While Paris overflows with the best restaurants, sometimes you just want to grab a beverage and a ham & cheese sandwich for a lovely, romantic picnic! Check out these perfect Paris picnic spots and pack that basket!
Disclosure: some of the links below are affiliate links. If you purchase a linked item, I will make a commission, at no extra charge to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Updated April, 2020.
Thinking of having a picnic in Paris?
Ah Paris! Home of everything you could ever want: the haute-est of haute couture, the world's best restaurants, and the most stunning architecture on the planet.
Sometimes, especially after a long day of playing tourist, there's no better way to spend an evening than having a little picnic in the City of Lights!
Best Paris Picnic Spots: Ile Saint-Louis
Ile Saint-Louis is one of the most beautiful spots in Paris. Small, quaint streets lined with independent shops where tourists and locals alike mingle and stroll. Even with Notre Dame under construction, you'll definitely want to dedicate time to both of this magical little spot.
Planning a picnic on Ile Saint-Louis after touring the Sainte-Chapelle would make perfect sense! You could also pop by here after a visit to the Louvre, as you might need a bit of time to destress!
While there are a number of restaurants in the area (obviously), after spending part of our day exploring Chartres, we were hoping for a more relaxing evening. We opted to take a stroll over to Il Saint-Louis, grab some food, and eat a quick picnic.
On Ile Saint-Louis itself, there are a number of small shops selling sandwiches, beverages, chips, and anything else you'd reasonably need for a picnic. Word of warning: the one we selected only took cash. Definitely a rarity in this day and age, but a lot of these are tiny, family-run stores, so bring your Euros! This was actually the only time we ran into a cash-only request, that I can remember, during our time in France. With supplies in hand, we headed out to the tip of Ile Saint-Louis, facing toward Notre Dame (though you can't see it too well from here). There are a number of benches in the area, so if someone has snagged the bench at the very edge, grab another and subtly wait for them to vacate the perfect spot!
From here, you can watch the boats go by on the Seine, in relative, and frankly, surprising, tranquility. We ate our ham and cheese, downed some 1664, the best beer in the world, and wished we'd never have to leave.
Note: I can't take credit for "discovering" this picnic site. It is one of many lovely recommendations in Rick Steve's Paris Travel Guide.
Don't make these 10 Tourist Mistakes in Paris
Best Picnic Spots in Paris:
If a scan through any social media channel is any indication, people love picnicking near the Eiffel Tower. I find that area a bit crowded. While I love a good picnic (let's be real - mostly just the wine), I don't love crowds, and I don't like trying to force a picnic, in full view of a lot of tourists!
This picnic spot has people strolling the Seine early in the evening, but as the night goes on, it becomes fairly quiet. We opted to sit on a bench at this spot, rather than going full picnic blanket, as it's easier to see the river and the Eiffel Tower from the bench, but you do you!
When does the Eiffel Tower sparkle?
According to its official website, sensors kick-off the Eiffel Tower's sparkle, once it gets dark (how neat is that?). At night, the Eiffel Tower sparkles for the first 5 minutes of the hour- and don't worry, it's hard to miss!
Best Picnic Spots in Paris: Le Jardin du Luxembourg
Don't forget to check out the full post on what to see on Paris's Left Bank, including the Rodin Museum and Napoleon's Tomb.
Best Picnic Spots in Paris: Place des Vosges
Locals lounge around in the grass, chatting and enjoying the day. If you're looking to grab some food, bakeries and coffee shops abound in this upscale area. If you change your mind on picnicking and want to opt for a restaurant, there's not in short supply either.
Looking for Paris's best neighborhoods? Check out my full Paris Neighborhood Guide!
Paris Picnic Food & Drinks
...and what about drinks?
In parks, I might be a bit more discreet with the vin, if only owing to the fact that some parks don't allow drinking because they have other issues to deal with beyond people having picnics, but generally it's not a problem. When we visited Pere Lachaise, a drunk guy in front of me tried to enter while drinking out of a half-consumed bottle of red wine and the sort of laughing policeman said "You have to at least try to hide it," as the Cemetery doesn't allow drinking. So...that's France!
Thanks for stopping by!
Don't forget to sign-up for the blog newsletter and receive your free, downloadable carry-on packing guide for Europe!
You may also like...
Love it? Pin it!
This website uses marketing and tracking technologies. Opting out of this will opt you out of all cookies, except for those needed to run the website. Note that some products may not work as well without tracking cookies.Opt Out of Cookies