Bois de Vincennes


In the southeastern corner of Paris, Bois de Vincennes encompasses some 995 hectares. Originally royal hunting grounds, the woodland was annexed by the army following the Revolution and then donated to the city in 1860 by Napoléon III. A fabulous place to escape the Parisian concrete, Bois de Vincennes also contains a handful of notable sights, including a bona fide royal château, Château de Vincennes, with massive fortifications and a moat.

Paris' largest, state-of-the-art zoo, the Parc Zoologique de Paris, is also here, as is the magnificent Parc Floral de Paris, a botanical park with exciting playgrounds for older children. The wood also has a lovely lake, with boats to rent and ample green lawns to picnic on.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Paris attractions

2. Aquarium Tropical

0.05 MILES

Modernised in 2018, this 1931-opened aquarium in the basement of the art deco Palais de la Porte Dorée, beneath the Musée de l'Histoire de l’Immigration,…

3. Lac Daumesnil

0.14 MILES

Like something out of a Renoir painting, the largest lake in Bois de Vincennes is a popular destination for walks and rowboat excursions in warmer months …

4. Parc Zoologique de Paris

0.23 MILES

Paris' largest, state-of-the-art zoo focuses on the conservation of species and habitats, with camouflaged vantage points (no peering through fences). Its…

5. Petite Ceinture du 12e

0.41 MILES

A 1.7km section of the now-abandoned Petite Ceinture ('little belt') railway line, which encircled central Paris from the late 19th century until the line…

6. Parc de Bercy

1.13 MILES

Built on the site of a former wine depot, this large, landscaped park is a great place to break for a picnic and let the kids run free. Vestiges of its…

7. Cinémathèque Française

1.18 MILES

A little-known gem near Parc de Bercy, the Cinémathèque Française was originally created in 1936 by film archivist Henri Langlois. Devoted to the history…

8. Galerie Itinerrance

1.26 MILES

Testament to the 13e’s ongoing creative renaissance, this gallery showcases graffiti and street art, and can advise on self-guided and guided street-art…