The best way to experience Paris is la promenade. Take a walk and take in the beautiful architecture, art, gardens and fall in love... with Paris! Here are 5 of my favorite gardens and parks for a stroll in Paris and the surrounding area.
Claude Monet's House & Gardens in Giverny
Visit Claude Monet's home and gardens and see the real life inspiration for his Water Lilies series.
Monet spent the last 30 years of his life on the Water Lilies series and the paintings are part of collections at art museums around the world - including the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Art Institute of Chicago (which has an incredible Impressionism collection).
His home and gardens are just outside of Paris in Giverny. Don't miss the interior - with beautiful color schemes, and his studio filled with original paintings.
Giverny Day Trip
How to get to Giverny from Paris:
We took the train from the Saint-Lazare Paris station. It takes about 50 minutes, and was inexpensive! Book your tickets for Monet's House & Gardens here.
2. PROMENADE PLANTEE
The World's First Elevated Park
An abandoned rail line turned public park, the Promenade Plantée (aka Coulée Verte) is an elevated tree-lined garden path. It is one of the best places for a quiet, romantic stroll, away from the bustle of the city. It has inspired other cities to convert old railways into public parks, like the High Line in New York City.
The first mile is elevated, offering magical views of Paris rooftops. Two more miles pass through gardens and tunnels.
How to get to the Promenade Plantée
Access the western part from Bastille by walking down rue de Lyon to Avenue Daumesnil. Once you reach the viaduct on the left, take the staircase.
3. THE SEINE
Seine Riverside Stroll
Parc Rives de Seine is a pedestrian promenade from the Eiffel Tower to the Louvre. Enjoy the views, lay in a hammock, or have a picnic. The 4 miles have been converted from busy roads to pedestrian-only paths - a quiet escape in the heart of the city.
Palace of Versailles
Created by King Louis XIV and home to Marie Antoinette, Napoleon and more historical French figures, the palace is one of the most important landmarks in France. It took 40 years and thousands of men to finish the expansive gardens.
How to get to Versailles
The easiest way is a train from Paris to the Versailles Château Rive Gauche station. More info and tickets here.
5. LUXEMBOURG GARDENS
French gardens have a particular style, usually incorporating symmetry, precisely trimmed shrubs, and water features. Whenever I see parks with evenly spaced trees lining a path, I always think of Paris first. The Luxembourg Gardens have all of these features - and picturesque toy boats!