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Summer has just started and the lockdown ended here in Paris, yet with safety in mind, it will be time for some picnics. Before I tell you of my preferred spots let me give you a couple advice to make sure the picnic will be successful, with nearly 450 gardens and publics spaces, tens of kilometres of rivers banks (Seine River and Canal St Martin) and two woods (Boulogne and Vincennes) we have plenty of choices but not all lawns will be accessible for picnics some will be put at rest (Butte Chaumont, Champs de Mars …) so always go and check a couple days ahead not to fall on your face on the D-Day. A picnic often implies sun, so make sure you get a couple of water bottles (not full to avoid them from bursting) in the freezer to use them both as coolant and fresh water and don’t forget a hat.
The cosy picnic
My favourite place is the “Garden of the Luxembourg”, easy access, plenty of shade and chairs to grab to seat comfortably, enough space so people don’t walk on one another and actually not that too many kids, the secret spot is the Fountain Medicis but you need to get there early and sometimes mosquitos can become an issue. The other option would the “Garden of the Tuileries” by the Louvres but a lot of tourists or special events tend to make it feel less relaxing
Jardin du Luxembourg - RER-C Station Luxembourg
Jardin des Tuileries - Metro Line 1 (Concorde or Tuileries)
The first in last out picnic
For early birds, you have “La Place des Vosges” or the “jardin des Rosiers Joseph-Migneret“ both in le Marais district, this a traditional on the lawn and no/little shades type of picnic, but it’s rather quiet and of course very accessible, also at the end of the day you can even enjoy the different bars and pubs of the area
Place des Vosges - Metro Line 1 (St Paul)
Jardin des Rosiers - Metro Line 1 (St Paul)
Picnics with kids
Don’t we love them, but those little munchkins need to be kept busy and the best location at a reduced cost is “Le Jardin D'Acclimatation” in the Bois de Boulogne, next to the Louis Vuitton Foundation, originally an anthropological zoo in 1860 it was turned into a leisure park by 1931, you can access the park for a small fee and you have plenty of free kids game that do not require tickets such as swings, water games (think of the towel and spare clothes) and plenty of space to picnic of course. As an alternative you also have the “Parc de Javel” in the 15th district of Paris that also has water games and is completely free or even buy a ticket for ride on the Air Balloon
Parc de Javel - Metro Line 10 (Javel stop)
Hot Air Balloon 15€/pers
Romantic picnic with a view
Everyone will go and pick Montmartre, and it’s going to be crowded, well let’s be smarter than that, take the subway line 9 to its terminus at Pont De Sèvres, cross the Seine river and get up the stairs to the “Rond Point de la Balustrade” (Location Number 7) the park is open until 10pm from spring to fall. Sundown is obviously the best moment to enjoy it and don’t forget the Champagne.
Parc de St Cloud - Métro Line 9 (Pont de Sèvres stop) or Line 10 (Pont de St Cloud stop)
Not a picnic per say but Montmartre tour is based on the spirit of the guinguettes so bread, cold cut, cheeses & wine.
Hope you will have great memories. Enjoy!