More than 3,000 hectares, more than 250,000 trees, and more than 421 in total. These numbers alone don't make the parks and gardens of Paris superior. It's the history and artistry from which they were passionately and carefully crafted.
Jardin des Tuileries: The Legend
Without a doubt, it's the most famous public park and garden in the whole wide world … but mainly in Paris. We love it just as much for its history as its centrality, the heart of Parisian life, history, and culture. Stretching from the famous Place de La Concorde to the even more famous Louvre museum in the 1st arrondissement, the Jardin des Tuileries is the most renowned green space in all of France (fine, just Paris), and the champion of jardins à la française.
In some shape or form, the Tuileries Garden has always been there. Since 1564, the grounds have stood as a superior example of nature, symmetry, and beauty, carrying the unmistakable air of opulence. It has been reimagined countless times over the years, but today the garden is known for its majestic fountains and sculptures (by Maillol and Rodin, you might have heard of them), its serene ponds, and manicured lawns. On the premises, you'll find the intimate Musée de l’Orangerie, which exhibits the oeuvres of Claude Monet, and also cafes and a few Paul carts selling delicious croissants.
Is it too good to be true? Absolutely not. Just ask the millions of tourists who travel across the globe to cross its paths every year.
Rendez-vous at Jardin des Tuileries if …
- You visit the classics, first and foremost
- Versailles is beautiful, but nothing beats Paris
- You are a champion, and only to spend your time with other champions
Jardin du Luxembourg: The Legend, Part 2
It all began with an Italian widow, 2,000 elm trees, and a dream. From this came the Jardin du Luxembourg, 23 hectares bordering Saint-Germain-des-Prés and the Latin Quarter in the 6th arrondissement. At SoBarnes, we simply refer to it as le jardin du luxe.
Here's why: 100+ statues exquisitely frozen in time, 20+ sculptures of history’s top players, manicured lawns sprinkled with all colors of the rainbow, apple orchards and pear trees, boules and tennis courts (6 in total), and countless benches and chairs for bookworms to enjoy. Let’s not forgot about our little ones who have yet to acquire an appreciation for the quiet beauty of nature: The garden offers a puppet theater and various playgrounds to keep them entertained.
What more can we say? A lot. But we’ll end by sharing the most valuable object on the lot, the Fontaine de Medicis, a little bit of Rome à Paris.
Find your spot in the Jardin de Luxe if …
- You have a green thumb
- You are a true bookworm
- You are all of the above
Parc Montsouris: The Center of Everything
It’s now time to leave the center and find a new one. We have the perfect place! It requires a journey out to the periphery of the 14th arrondissement and into the multiverse. The Parc Montsouris is perhaps the most underrated urban-park in Paris. Constructed in a noble English style, its reputation exists in the shadows of horticulturists, notable architects, astronomers, and Emperor Napoleon. Today the 15.5 hectares of mystical greenery draws city goers away from busy Parisian streets and into its fresh air.
This park is home to a major, if obscure, landmark: the Paris Meridian, a stone monument marking the spot of the once-believed meridian point, the imaginary line marking the direct trail from the north to the south pole. From 1806 to 1884, it was used as the "zero point" for French maps. This was until the meridian was (correctly) moved to London, as if to say, "Paris really isn’t the center of the universe." But standing on that point, in this enchanting park, you can't help but be convinced of the contrary.
Find your center at Parc Montsouris if …
- You are a celestial being
- You have a love-hate relationship with the English
- Paris will always be the center of (your) universe
Parc des Buttes-Chaumont: The Anomaly
Fun fact: This park is the result of a failed partnership between Napoleon and Haussmann. Straying from the typical French-style parks, the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont features a blend of Chinese and English style landscaping.
Located on the outskirts of the 19th arrondissement, one of the largest green spaces in Paris (25 hectares) and a local favorite, the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont is the great escape for Parisians, with its geographical diversity and extraordinary panoramic views of the city. Witness the grandeur of the Sacré Coeur from a distance.
Can you imagine a park in Paris with large rocky cliffs, waterfalls and lakes, a Sybille temple, a grotto, a long suspension bridge, a cave with an underground quarry, 5 kilometers of pathways, and, most importantly, NO (or limited) tourists? When the sun comes out, Parisians hurry to Parc des Buttes-Chaumont for a wonderful picnic or an afternoon tanning session.
70 degrees outside? You’ll be at the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont if …
- You think everything à la francaise is overrated
- 70 degrees is bikini weather
- No tourists ... in Paris? You’re there
Parc Monceau: The Muse
This park may just be our favorite. What can we say, it was love at first sight in the 8th arrondissement. We adore the intimate Parc Monceau for its accessories and follies from around the world, like the Egyptian pyramid, Dutch windmill, Venetian bridge, Corinthian pillars, and a Chinese pagoda. We thank the late-great Duke of Chartres, the aristocrat who made it all possible.
Every morning at sunrise and every evening at sunset, you're likely to see locals strolling through its iron gates, idling around the grand rotunda and among the draping foliage. Young children make their first friends in its playgrounds, discover their favorite flower in its gardens, and develop a sense of wonder and an early appreciation for nature's most beautiful gifts. It’s no wonder the setting was one of Monet's muses.
Our conclusion: This traditional French garden, equipped with a lovely cafe, is quintessential and essential.
Love is in the air at Parc Monceau if …
- You consider yourself a cosmopolite
- Everything à la francaise is underrated
- Falling in love in Paris is your dream
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