Paris Travel Guide

Paris Sights

Bois de Vincennes

  • Garden/Arboretum

Published 10/20/2016

Fodor's Review

Like the Bois de Boulogne to the west, this much-loved retreat on the city's eastern border was landscaped by Napoléon III. Its roots, however, reach back to the 13th century, when Philippe Auguste created a hunting preserve in the shadow of the royal Château de Vincennes, which once ranked as the largest château in Europe. In 1731 Louis XV created a public park here, and the bois (or wood) now features lush lawns, a flower garden, and summertime jazz concerts. Rowboats are for hire at a pair of lakes: Lac Daumesnil, which has two islands, and Lac des Minimes, which has three. For the kids, there are pony rides, a miniature train, and numerous play areas. Here, too, you'll find the stunning Palais de la Porte Dorée (home to an immigration museum and a tropical aquarium), the Parc Zoologique, the Hippodrome de Vincennes racetrack, two cafés, and, in spring, an amusement park. Bikes can be rented at the Château de Vincennes métro stop.

Sight Information


Bois de Vincennes, Paris, Île-de-France, 75012, France

Published 10/20/2016


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