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Paris- prettiest park to spend a few hours -also- a good shop to buy handcrafts?

Hi-

We will be in Paris April 28th-30th, staying in The Marais neighborhood, but hoping to see a few museums and just poke around a bit. I had Luxembourg Garden in mind, but wondered if it was going to be worth a special detour, and wondered if people had other gardens that they preferred. Also looking for a good shop to browse or buy handcrafts, or soaps, maybe. Thanks!

Posted by
4954 posts

Jardin du Luxembourg is one of my absolute favorite spots in Paris - a lovely garden. I was thrilled to stay at a hotel adjacent to it last May - got to visit the park several times. Easy to get to by metro or bus.

Posted by
7133 posts

If you want close to the Marais, then I’d suggest...
• Place des Vosges
• the gardens at Palais Royal.
• the gardens behind Notre Dame by the bridge to Ile St Louis

Posted by
192 posts

Pack a picnic and bring a book for the most delightful park experiences in Jardin Luxenbourg. It was a lovely afternoon. In fact, I fell asleep (a bit of jetlag after a long flight). I wouldnt recommend that part. I went for a stroll too.

Posted by
526 posts

Parc Monteau is also very nice, with fountains, sculptures, etc. It’s a great place for a picnic. There’s also a small sandwich stand there. Combine that with a trip to the Jacquemart Andre Museum.

The Marais is terrific for shopping. Just wander around, there are plenty of shops and boutiques, and not necessarily crazy expensive ones.

Posted by
776 posts

The Palais Royal is a mess with construction and noise although the tulips and magnolias are in full bloom. Always on my favorites list but the ribbons restricting movement make other gardens a better choice right now.

Posted by
4954 posts

Parc Monceau (I think the park the poster above means) is lovely too - more of a "real park" for locals with not many tourists, whereas the Jardin du Luxembourg has many locals but more tourists.

Posted by
92 posts

Ooh, thank you for the warning on the Palais Royal, 75020!! Doesn't sound relaxing right now! Thanks, Andew H., for the vote of confidence on the Luxembourg gardens-I like to make sure it's an enjoyable place! Good the know the populations-might depend on how long it is taking us to get around. Also, thanks for the tip on the garden near Notre Dame, djp_syd. We plan to take the Paris-walks tour of Notre Dame on the 30th, and the nearby garden sounds like a nice thing to see as well. Wgroup-thankfully, we will be past jet lag, since we are flying home from Paris, but just thinking about the relaxing sounds...oh so delightful!

I will have to look up the park and the museum, awrzesinski, I haven't heard of those, but I am open to pleasant little discoveries. Good to know that there are reasonable prices for small treasures the don't all have "Paris" stamped on them!

Posted by
6720 posts

The Luxembourg Gardens is the prettiest park in Paris at about mid April when the bulb flowers are in full blooms; they plant hundreds of thousands of bulbs in this park and the display is just stunning. I am sure the precise timing of perfection depends on the weather and a bad storm can cause a lot of damage but you may catch this in late April if you are lucky. It is a beautiful garden generally and in mid April one of the few Paris gardens where flowers are the main attraction.

The Tuilleries is a delightful park; we love to sit in one of the reclining chairs by the fountain pool near the Louvre and watch kids sail their models boats; it is just beautiful surrounded by the Louvre and all those lovely Haussmann buildings on the park.

Monceau and Butte Chaumont are both lovely parks. Butte Chaumont is in particular worth a trip. But with limited time, I'd stick with the central Luxembourg Gardens and Tuilleries and Places des Vosges. Monceau is a nice park; we have spent a lot of time there, but IMHO not worth a trip across town.

Posted by
92 posts

Sounds like it's worth lingering in the Tuileries Garden, janettravels44, and combining it with a visit Musee de L'Orangerie and Musée d'Orsay. Maybe walking the Marais and shops, toward the end of the day, late dinner there on Saturday. I did run across a recommendation for a restaurant called Astier that is supposed to be a 10 min walk from Plaza Republique, where our hotel is located.

Maybe then saving Luxembourg Garden for Sunday afternoon, and visiting Rue Cler on Sunday morning. Not sure if the stroll down Champs Eleysees is worth it to me, to do that instead of Rue Cler or some variation thereby. Looking for a few good photo ops, sure, but beauty, peace (in the midst of bustle) and surprises primarily. I do appreciate the help in clarifying a few short days, thanks!

Posted by
9893 posts

Rue Cler may be pretty dead on a Sunday morning and altho I stay in that area I wouldn't make a special trip to see it. I ~would~ however walk down the Champ de Mars from the end near the Ecole Militaire Metro stop to the Eiffel Tower. No flowers down the middle but love the sight!

This is a neat little hidden garden that is open to the public.

https://goo.gl/maps/neCrYKSHEUp

http://equipement.paris.fr/jardin-des-rosiers-joseph-migneret-ex-francs-bourgeois-rosiers-2828

I'm glad you are doing a walk with Paris Walks! I did one of the Hemingway walks last Fall and the guide took us in to several small hidden gardens. Loved it! Well, actually I did 4 of the walks last fall, hahahaha.....

I also enjoy the Jardin des Plantes. The iris were just coming in to bloom last year around May 1.

http://www.jardindesplantes.net/

Posted by
92 posts

I've been very gratified to hear from people who know their way around, Pam, thanks for the advice on Rue Cler on Sunday morning, and the vista of the the Eiffel Tower. That's GREAT advice! And the map link will be helpful. Maybe market streets on Sunday morning was not my best thinking...I'm sure we will run across a boulongerie someplace. Good to hear a vote for Paris-walks :)

Posted by
776 posts

Jardins des Plantes close to rue Mouffetard. Glorious park.

Posted by
276 posts

On Sunday morning you could instead head to the Bastille market -- lovely way to spend an hour and a variety of yummy food to buy.

Posted by
6720 posts

Market streets like Rue Cler are usually open on Sunday morning, but frankly there is nothing special about Rue Cler and it is not worth traveling clear across Paris to see this perfectly ordinary market street. I'd agree that the Bastille market on Sunday morning would be more fun. If you are in the area, then Rue Cler can be a convenient spot to pick up a few groceries, but it is not a destination in and of itself. Generally market streets like Rue Levis, Montorgueil, Mouffetard etc etc are open every day except Monday and close around noon on Sunday. Markets are up in an area usually once or twice a week. There are huge ones at Belleville, Auguste Blanqui near Place Italie, Richard Lenoir (Bastille) and many other spots all over Paris. This site lists them by arrondissement and gives their schedule.
http://discoverfrance.net/France/Paris/Shopping/Paris_markets.shtml

Posted by
8394 posts

The Luxembourg Gardens is the prettiest, most wonderful park in Paris by far. It is not full of tourists. Mostly locals which is one of it’s charms for me, you get to see Parisians relaxing and enjoying themselves.

Walking and exploring Paris is one of my favorite things to do... pick an area and just walk, explore and enjoy. My favorite areas are along the river, the two islands, the Marais, the Latin Quarter and St Germain.
Rue Cler has way too many Americans for me.

Posted by
154 posts

Jardin de Luxembourg is lovely. When we were there last April, lots of flowers blooming, concerts in the park in the afternoon and lots of people watching.

Posted by
11973 posts

Lots of nice places to picnic in Paris but my vote for best park goes to Luxembourg.

Posted by
92 posts

Awesome feedback. I'm so grateful. Exploring is a lovely thing, but it certainly helps to have a good starting point! Bastille market sounds like a great idea to start Sunday, and then down to spend time in Luxembourg gardens.

Question: if the metro wasn't running, how long would it take to get from Luxembourg gardens to Champ Mars for a nice view of the Eiffel Tower? That might fit in better with the museums on Sat., but if the train strike eliminates that view, I could handle it, I think.

Thanks for the ideas, everyone, and especially for the link to the markets, janettravels44. Luxembourg gardens sounds very inviting.

Posted by
8394 posts

Google Maps is a great tool for finding distance, routes and where things are. I use it every day here and in Europe. You put in starting/ending point, walking, and it will show you the shortest route, time and distance... 45 min, 3.4 km from LG to ET.

Posted by
8394 posts

No problem... : )
I think it would be a very enjoyable walk.

Posted by
489 posts

Promenade Plantée or the Coulée Verte was very pleasant when we visited in May 2015.

Posted by
6720 posts

The train strike does not affect public transport within Paris; the metro and Paris RER are not on strike.

Posted by
2466 posts

The Bastille Market is open from about 9:30 to about 1:00 PM.
Blink, and you'll miss it, especially if you're jet-lagged.

Luxembourg Jardins is just blooming right now. The trees are leafing out and so forth.

There's a good shop on the rue Roi de Sicile for soaps. Or you might try your local pharmarcie.

Posted by
3159 posts

@janetravels44 the train strike does affect 2 parts of the RER which it operates and one of those parts is the important leg from gare du nord to cdg.

Posted by
6509 posts

Mona, I think Janet was just referring to the regular Paris Metro. The OP was asking about possible strikes affecting the metro between Luxembourg Garden and the ET area. That's not to say that there might not be a strike on the metro at any time, but not necessarily related to the rail strikes going on periodically right now.

Posted by
6720 posts

the line from Nord to CDG is not 'within Paris'; the local Paris transport is not on strike and not future strike is announced; of course it could be tomorrow, but the OP was concerned about the current train strikes.

Posted by
92 posts

That's one of the reason I like this forum so much. Just nice folks trying to help. Thanks for the shop with the soaps, chexbres, it might come in handy-I'd like hand made, if I see it. Justtravels, thanks for your park recommendations.

YES, I was trying to go with the flow and map everything out walking, with an eye to how far it would be to get back to the hotel near Plaza Republique at night after a lot of hiking around during the day.
So thanks MUCH (!), janettravels44, and Mona, for the very welcome information that the metro is not involved.

Great to have transport options! Oh gosh, yes! I prefer to walk, but very good to know. I think we will be ok getting out to the airport, because we will be travelling out there on Monday. I understand Monday is NOT a strike day. We will spend the night next to CDG and fly back to the US on Lufthansa on Tues morning. I would imagine that it might be wise not to leave Paris too late on Monday for the hotel next to CDG, although the temptation will be strong to linger...