When most people think of Paris, they probably think about ornate bridges, beautiful monuments, and tall buildings. That last part is one of the reasons why people call Paris the City of Lights. Hey, we get it — Paris is one of the world’s biggest centers for art and design and it has been for centuries. But Paris also has an outdoorsy side.
As it turns out, there are plenty of great places to go camping or just enjoy the fresh air and sky in and around the City of Lights. Paris has several large parks, grasslands, and recreational areas where you can get into all kinds of activities. Some of these venues are 100% free while you’ll need to pay and make reservations at others. Either way, we don’t think you’ll be disappointed by the wide variety of outdoor activities that Paris has to offer.
If anything, a person could get overwhelmed by it all! So, that’s why we’re going to share some of our favorite outdoor and camping areas in Paris. Proper planning prevents prickly predicaments.We highly encourage you to pack all of your essentials away, then store your extra luggage before heading into the great outdoors.
Camping de Paris
Camping de Paris lets visitors “camp in the heart of Paris.” At least, that’s how the company promotes their services on their website. For what it’s worth, they aren’t lying; Camping de Paris is the only campsite that’s located in Inner Paris. To be more specific, Camping de Paris is based in Bois de Boulogne Wood, one of the largest public parks in the city.
Camping de Paris makes it easy for you to camp your way. Visitors can stay at the campsite by pitching a tent or bringing a caravan or motorhome. There are about thirty pedestrian pitches for campers without vehicles. Visitors will also have access to multiple services like an on-site grocery store, bar & restaurant, and a multilingual reception area.
There’s a lot to love about Camping de Paris. Without a doubt, this is probably one of the most accessible campsites we know of. New-campers and veterans alike will have a ball at Camping de Paris.
The Louvre and Place de la Concorde are two of the most famous landmarks in Paris; these landmarks have cropped up in more books, movies, television shows, and games than we can count. The Tuileries Garden is sandwiched right in between the Louvre and Place de la Concorde. This public garden was created in 1564 by a member of the famous Medici Clan.
For those who don’t know, the Medicis were an Italian family that became very prominent all throughout Europe through any means necessary. They planned, plotted, and persuaded their way to positions of great importance over the years. Members of the Medici Clan became bankers, clergymen, artists, and politicians. Four of them even became Popes! Catherine de Medici is the woman who conceived Tuileries Garden. This beautiful area was private land until the French Revolution occurred. Since then, it’s been a public park — and a popular one at that.
Parc des Buttes-Chaumont
We move from one historically significant garden to a historically significant park. Parc des Buttes-Chaumont is one of the largest parks in Paris. The late Engineer Jean-Charles Adolphe Alphand designed this park on April 1st, 1867. Yep, right on April Fool’s Day.
Alphand built Parc des Buttes-Chaumont at Napoleon III’s request. FYI, Napoleon III isn’t Napoleon Bonaparte’s son — he’s actually his nephew. The Temple de la Sibylle is easily one of Parc des Buttes-Chaumont’s biggest attractions; it’s a structure that was inspired by Tivoli, Italy’s Temple of Vesta. This beautiful building is nestled on top of a tall, picturesque cliff. The view from up here is simply breathtaking, but you’ll have to hike uphill to reach it.
Do you like learning about ancient history? Do you admire heirlooms and artifacts from bygone eras? Well, you’re going to love Parc Monceau. This park is brimming with scaled-down buildings and statues of famous Frenchmen. Some of the Parc Monceau’s notable features are:
- Scale models of an Egyptian Pyramid, a Chinese Fort, a Dutch Windmill, and its famous Corinthian Pillars.
- Statues of people like Alfred de Musset, Guy de Maupassant, and Ambroise Thomas.
- Picturesque landmarks like the Rotunda and the Classical Colonnade.
Parc Monceau is the brainchild of Phillippe d’Orléans. Not only was Phillippe the Duke of Chartres, but he was also King Louis XVI’s cousin. Phillippe commissioned writer and artist Louis Carrogis Carmontelle to design Parc Monceau in 1769. Parc Monceau immediately became a hit with Parisians when it opened in 1779. Back then, it was a garden that was open to the public. Centuries later, Parc Monceau has become a staple of Paris, as well as France as a whole.
Champ de Mars
Champ de Mars is another staple of Paris and France. Just like Parc Monceau, there’s a lot to love about this sprawling parkland. But, there’s one clear cut reason why Champ de Mars is so popular — it’s the home of the Eiffel Tower. Gustave Eiffel is the Tower’s namesake. In 1887, Mr. Eiffel and his firm were tasked with building the Tower from the ground up. Two years later, in 1889, the Eiffel Tower opened to the public. More features and attractions have been added to the building over the years. Some of the Eiffel Tower’s biggest attractions include:
- Two restaurants — Le 58 Tour Eiffel on Level 1 and Le Jules Verne on Level 2.
- An observatory all the way at the Summit of the Tower.
- Fantastic firework shows on Bastille Day and New Year’s Eve.
As far as outdoor and camping areas in Paris go, Champ de Mars kind of takes the cake. This park lets visitors get up close and personal with one of the most iconic buildings in the entire world and it offers an amazing view of Paris!