Spring has finally arrived in Europe and it’s currently rewarding us with gorgeous pink cherry blossoms, sweet-smelling wisteria and orange blossoms as well as beautiful spring-flowering bulbs like tulips and hyacinths, especially in Paris and at the Keukenhof Gardens. It’s times like this I miss living in Paris and being able to visit my favourite French parks and gardens like the Jardin du Luxembourg.
Unforgettable Parks in Paris
I’ve never met a garden in Paris I didn’t like but here are my top 5 parks when it comes to spring flower displays.
Jardin du Luxembourg
We may as well start with the best. The central Jardin du Luxembourg has the largest and most beautiful mass display of tulips in Paris with some of the prettiest colours you’ll see anywhere. If you only have time to visit one park in Paris this should be it.
Parc de Bagatelle
Hidden away in the middle of Bois de Boulogne to the west of Paris, Parc de Bagatelle has always been one of my favourite parks. At this time of the year, the tulips are flowering around the small Chateau de Bagatelle but mid to late May is the best time to go when the irises are at their prime. Originally built for Marie-Antoinette in 1777, the park also has the largest rose bed in Paris and some very friendly peacocks. This is one of the few parks in Paris that has a fee (€5.50) but it’s worth it to see the irises or the rose display in June/July.
Popular with the Paris bourgeoisie, Parc Monceau is not like the formal French gardens you see elsewhere. It’s more casual and free-flowing and chock a block with pretty flower displays. Parc Monceau is the perfect spot to recover from the overwhelming crowds at the nearby Champs-Elysees and Arc de Triomphe.
Jardin des Serres d’Auteuil
My old neighbourhood park, Jardin des Serres d’Auteuil is a botanical garden with greenhouses that supply most of the parks in Paris. Plus they have a cool cactus garden! During spring there are a few cherry trees in bloom and loads of bright red tulips. While this park might be a little out of the way for most visitors to Paris, if you’re staying in the west of the city then it’s easy to get to from Porte d’Auteuil.
Jardin du Palais Royal
The Palais Royal garden is one of the most elegant gardens I’ve ever stepped into. The formal garden with its boxed hedges, rows of tightly clipped trees and the central fountain is like a little oasis in the centre of Paris. Thanks to Aussie in France for treating me to this view from her stunning apartment.
Other Notable Parks in Paris
- Jardin des Tuileries – One of the most famous parks in Paris, it’s a little crowded and dusty for my liking but not to be missed after a visit to the Louvre Museum.
- Jardin des Plantes – The main botanical garden in Paris, Jardin des Plantes also has a small zoo popular with families.
- Square Jean XXIII – Located just behind Notre Dame Cathedral, this is a great spot to take a break from the hectic sightseeing in Paris.
- Place des Vosges – In the heart of the fantastic Marais quarter, Place des Vosges doesn’t have many (any?) flowers but I mention it as it’s one of the most stunning squares in Paris.
- Champ de Mars – Get there very early in the morning before the Eiffel Tower crowds arrive.
- Parc Andre Citroen – More well know for its trees and shrubs (including a decent sized Australian section) than flowers but it’s worth visiting to go up the world’s biggest hot air balloon for views over Paris.
- Rodin Museum – Another of my favourite parks in Paris, you can wander around this perfectly manicured park while admiring August Rodin’s impressive sculptures.
- Parc des Buttes Chaumont – Not one of my top parks in Paris, probably because I always lived on the opposite side of the city, but this park is massively popular with the trendy Belleville crowd.
- Jardins du Chateau de Versailles – Just outside of Paris but definitely worth visiting, the free to visit Gardens of Versailles are remarkable.