5 Good Reasons to Explore Le Bois De Boulogne in Paris

Known as “the lungs of Paris” the parks of Boulogne and Vincennes make up the two biggest open Earth spaces in the French capital. On the east side the Vincennes park and on the west, the park of Boulogne.

Ranging 10 square kilometers in size, the Boulogne park takes the prize for biggest park in Paris. It is estimated to be double the size of Central Park in New York City.

The park was developed in the 19th century and commissioned under order of Napoleon III. The ruler was displeased with the shabby condition of Paris after the medieval era and he ordered facilities around the city to be upgraded.

Bois De Boulogne – by Bois De Boulogne – Sourced from their website

Under the Haussmann architecture name, the park of Boulogne came to be. Haussmann architecture is still seen in most of the buildings, parks and plazas around Paris.

The land on which the park was built was actually the location of the first ever successful hot air balloon trip back in 1783.

As far as European parks go — it doesn’t get much better than this. Whether you’re a rollerskater looking for some smooth routes, or a parent to children who need entertainment for a day; the park has something for everyone.

Not good enough? Let me give you five more reasons to visit this Parisian wonder!

1. The Lakes at Le Bois De Boulogne in Paris

Being the spacious premises that it is, the Boulogne park has not one, but two lakes on site.

The lakes start on either end of the gigantic park and eventually come together at the Grande Cascade waterfall. Yes — a waterfall in a park! A waterfall in Paris, who would have thought.

Bois De Boulogne – by Moonik – Wikimedia Commons

Like all great bodies of water, entertainment must follow! To keep busy while in the park there are options for boat hire during the day. You’ll pay by the hour to do this and it is open to both children and adults.

Currently swimming is not permitted in the lakes; however there are many public swimming facilities in the streets parallel to the park in the 16th arrondissement. The Piscine Henry-de-Montherlant is on the east barrier. There are also free guided walking tours to take you around.

2. Botanical Garden at Le Bois De Boulogne in Paris

In the north-west of the park there are a few more bodies of water; this time smaller ponds. These are in the Botanical Garden area of the park and it is beautiful.

The space is vast and contains a plethora of plant and floral life. This is also where you’ll explore wildlife of the park with peacocks roaming free and many different birds to spot.

Bois De Boulogne – by Elekes Andor – Wikimedia Commons

The rose garden of the Botanical Garden contains over 10,000 rose bushes. Often, there are exhibitions and concerts held in this part of the park. See if you can locate the Château de Bagatelle, a house-like structure built back in the 18th century that is still standing.

If you’re planning on picnicking while in the park, this would be the place to do it! The grass is lush and well maintained — the prefect place to laze about on a day in the summer.

3. Nearby Attractions at Le Bois De Boulogne in Paris

The 16th arrondissement is a great district to explore by foot. If you are taking the metro to the park, you’ll have a few minutes of street walking time to see what I mean.

Not far from the entrance to park Boulogne is the Monet Museum of Paris. I love visiting this space; it is home to over 300 original works by the artists himself. You’ll find the museum at the east-most exit of the park.

Musée Monet – by mayatomo – Wikimedia Commons

One block from the Monet Museum is a restaurant called Restaurant Bon. This is one of the best Asian French fusion restaurants in Paris and stays open until 11pm.

Since the Boulogne park is open to the public 24/7 visitors enjoy having access to late night food in the area. Stargazing late at night is a popular pastime in the park by locals of Paris!

4. Fondation Louis Vuitton at Le Bois De Boulogne in Paris

The Louis Vuitton Foundation building, in the very north of the park, was purchased by the design brand back in 2006. The building itself is an architectural masterpiece by Frank Gehry.

It features wrapping glass sails that make up the exterior walls. The contrast of these massive reflective panels against the park greenery is wonderful.

View from Foundation Louis Vuitton – by Jorn van Maanen – Wikimedia Commons

The foundation seeks to exhibit art in a series of permanent and temporary exhibitions. Amongst these exhibition spaces there are a number of terraces and cafes for the public to enjoy.

Since the structure is so prominent in the Boulogne park landscape it generally attracts sporadic groups of people. When this happens there are long queues just to purchase admission tickets. If you know the day you’d like to visit on it’s not a bad idea to purchase tickets in advance online.

5. Jardin Shakespeare at Le Bois De Boulogne in Paris

You’ll get to the Shakespeare garden by finding the correct pathway in the Botanical Garden section. I wish I could tell you exactly how to get there, but I only found it entirely by mistake myself!

The pathway will lead you to the beautiful open land that forms this park attraction. As the names suggests, theatre groups make use of the park during the spring and summer months when live Shakespeare performances take place.

Bois De Boulogne – by Elekes Andor – Wikimedia Commons

This is just another one of the many Parisian attractions dedicated to the literary master. The Shakespeare and Company bookshop is another space worth visiting that pays homage to him.

Are you convinced yet? More good reasons to visit one of the lungs of Paris on the west end?

I’ll see you at the park — lets walk!

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