If you're tired of perfectly manicured Parisian parks with lawns that are off-limits to your weary feet, this place is for you. The lovely 61-acre hilltop expanse in the untouristy 19e arrondissement has grassy fields, shady walkways, waterfalls, and a picturesque lake dotted with swans. Rising from the lake is a rocky cliff you can climb to find a mini Greek-style temple and a commanding view of Sacré-Coeur Basilica. A favorite of families, the park also has pony rides
and an open-air puppet theater—Guignol de Paris (€4; shows at 4 pm Wednesday and at 4 pm and 5 pm weekends, year-round)—not far from the entrance at Buttes-Chaumont métro stop. Built in 1863 on abandoned gypsum quarries and a former gallows, this was northern Paris's first park, part of Napoléon III's planned greening of Paris (the emperor had spent years in exile in London, where he fell in love with the public parks). Major renovation work through 2016 will mean some unsightly construction, but it will remain open. Grab a snack at café Rosa Bonheur (wwww.rosabonheur.fr) or reserve a table for weekend lunch at Le Pavillon du Lac restaurant (wwww.lepavillondulac.fr).
Entrances on Rue Botzaris or Rue Manin, Paris, 75019, France
Nov 9, 2008
One of this city's finest parks, a bit out of the way so it has more locals and fewer tourists. Good sized, with a lake and waterfall, gardens, and a fine view spot of the city. Very rewarding to seek out, a rewarding "off the beaten path" entity.