101 things to do in Paris: outdoors

Find the best of Paris with our ultimate list of things to do in the capital

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Feeling adventurous in Paris? Scroll through the list below for the very best outdoor diversions the capital has to offer.

Think we've missed any great days out in Paris? Let us know and leave a comment in the box below.

The best things to do outdoors in Paris

Les Vergers de Champlain

Strawberry fields certainly aren’t forever in central Paris where the only fruit and veg you see (aside from wilting tomato plants and toasted rosemary on people’s balconies) are served in crates on market stands.  Luckily the Île de France has a surprising number of farms where you can pick your own rustic delights, including the Vergers de Champlain farm in La Queue-en-Brie (23km south-east of Paris), which rotates over 40 different types of fruit and vegetables according

  1. RN4 La Croix-Saint-Nicolas, 94510
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La Coulée verte

In 1969, the steam engines on avenue Daumesnil’s viaduct whistled their last and the train-line between Bastille and Vincennes closed forever. While the Bastille station was eventually replaced by today’s Opera house, the viaduct was converted into glass-fronted workshops and boutiques for local artisans (the Viaduct des Arts, still there today), and the old lines became La Coulée Verte – a 5km long trail (also known as the Promenade Plantée), made up of elevated gardens,

  1. Avenue Daumesnil, 12e
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Picnic in the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont

  • Critics choice
  • Free

There are plenty of handsomely ordered opportunities to indulge in a bit of park life in Paris, from the pathways of the Jardin des Tuileries to the ponds of the Jardin du Luxembourg. But if you're looking for something a little less formal, one patch of greenery definitely worth a stroll is the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont. Set high up in Belleville and often missed by weekenders keen not to stray too far from the tourist loop, this 19th arrondissement gem is one of the city's most

  1. Rue Botzaris, 19e
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Friday night skate with Pari Roller

Friday nights in Paris don’t have to be about sinking your liver in red wine and steak-frites, and inhaling ciggie smoke on some café terrace.  You could be healthy and join hundreds of rollerblade fanatics on a 3-hour ride around Paris-by-Night. Pari-Roller is open to all, as long as you’ve got the stamina for 3-hours, know how to break and change direction.  Just arrive with your blades at 10pm on the dot at place Raoul Dautry in front of the Tour Montparnasse, and the

  1. Place Raoul Dautry, 14e
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Explore the Jardin du Luxembourg

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The 25-hectare park is a prized family attraction. Kids come from across the city for its pony rides, ice-cream stands, puppet shows, pedal karts, sandpits, metal swingboats and merry-go-round. The playground has an entrance fee.

  1. 2 rue Auguste Compte, 6e
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Play ping-pong and boules along the Canal de l'Ourcq

After a gentle, 100km journey from the river Ourcq in Picardie, through the northern Seine-St-Denis suburb and into Paris via Porte de la Villette, the 19th-century Canal de l’Ourcq ends its journey in front of the arty MK2 cinemas at Stalingrad’s Bassin de la Villette. It was originally created by Napoleon to provide Paris with drinking water, but largely used for freight haulage before its edges were bestowed with some of the worst 60s and 70s housing in Paris. Nowadays,

  1. 19e
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Cycle the city on a Vélib

  • Price band: 1/4

In 2007, the mayor launched a municipal bike hire scheme – Vélib. There are now over 20,000 bicycles available 24 hours a day, at nearly 1,500 ‘stations’ across the city. They feel sturdy, have a handy basket for transporting your groceries, and best of all, are available every 300 metres, so even if a stand is empty, you should find a bike at the next one. If you’re not resident in France, you’ll have to overcome the ‘right-hand-side-of-the-road’ issue.Just swipe

Walk with the dead at Père-Lachaise

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  • Free

Père-Lachaise is the celebrity cemetery - it has almost anyone French, talented and dead that you care to mention. Not even French, for that matter. Creed and nationality have never prevented entry: you just had to have lived or died in Paris or have an allotted space in a family tomb.

  1. Boulevard de Ménilmontant, 20e
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Hit the funfair at the Jardin d'Acclimatation

  • Price band: 1/4

Founded in 1860, this amusement park and garden has animals, a Normandy-style farm and an aviary, as well as boat rides, a funfair with mini rollercoasters, flying chairs, the Enchanted House for children aged two to four and two playgrounds. There's also a place to steer radio-controlled boats and mini golf. Many of the attractions cost €2.90 a go; others are free. A miniature train runs from Porte Maillot through the Bois de Boulogne to the park entrance, and has space for

  1. Bois de Boulogne, 16e
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Wander through the Jardin des Plantes

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  • Free

The Paris botanical garden - which contains more than 10,000 species and includes tropical greenhouses and rose, winter and Alpine gardens - is an enchanting place. Begun by Louis XIII's doctor as the royal medicinal plant garden in 1626, it opened to the public in 1640. The formal garden, which runs between two dead-straight avenues of trees parallel to rue Buffon, is like something out of Alice in Wonderland. There's also the Ménagerie (a small zoo) and the terrific Grande

  1. 36 rue Geoffroy-Saint-Hilaire, 2 rue Buffon, place Valhubert ou 57 rue Cuvier, 5e
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Stroll around the Place des Vosges

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  • Free

Paris's first planned square was commissioned in 1605 by Henri IV and inaugurated by his son Louis XIII in 1612. With harmonious red-brick and stone arcaded façades and steeply pitched slate roofs, it differs from the later pomp of the Bourbons. Laid out symmetrically with carriageways through Pavillon de la Reine on the north side and Pavillon du Roi on the south, the other lots were sold off as concessions to officials and nobles (some façades are imitation brick). It was


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your mama
your mama

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jimbob
jimbob

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