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Best Outdoor Activities in Paris

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Parc des Buttes-Chaumont

Opened in 1867, this park was built by Jean-Charles Alphand who designed a number of parks during the reign of Napoleon III. Parc des Buttes-Chaumont is spread over 24.7 hectares (61.03 acres) and features an artificial lake, a rocky island, exotic trees, bridges, waterfalls and a grotto. The most significant part of the park is the Temple de la Sibylle which is a scaled-down replica of the iconic Roman Temple of Vesta. The public park also has restaurants, puppet theaters and other facilities making it very popular among locals and tourists alike. A stroll through the historic Parc des Buttes-Chaumont is definitely worthwhile.

Paris, France
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Jardin d'Acclimatation

The Acclimatization Garden only occupies a small area of the Bois de Boulogne, a huge park created under Napoléon III. In the main part of this park, one can find exotic animals, lakes, gardens and recreation areas. Younger kids will enjoy the mini-zoo while the older kids can try the mini-motorbikes. The garden is so popular because it offers a wide variety of games and attractions, including magical mazes, mirroring games, caroussels, go-karting, roller-blading and bike routes. Don't leave the park without riding one of the many trains which cross the gardens.

Paris, France
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Bois de Vincennes

The largest park in Paris was originally a forest named Vilcena which surrounded Lutèce (the Gaul name for Paris) and became the property of the King in the 11th Century. Following its destruction during the Revolution, the army installed themselves here in 1794. It was only in 1857 that Napoleon III decided to transform it into an English-style park and it took three years of work. Today, it looks very much the way it did after the renovations: vast lawns, charming paths and a stunning network of waterfalls, islands and pools. The three lakes, Minimes, Saint Mandé and Gravelle were put in at this time. When the city of Paris took over the park in 1860, they added the lac de Daumesnil. Visitors can rent boats on the lakes, explore the tropical garden, the Buddhist and Tibetan temples and visit the Musée des Arts Africains et Océaniens.

Paris, France
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Bois de Boulogne

The Bois de Boulogne stretches over 863 hectares (2132 acres). It was named after the sanctuary Notre-Dame de Boulogne le Petit under the reign of Philippe IV, who was known as Philippe le Bel. The park was then partly converted to a royal hunting ground before being redesigned to include wide alleyways, inviting elegant Parisians to take a stroll. Lovers can peddle across lakes in rented boats, sports enthusiasts can race with rented bikes, nature lovers can fish for fun and kids can play on the expansive playgrounds; there is truly something for everyone at this magnificent park. Complete with a swimming pool, cafés and restaurants, it is a great place to spend an entire day with friends and family.

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