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In Pictures: Elegant Parisian Parks and Gardens


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The Bois de Boulogne: Old-World-Romance West of Paris
The Bois de Boulogne west of Paris houses many varieties of trees, including the weeping willow.

The Bois de Boulogne west of Paris houses many varieties of trees, including the weeping willow.

©2006 Bdesveaux. Some rights reserved under the Creative Commons License.

Like its counterpart east of Paris (the Bois de Vincennes), the Bois de Boulogne just west of the city is a place where Parisians go to breathe and enjoy spacious green surroundings. A historic spot which French nobility once used as hunting grounds and that inspired great painters like Van Gogh or Monet, the park is a lyrical expanse of greenery and calm where picnics, bike rides, boating, and even fishing can make you feel like you're far away from the urban blight.

One word of warning: prostitution rings thrive around the Bois de Boulogne after dark. Avoid the area at these times.

Location: Main entrances near Porte Maillot, Avenue Foch, and Porte d'Auteil in west Paris.
Metro: Porte Maillot, Les Sablons, Porte Dauphine, Porte d'Auteil (Line 1, 2, 10)
RER: Porte Maillot (Line C)

Nearby Sights and Attractions:


  • Two lakes stretch along the east end of the park near Porte Dauphine, offering romantic views of waterfalls, majestic trees, and islands. Boats can be rented around both lakes.
  • At the center of the park, near the racing club, is the Pre-Catalan, a historic garden that features an open-air Shakespeare theater (shows in French and occasionally in English) and a legendary purple beech tree.
  • The Jardin D'Acclimation at the north end of the park will keep the kids busy and content and features a zoo, boat rides, miniature golf, and more.

LAST: Parc Andre Citroen, a little-known gem

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