The best spots to picnic in Paris

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The best spots to picnic in Paris

Fine weather is back, the sun warms up hearts and minds, and the eagerly awaited picnic season resumes! Set up your blanket in a park and enjoy the Parisian summer.

In Paris, parks and gardens are plentiful and you will find them in every arrondissement. What's better than a quiet and secret place, far from Parisian restlessness, to enjoy a summertime picnic? Whether with your family, your friends or your lover, Travel by Air France takes you on a tour of the best spots where to lunch on the grass or have dinner when night falls.

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The best spots to picnic in Paris

Parc de Belleville: overlooking Paris

In the 20th arrondissement of Paris, the Parc de Belleville spreads over 4.5 hectares. Standing up high on the hill of the same name, it offers an incredible view onto the capital. It is a perfect spot to picnic for lunch under the foliage with your loved one, when the city's drenched in sunlight. A very romantic afternoon in sight.
The eco-friendly labelled park still bears the traces of its wine-making past, a hundred vine stocks still being visible. Architect François Debulois and landscaper Paul Brichet designed this haven of rest to include 1,200 trees, shrubs, perennial plants and rose bushes. You will love to roam its aisles in a search for the perfect piece of land where to set your white and red chequered tablecloth.

Parc de Belleville
47, rue des Couronnes
75020 Paris

Open from 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. until 31 August (8:30 p.m. from 1 to 30 September)

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The best spots to picnic in Paris

Arènes de Lutèce, for an historical lunch

Lutèce was the former name of Paris. As the last Gallo-Roman remains of the capital with the Thermes de Cluny, the Arènes de Lutèce reveal their secrets to connoisseurs passing by the rue Monge amid the Latin Quarter. Surrounded with an Italian garden, the arenas are listed historical monuments. Bowls players gather to play there, but it is also an excellent hideaway for a lunch break, under the scorching sun or in the cool shade of trees. To give you idea of the site dimensions, know that the arena used to welcome 17,000 people.
From time to time, theatre companies still come and perform plays. The setting is perfect, as shows already took place during the 1st and 2nd centuries AD. Other spectacles were also organised at the beginning of the Christian era, such as wild animal and gladiator fights.

Arènes de Lutèce
49, rue Monge
75005 Paris

Open from 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. until 31 August (8:30 p.m. from 1 to 30 September)

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The best spots to picnic in Paris

Anne-Frank Garden, a stone's throw away from Pompidou Center

Two steps away from the Pompidou Center, the Anne-Frank Garden hides behind the Museum of Jewish Art and History. It is made of three distinct sections: a contemporary style garden, a historical one and an orchard. Every detail has been thought out and the various benches invite walkers to take a seat and enjoy an impromptu lunch there. If you really haven't planned for anything, know that you'll find many take away restaurants in the vicinity.
Once you're done with your meal, take a walk through the park's alleys, observe rare species of trees like the Acer japonicum and especially a graft from the famous horse-chestnut tree Anne Frank used to look at from her window in Amsterdam. It was planted in Paris in 2007. Finally, walk along the historic arbour that ends up in the orchard: apples and cherries are within your grasp.

Anne-Frank Garden
14, impasse Berthaud
75003 Paris

Open from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. until 31 August (8:00 p.m. from 1 to 30 September)

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The best spots to picnic in Paris

Floating lunch on the Niki de Saint Phalle riverbank archipelago

300 feet from the Pont de l'Alma, the Floating Garden is actually made of five distinct artificial islands laid on barges. Named after artist Niki de Saint Phalle, each island provides different greenery that changes colours with the seasons. L'île aux brumes is the one that undeniably offers the most beautiful view onto the Seine. L'île verger lives in the shade of its apple trees and l'île centrale looks like a cliff with its rocky ground. As for l'île prairie, it is the most bucolic, with a backdrop of wild grass and wildflowers. Finally, l'île aux oiseaux is the most mysterious of them all with its abandoned aviary.
You'll find green areas where to laze around and lay your lovely picnic tablecloth pretty much everywhere. Suspended nets are hung above the water in some spots, while deckchairs and tables are an invitation to take it easy, far from the constant restlessness of the city of lights.

Jardins de l'Archipel des Berges Niki-de-Saint-Phalle
Quai d'Orsay
75007 Paris

Open from 8:45 a.m. to 10:45 p.m. all year round

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Parc Montsouris, for a family picnic

In the South of Paris, the Parc Montsouris is the ideal location to gather your family with the return of warmer weather. Get that wicker basket ready, fill it with pleasant victuals and pick up a spot in the shade to enjoy a family lunch.
Later in the afternoon, treat yourself to a walk through the sculpture-riddled park – Premier frisson by René Baucour (1921) or Pureté by Costa Valsenis (1955) for instance, observe animals and try and make out the different tree and plant species. By the lake, the Ginkgo biloba also nicknamed maidenhair tree belongs to a species dating back 270 million years... well before dinosaurs came to be!
When the weather's fine, students from the nearby Cité universitaire often gather here to study in the sun or simply relax.

Parc Montsouris
2, rue Gazan
75014 Paris
Open from 7:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. until 31 August (8:30 p.m. from 1 to 30 September)