We usually tend to associate big cities with crowds, stress, pollution and fast rhythms. But there are actually several activities and escapades to enjoy the big city differently. Since I moved to Paris one year ago, I've always tried to experience the city as a local keeping the typical curiosity of a foreigner.
As I said several times, I have a Odi et Amo relationship with Paris, an elegant lady who is extremely demanding. Especially during the first period after the lockdown, when we were allowed to move up to 90km from our residence, I managed to find so many nice activities and spots that gave me the impression of being in another city, that showed me
an unexpected side of Paris. green and
respectful of Mother Nature.
Here some of them for you to try!
I. BOIS DE BOULOGNE & DE VINCENNES
In French the word ''Bois'' is used to indicate a wood and, believe me or not, there are two big woods around Paris, easily accessible by public transports. Bois de Boulogne is located in the XVI arrondissement and this green lung covers a surface of about 846 hectares, which means twice the size of Central Park in New York! Its main attractions are Bagatelle castle, the horse racing track of the Hippodrome de Longcham, the Fondation Louis Vuitton as well as a zoo and an amusement park.
Concerning the Bois de Vincennes, this one is located in the easter side of the city and it's slightly bigger than the previous wood. It is right next to the Vincennescastle and this green area offers a great range of activities: a botanic garden, an hippodrome, a velodrome, a zoo and several lakes. Curiosity: Bois de Vincennes was built by Napoleon III at the end of the XIX century.
II. LA COULEE VERTE
La coulée verte is a green trail built on the ancient railways that used to connect the Eastern side of the city of Paris. It starts in Bastille and ends in the Vincennes wood. This walking path in the middle of the city gives you the impression of being totally surrounded by nature with beautiful flowers according to the season and ancient trees. Along the way, there are also several urban artworks!
Definitely a great idea to spend a sunny afternoon outdoor!
Click here for more details
III. WHAT ABOUT A PICNIC?
A picnic during the warm season is one of the favorite activities among Parisians! A baguette, cheese, cold meat, some veggies and a few beers or a bottle of wine... and fun is guaranteed!
Here my list of spots for a picnic in Paris:
Les Tuileries park
Along the Seine river: Eiffel Tower area, Louvre area or République area
Place des Vosges
Bois de Boulogne and Vincennes as well
IV. FONDATION GOODPLANET
The Fondation Good Planet is located in Bois the Boulogne. It's a free entrance space dedicated to ecology and respect for nature. Fondation Good Planet collects funds in order to realise projects all over the world linked to sustainability, in fact at the moment they managed to work on 47 projects in 21 countries of 4 different continents. The aim is to sensitise people and companies concerning the importance of renewable energies, education, biodiversity, agriculture and recycling. Different workshops and conferences are organised every week for kids and adults!
I discovered this incredible open air space during the Chilowe Festival on September 19th and 20th. This occasion reunited two main themes: responsible travel and micro-adventures with the respect for our planet and the relationship with nature.
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V. LA CITE FLORALE
The cité florale is a very special micro-neighbourhood in the XII arrondissement. Here, streets are named after flowers and plants: rue des Orchidées and rue des Glycines for example. Colored houses with pastel colors, flowers and plants of all kinds with pleasant scents will make you feel in another universe, despite the fact that the neighbourhood is made up of only 6 small streets.
Small curiosity, the Cité florale was born in 1928 after the flooding of a small river that flowed right near the micro-district. As it was therefore not possible to build the classic Haussmanian-style buildings due to the fragility of the territory, this is the solution adopted by the
municipality: build these small houses and creating a sort of small village within the city!
As the tour goes fast, you can continue your walk by visiting the Cité Universitaire and the Montsouris park, the perfect spot for a relaxing afternoon in the open air!
VI. 134 ADVENTURES AROUND PARIS
Do you remember Chilowe, the French media focused on micro-adventures? It was in the Discovery section of a previous issue. Well, their guide about Paris is the proof that you don't have to go too far from the city to feel in connection with nature.Chilowe Paris contains134 ideas of micro-adventuresabout Paris that will give you the right motivation to leave your couch and to experience anoutdoor activity!Not only this, the guide is full of tips concerning wild camping, useful apps with itineraries by bike and on foot. It's perfect forsolo explorers, couples and families!
Click here to buy the guide!
So, from which spot will you start?