Guide to Nature in Paris

A surprising way to see Paris...
Paris is much less a city of stone than you think. See for yourself on this tour which takes you across Paris without ever really losing sight of nature.

Take a stroll along the Coulée Verte

Some natural habitats can easily be missed by the casual observer. This applies to the Coulée Verte. On the site of a disused railway line, this plant-lined walk covers nearly 5 km from the Opéra Bastille to the edge of the Bois de Vincennes. We shall begin from here.


After a short walk in the western part of the Bois de Vincennes, you arrive at the Porte de Vincennes where you will find our famous Coulée Verte. From here, simply follow the footsteps of walkers going from tunnel to garden and from garden to fountain. You will go past the Reuilly Gardens, a lovely spot for a stroll. The walk rises up to the brick archways of the Viaduc des Arts, to take you to the foot of the Opéra Bastille!


Information & opening times:

Plant-lined walk (Coulée Verte)

290 avenue Daumesnil, Paris 12th


Opening times: open from 8:30AM, closing time depends on the month


Getting there:

Metro 'Porte Dorée' line 8



Colours & flavours at the Marché d’Aligre

Towards the end of the Coulée Verte, climb down from the viaduct for a visit to the Aligre Market, in the 12th district. The stands of fruit and vegetables, cold meats and other delights should whet the appetite. But before treating yourself to a well-deserved snack, have a look round the second-hand boutique next to the market and take the time to stroll round the Halle Beauveau. Dating back to the 18th century, this covered market is lovely and cool on a hot day!



Marché d'Aligre

3 place d'Aligre, Paris 12th


Opening times:

Every day (except Tuesdays) from 9:00AM to 12:30–13:00PM

All day Saturday

Sundays to 14.00PM


Getting there:

Metro 'Ledru-Rollin' line 8


Lunch at the 'Pause-Café'

After a look round the market, time for lunch. While the stallholders close their stands, you can enjoy the surroundings with a break on the terrace of one of the cafés on or near the Place d’Aligre. We recommend Rue Charonne. Here you will find the Pause-Café, a trendy 'neighbourhood canteen' serving simple good value fare.


Inside on one of the coloured tables or outside for a little people-watching? A hearty brunch or a light salad? It's up to you.



The Pause-Café

41 Rue de Charonne, Paris 11th

Tel.: +33 (0)1 48 06 80 33


Getting there:

Metro 'Ledru-Rollin' line 8


Poetical moments at Père Lachaise

Looking for nature in a cemetery? Maybe you haven't seen the green and pleasant alleys of the Père Lachaise, the largest and most fascinating cemetery in Paris? Dating back to the 19th century, it was originally designed as an English-style garden, which may explain the peaceful atmosphere of a landscape garden.


Many people simply enjoy strolling up and down this wonderful cemetery. But it's worth bringing a guidebook or booking a guided tour, because this extraordinary location is full of amusing, touching or intriguing anecdotes.


Information & opening times:

Père-Lachaise Cemetery

16 rue du Repos, Paris 20th


Tel.: +33 (0)1 55 25 82 10

March to November:

Monday to Friday 8:00AM to 18:00PM

Saturday 8:30AM to 18:00PM

Sunday and public holidays

Sunday, public holidays 9:00AM to 18:00PM


Getting there:

Metro 'Père Lachaise' line 3 & 2 or Metro 'Philippe Auguste' line 2


Round off the day at the Buttes Chaumont

Let's finish the day as we started it: under the trees. Destination: the Buttes Chaumont, a little further north. Created for the occasion of the World Exhibition 1867, this park most definitely has a 19th-century atmosphere about it. Artificial caves and waterfalls, a temple inspired by Greco-Roman architecture... The natural environment here was the fantasy of the Romantics of that era.


After a nice stroll to the tune of birdsong and puppet shows, you will be tempted to round off the visit with a meal in one of the park's pavilions. Dinner in the spectacular Pavillon du Lac or dancing at the Guinguette Rosa Bonheur? A difficult one...


Information and opening times:

Rosa Bonheur

2, avenue de la Cascade, Paris 19th

Tel: +33 (0)1 42 00 00 45

Opening times: Wednesday to Sunday 12:00PM to midnight


Pavillon du Lac Napoléon III

Place Armand Carrel, Paris 19th

Tel: +33 (0)1 42 00 07 21

Opening Times: Tuesday to Saturday 9:00AM to midnight & Sunday 9:00AM to 10:00PM


Getting there:

Metro 'Botzaris' line 7bis, Metro 'Pyrénées' line 11