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The Bois de Vincennes, Paris's largest park, was originally fenced off as royal hunting grounds. Today, scattered among its trees and lawns are peaceful lakes, bird reserves, a farm and even a castle... Read More
The Bois de Vincennes, Paris's largest park, was originally fenced off as royal hunting grounds. Today, scattered among its trees and lawns are peaceful lakes, bird reserves, a farm and even a castle completed in 1370 under the reign of Charles V. In past years, the castle has served as city fortress, barracks and prison. The Parc Floral botanical garden is a delight throughout the year, thanks to its hundreds of species of rainbow-hued flowers, and a place of entertainment with its children's playground and outdoor classical and jazz concerts in summer that offer the perfect excuse to spend an afternoon outdoors picnicking with family and friends. METRO: Porte Dorée or Chateau de Vincennes
Esplanade du Château
- Outdoor Activities: "The little lake here in the Bois offers skiff rentals that are just the perfect size for two adults or an adult and a couple of kids. Rowing around the small lake offers a refreshing excursion on a hot summer day."
- Free Things to Do: "In late summer the musical festival here at the Parc Floral offers free jazz concerts. Seating is on the grass and picnicking on blankets in large groups of friends and family is the local custom. The Château de Vincennes, on the grounds of the Bois de Vincennes, offers guided visits."
- Best for Outdoor Activities Because: At the tip of the eastern side of the city, this green space planted with plenty of shade-trees makes for a pleasant dose of tranquility.
- Best for Free Things to Do Because: Leafy and lovely in summer and early fall especially, this vast park offers a fresh air and natural beauty escape from the city center.