The Green Side of Paris
Arts & Culture
Paris is a city full of wonders and endless exploration, but sometimes we need to unwind and relax in its greenest spaces. Luckily for us, the city was constructed with this in mind, with a garden in almost every neighborhood and even future plans to close down major avenues and re-green the landscape. But in the meantime, it is still one of the best sites for picnicking – this is a guide for picnickers to explore the city at their own pace, away from the crowded Mona Lisa or the long lines to the Eiffel Tower.
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Where to stay
Longtime family favorite close to the Louvre, with a Michelin-starred Italian restaurant and charming courtyard.
Hotel les Dames du Panthéon
Left Bank celebration of French female powerhouses, with rooms styled for their historic muses.
A fast track to Paris’ coolest crowd in the fast-changing 10th, there are just 18 rooms, a lively brasserie and petit bar.
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Day 1: St. Germain
Every proper Parisian trip should start in the literary neighborhood of St. Germain, the 6th arrondissement. Make your way to La Grande Epicerie de Paris – established in 1923 when it was just the food counter of Le Bon Marche, the world’s first department store. This shopping center offers a wide range of gourmet Parisian foods that you wouldn’t want to miss! Select a few items for your picnic and head on over to Jardin Catherine-Labouré, a small community garden that provides the perfect respite from the hustle and bustle of the local streets.
Complete your afternoon at Musée Rodin and its sculpture garden, a location which is about a 10 minute walk from Jardin Catherine-Labouré.
For a final stop, Le Petit Lutetia is a classic French bistro located not too far from Rodin Museum offering traditional French dishes to end your day.
Day 2: Latin Quarter
Begin the day at the Panthéon, a structure completed in 1790 that gets its namesake from the Pantheon in Rome! Complete the hour and a half tour, which highlights the features of this Parisian pantheon as well as provides a history behind the crypt that holds many notable Parisians.
This neighborhood is home to La Cooperative de Beaufort, a specialty shop with an array of cheeses from the Beaufortain Valley, a true must for all cheese lovers! Walk over to Luxembourg Gardens, admiring the Medici Fountain and Luxembourg Palace where you can find a nice chair to have lunch before heading back over to the Latin Quarter for some shopping and exploration. The gardens are a popular lunch spot for the students and local professionals alike.
When dinnertime hits, head to Le Coupe-Chou in the Latin Quarter for a cozy and romantic atmosphere.
Day 3: Buttes Chaumont
Start your day at Épicerie Ô Divin to pick up some delicious treats for a picnic before finding a spot overlooking the lake in Buttes-Chaumont Park. The park, located in the 19th arrondissement, is one of the largest green spaces in Paris featuring an array of hills that offer beautiful views of the Montmartre neighborhood.
When you’re done with your visit, take the bus to Père Lachaise, the grand cemetery of Paris, for the final resting place of some notable figures including Jim Morrison and Oscar Wilde.
Not so far down the road, check out Fulgurances L’Adresse for dinnertime, a cool spot south of Père Lachaise where up-and-coming chefs go to get their start in the industry.
Day 4: Marais
La Maison Plisson Beaumarchais, a gourmet market with a variety of delicious eats, is a great place to start your last day. You can grab a full meal to go here made from the freshest ingredients bought at the market the same morning. Take your lunch over to Place des Vosges, a beautiful park surrounded by stunning homes and centered with a magnificent fountain for a nice picnic.
In the afternoon, take a stroll down Rue des Francs-Bourgeois to tour the Carnavalet Museum, the oldest city museum in Paris. The Carnavalet Museum showcases the vast history of Paris and how it has evolved over time.
The evening is best started at Breizh Cafe, an amazing spot offering its own spin on crepes with a Japanese touch. There are multiple locations, including one close by the Carnavalet Museum. Breizh Cafe has become very popular, so a reservation is highly recommended.
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