Bois de Vincennes (wood)

With 955 hectares, lakes, zoo, the Parc floral and racecourse, the Bois de Vincennes is a green lung of Paris.

Jules Renard said: 'Add two letters to Paris … and you get Paradis [Paradise]'. At the eastern gateway to Paris is a Garden of Eden. The Bois de Vincennes, the Parc Floral, the Château de Vincennes. Green and more green - all great sights!

1 Château de Vincennes - Centre des Monuments Nationaux

Château de Vincennes © Thinkstock

A royal residence from the 12th to the 18th century, the Château de Vincennes has retained its enceinte, its medieval towers, the 14th-century donjon, and the Sainte-Chapelle with its 16th-century stained-glass windows. Recent archaeological excavations have revealed the vestiges of the residence where Philippe-Auguste and Saint Louis stayed. Today, the King’s and Queen’s pavilions, built in the 18th century, and the 19th-century blockhouses house the Ministry of Defense‘s historical archives and research department. Guided tour of the châtelet, the walkway, the donjon, the Sainte-Chapelle, the moat and the curtain walls.

2 Bois de Vincennes

Paris, Bois de Vincennes, balade en barque © OTCP - Amélie Dupont

Originally named 'Vilcena', the Bois de Vincennes is a remnant of the old belt of forest that once surrounded Lutetia. Its beauty may be explored on foot, on horseback or in a boat on the lake. Two signed fitness trails provide the opportunity to train outdoors.

3 Parc Floral de Paris / Jardin botanique de la Ville de Paris

Parc floral de Vincennes, Paris © OTCP - Amélie Dupont

Laid out in 1969, on the occasion of the Third International Flower Show, the Parc Floral de Paris is a beautiful setting that changes with the seasons. It is an ideal place for a stroll and popular with plant lovers. Along with the Parc de Bagatelle, the Ecole Du Breuil and the Jardin des Serres d'Auteuil, it forms the botanical garden of Paris.

4 Cité Nationale de l’Histoire de l’Immigration - Palais de la Porte Dorée

Cité nationale de l'histoire de l'immigration, Paris © OTCP - Marc Bertrand

Classified as a historic monument in 1987, the Palais de la Porte Dorée houses the Cité nationale de l’immigration. This museum exhibits works that allow the public to enjoy and understand the wealth of art and culture brought to France by its immigrant populations.

5 Tropical aquarium - Palais de la Porte Dorée

Discus, Aquarium tropical de la Porte Dorée, Paris © DR

The Aquarium Tropical de la Porte Dorée is the oldest public aquarium in the capital! It features numerous exotic species of marine life. The specimens on show are all of educational interest: electric fish, piranhas, invertebrates, sharks and much more.