Top 10 Places to Chill on a Sunny Day (in Paris)
It has been BAKING in Paris the last few weeks, and it's meant to get even hotter, reaching 36º later in the week! How to cope with the humidity in Paris? Well luckily there are some great parks and places in Paris for sunny weather. If you're not lucky enough to be here for Paris Plages (where the banks of the Seine are turned into a huge parisian beach) fear not, I have some great alternatives!
1) Trocadero - This is one of my top favourite places to chill when the weather is nice, my instagram photos are proof of that. There is a great view of the Eiffel Tower opposite Trocadero to take in as you dip your feet in the fountains, or paddle, or swim in! The water is lovely and cool, if a bit murky... and there are lots of nearby stands to grab drinks and ice creams (although pricey)! There's also two green banks either side, and the nearby park if you want to have a picnic and make an afternoon of it!
2) Parc des Buttes Chaumont - This place is INCREDIBLE it's in the 19e arrondissement but it makes you feel like you're not in Paris at all. It's huge with a lovely lake, lots of hidden grottos and waterfalls, lots of little stands to buy drinks and ice creams and regular music and "parties" near the bandstand. You can spend the whole day here enjoying the atmosphere and the views. It's also got an easy entrance to the Petite Ceinture but we'll get to that later...
3) Jardin de Luxembourg - A no.1 with families and also couples, and probably the most famous Jardin in Paris. It too has a bandstand where you can sit back enjoy the sunshine and listen to some lovely French music. There are also plenty of restaurants to grab a bite to eat and my favourite FroYo place is just outside the main gates! It's got lots of attractions for kids like donkey rides, swing sets and you can also rent a boat to sail on the huge pond in the centre. My favourite thing to do is to grab one of the iconic green chairs (unfortunately it's interdit [forbidden] to sit on most of the grass - there is a small area at the end though) and sit by the pond, people watching.
4) Parc de Belleville - This has got arguably some of the best views across Paris and best of all... you can sit on the grass! It's also in a very trendy neighbourhood so it's great to spend the morning exploring and then relax here during the afternoon, grabbing un glace ou deux... It also has a great "wooded village" for children to play in and a nice waterfeature.
5) Piscine Josephine Baker - What better than a dip in the water on a hot day? Well this swimming pool gives you a lot more, situated on a boat docked in the Seine you can take in the views of Paris whilst swimming (or sunbathing... or both!) Then you can boast about how you've swam in the Seine... without needing a tetanus shot.
6) Rooftop Bars - What's a sunny day with a glass of vino? Celebrate le soleil by going to one of Paris' many many rooftop bars, always a favourite is Le Pechoir which offers incredible views over Paris. Although the queues to get in can be insane - it's worth it. Nüba is also a great place, it's so chilled out, with beach hut vibes and a DJ booth which is always blasting some tunes, great for those who can't get out the city for a beach vacation!
7) The Sacre Coeur - The Sacre Coeur in Montmartre is an amazing place to visit but even more so when the sun is out. You can start by exploring Montmartre, where the likes of Picasso and Van Gough used to frequent, taking a nice leisurely stroll around the Place de Tertres where you can watch artists at work and even get your own portrait drawn. Move on down and look at the vineyard of Montmartre, which is just opposite the oldest cabaret in Paris. Then you can stop at one of the bustling cafes around the area, but bear in mind you will be paying higher prices because of the area, before settling down on the grass banks in front of the Sacre Coeur. There are always live musicians playing on the steps, and on weekends there are open mics. There's also a great panoramic view across Paris and if you forgot to bring drinks you can always buy a beer for a couple of euros off of the many guys selling them. Beer, music, sun... what more could you want?
8) Any of the street cafés - There's nothing more Parisian than the hordes of people who take to the street cafe's to have a glass or two when the weather is nice. After work, during the lunch break, on the weekend. It's a great place to people watch, soak in the sun and try some French wine. Anyway is there anything more quintessentially French than those red checkered table cloths?
9) Île St-Louis - The best place to get ice cream in Paris, everyone knows, is Berthillion. You can find their flagship store on Île St-Louis, which is very touristy, but is also a lovely place to wander around with great shops and a lovely view of the Seine. It's a stone's throw away from Notre Dame and is one of two islands that rise out of the Seine.
10) Petite Ceinture - So before the metro became the common most of transport in Paris there were other trains that ran along the Périphérique (the main loop around Paris), but now it is just a disused railway. Technically forbidden to enter (it is never policed) lots of Parisians go there, whether for a nice summer stroll, a BBQ or for a party. It's easy to think you're not in Paris anymore as you tackle the undergrowth and leave behind the bustling city noises but there are several elevated sections which offer you views of the city, even if the city can't see you. Great to explore on a sunny day although I would take a torch if you're going to venture through the tunnels. There's an easy entrance through Buttes-Chaumont but a quick google shows you easy routes (although some climbing is generally required!) You can also find out more looking at my post on the Petite Ceinture!