Picnicking in Paris

There are a few spots for spreading out the tablecloth, unpacking the basket and peacefully enjoying lunch.

Amis picnic coulée verte printemps toits parisiens

Summer is THE picnic season. Although some lawns are not always accessible to the public, many parks and gardens gladly welcome picnickers. Here is a little selection of places where you can spread out a picnic cloth and open your picnic basket, without any qualms.  

For some top places, firstly head to the centre of the capital.
Go back in time at the gallant Square Louis-XIII. Sitting at the foot of the equestrian statue of this king of France, you are at the heart of the Place des Vosges, one of the oldest squares in Paris.

For a royal picnic, meet up in the Jardin des Tuileries. Designed by André Le Nôtre, the Tuileries gardens are a fine example of elegant French design, with symmetrical paths in gravel and beautiful pruned rows of trees. The big lawns are ideal for picnicking and offer fine views of the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, the Musée d’Orsay and the Champs-Élysées. If like panoramic views, don’t miss the Jardin du Champ-de-Mars, below the Eiffel Tower. As well as being one of the biggest green areas in Paris, it offers lovely vistas of several major attractions: the Eiffel Tower, of course, but also Trocadéro and the Ecole militaire.

A favourite place of lovebirds, the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont provides a romantic setting for a picnic, with a waterfall, grotto, look-out point, and ancient trees …
And lastly, to picnic in a thoroughly natural setting without leaving the city, there is nowhere better than the Bois de Vincennes and the Bois de Boulogne!

Places well worth visiting

Picnic Place des Vosges Automne

Paris has numerous green areas that are little havens of peace, well worth a visit.

The Marais district for example comprises several ‘secret’ gardens, like the Jardin des Rosiers Joseph-Migneret (formerly Francs-Bourgeois Rosiers), tucked away behind the Hôtel de Coulanges, or the Jardin Anne-Frank, at the end of Impasse Berthaud.

In the south of Paris is the Parc Montsouris, one of the richest in terms of flora and fauna. It offers delightful spots for a quiet picnic on the big lawned areas, by the pond or in the shade of the weeping willow trees. A few steps away, the Parc de la Cité universitaire is a well-preserved 30-hectare natural setting that is an ideal place to relax. This green campus offers a world tour with its foreign pavilions: United States, Italy, Morocco, Japan ...

To have Paris at your feet, head to the Parc de Belleville, a pretty garden on the heights of the city, with gentle slopes and tranquil places to unwind.

The Parc André-Citroën is a refreshing spot with its expansive lawned areas and numerous fountains. Perfect in summer! If it is comfort that you are looking for, the Jardin d’Éole has designated picnic areas with big tables for numerous guests. Finally, at the Parc de La Villette you are guaranteed plenty of space.

Picnic baskets prepared by the best delis

Epicerie Générale, panier pique-nique, Paris © OTCP - DR

To make life simpler, some shops and caterers provide ready-packed picnic baskets … Remember to order in advance to ensure that you are delivered in time.

The ‘picnic bag’ at Arnaud Delmontel is composed of a fine array of products from the house of Delmontel: with among other things, two Renaissance baguettes (prize for best Paris baguette in 2007!), salad, fougasse, raspberry tart, bottle of Bordeaux, not forgetting cutlery, picnic rug … and even a Laguiole corkscrew!

As for the Épicerie générale, it has designed several original baskets, all attractive and organic.  An embroidered picnic cloth (refundable, as well as the basket), disposable cutlery, paper serviettes, a small candle … as well as a large selection of outdoor games to hire.

Want to stay where you are? Just place your order and then the gourmet delicatessen Papa Sapiens will take care of everything and deliver to the destination of your choice. On the menu, a choice of equally delicious picnic box options: ‘picnic’, sweet box for a sweet snack or ‘apero’.

If you would like to be served on a tray, Lenôtre offers several choices of ‘Coffret by Lenôtre’, designed by chefs, with a starter, main course, dessert, bread rolls, cutlery and a serviette. Very practical in an attractive easy to carry box. Fauchon has also created delicious gourmet tray meals to eat cold.
 has thought of everything with its ‘apero bag’, which contains a jar of charcuterie, a pot of rillettes, boiled ham, condiments and a baguette.

Jardin des Tuileries

Park, garden, promenade
Place de la Concorde, Paris, 75001

The Tuileries Gardens take their name from the tile factories which previously stood on the site where Queen Catherine de Medici......

Bois de Vincennes

Park, garden, promenade
Bois de Vincennes, Paris, 75012

The Bois de Vincennes is the capital's second largest 'green lung', after the Bois de Boulogne. It is located in the east of......

Bois de Boulogne

Park, garden, promenade
Bois de Boulogne, Paris, 75016

A former hunting ground for the Kings of France, the Bois de Boulogne has become the largest spot for relaxation in the west of......

Jardin Anne Frank

Park, garden, promenade
14 impasse Berthaud, Paris, 75003

This community garden surrounded by a high wall tracing city walls of Paris boasts 2,200 m² of land. Its name pays homage to Anne......

Jardins d'Éole

Park, garden, promenade
20 rue du Département, Paris, 75018

About 1.5km away from the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont and the Parc de la Villette, the Jardins d'Eole enoble this district with few......

Parc du Champ-de-Mars

Park, garden, promenade
Quai Branly - Avenue de la Motte Picquet, Paris, 75007

Opened in 1780, the Parc du Champ-de-Mars extends from the École Militaire to the Eiffel Tower. A hotspot for national events, it......

Parc André Citroën

Park, garden, promenade
2 rue Cauchy, Paris, 75015

The Parc André Citroën is located on the site of the former Parisian Citroën factory. Opened in 1992, with a surface area of 14......

Parc des Buttes-Chaumont

Park, garden, promenade
1 rue Botzaris, Paris, 75019

The Buttes-Chaumont Park, in the north-east of Paris, is one of the biggest and original green spaces in Paris, measuring 25......

Parc Montsouris

Park, garden, promenade
2 rue Gazan, Paris, 75014

The Parc Montsouris is one of the largest green spaces in Paris. It is located in the 14th arrondissement, between rue d'Alésia......

Square Louis XIII

Park, garden, promenade
30 place des Vosges, Paris, 75004

This public garden is located in the centre of the Place des Vosges. It has more than a hundred linden and horse chestnut trees......