+33 (0)1 40 51 78 18

Saturday 6 Apr 2024   

The Best Picnic Spots in Paris

Your guide to picnicking in Paris like a true Parisian!

It is that time of year again when Parisians flock to the nearest park, garden, or large body of water - with a baguette in one hand and their favorite snacks in the other for an afternoon pique-nique!

The word pique-nique is said to have derived from the French verb piquer (‘to peck’ or ‘to pick’) and the 13th-century noun, nique, meaning ‘something of little value’. What we can be sure of is that the art of picnicking was popularized in the 18th century when it became a favorite pastime of the French aristocracy. 

Their picnics were, as you can imagine – an elaborate affair. One that mimicked the simple pleasures of peasant life, but was indeed not very similar at all! 

All of this changed after the French Revolution when ordinary people were allowed to gather in the country’s royal parks. 

That is when picnicking really took off and became an affair welcomed into everyday life!

Fast forward to today, le pique-nique is a staple in French society and one that Parisians do particularly well. This, of course, comes as no surprise as we have already established the French are well-versed in "the art of doing nothing".

We put together a list of our favorite Paris parks so that you too can pique-nique comme un parisien (picnic like a Parisian)! Don't forget that the banks of the river Seine, just by our school is a perfect option!

We will start with a clear favorite - Champs de Mars is one of the most visited spots on our list, for tourists and locals alike, and it is clear to see why! This long stretch of grass at the foot of the Eiffel Tower makes for an especially scenic spot to nibble your afternoon away!

Le Jardin du Luxembourg is another picnic-approved location and a great place to park yourselves after a morning of strolling the left bank. This park was originally owned by the Duke of Luxembourg (hence the name) but was bought by Marie de Medici, Henry IV’s widow in 1612. Marie had longed to replicate her childhood home and so commissioned landscape artists and builders to get to work to turn her dream into a reality. That is exactly what they did and centuries later you can see their impeccable attention to detail lives on! This park is filled with hundreds of movable chairs so that you can find your perfect picnic setup.

The super scenic Place de Vosges is a 'must get there early spot'. A perfect place to enjoy your sandwich among some of the most expensive properties in Paris! You'll want to do your picnic shopping before getting there as there isn't much around in the way of stores, however with a quick visit to Maison Plission, the luxury grocery store, that is just on the main boulevard, you will be good to go.

A little off the beaten path but a very much-loved picnicking spot is the Parc des Buttes Chaumont, situated in northeastern Paris, in the 19th arrondissement. This park offers 61 acres of lush greenery, and an abundance of activities ranging from caves to waterfalls, and even a suspension bridge built by none other than Gustave Eiffel, who was a famous bridge builder long before he brought us his famous tower. This park can be a half-day adventure in and of itself! It was constructed by the engineer Jean-Charles Adolphe Alphand, during Napoleon III’s rule. Alphand, who had already worked on several of Paris’ notable parks like the Bois de Boulogne and the Bois de Vincennes, brought his know-how into this project in 1864 - the Parc de Buttes Chaumont was opened to the public just three years later.

Speaking of the bois, the Bois de Boulogne used to be the king of France’s hunting grounds, located just on the outskirts of Paris’ 16th arrondissement, there you are sure to find something for everybody! Whether it be lying in the grass or renting a paddle boat, there are plenty of ways to spend your afternoon grazing away.

On the opposite side of Paris, you have the Bois de Vincennes, Paris’ largest green lung, at a whopping 2,459 acres. This park sits on the edge of the 12th arrondissement in the east and is home to a wide variety of birds, from ducks to peacocks! Nearby you will find the Château de Vincennes, this former royal residence was used between the 14th and 16th centuries.

Are you looking for more spots? We have got you covered! Take a look at our handy map with all of our top picnic spots.

Amusez-vous bien!

Central Paris Location

Last Minute Course Places

29 May 2024

  • French Pastry / The Best of French Pastry
  • The perfect three hour experience for those that love the ‘best of’ classic French Pastries. Enjoy creating the delights you find adorning the windows of your favorite Paris Pastry boutiques.

  • La Cuisine Paris, 80 Quai de l'Hôtel de Ville, 75004 Paris     Time: 10:00 - 13:00
  • Price: €119.00     Availability: 1 place left

30 May 2024

  • Evening Classes / Marais Tour and Cooking Class
  • Explore the most dynamic area of Paris, Le Marais and visit some of the finest food stores in Paris. Then, enjoy a hands-on cooking class creating a Traditional 4 course French meal.

  • La Cuisine Paris, 80 Quai de l'Hôtel de Ville, 75004 Paris     Time: 16:00 - 20:00
  • Price: €189.00     Availability: 1 place left

31 May 2024

  • Evening Classes / French Hors d'Oeuvres & Drinks!
  • Join us for this quintessential pre-dinner social experience as you create beautiful hors d’oeuvres and other small appetizers!

  • La Cuisine Paris, 80 Quai de l'Hôtel de Ville, 75004 Paris     Time: 15:00 - 18:00
  • Price: €129.00     Availability: 1 place left

31 May 2024

  • French Market Tour and Cooking Class / Marché Monge
  • Spend the morning like the locals, with a typical Parisian experience. A full immersion in to French culture with a French Market Tour followed by a hands-on French Cooking Class right in the heart of Paris !

  • Meet outside of Metro Station ‘Place Monge’ on metro line 7. Upon exiting the Metro, please take exit ‘Sortie 1 (Escalator) : Place Monge’     Time: 9:30 - 13:30
  • Price: €189.00     Availability: 1 place left

Sign up for Le Chou Chou, our Monthly Newsletter from Paris!

Get in touch

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to call on +33 (0)1 40 51 78 18 or email contact@lacuisineparis.com    Click here for further contact details