1. Jardin du Luxembourg

    Parisians love this centrally located park, set around the Palais du Luxembourg. The sweeping terrace is a great place for people-watching, while locals sunbathe around the Octagonal Lake or sail toy boats in the water. Statues are dotted throughout the grounds, and there is a café .

    Jardin du Luxembourg
  2. Jardin des Tuileries

    Now officially part of the Louvre, these gardens were laid out in the 17th century as part of the old Palais de Tuileries. They stretch along the Seine between the Louvre and Place de la Concorde. The walkways are lined with lime and chestnut trees. Statues include bronze figures by Aristide Maillol.

  3. Jardin des Plantes

    Established as a medicinal herb garden for the king in 1626, these vast botanical gardens are a wonderfully tranquil spot. Paths are lined with statuary and mature trees, including the oldest in Paris, an Acacia robinia dating from 1636. There is also an alpine garden.

    Jardin des Plantes
  4. Bois de Boulogne

    At the weekends, Parisians head for this vast park on the western edge of the city, with a boating lake and paths for cycling, jogging and strolling. There are three formal gardens, lakes and waterfalls, and even two horse-racing tracks. A good spot for a break from the city bustle.

    Bois de Boulogne

    Bois de Boulogne
  5. Bois de Vincennes

    Another great escape from the city, this park is to the east of Paris what the Bois de Boulogne is to the west. A former royal hunting ground, it was landscaped in the 1860s. Now it features ornamental lakes and waterfalls, a zoo, a funfair and horse-racing tracks .

  6. Parc Monceau

    The most fashionable green space in Paris, full of well-heeled residents of the nearby mansions and apartments. The lush landscaping dates from the 18th century, and some architectural follies, such as the Classical colonnade, survive .

  7. Jardins du Palais Royal

    These lovely gardens are enclosed by the 18th-century arcades of the Palais-Royal. Contemporary sculptures include Daniel Buren’s controversial striped columns.

    • Pl du Palais Royal, 75001

  8. Versailles

    There are gardens galore at this famous royal palace, from the formal French gardens with their geometric paths and shrubberies, to the wandering paths through the rural-style English garden north of the Petit Trianon. In summer, you can row boats on the lovely cross-shaped Grand Canal .

  9. Parc Montsouris

    Located south of Montparnasse, this is the second-largest park in central Paris and very popular with city residents. It was laid out in the English style atop an old granite quarry by landscape architect Adolphe Alphand between 1865 and 1878. Hemingway and other writers and artists frequented the park in the mid-20th century. It has a jogging path, lake and a bandstand.

    • Blvd Jourdan, 75014

    • Metro Cité Universitaire

  10. Parc des Buttes Chaumont

    The great city planner Baron Haussmann created this wonderful retreat northeast of the city centre in 1867, from what was formerly a rubbish dump Parc des Buttes Chaumont. His architects built artificial cliffs, waterfalls, streams and a lake complete with an island crowned by a Roman-style temple. There is also boating available, a café and lovely views of Sacré-Coeur.

    • Rue Manin, 75019

    • Metro Buttes-Chaumont

Top 10 Fountains

  1. Agam Fountain

    Jewish architect Yaacov Agam designed this fountain of water and lights.

    • La Défense

    • RER La Défense

  2. Four Seasons Fountain

    Paris looks down on figures representing the Seine and Marne rivers, designed in 1739 by sculptor Edme Bouchardon.

    • Rue de Grenelle

  3. Fontaine des Innocents

    Carved by Jean Goujon in 1547, this is Paris’s only Renaissance fountain.

    • Square des Innocents

  4. Medici Fountain

    This ornate 17th-century fountain with a pond was built for Marie de Médicis.

    • Jardin du Luxembourg

  5. Molière Fountain

    This 19th-century fountain honours the French playwright.

    • Rue de Richelieu

  6. Observatory Fountain

    Four bronze statues representing the continents hold aloft a globe.

    • Jardin du Luxembourg

  7. Châtelet Fountain

    The two sphinxes of this 1808 fountain commemorate Napoleon’s victory in Egypt.

    • Pl du Châtelet

  8. Stravinsky Fountain

    Birds squirt water from this colourful fountain .

  9. Trocadéro Fountains

    Spouting towards the Eiffel Tower, these fountains are illuminated at night .

  10. Versailles Fountains

    The fountains at Versailles flow to music on summer Sunday afternoons.

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