Parks and Squares in Paris
Paris is a city that rewards those who venture outside to explore the city's au natural components – whether it’s simply walking the boulevards or renting a Velib bicycle. From literary-infused wanders that offer insight to simply beautiful parks and public spaces offer the perfect respite from a day's sightseeing, and a place to wind down with a picnic of cheese and wine sourced nearby, Paris will wow you with its atmospheric parks and squares alone.
Bois de Vincennes
Bois de Vincennes is the largest public park in the city, ideal for strolling and simply soaking up the relaxed pace of the city away from all the famous sights, busy boulevards and shopping centres. Stretch out your legs after a long flight, unpack a picnic, or pull out a book and read for the day (or start planning your next day's adventures). It is a serene paradise. If you wish to get some exercise, you can also jog to and from here safely away from the traffic via the top of the Coulee Verte Rene-Dumont, the 4.5 kilometre railway viaduct that runs from Bois de Vincennes to Place de la Bastille.
Bois de Boulogne
Situated on the western edge of the 16th arrondissement, the Bois de Boulogne covers an area of just over 2000 acres, perfect for strolling and getting a breath of fresh air. Don't just look; take a rowboat out on the lake in the Bois de Boulogne, or, for the enthusiastic, enjoy a little jog or bicycle ride around this beautiful part of Paris. There’s plenty of it.
Pere Lachaise cemetery
If you're a traveller who loves to explore old cemetaries in search of fascinating old tombs and perhaps, famous names, don't miss the Pere Lachaise cemetary, home to amazing tombs in 110 wild acres. While you're here, keep those eyes peeled for Oscar Wilde, who is buried here.
Versailles is more than a palace and more than a museum. It's also home to impressive grounds that are a treat to take admire. While there are plenty of tours available - most including entry to the palace itself - you could also choose to take a bicycle tour around the entire palace for a great way to take in some of the more far-flung parts of the manicured gardens and flower-dotted grounds.
Velib bike-hire scheme
And talking of bicycles, learn to embrace the Velib, the public bike-hire scheme with its 14,500 bicycles and 1,230 stations all over the city. Once you get the hang of it, cycling around bike-friendly Paris is great fun. A cheap and cheerful way to explore every aspect of the city.
At 10pm every Friday night in Paris thousands of rollerbladers gather to skate through the streets with a police escort. It's certainly a unique way to get aquainted with the city. Not for beginners (you have to be able to stop) the free Pari Roller starts and ends in Montparnasse and takes about three hours to cover 30 kilometres.