In Paris, the word Spring rhymes with parks and gardens. If we were Monet or Renoir, we would say “en plein air”, in the open air. There is no better season to visit (and why not, get lost) in the green of the Ville Lumiere. Because Paris is not just the Eiffel Tower or Notre Dame…
JARDIN DES TUILERIES
The Jardin des Tuileries, between the Louvre, the Orangerie Museum and Place de la Concorde, is one of the most popular and visited gardens in the French capital. Shooting set. High fashion photographer and sweethearts hand in hand come here at the same time. Clean and intimate, the park gives you some eighteenth-century vibes. Magical? Majestic? Elegant? Yes, yes and yes. Everyone has to walk by it, tourists or Parisienne, it makes no difference.
PARC DES BUTTES-CHAUMONT
We are in 1867, Napoleon III ardently wants this place to be built, and, as every desire that becomes reality, it ends up being beautiful. The Temple of Sibilla on an ancient gypsum quarry, the variety of plants in which the birds’ nests are hidden. This place seems to grow in an almost uncultivated way to pay homage to the imperfect and spontaneous beauty of nature. Its tranquillity and romance make it an almost surreal landscape.
JARDIN DU LUXEMBOURG
A park of a unique beauty, as well as of rare refinement. The Medici family wanted the Palazzo del Lussemburgo to be built inside it: a precious space scattered with statues and busts. Here, art plays and mixes with nature. Spreading everywhere are sculptures of great artists, musicians and historical figures who have fun together with an unusual nature.
Next to a garden like this, an equally fascinating museum stands: the Luxembourg Museum. Here, from March 7 to July 1, 2018, a great exhibition dedicated to Tintoretto comes to life, a journey through the works of the Renaissance genius.
PARC DE LA VILLETTE
In the 19th arrondissement, this is undoubtedly the park you do not expect to find in the French capital. Science and technology are the masters here. Designed by Bernard Tschumi in 1983, it is one of the masterpieces of landscape and architectural design of the last century. To make it so famous are the Gèode projection room, the City of Sciences and Industry and the City of Music with its conservatory.
The Parc de la Villette is a concentrate of nature and modernity. Here you may experience cultural events such as contemporary circuses, exhibitions, theatrical performances, outdoor film screenings and concerts of all kinds of music, from jazz to electronics through classical, pop and rock.
From April 29 to August 19, 2018, in the Espace Chapiteaux, an exhibition will open that will make fans of Lego bricks and superheroes unbelievably happy. Art of the Brick – DC Super Heroes stars over 100 sculptures of the most beloved characters of our childhood, adolescence and even maturity.
From the former wine depots in the 90s, stretching along the Seine for 14 hectares, the park of Bercy has come to life. This place has kept traces of its past: vineyards and sections of the railway are still all here.
This park is divided into three parts: the Parterre, in which the vegetable garden, the cellar, the rose garden, the labyrinth, the garden of the essences and the house of gardening follow one another; a Great prairie, with immense green detox spaces to relax; and the romantic garden with the most beautiful waterlilies in Paris.
But it does not end here. For those who love architecture, there is a gem not to be missed. Frank Gehry has also played a part in Bercy: his are the projects of the French Film Library and the Cinema Museum. Elements of pure deconstruction and formal exercise of the archistar’s style. Just a few steps away, spaces to practice parkour, skateboarding and BMX. The most beautiful way to see the mix of different ages and generations living this place.
PARC ANDRÉ CITROËN
A park born inside the former Parisian Citroën factory, directly on the Seine. This park is divided into three themed areas: the Jardin Blanc, the Jardin Noir and the large central park. Games for the little ones, large expanses of green for the relaxation of the older ones. But what makes this place exceptional is the hot air balloon. Depending on the weather conditions, adults and children can climb and see the city from a height of 150 meters. Simply stunning.
Another unusual place in Paris, mostly unknown to tourists but deeply loved by the Parisians, is the Promenade Plantée. A long green “corridor” that has taken the place of an old elevated railway track. Born ten years before the well-known High Line of New York, it’s a magnificent example of the recovery of a now disused railway line and it allows you to have a perfect view on the life of the neighbourhood.
Not far from the Arc de Triomphe, looking romantic and decadent, this park has even been painted by Monet. Eclectic pavilions, labyrinthine paths, the ruins of a temple of Mars and those of a Gothic castle; a minaret, a Dutch mill, an Egyptian pyramid, a Chinese pagoda, a tartar tent, a Venetian bridge. This place stands as an eclectic mix of different architecture in the heart of Paris.
Tips: pull out your canvas shoes from the closet, make a playlist of songs that is the right mix between The XX – Pearl Jam – Janis Joplin and book your first flight to Paris.