During the summertime, a nice way to enjoy the beauty of the city of love is to have a picnic in Paris. Of course you can have a picnic almost everywhere in Paris, on a romantic bench or in a park for instance, but today, local Parisien Laurence, from Paris-Toujours presents you unique places to make the most of your picnic experience.
1. The Seine river banks
What we call the “Quais de Seine” stretches from Bercy, in the east, to the western part of the city, but the best places to picnic on the banks of the Seine are located down the Saint-Louis Island and the “Quai de la Tournelle”. You will have wonderful views of Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Ile de la Cité while savouring your Parisian sandwich made of a French baguette with ham. At night the show will leave you speechless and the atmosphere very lively. People are having fun in front of one of the most romantic views in the world, a perfect place to eat! The only little issue is that the beauty of the location means that I, can get really crowded.
2. The Park of Belleville
Located in the 20th arrondissement in the eastern part of Paris, the Belleville’s park is a wide garden of 45,000 m² up on a hill. It is also a great spot for a picnic as you have a terrific view all over Paris. While eating you can contemplate the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame, the Grand Palais, etc. Of course, there are other places like Montmartre where you can enjoy such a view, but the at Belleville Park you will have more space and less crowds.
The garden was renovated in 2008, and is designed to welcome and entertain kids. You can find a village built in wood as well as a waterfall. And there are plenty of good food stores around to create the perfect picnic with lots of cheese and other delicatessen.
3. The Pont des Arts
Opposite to the Park de la Belleville, the Pont des Arts is in the center of Paris. It is a pedestrian bridge that connects the Louvre and the French institute.
This emblematic bridge (known for its “love locks” which were removed a few months ago), is a symbol of the Parisian atmosphere. (Update: In 2015 the locks were removed from the bridge due to heritage and safety concerns, yet there is still a romantic atmosphere. Read more here.) You will meet people of all ages, nationalities and backgrounds. Musicians with accordions give the typical Parisian romantic touch to the place and the view is surrounded by the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, the French institute, the Orsay museum and, of course, the riverbanks.
4. The Arenas of Lutetia
Lutetia is the Latin name of Paris during the Roman Empire. Located in the 5th arrondissement of Paris, the Arenas of Lutetia is the oldest monument in Paris. Built between the 1st and the 2nd centuries, they were the “thermaes of Cluny”, the only monument left from the Gallo-Roman period.
The capacity of the arenas is 12,000 spectators, making it an impressive monument for its time. Nowadays, they are surrounded by a garden, offering you the choice of picnicking inside the arenas, sitting on a bench, or a bit more hidden inside the garden. The atmosphere is very calm, as it’s off the beaten paths, you can almost take a nap after your picnic!
And if you don’t want to picnic, try La Rotisserie, one of the best bistros in Paris.
5. On a small private boat
Whether it be on the Seine, on the Saint-Martin canal or on the Ourcq canal renting a private boat is a very good option to enjoy a picnic away from the crowds.
Renting a boat is easy and lots of agents can help make a booking and even providing the food. For those without a sailing license, you can have your personal skipper on board to take care of you. And if you are visiting Paris on your honeymoon you should definitively make sure to include this in your itinerary, nothing screams romance more than a picnic for two on a boat on the Seine.
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