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.