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Best Outdoor Experiences in Paris

Flowers are beginning to bloom and the birds are chirping ! Paris is great to visit during all seasons of course, but Spring and Summer are especially magical. With warm temperatures on the horizon, there’s plenty of things to do outside in Paris to take advantage of the good weather. Here are some of our favorite ideas for outdoor activities in and around the city

1 – Walking tour

A great way to discover Paris and its many diverse neighborhoods is to embark on a walking tour. My Private Paris offers several specialized walking tours all over the city covering different topics. Choose from a  neighborhood (Montmartre, St. Germain des Pres, The Marais, The Latin Quarter, etc) or a special tour theme (The French Revolution, Literature, Chocolate, Pastries) and we’ll lead you on a fun walk through the most iconic locations in the city. You’ll not only come away with great knowledge of the history of Paris but you’ll also have had the chance to stop at the best cafes, bakeries and pastry shops!

Bike Rides

Another excellent way to get outside and enjoy Paris while at the same time sightseeing is to do so by bike. Thanks to the initiative by Paris’ mayor Anne Hildalgo, Paris has many new bicycle lanes and car-free roads, making the city safer for cyclists. My Private Paris is now leading tours on bicycle, a great idea for families visiting the city. On sunny days, our best bet to see Paris by bike is to ride along the quays of the Seine. The quays are now only open to pedestrians and bicycles. This is the cycling route to see all of the major monuments in Paris (the Eiffel Tower, the Pont Alexandre III, The Grand Palace,  Invalides, the Louvre and Notre Dame). If you prefer to see more of the “Real Paris”, an alternative  cycling route to take would be along the Canal St. Martin, which will lead you past the Place de la Bastille and other landmarks in Eastern Paris.

Picnic

Parisians love to picnic outdoors in one of our hundreds of gardens and parks. Stop by a local boulangerie or outdoor food market, pick up your lunch and head over to the nearest green space to eat. Some of the best places for picnics in Paris are the Tuileries Gardens, the Luxembourg Gardens or along the banks of the Seine. Another favorite spot is the Square du Vert Galant, which is located on the tip of the Ile-de-la-Cite island, right below the iconic Pont Neuf.  Here you can enjoy your picnic in the middle of the Seine.

In addition to great tours, My Private Paris also offers a chic picnic experience! We’ll create a fancy picnic for you and your family or friends below the Eiffel Tower, in the Luxembourg Gardens, or in any location of your choice. Our guide will pick up everything you need, including the best baguettes, cheeses, desserts and champagne and hand-deliver it to you in a gorgeous picnic basket!

Boat

The Seine is at the heart of the city of Paris, so of course one of the best things to do when the weather is great is to be out on the water! You can choose from a variety of sightseeing cruises and boat tours along the River. My Private Paris works with private boat companies and can charter a private boat for you and your party.

Versailles

Versailles is located 12 km from Paris and is the perfect destination when the weather is nice. The domaine of Versailles is immense (800 hectares) and you can spend an entire day exploring its vast park and gardens. While in the royal park, you can choose from renting a golf cart, riding bicycles and row boating in its Grand Canal. After visiting the main palace, make your way through the gardens over to the Trianon and Petit Trianon. Explore Marie Antoinette’s Petit Trianon gardens and her infamous grotto, as well as her fairytale hamlet.

Parks and Gardens

Paris has hundreds of green spaces within its city limits, including the aforementioned Tuileries Gardens and Luxembourg Gardens. But there are many more parks to choose from in the city, each with their own unique character and vibe. Most of parks in Paris were created during the mid 19th century. When the Emperor Napoleon III reorganized and modernized the city of Paris alongside his city planner Baron Haussmann. Wanting the city to breathe, Napoleon called for the creation of large greenspaces to make the city healthier and more vibrant.

The two largest parks in Paris are on opposite ends of the city: the Bois de Boulogne in the West and the Bois de Vincennes in the East. The Bois de Boulogne is 845 hectares which makes it nearly 2.5 times the size of New York’s Central Park. You’ll find endless paths for running and cycling. You can also go rowing or take a horseback ride. The Bois de Boulogne also has several botanical gardens as well as the Jardin d’Acclimatation (a 19th century amusement park and zoo). The Bois de Vincennes is slightly larger than the Bois de Boulogne (995 hectares) and was part of the forrest that surrounded Paris. It was the location of a royal hunting lodge since the 12th century. Today you can visit the former chateau and several gardens within the Bois de Vincennes as well as  the Paris Zoological Park.

In the 8th arrondissement of Paris you’ll find the elegant and lovely Parc Monceau. Further away from the city center, you’ll find this park more calm, quiet  and very romantic. There is a carousel for children as well as pony rides. 

The beautiful Parc Monceau

In the Eastern part of Paris is the Parc des Buttes Chaumont. This park is perfect for nature lovers. Formerly a quarry, the Buttes Chaumont proposes majestic views of Paris from its hills and cliffs. Located at the top of a cliff in the park is the iconic Temple of Sibylle. 

If you want to book a tour with My Private Paris: click here.

Article written by Sarah

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