La Coulée Verte is a four and a half kilometre footpath planted with beautiful gardens, grass, trees and a park too. The path was created in place of a railway route that stopped being used in 1969, and it makes a great stretch to walk or run along. It’s my favourite place in Paris to go, whether its to relax, exercise or get away from the bustling city for a few hours. It’s also great for relaxing, as its elevation above the city’s busy streets make it quite a peaceful place to come.
One of my favourite things to do when I was living in the city, was to visit the park with some picnic food as well as a lemon and water bottle to make my own lemon detox water – but this time with a difference! The park situated at the half-way point of the walk boasts the only sparkling water fountain in Paris, which is a complete hit with the locals (have you seen how popular Badoit and Perrier are?) as well as with me. I’ve once even brought along mint leaves and a lime to make a refreshing virgin mojito.
I have to add here, that the Coulée verte is never busy with tourists so it’s quite the hidden gem. If you’re looking for a place to go running or relax for an afternoon in the sun, you will find everything you need here – there are ponds, chess tables, benches every couple of meters, water fountains, a creperie and toilet next to the central park, as well as a secluded walk to some allotments at the end of the trail (if you take the right-hand path) or a couple of exercise areas with a pull-up bar, and other not too strenuous pieces of equipment (on the left-hand path).
The best way to approach the park is from Bastille metro station and ending at Bel Air, although you can directly access the central park at Dugommier or Montgallet. If you are staying in Paris for an extended amount of time, this is definitely somewhere I would encourage you to go, but if you’re only looking to visit the monuments and fancy shops, it’s not going to be quite to your taste!