Paris is a rich city, full of treasures, and gardens are part of it. Even in such a large and crowded city, Paris has many secret gardens where to smell the flowers, a true luxury.
Let Parisien born and raised Laurence, from Paris Toujours, who specialises in putting together the best tours in and around the City of Love, introduce you to some of those secret gardens in Paris that even genuine Parisians have never heard about.
1. The garden of the Romantic Life Museum
When you stroll in the south Pigalle (the so-called ‘So-Pi’) district in the 9th arrondissement, there is a private mansion with two artist workshops and a lovely secret garden. This property is called “Museum of the Romantic life”. Located in rue Chaptal, in the ‘New Athena’ area, this museum is the former house of Ary Scheffer, a famous French painter. He used to receive the artistic Parisian elite in this building. Delacroix was his neighbour, Chopin also visited him and used to play the piano for the guests. From mid-March to mid-October, you can have a café and a cake at the garden tea room. A perfect place for lovers that want to have some intimacy in the heart of a very lively district.
Romantic Life Museum 9th arrondissement
2. The garden of the Abbesses
Located in the 18th arrondissement of Paris, 5 minutes from the Sacré Coeur, this garden is maybe the smallest of all. Peaceful and away from the crowd, it was the garden of an old Abbey built during the 12th century. It is organised in squares and is full of medicinal plants. The garden is totally hidden from the street, that’s the reason why it remains quiet all day long. You need to go through the “Passage des Abbesses” to access it.
Open every day from 3pm to 7:30pm, times can vary depending on the seasons. Abbesses Garden 18th arrondissement
3. The garden Saint-Gilles Grand Veneur-Pauline Rolland
A complicated name for an incredible garden. Located in the heart of Paris, more precisely in Le Marais district, the garden is totally hidden from the street and you need to access it from a passage located on 12 rue Villehardouin. But if you are courageous enough and walk through this unwelcoming access, you will discover one of the most romantic gardens in Paris.
The garden is full of roses and other flowers, it is surrounded by private mansions and will leave you in awe with its variety of plants, flowers and colours.
Open every day from 8am to 8:30pm. Square Saint-Gilles Grand Veneur, 4th arrondissement
4. The garden of the National Archives
Le Marais district has plenty of little secret gardens. Near the Place des Vosges, the garden of the National Archives is a very good place to spend a sunny afternoon in a lovely and cozy garden. It is divided in 2 areas: the Rohan Hotel garden, where you can picnic on a beautiful lawn besides the private mansion itself by the trees, and a more romantic area, with ferns, little rivers and trees from various countries.
Accessible from the 60 rue des Francs-Bourgeois and open every day except Tuesdays from 10am to 5:30pm. National Archives garden 4th arrondissement
5. The Elysée garden
Last but not least, the Elysée Garden might be the most difficult garden to access in Paris. Every French person has heard about the Elysee Palace being the the French President’s Residence but very few have had the occasion to go into the garden. The Elysée Garden is one of the most fantastic gardens in Paris, but the rules to access it are very strict. You must be dressed-up (no shorts nor flip-flops!), and have the right. Unfortunately visit is restricted to only once a month. It is located at the 55 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré in the 8 the arrondissement of Paris.
Open to the public only the first Sunday of every month from 11am to 7pm. Palais de l’Elysée
Featured photo from Kosala Bandara