Parc Floral: a green oasis on the outskirts of Paris

It might seem hard to believe, but in a metropolis like Paris you really don’t have to go far to recharge your batteries in the countryside. Simply jump on the underground or the regional RER. To the east of Paris lies a large wooded area called the Bois de Vincennes, and while many tourists to Paris do find their way here, few visit the fantastic flower park also located here.

The Parc Floral spans 38 hectares and dates back to 1969, specially created for that year’s flower exhibition. It is one of four botanical gardens in Paris that not only serve an educational purpose, but also a mission to preserve biodiversity. Research is carried out here into climate change and the park also serves as a political tool for the sustainable development of the city, with the plants tended to without the use of pesticides.

With over 3,000 species, lovers of flowers, plants and all things botany can wander around for hours and not get tired, with different flowers to be discovered and admired with each season that comes.

Amongst it all, you can find a unique collection of 1,500 irises, as well as geraniums, ferns, peonies, bonsais, succulents and, last but not least, countless species of trees. The site also plays host to special events such as an international dahlia competition with breathtakingly beautiful flowers in the late summer months. Keep your camera at the ready, because with the warm late summer light you can shoot the most gorgeous pictures here.

If you don’t fancy yourself a botanist at heart, there’s still plenty to do – and not only for the grown-ups. The park is also a great day out for the kids, boasting a large playground, educational garden, puppet theatre, butterfly house, a tree-climbing adventure course and a miniature golf course with 18 Parisian monuments.

In summer, concerts are held in the park, both classical and jazz. What could top a bit of nature and culture in the sunshine? At just a few metro stations from the centre, it’s the perfect place to go to relax away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Parc Floral: a green oasis on the outskirts of Paris

Underground-station: Château de Vincennes (line 1)
RER station: Vincennes (RER A)

The Parc Floral is a great option for a day out or green break from the city. Admission is free from October 1st to March 31st. From April 1st to September 30th, tickets cost €2.50. Admission is free for children under 7. Gates open at 9.30 a.m., with closing time varying according to the season. In the summer months, gates close at 8:00 p.m.

The park can be reached by Paris Métro Line 1 at Château de Vincennes station or by the RER A line at Vincennes station. If you want to take the bus, you can get there with line 112 getting off at the stop Léo Lagrange.

Lead-foto: © Alexandre Vialle, Wikipedia

Lily Ovaa
Born and raised in the Netherlands, Lily fell in love with France as a student and never left, settling in Paris. Passionate about languages, she works as a freelance translator. For Railtripping, she explores the best local, sustainable and off the beaten track places in and around Paris.