Sep 12, 2023
Paris is among the most beautiful cities in the world and is known for its breathtaking architecture, world-class food and culture, and historical monuments. But Paris is also surrounded by some of the most beautiful and alluring natural attractions in the world.
From stunning parks and gardens to majestic mountains, rivers, and forests, there is something for everyone.
Here, we will explore the best 15 natural attractions in and around Paris that will provide you with a unique and unforgettable experience. So, prepare to explore the wild side of Paris and discover why it truly is a city of wonders.
If you are in a mood to unwind in Paris, look no further than the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont. Situated in the 19th arrondissement, this hilly park is one of the city's largest green spaces.
The Parc des Buttes-Chaumont is a popular park in Paris, with a commanding view of the city and plenty of open grassy spaces. It's also a beautiful spot for a picnic on a sunny day.
In addition to the Temple de la Sibylle, a Roman temple folly designed by Gabriel Davioud, the park features a 65-foot-tall cavern that was turned into a grotto. The park also features a beautiful artificial lake and a 207-foot-long suspension bridge.
Once a gypsum quarry and junk dump, Buttes-Chaumont was transformed into an enchanting green space by Baron Haussmann in time for the 1867 Exposition Universelle. He worked closely with landscape architect Adolphe Alphand to create the park, which features a lake, grottos, and a dizzying island topped with a temple to Sibylle.
The park is an oasis of peace and beauty, a perfect retreat away from the busy city. Here you can practice tai chi, take your kids for a puppet show, taste a sundowner and pizza at trendy Le Pavillon Puebla, or just relax with a bottle of wine and a picnic in the middle of nature.
The best part of this park is the Ile du Belvedere, a rocky island surrounded by the lake. It's been turned into an iconic tourist attraction that draws hundreds of visitors every year.
One of the best natural attractions in Paris, the Luxembourg gardens are a wonderful place to spend a few hours relaxing and taking in the city's beauty. The park offers everything from strolling, playing chess, sitting in cafes, people-watching, or just enjoying the scenery.
The park's centerpiece is the Palais de Luxembourg, a symmetrical palace built by Marie de Medici that now houses the French Senate. The regal building has a lot of sculptural detail on the exterior and is a lovely addition to the park's landscape.
Among the many other features in the park, you'll find an old-fashioned carousel and pony rides that children love. There's also a vibrant playground and a puppet theater.
The garden is a popular spot with locals and tourists alike. Most Parisians go to the garden after school or on weekends and Wednesdays when kids don't have class. It's a great spot for young families to spend time together and enjoy the beautiful surroundings of Paris!
Located in Paris' 6th arrondissement between Saint-Germain-des-Pres and the Latin Quarter, Luxembourg gardens are a green haven where locals come to relax, play chess or tennis, ride ponies or carousels, and take pictures. They also host a variety of cultural events like photography exhibitions, concerts, and more.
The garden was created by Queen Marie de Medici in 1612, and today it covers 25 hectares of land divided into French gardens and English gardens separated by a geometric forest. It also has an apiary, rose garden, fruit orchard, and greenhouses filled with hundreds of exotic orchids.
There are 106 statues throughout the park, and many of them celebrate art, music, and French royalty. Some were given to the gardens by their creators, and others commemorated famous figures.
The Medici fountain, which features mythological themes, is the most popular attraction in the garden, but don't miss other sights like the Orangerie and a beautiful pergola that shelters tender plants from the cold of Parisian weather. There are also two museums and the Pavillon Davioud, which is home to a school of horticulture as well as an annual honey festival called Fete du Miel.
The charming Parc Monceau is one of the most elegant parks in Paris. It is located between the affluent 8th and 17th arrondissements, surrounded by luxurious buildings and private mansions.
It was built in the 17th century by Philippe d'Orleans, Duke of Chartres. He brought French painter Louis Carrogis Carmontelle to design public gardens that combined inspiration from around the world.
Throughout the eight hectares of Parc Monceau, you can find an Egyptian pyramid, a Dutch windmill, a Renaissance archway, and a pond. There are also statues and a rotunda at the main entrance.
You'll feel a bit like you're on an idyllic retreat in this park, which is a little different from the traditional French-style gardens found elsewhere in the city. The curved paths lead to an ethereal pond bordered by Corinthian columns, where ducks glide past your feet on a peaceful footbridge.
After a stroll through the park, head to one of the many small museums nearby or explore one of the gorgeous private mansions that line the sweeping tree-lined avenues. In the late 19th century, this area became a popular location for local families to gather for picnics and strolls.
It features an informal layout, curved walkways, and random statues. It also has a scattering of scaled-down architectural features, including Chinese forts, Dutch windmills, Corinthian pillars, and an Egyptian Pyramid.
It was purchased by the City of Paris in 1860 and was remade by Baron Haussmann as part of his great urban works. Two main alleys were laid out north to south and east to west, meeting in the center of the garden. They were wide enough and paved to allow carriages to drive through the park.
There are lots of mature trees here, as well as a classical colonnade and statues throughout the park. It's a favorite jogging trail, as well as a popular wedding photoshoot spot.
Tuileries Gardens are an oasis of calm and relaxation in the heart of Paris. It's a perfect place to take a stroll and relax in the shady green chairs or rent a small boat from the pond for a refreshing drink.
The garden also boasts a large collection of statues that are well worth a visit. These include some of Rodin's famous works, such as "The Kiss" and "Meditation."
The park also offers several activities for the entire family, including playgrounds, a Ferris wheel (in season), and temporary fairgrounds set up in summer. These fun attractions make it a great destination for kids, tourists, and Parisians.
If you are looking for a relaxing place to spend the day or escape from Paris's madness, you can't go wrong with the Tuileries Gardens. Located between the Louvre, Rue de Rivoli, and Place de la Concorde in Paris, this garden is a popular spot for strolling, resting, and even eating.
To reach the entrance of the Tuileries Garden, walk through the gates on the eastern side of the Place de la Concorde. You'll see statues by Antoine Coysevox, perched on both sides of the gate, called "Chevaux Ailee" and "Winged Horses."
When you're in the Tuileries Garden, take the time to stroll down the path to another large pond. This one is surrounded by sculptures of mythology, and wooden toy-sail boats can be rented on weekends for a relaxing trip across the pond.
You'll also find plenty of statues by famous artists in the Tuileries Garden, including Rodin's Meditation Avec Bras. It's an incredible place to admire these sculptures, and it's free of charge to visit.
Parc Montsouris is among the largest green spaces in Paris, and it is a popular spot for locals to spend time in nature. Its lake, beautiful statues, rare species of trees, and the restaurant 'Pavillon Montsouris' are some of its most popular features.
It's a favorite hangout for students from the Cite Universitaire de Paris, and the lawns are great for picnicking. The bandstand hosts free concerts from May to September.
The park is full of different species of birds. Visiting at dawn or dusk is a good idea, as you can see them in their natural habitat.
Designed by Alphand for the sum of 1,750,000 francs, the park is laid out as an English landscape garden and is filled with idyllic spots and children's treats, such as a Guignol theatre, a sandpit, a tiny train, and more.
Located in the 14th arrondissement, near the Cite Universitaire de Paris, this is a popular spot for joggers and dog walkers to get some fresh air. Visitors can also relax in the park with a refreshing drink from its cafe or enjoy some fresh fruits.
Located in the 5th arrondissement, the Jardin des Plantes is one of the most popular gardens in Paris. Opened to the public over 400 years ago, this garden is a great place to go for a fun, relaxing, or romantic day in Paris.
There are many features to visit in this beautiful garden, including several greenhouses that keep plants at a tropical temperature year-round. It also has a rose garden, an exotic garden, and several museums.
As the largest botanical garden in France, the gardens house a large variety of plant species from around the world. The collection consists of native French plants as well as exotic specimens.
The garden is home to several museum spaces, including the Gallery of Evolution and the Mineralogy and Geology galleries. It also houses the Menagerie, a small zoo.
The Jardin des Plantes is also a popular venue for outdoor sports such as jogging, skating, and biking. There are paved routes and bridges throughout the park that provide a soft surface for these activities. There are often public yoga and group exercise classes in the garden as well.
The largest botanical garden in France, the Jardin des Plantes is a must-visit for those looking step away from the busy Parisian life. Located in the 5th arrondissement of the city, it's an oasis-like green space that makes for an enjoyable day trip.
The formal garden features neat beds of herbs and flowers (labeled in Latin, with explanations in French), straight rows of trees, and a rose garden. While the botanical garden is a great attraction for botanists, it's also a fascinating place to visit for all nature lovers.
Another popular attraction is the Menagerie, a small zoo that houses a variety of animals. It is among the most popular attractions for children in Paris and a wonderful way to spend time in the company of your kids while learning about nature and animals.
It stands on the left bank of the Seine in the 5th arrondissement, and it attracts tourists and locals alike. The 69-acre garden is home to numerous gardens, greenhouses, museums, and works of art.
The tranquil garden behind the Palais Royal is an enclosed oasis that offers a quiet respite from the bustling streets of Paris. It is the perfect place to relax with a picnic or read a book under the shade of the trees.
The garden was designed in the 1600s for Cardinal Richelieu. When he died in 1642, the property was bequeathed to the crown.
When you stroll through the garden, you can enjoy the quaint fountains and fragrant rose bushes. Art installations also add to the charm of this peaceful space.
One of the most iconic features of the courtyard is "Les Deux Plateaux," an art installation created by sculptor Daniel Buren in 1986. It caused some controversy at first but is now a must-see attraction for all visitors to the area.
Other interesting attractions in the area include the Musee du Louvre, the most visited museum in the world. A short walk from the Palais-Royal, this museum is worth a visit for its vast collection of works of art. In addition, the Comedie Francaise theatre and Théâtre du Palais-Royal are located nearby.
Tucked behind the glitz and glamor of the Louvre, Palais Royal is a pocket of peace. Whether you're strolling among the boxed hedges, shopping in the elegant arcades, or soaking up a tinkling fountain, it's a serene place to rest and enjoy Paris's natural beauty.
It features three elegant arcades (Galerie de Valois, Galerie de Montpensier, and Galerie Beaujolais) lined with stylish boutiques, art galleries, cafes, and kitschy stores. Sculptor Daniel Buren's 260 black-and-white striped columns are the signature feature of the garden.
In the northwest corner of the garden is the Theatre du Palais-Royal, a 750-seat Parisian theatre that hosted operas until the 1960s. In another corner of the Palais Royal, you'll find the Constitutional Council – a legal body that decides on laws and regulations. The nine members of the Conseil Constitutionnel are appointed by the President and serve a single nine-year mandate.
One of the most unique and gorgeous spots in Paris is Coulée Verte René-Dumont, a 3-mile (4.7 km) promenade built on top of abandoned railway infrastructure. Located in the 12th arrondissement, it starts at Place de la Bastille and ends near Boulevard Peripherique.
This tree-lined walkway, which is often referred to as the Promenade Plantee, was built between 1988 and 1993. It was named after French agronomist Rene Dumont, who was the first environmental politician to run for President of France in 1974.
It begins above Avenue Daumesnil, just behind the Opera Bastille. After that, it goes above the Viaduc des Arts (an old railroad viaduct).
Along the way, you can find 45 brick archways transformed into artisan boutiques. This is an excellent place to stop for a break and take in a beautiful city panorama from the rooftops.
Afterward, the walk goes through the Jardin de Reuilly before heading back to street level at Rue Albinoni. It's a lovely place to picnic and is home to several large pieces of street art.
Located in the 12th arrondissement, this elevated linear park was created on top of an old railway line.
Other abandoned railway lines have been converted into parks, but this one is a first. The Promenade Plantee inspired the transformation of part of the High Line in New York City, which opened in 2009.
Start your stroll behind the Opera Bastille and follow la Coulee Verte atop Avenue Daumesnil until you reach Porte Doree, then it continues to the Bois de Vincennes. The 4.7km long route includes some closed sections when it passes between modern buildings and some open sections with expansive views.
The pathway is enlivened with hazelnut, lime, and rose bushes, gorgeous garden beds, and wild vegetation. It is a popular spot for Parisians to relax in the sun, especially on weekends.
One of the most beautiful and iconic green spaces in Paris, Parc du Champ de Mars offers a spectacular view of the Eiffel Tower. It's a popular picnicking and lounging destination for locals and tourists alike, especially during the summer months.
Originally named after the Roman god of war, the site was first used for military drills at Ecole Militaire (Military Academy). However, the area has since cultivated a more peaceful reputation thanks in part to its modern monument, the Wall for Peace.
Aside from its panoramic views, the park has a range of features for visitors to enjoy. You'll find a merry carousel, four playgrounds, and basketball courts scattered throughout the gardens.
The park's open hours are flexible, so you can pop in anytime. The best time to visit is during the summer when you can see the Eiffel Tower illuminated for a few hours each evening as the sun goes down.
The Champ de Mars is a very large and lush park that is often overlooked by most tourists but is highly recommended for any visitor to Paris. This is the perfect place to take a walk, have a picnic, or just relax in a beautiful green space, and you will always be treated with a warm welcome from French families who have been coming here for generations.
Located right next to the Ile de la Cite, l'Ile Saint-Louis is one of Paris's two natural islands. It's a peaceful haven that's not overrun with tourists like many of the other districts in the city.
There are a variety of activities to enjoy on Ile Saint-Louis, including visiting historic buildings, taking in the architecture, strolling down its narrow streets, and dining at local restaurants. The area is also home to a beautiful flower market, an archeological dig, and a park.
If you're interested in botany, head to Square Barye. It features a range of exotic trees from all over the world, including Lebanese cedars and Chinese golden rain trees.
Another must-visit is the Notre Dame Cathedral, where you can admire its impressive bell towers. The interior also features sculptures of saints in bas-relief.
You can also sit at the tip of Ile Saint-Louis and watch the Seine flow by, or just relax and enjoy the view on a bench or directly on the stone quay. The island is a great place to enjoy the beauty of Paris while relaxing on a sunny day.
Whether you're strolling along the banks of the Seine or taking a cruise, this river is an essential part of any visit to Paris. It's a place that has remained at the heart of the city since Roman conquerors, medieval kingdoms, emperors, and revolutions, and today it's the home of many of Paris' most famous monuments, attractions, and buildings.
There are several ways to explore the river's many banks and bridges, and the best way is to go on one of the city's sightseeing riverboats. These "bateau mouches," or river boats, provide a spectacular vantage point for visitors to see the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, Louvre Museum, and more from the river.
The best time to take a boat tour is during the spring or summer when the weather is generally warm and dry, and most companies run more boats during these times. Another option is to go on a night cruise, where the illuminated attractions and bridges become even more stunning.
And if you want to be close to the action, try a dinner cruise where you can enjoy a delicious meal with a view of the city's most iconic sights.
The Seine River is a key part of Paris's vibrant city center. A walk along its banks or a relaxing cruise down the river is one of the best ways to get a feel for this enchanting capital city.
A Seine River cruise is a great way to take in the sights and sounds of Paris while enjoying a tasty meal, too!
During the summer months, the pedestrian banks of the Seine are transformed into beaches called Paris Plages. These are a fun way to enjoy a sunny day in the French capital.
The River Seine has a rich history that can be traced back thousands of years. Neanderthal stone tools have been discovered in the Seine Basin, as well as the remains of a Gallo-Roman temple next to its source at Source-Seine. The ruins are now exhibited in the archaeological museum of Dijon.
Île de la Cité is one of Paris' two natural islands on the Seine. It is a small piece of land that has deep roots in Parisian history, and it is home to some of the capital's most iconic monuments.
The island is dominated by the majestic Notre Dame Cathedral, a gothic masterpiece and one of the city's most visited landmarks.
The Conciergerie, a former royal palace turned prison during the French Revolution, and the incredibly beautiful Sainte Chapelle (the chapel that holds the Crown of Thorns) is also on this island.
There are many activities to do on this island, but the best way to experience Ile de la Cite is by joining an expert-led tour that explores its lesser-known attractions and takes you to some of the island's most beautiful sights.
Another fascinating site to visit on Ile de la Cité is the Archaeological Crypt of Lutetia, a unique underground museum that takes you back in time to 2,000 years ago when Paris was the Roman capital of Lutetia. The museum features interactive maps and touch displays that make it fun for the whole family to learn about Paris's past.
One of the most awe-inspiring natural attractions in the region, Gorges du Verdon is a 15.5-mile-long canyon carved by the Verdon river. Its emerald-green waters are due to a combination of algae and fluoride.
There are plenty of activities to try around the gorges, including hiking and kayaking. You can also hire a pedalo to take in the scenery or swim in the crystal-clear waters of Lac Sainte Croix.
The gorges are located near several small villages, usually without much infrastructure, but worth visiting if you're looking for a place to stay and enjoy the views.
A unique kaleidoscope of tranquil rice paddies, rose-colored salt flats, and flat marshland, the Camargue is a nature reserve located in Provence where the Rhone Delta meets the Mediterranean Sea. Home to wild horses, flamingos, and bulls, the region is famous for its wildlife and is not to be missed on your next trip to France.
The Camargue is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, and the region is known for its wetlands, where hundreds of species of birds live. Flamingos are one of the most popular attractions, but there is a wide variety of other bird species to be seen, too, including herons, storks, and egrets.
The area is crisscrossed by canals, and one of the best ways to explore it is on a houseboat. These unique floating hotels cut through the countryside quietly without disturbing flora and fauna on the river banks, so it's an ideal way to see a little bit of this fascinating region.
The Camargue is a wild, salty, and fascinating nature area. This delta at the mouth of the Rhone River is home to pink flamingos, flocks of migratory birds, and a variety of other wildlife.
The wetlands are an incredible sight and make for fantastic hiking and cycling. There are also many horse-riding and birdwatching tours available.
One of the biggest attractions here is the flamingo breeding program, which started in the 1970s. These birds are incredibly popular here and attract thousands of visitors every year to watch them.
Another great way to discover the region is to visit the saltworks of Le Giraud. This is where you can see the pink flamingos in their natural habitat and learn more about their life cycle.
One of the top natural attractions in France, the Parc Ornithologique du Pont de Gaulle is home to thousands of birds. Flamingos are the stars, but you can see storks, herons, and other species here.
The Parc Ornithologique du Pont de Gaulle is a top natural attraction that offers a variety of birdwatching thrills. The 60 hectares of salt marshes and wetlands offer a unique setting for observing more than 200 species of birds in their natural habitat.
A 4-mile trail snakes through a network of small islands, salt marshes, lakes, and ponds along Europe's largest river delta. While the park is home to several notable sights, including an ornithological center that rescues injured birds and a birdwatching museum, it's the hundreds of pink flamingos that make the park a must-visit.
Be sure to take a trip in the spring to see the flamingos in action. The park is also home to the gypsy village of Saintes Maries de la Mer, where visitors can shop for local specialties and duck into a quiet bar for a glass of Languedoc wine.
The park spreads out over 150 acres (60 hectares) inside the Camargue National Reserve in southern France. Here, birdwatchers can stroll a loop trail through the wetlands and spot hundreds of pink flamingos.
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