, four fountains in each corner, trees in the center, and paths leading to the fountains. There is also an abundance of grass that is open for people to relax on, which makes it a very popular hangout spot for friends to meet up and enjoy the afternoon sun.
Place des Vosges was an upscale neighborhood, where wealthy people lived and gathered. Today, it is still a trendy and fashionable area of town, with charming cafes, boutiques, and art galleries in the buildings lining the square.
One notable attraction in the square is the apartment of Victor Hugo (the writer of the famous works Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame). Today his house is a museum, which you can tour and see where the famous author worked and wrote!
12. Rodin Museum
Just behind Les Invalides, and not far from the Eiffel Tower, is the Musée Rodin. While not one of the most famous, this is actually one of my favorite museums in Paris! Rodin was a sculptor and the museum is filled with pieces he and his students created.
So why is this listed as a park? While it is a beautiful art museum, the property is actually an old manor, with lovely grounds. Indeed, the museum moves fluidly from indoors to outdoors, with many beautiful sculptures, and the most famous of Rodin’s works (The Thinker), displayed outside in the gardens.
You’ll find The Thinker tucked in the center of some very tall hedges, and the Gates of Hell (another impressive and really massive sculpture) standing proudly along the edge of the garden wall.
It’s a very peaceful way to experience both nature and art, and strolling through the trees or by the fountain while admiring the sculptures is a calming way to spend an hour or two. While you do need to buy a ticket to enter, the garden aspect of the museum is a lovely (and usually not very busy) oasis in the city.
Entrance Fee: 13 euro (or is included in the Paris Museum Pass)
13. Square Louise Michel
Set in the shadow of the Sacré Coeur basilica, the Square Louise Michel has a lawn and stairs to sit on (and lots of people love relaxing on the stairs here), plus a carousel. Because this square is on the hill of Montmartre, you get a great vantage point out and over the city of Paris.
The white domes of the basilica are right overhead, which stay the same shockingly white year in and year out thanks to the travertine stone.
This square gets very busy during the day, but it is still a beautiful place to spend some time (get here early if you want a more peaceful experience, though!).
Map of The Best Gardens in Paris
Here’s a handy dandy map of where to find each of these beautiful parks of Paris.
Like this Gardens of Paris post? Check out my other Paris articles!
Final Thoughts on the Best Gardens and Parks of Paris
Some of these gardens are very well-known and popular, while others are more off the beaten path. Whichever ones you choose, an exploration of at least a few of these best gardens in Paris is definitely a must-do on your vacation to Paris!