In Search of Hidden Green Spaces in Paris

In Search of Hidden Green Spaces in Paris
Paris is celebrated for the the sounds of the bohemian chaos of Montmartre, the chic fashion stores, the tastes and smell of the bustling street markets, even the crowded metro, the heel-to-toe busy sidewalks and the lights of the city that never dims. It is a metropolis of great museums and architecture and never-ending traffic, so visiting and living in Paris can be both wonderful and stressful. As François I said: “Paris n’est pas une ville, c’est un monde” (Paris is not a city, it’s a world). But the world can get too much sometimes! The good thing is: there are plenty of hidden green spaces, away from the tourist trails, the crowds and the chaos all around Paris, should you wish to hide away for a little while, and breathe. Here are a few favorite spots. Coulée verte René-Dumont (or Promenade plantée) Stretching 4.7km on the disused Vincennes railway line, the Coulée verte René-Dumont in the 12th arrondissement is the world’s first elevated walkway. Originally designed and created by landscape architect Jacques Vergely and architect Philippe Mathieux as the Promenade Plantée in 1988, Coulée verte René-Dumont was officially inaugurated in 1993. From walking atop the specialty crafts shops of Viaduc des Arts, in and out between buildings and through tunnels and trenches, you’ll be rewarded with great views of the neighborhood, the greenery of Jardin de Reuilly and the shopping at Allée Vivaldi. Not to mention the fact that the Coulée verte is lined with trees, shrubs, bush plants, making it a great place to escape and enjoy a bit of breathing space in the middle of Paris. Running on La Promenade Plantée. Photo credit: advencap/ Flickr Cimetière du Père Lachaise There is something very special about old cemeteries, where the tomb stones are a mass of delicate angels and weeping virgins, greened and blacked by the moss and mould of the years. Naturally calm and quiet, cemeteries are some of the best places to go for a little escape of the modern world, and in Paris, there is one particular that cannot be missed. The Cimetière du Père Lachaise is Paris’ largest cemetery. It is where all the rich and famous of yesteryear rest in peace, and despite receiving more than 3.5 million visitors a year (it’s one of Paris’ tourist stops), there are plenty of quiet corners to be found among its 110 acres of greenery. Père Lachaise Cemetery. Photo credit: Sarah Breathnach

Lead photo credit : Jardin Cathérine Labouré @ Marian Jones

More in Cimetière du Père Lachaise, Coulée verte René-Dumont, gardens, green spaces, Jardin Villemin, La Villette, Parc Montsouris, parks, Promenade Plantee, Saint-Gilles Grand Veneur

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Amy McPherson is a travel writer based in London, who frequently visits Paris as a rail gateway to many parts of France.