You might have seen the pictures on Instagram: a grassy spot next to the river Seine, with a laughing couple or a group of young people, lounging around with a sparkling glass of wine. A romantic picnic in Paris is the “thing to do”, for locals and visitors.
The reason that picnics are so popular amongst the locals is that Parisian apartments are small. A picnic is a wonderful way to entertain, without having all the preparation of a formal French dinner.
And when you can easily pick up a variety of fresh ingredients at your local boulangerie (bakery) and grocery store, it becomes even easier to spontaneously plan a picnic and meet up with friends.
For a more interesting experience, you can also visit a local food market with a guide who will equip you with everything you need. You can reserve market visit here. And if you are looking to pull out all the stops for that special someone, book a picnic experience with a private concierge.
And so with that, here are the best places in Paris for a picnic. Allons-y!
1. Near Pont Neuf on Ile de la Cité
One of my favorites spots, right in the heart of the city has to be the grassy area near Pont Neuf on Ile de la Cité, called Square du Vert Galant.
It is a small triangular park about 5 minutes away from the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre Museum and the Conciergerie. Watch the lovers on the Pont des Arts in front of you, and the boats sailing by, all around the island.
2. Around the Eiffel Tower
There are several large parks at the foot of the Iron lady, so you will be in good company. On one side of the Eiffel Tower is Trocadero and its fountains, and on the other side is Champs de Mars which is also perfect for picnic-ing. This is probably the emblematic place to have a picnic in Paris, so don’t be surprised to see other people doing the same.
3. Canal Saint-Martin
The other body of water in the heart of Paris is Canal Saint Martin. It is a series of locks in the center of Paris, connecting the Marne river to the Seine. With more of a hipster vibe, this is the place to be for young Parisians on the Right Bank.
4. Jardin des Tuileries
Right next to the Louvre Museum is the Jardin des Tuileries. A large park that is perfect for a little picnic as you watch the tourists go by. There is a grassy area, as well as chairs and benches, if you don’t feel like getting your outfit dirty!
5. Place Dauphine
If you enjoy a game of pétanque, Place Dauphine is where you will want to go for a picnic. Right next to Pont Neuf on the Ile de la Cité, this little square is a hidden gem. There isn’t much grass though, so bring a mat to sit on.
6. Jardin de Luxembourg
Luxembourg gardens is the “backyard” of Parisians who live in Saint Germain-des-Prés and the Latin Quarter. With ornamental ponds, a palace on its grounds (the French Senate house), kids playgrounds and more, the Jardin is a beautiful way to unwind.
7. Buttes Chaumont
In the north of the city, this park perched on a hill is where the locals go. Go for a picnic, or a drink at the famous Rosa Bonheur bar that is inside the park, you won’t regret it!
8. Quai d’Austerlitz
Quai d’Austerlitz used to be filled with cars. Since it became pedestrianized, the large quai attracts a lot of students from the nearby universities. There are also several floating bars and a swimming pool around if you get bored of picnic-ing (not sure how that would happen, but anyway!)
9. Point de Seine on Ile Saint Louis
Hidden away from sight, but right in the heart of the city is the Pont de Seine. A tiny secluded spot, for that romantic picnic for two.
Is drinking in public is allowed in Paris?
Drinking in public is legal in Paris, but some restrictions apply. In most parks and public spaces, alcohol is only allowed until 9 pm due to noise laws. So it is best to finish your picnic by then.
Other places that are your favorite picnic-ing spots in Paris? If you enjoyed that article, you may want to read more about what foods to try in Paris. And don’t forget your list of ingredients for that perfect Parisian picnic basket. A bientôt!