When spending time in a new city, it's nice to get to a feel for not just the man-made aspects of the city, but the local flora and fauna as well. In addition to beautifully displaying the native plants and flowers, many gardens are also important historical sites of the city. 10Best editors recommend visiting Jardin du Luxembourg, which is located in the 6ème ARRONDISSEMENT area of Paris.

9 Bois de Boulogne
The Bois de Boulogne offers more than 2100 acres of beautiful terrain, including woods, lakes, waterfalls and gardens. Originally fenced in as royal hunting grounds, the park was opened to the public in the early 19th century by Napoleon III, who had the wall built by Henri II torn down. This act marked the park's beginning. Today, multiple footpaths invite folks to explore the lovely grounds. It's best, however, to restrict visits to daytime hours, because some areas can be sketchy after dark. METRO: Sablons, Porte Maillot

8 Parc Georges Brassens
Established in 1984, Parc Georges Brassens is alive with color and the whispers of running water. Formerly the site of slaughterhouses, the park has been reinvented with lush gardens, playgrounds, and a bandstand. One section was even designed for the blind and comes complete with braille signs. Architectural elements, sculpture, a small vineyard and even a weekly book market add to the appeal of the delightful park. METRO: Convention

7 Jardin des Tuileries
Stretching between the Louvre and place de la Concorde, this garden originally dates to 1564, when Catherine de Medici had it constructed as a reminder of her home in Italy. Historically, it marked one of the first times that Paris displayed beauty and elegance outdoors rather than only inside. It took its present layout by André Le Nôtre during the reign of Louis XIV. Boasting gravel paths, avenues of lovely trees and numerous sculptures, both historic and modern, the garden is a peaceful place to spend an afternoon, or to come for lunch when visiting the Louvre as there are several outdoor cafés and restaurants. In summer there is a big funfair. METRO: Tuileries, Concorde

6 Jardin du Luxembourg
One of Paris's most famous parks, Luxembourg was originally established in the 1600s surrounding the Palais du Luxembourg (now the French Senate). Not until the 19th century, however, were its grounds opened to the public. The park is known for its elaborate Médici fountain, ornamental statues and for its manicured design. While many folks come simply to enjoy its beauty, the park also invites folks to play a game of tennis or chess or sail a model boat across the water. Kids love Luxembourg's puppet shows, playground and pony rides and everyone enjoys just sitting back and relaxing. METRO: Odéon or RER Luxembourg

5 Jardin des serres d'Auteuil
These magnificent greenhouses and surrounding gardens continue to boast the appeal they had when founded in the 19th century. Surround yourself with beautiful palm trees, azaleas, orchids and begonias. Enjoy the sights and smells of banana trees, papyrus plants and strelitzias. In spring, the garden is an explosion of color and beauty. METRO: Porte d'Auteuil

4 Jardin des Plantes
The Jardin des Plantes was established in the 17th century under the reign of Louis XIII. What began as an herb garden now includes different species from all over the world. Travelers even visited countries around the globe and brought back seeds to enhance the Paris collection. Among the specimens are an American sequoia and a laricio pine from Corsica. The garden also contains Paris's oldest tree, an acacia brought back from America in the early 1600s. Also on the site are the Ménagerie zoo and the natural history museum. METRO: Place Monge or Gare d'Austerlitz

3 UNESCO Japanese Gardens
These gardens are located at UNESCO, the United Nations' educational, cultural, and scientific headquarters. They follow Asian landscape design beautifully, featuring carefully placed stones and water features, along with bamboo plants and ornamental and flowering trees. A special claim to fame is that the gardens boast an angel's head sculpture that survived the bombing of Nagasaki in 1945. An additional draw is a Japanese fountain designed by Noguchi. To visit the garden, visitors must contact UNESCO for reservations at (requests must be made at least three months in advance). METRO: Ségur/Ecole Militaire (1 45 68 03 59)

2 Palais-Royal Gardens
The gardens at the Palais Royal offer a quiet, peaceful escape from the city's bustle. Intriguing sculptures pepper the grounds, adding a measure of manmade beauty to the natural vistas. Surrounding the beautiful gardens is an arcade of specialty shops and art galleries. After you've strolled through the gardens, browse the shops at your leisure. METRO: Palais-Royal-Musée du Louvre

1 Bois de Vincennes
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. METRO: Porte Dorée or Château de Vincennes

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Maps and Directions

Bois de Boulogne 10Best List Arrow
Type: Parks, Public Spaces
Neighborhood: 16ème ARRONDISSEMENT
Parc Georges Brassens 10Best List Arrow
Type: Parks
Neighborhood: 15ème ARRONDISSEMENT
Jardin des Tuileries 10Best List Arrow
Type: Family Friendly, Gardens
Neighborhood: 1er ARRONDISSEMENT
Jardin du Luxembourg 10Best List Arrow
Type: Family Friendly, Gardens, Parks
Neighborhood: 6ème ARRONDISSEMENT
Jardin des serres d'Auteuil 10Best List Arrow
Type: Gardens
Neighborhood: 16ème ARRONDISSEMENT
Jardin des Plantes 10Best List Arrow
Type: Gardens
Neighborhood: 5ème ARRONDISSEMENT
UNESCO Japanese Gardens 10Best List Arrow
Type: Gardens
Neighborhood: 7ème Arrondissement
Palais-Royal Gardens 10Best List Arrow
Type: Gardens
Neighborhood: 1er ARRONDISSEMENT
Bois de Vincennes 10Best List Arrow
Type: Parks
Neighborhood: 12ème ARRONDISSEMENT