With the glorious sunny days Paris has been enjoying recently, I will always prefer to picnic than to sit in a restaurant.  My friends and I try to organize a picnic every week and our numbers have been growing.  The trend is catching on.  Our picnics are a bit of a free-for-all and that’s exactly what makes them so appealing: come whenever you want, bring whomever you want, bring whatever you want to eat or drink—but the minute that food or bottle hits the picnic blanket, it’s considered communal property.

Here are my short lists of top picnics spot in Paris for daytime and evenings:

For the daytime

#1: Buttes Chaumont (19th): especially when the tulips are in bloom.

#2: Jardin du Palais Royal (1st): A quiet spot hidden away in the heart of central Paris.

#3: Luxembourg Gardens (6th): you can only picnic on the southern lawn towards Observatoire (remember that in France grass is for looking at, not for touching.)

#4: Jardin du Carrousel (1st, between the arch at the Louvre and the Tuileries): it’s central, there’s grass that dries quickly after rain, and you have a view of the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower.

#5: Parc Monceau (17th): try to avoid lunch hour for the 7,349 school children in the area.

#6: The small park on the eastern end of Ile de la Cité (1st): some quiet in the very center of the city.

Jardin de Luxembourg (left) and Jardin du Carrousel (right)


For the evening

#1: Jardin du Carrousel (1st): this is in fact my official picnic spot.

#2: Champs de Mars (7th): the twinkling of the Eiffel Tower never gets old….

#3: Avenue Breteuil just south of the Hôtel des Invalides (7th): fantastic view of the cathedral at Les Invalides.

#4: Parc de la Villette (19th ): before seeing an outdoor movie.

#5: Along the quais near Pont des Arts (6th) or on the Rive Droite during Paris Plage (July 21 – August 21, 2011) (1st, 4th): remember to bring a blanket because there is no grass.

Jardin de Luxembourg