If you’re over in the 5th arrondissement, and feel like you need some fresh air and green open spaces, head to the Jardin des Plantes. Much loved by Parisians, it has been open to the public for 400 years and houses a zoo (created in 1793, the second oldest in the world), the Natural History Museum, and the gardens of the botany school, as well as 4 tropical greenhouses that have recently been renovated.
The park is beautiful, and although it’s not the kind of place you can sit and picnic on the grass (the man with the whistle will appear and shoo you off!) you can sit on the benches and eat and it’s a lovely place for a walk, especially if you like flowers.
Afterwards head to the Institut du Monde Arabe, just a short walk away, for a mint tea and some of the best views of Notre Dame from their rooftop terrace. Take the lift up to the 9th floor and admire the beautiful sunsets over the cathedral. The terrace is free, there is a restaurant there but the views are open to everyone.
- Jardin des Plantes
- 57 rue Cuvier, 2 rue Buffon, 36 rue Geoffroy-Saint-Hilaire, place Valhubert 75005 Paris. metro Gare d’Austerlitz, Censier Daubenton or Jussieu
Open daily, 07:30 – 20:00 in summer and until 17:30 in winter.
- Institut du Monde Arabe
- I rue des Fossés St Bernard, 75005 Paris. Open until 6pm. Closed Tuesdays