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Picnic season in Paris : our best spots

Updated: Jun 7, 2023

It is time for a glass of rosé ! Summer is arriving with the sunshine on a regular basis. If you happen to be in Paris this month, you’ll soon realize that this is picnic season. It is a lovely time : Parisians are picnic pros (since French invented this word in 1692, we ought to 😉 ).

Picnic is a mix of food, wine, gathering around and making conversation, enjoying outside with a nice view.

Are you ready to master the parisian picnic ?

Once you have the essentials : baguette, wine, water, French cheese, pre-sliced charcuterie,.. you can head to these magic spots to enjoy a great/ romantic night out.

Paris has a large number of beautiful parks to choose from. Here are our favourites :

Picnic in Paris Along the Seine

Les quais de Seine are a wonderful place to have a picnic : you enjoy both the Seineand at least one top monument : Notre Dame Cathedral, Conciergerie, Grand Palais, Alexander 3 bridge. On the right bank of the Seine are Rives de Seine around Hotel de ville and Chatelet. During summer, there are plenty of free animations organised by the city of Paris.

On the left bank, the spot next to Alexandre 3 bridge is one of the most popular. There, you can mingle with people enjoying the guinguette atmosphere at one of the tavern along the river. Our favourite place is next to Rosa Bonheur boat.

Les Invalides

This spot is a truly parisian place for picnic. We can assure you’ll meet locals ! Especially at « apéro » time, during the week (don’t ask why, we have no clue… but every year at least one parisian picnic is organised on a Thursday night by on of our friends). Everybody enjoy a picnic, seated on the grass, admiring the golden dome of the Invalides.

The Louvre Gardens

This one too is a local spot for picnics and one of our favourite in Paris. You would think it is such a touristic place that you will meet only international people but no ! Actually, everybody leaves the museum at night to enjoy dinner in an other neighborhood. And we guess that people think the Louvre Gardens close at the same time that the Tuileries garden (maybe they think that these two gardens are the same). Once in the middle of the French style garden, you’ll feel like you are part of French History. The atmosphere is quiet, there is no car and at dusk, the lights make the night even more magical).

A non touristy place to picnic in Paris : along Canal Saint Martin

It doesn’t mean you’ll be alone ! No no no ! It is even more crowded than the other places we wrote about earlier ! And since the « quais » are rather small, we would recommand going early to enjoy a picnic without having to squeeze between too many people (unless you like it of course).

If you forgot to bring some food over, the canal is filled with food shops and restaurants.

Picnic in Paris Along the Canal Saint Martin

The crowd during picnics : be prepared

Oh yes, last but not least : unfortunately, unlike the perfect spot on Instagram, Parisian spots for pic nics are ALWAYS packed on warm and sunny days. I remember an american friend telling me that after she saw an Instagram about a picnic in front of Ile Saint Louis thought : « Oh ! This is such a good idea, why don’t wa have a picnic there ! It seems quiet and gorgeous, off the beaten path, mostly frequented by parisian,… ! Aaahhh ! So innocent ! Shed id not remember at the time that most parisian appartments are so tiny that people tend to hang outn outside as soon as they can ! Meaning from April to July-ish (not august, parisian are all gone), the whole city is outside !

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