Paris is not all tar and asphalt. Nature lovers can enjoy many beautiful green spaces in the capital city of France. Museums are among the venues where visitors can take advantage of both culture and greenery, thanks to their fabulous gardens. Here is a selection of five museum gardens that you will surely enjoy.
1/ The garden at Musée du quai Branly
This beautiful green setting designed by Gilles Clément is simply delightful with its paths, stone paved lanes, little hills, ponds and cascades. The garden is roughly 18000 square meters, with more than 30 plant species and 169 trees, including oaks and maples in the north part, and magnolias and cherry trees in the south. For an even more dazzling experience, wait until nightfall, where the light displays conceived by Yann Kersalé shimmer all around.
Open Tuesday through Sunday from 11am to 7pm, and until 9pm on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
© musée du quai Branly, photo Nicolas Borel
Musée du quai Branly
37, quai Branly
Tel.: +33 (0)1 56 61 70 00
Metro station: Alma-Marceau (line 9) or Pont de l’Alma (RER C).
2/ The garden at Musée Rodin
This nature haven covers 3 hectares where sculptures by Auguste Rodin are on display. The artist himself had a few of his works set up there as early as 1908, in what was then a wild garden. Some of the most famous works there include Le Penseur (the Thinker), a bust of Balzac, the Gates of Hell, the Burghers of Calais, alongside other less famous pieces. Since its 1993 renovation, the museum offers 2 thematic walks: the Garden of Orpheus is a setting of vegetation and rocks where you can admire Orpheus imploring the gods, whereas the Garden of Springs features water all around.
Open Tuesday through Sunday from 10am to 5:45pm.
Open until 8:45pm on Wednesdays.
Full admission rate is 2€, and reduced admission rate is 1€.
© Musée Rodin
79, rue de Varenne
Tel.: +33 (0)1 44 18 61 10
Metro station: Varenne (line 13).
3/ The Botanic Garden (Jardin des Plantes)
Among all the gardens in Paris, the 400 year-old Jardin des Plantes certainly is among the most famous. In the vicinity of the Paris mosque, and near the banks of the Seine, this botanic garden encompasses over 23 hectares and houses the Museum of Natural History. The garden features hundreds of species found in the great greenhouses, in the vegetable garden, ecological garden, labyrinth and more.
Open daily from 7:30am to 8pm in the summer, and from 8am to 5:30pm in the winter.
Free admission except for the Great Greenhouses (6€), or the alpine Garden (2€).
Jardin des Plantes
57, rue Cuvier
Tel.: +33 (0)1 40 79 56 01
Metro station: Gare d’Austerlitz (lines 5, 10 and RER C).
4/ The Garden at Musée Bourdelle
Entirely dedicated to the works of Antoine Bourdelle, this art deco style museum features an outdoor exhibit of 58 of the artist’s bronze sculptures. Designed by Michel Duflet, the garden is an ideal setting for the works of art. The meticulously elaborated garden offers 7000 square meters of lawns and flowerbeds, tree curtains, miniature labyrinths and other amazing green settings that magnificently enhance the sculptures on display. Currently undergoing construction, the museum will reopen at the beginning of 2015.
Open Tuesday through Sunday from 10am to 6pm.
© Musée Bourdelle
16-18, rue Antoine Bourdelle
Tel.: + 33 (0)1 49 54 73 73
Metro station: Falguière (line 12).
5/ The Garden at the romantic life Museum (Musée de la vie romantique)
Conceived as a beautiful end to the visit of the museum, the garden features a tearoom with wrought iron tables and chairs, for a delightful drink and pastry in an enchanting setting. If you are just looking to take a break in a natural environment, why not sit on one of the many benches and enjoy the shade and majesty of the centenarian trees?
© Musée de la vie romantique
Musée de la vie romantique
16, rue Chaptal
Tel.: +33 (0)1 55 31 95 67
Metro station: Pigalle (line 12 or line 2).