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Best Parks in Paris

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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.

Situated to the west of the historic Palace of Versailles, Les Jardins de Versailles is a magnificent garden created by André Le Nôtre for Louis XIII. The beautiful landscaped garden is set in a geometric motif of paths, bushes, flowerbeds, sculptures and trees. In addition to these, the fountains radiate the opulence of that era and were set up to enthrall the royal guests. All the artworks such as the statues and fountains are creations of some of the great artists such as Charles Le Brun, Louis Le Vau and André Le Nôtre. Recorded as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Les Jardins de Versailles will bewitch you with its beauty.

The ground on which the Jardin du Luxembourg and the Palais du Luxembourg stand was originally the site of a Roman camp. In 1257, the Chartreux religious order bought the land and built a monastery here, while the princess regent Marie de Médicis had the palace built in 1615. This is one of Paris' favorite gardens. With a truly beautiful layout, the park is popular with students and residents in the city's Latin Quarter. Children can go on pony rides, play on swings and sail their toy boats on the octagonal pond. This park is a much-loved and popular meeting place.

Upon his death in 1926, painter Claude Monet left his property to his son who, 40 years later, handed it over to the Academy of Fine Arts. Concealed behind the house's delicate pink exterior are Japanese prints hung on the walls by Monet himself; the rooms too have remained as they were during his lifetime. Outside, the gardens are a pleasure to visit (ideally in good weather) and are divided into two parts linked by an underground passageway. The first, the Clos Normand, is renowned for the riot of color provided by its flower beds, for its fruit trees, its leafy bowers and climbing roses. Wander over to the other part of the garden - the Jardin d'eau - and you'll find that the artist's famous Water Lilies immediately springs to mind. And so it should, as this where these wonderful paintings came to life!

The Jardin des Tuileries was commissioned by Queen Catherine de Médicis and created in 1564 as the gardens adorning the Tuileries Palace. After the French Revolution, the park was opened to the public and has been a favorite spot for romantic walks and family outings ever since. The beautiful garden spreads out from the Louvre to Place de la Concorde. A sculpture garden called Le Grand Couvert houses some very famous sculptures nestled between the park's mature trees. With its beautiful flowerbeds and a gorgeous terrace that overlooks the Seine, the garden is an ideal place to take a stroll with your sweetheart or enjoy a picnic with friends.

Parc de la Villette is spread over three kilometers (one-and-a-half miles), is first and foremost a park where both children and parents can play and relax. With its wooded glens, a canal winding through the lawns, staircases climbing up the hillsides to lovely views, and flat lots for roller blading, this place is very popular on sunny Sundays. Children of all ages are invited to unleash their imaginations here: dragon gardens, astounding acrobatics, gentle dunes, and rolling fog set the stage. Linger for awhile in the Bamboo Garden to hear the wind blowing through these enormous grasses and imagine you are surrounded by jungle!

Situated just west of the Bois de Boulogne, Musée Albert-Kahn possesses one of the richest archives of early true-color photographs in the world. The former estate and collection of 20th Century banker and world traveler Albert Kahn became a museum in 1986, undergoing major renovations in 1990 and 2006. Rotating exhibitions of the color photographs Kahn had commissioned for his Archive of the Planet from 1909 to 1931 provide exciting glimpses into early 20th century life in many parts of the world. His love of travel and other cultures is also manifest in the themed gardens, where one can stroll through a forest of the Vosges, a Japanese village, a prairie, or an English garden, to name a few corners.

Created in 1629 for Cardinal de Richelieu, this garden has witnessed many of the events that have marked the Palais-Royal's history. Redesigned in the 18th Century by landscape gardener Desgots, it was made smaller by Louis-Philippe d'Orléans in order to accommodate buildings and arcades where merchants were to set up their stalls. Later, in the 20th Century, famous writers Colette and Cocteau lived here, enjoying the greenery. Today, with its statues, bushes and trees, the garden has become a favorite meeting place where visitors can relax right in the heart of the capital.

The geometrical lines of the carrés de la perspective garden greet visitors upon entering the Jardin des Plantes with marvelous effects of perspective created through careful planning and maintenance. In the 65-acre (26-hectare) botanical garden, bejeweled by flowerbeds, you'll find several attractions, including an alpine garden, a greenhouse split between a tropical winter garden, a Mexican desert ecosystem, and a rose and iris garden. Also visit the small zoo and explore one of the museums on site, which include the Grande Galerie de l'Evolution and the Galerie de Paléontologie. The garden was first created in 1635 by Louis XIII's physician Guy de la Brosse to illustrate plants' medicinal properties to medical students. It opened to the public in 1640.

Le Jardin des Halles is a contemporary garden divided into several parts, created in 1988, and located behind the forum des Halles. It is a nice place to relax after a shopping trip, or to walk and discover alleys lined with lime trees and trellis and arbors covered by climbing plants. There are also eleven fountains, sculptures and pools. You will also see beds of gorgeous plants and a flower garden in terrace around the tropical greenhouse. A government sanctioned project of renovating the garden that began in 2011 created a single, unified green space where the fragmented garden used to be. Its architect David Mangin described the new garden as something "between Wizard of Oz and Warner Bros" incorporating many innovative play areas that are accessible to everyone.

Parc André Malraux in Nanterre is one of the best parks to enjoy an entire day, filled with activities. A vast green land of 62 acres, dedicated to outdoor activities such as fishing, hiking and much more, it is the perfect place to spend quality time with the entire family. With plenty of play areas, merry go rounds and parks, you will run out of time but not ideas of having a good time here.

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