Health + Fitness

The Coolest Park in Paris You’ve Never Heard Of

In northeast Paris, near the multicultural neighborhood of Belleville, sits one of the most striking parks in Europe. Parc des Buttes-Chaumont is an absolute wonder of landscape design and is a favorite among locals.

Constructed as part of Baron Haussmann’s 19th century renovation of Paris – the famous public works program that gave the city its wide boulevards and squares – the park is built upon a one-time public dump and a former execution ground.

This beguiling space contains a man-made lake, concrete cliffs, a Roman pavilion – Temple de la Sibylle – and a suspension bridge designed by Gustave Eiffel. Its meandering greenery is also elevated at various points and provides amazing views of the Sacré Coeur.

(Photo: Lisa Marie)
(Photo: Lisa Marie)
(Photo: Lisa Marie)
(Photo: Lisa Marie)

Among its undulating knolls and comically steep hills – which might put visitors in mind of Jurassic Park – there are also faux rocks and wooden fences intricately crafted from concrete, a design process that was hip in the 1860s.

(Photo: Lisa Marie)
(Photo: Lisa Marie)
(Photo: Lisa Marie)
(Photo: Lisa Marie)

Unknown to many tourists is the park’s most popular bar, Rosa Bonheur. With its beautiful terrace, this spot stays busy until midnight most of the week. Indeed, this almost-secret atmosphere is reflected in the nearby walled village of Butte Bergeyre, where there’s a wine-producing vineyard.

Marriott explored Paris’ Parc des Buttes-Chaumont as part of a collaboration with VSCO’s photographers to create city guides for Paris; Berlin; Cairo; Taipei; and Portland, Ore.

Where to Find Parc des Buttes-Chaumont:

• Address: 1 rue Botzaris, 75019 Paris
• Tel: +33 1 48 03 83 10
• Hours: May-Sep 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Oct-Apr, 7 a.m.-8 p.m.