Summer is fast approaching, which means picnic season is just around the corner. Here in Paris, there is an abundance of parks and gardens, perfect for an outdoor meal with family and friends in the warmer season. Below, I have selected the top five places for you to enjoy that homemade sandwich, wine and cheese with your loved ones.
Jardin du Luxembourg
This park should be one everyone’s list, both local residences and overseas travellers. Located in the 6th arrondissement, where Saint-Germain-des-Prés meets the Latin Quarter, Jardin du Luxembourg is a popular spot for Parisians family to hang out during the weekend. There are many activities to keep the little ones busy while the adults can entertain themselves on the grass or the many benches scattered around the huge garden. There is also a museum, greenhouses, many beautiful statues and stunning floral arrangements. Picnics are allowed but only on certain green patches and benches within the vicinity. If in doubt, just look around and see what the fellow Parisians do and follow their lead.
Quai de la Tournelle
Quai de la Tournelle is a long promenade on the left bank of the River Seine, starting just behind Notre Dame and overlooking the tiny island of île Saint-Louis. This is a great place to chill in the evening from before the sunsets until late at night, as you enjoy the food and beverage you brought along with a romantic view of the river. Make sure you bring an extra blanket to cover up once the sun goes down and the temperature drops.
Parc de Bagatelle
Located next to the Paris Hippodrome de Longchamp racecourse at the edge of the 16th arrondissement, Parc de Bagatelle is one of the lesser-known but no less beautiful open space in Paris. Despite having an onsite restaurant and café, you can find picnic benches and plenty of open space to lay that picnic blanket down. Unlike the other public parks in the city centre, here you’d have to pay a little entrance fee to gain access to its beautiful grounds, a mere 2,50€ for adults and 1,50€ for kids. The best part of it has got to be the freely wandering peacocks. Don’t be alarmed if you see one poking its beak into your picnic basket. Be friendly and give them the attention these beautiful creatures deserve.
Square du Vert-Galant
Instead of staring at it from the Quai de la Tournelle, why not set foot onto the very island of Île Saint-Louis, one of the two islands in the middle of the River Seine. Square du Vert-Galant is located on the tiny end of the island, while Notre Dame is still sitting beautifully on the bigger end. As you settle down on the square, admire the view of Pont des Arts stretching over the Seine in front of you, the bridge connecting the Louvre to the Institut de France Cultural Centre. This is another perfectly romantic spot to watch the sunset or where you can simply spend a calm and relaxing afternoon.
Place des Vosges
Located in the lively quarters of La Marais, Place des Vosges is an elegant square in the middle of this loud and vibrant neighbourhood. Around the square, you’ll find plenty of cafes and restaurants. On a sunny day, the outdoor seating could easily fill up before midday. Despite the chic Parisian vibes of sitting in the restaurant, I’d highly recommend you to bring your own food or takeaway and sit on the grass, which is almost secluded from the rest of the area with trees towering around it. The melody from the fountain in the middle adds to a soothing atmosphere of your lazy afternoon.
Which of these five spots would you want to go for your next picnic in Paris? Let us know!