Parisians enjoy more than 400 parks and gardens encompassing over 7,000 acres of green space. And enjoy them they do; it's rare to walk into a park in Paris, however small or off the beaten path, where there isn't at least one person enjoying it.
Parc Monceau, located in the exclusive 8th arrondissement, is exquisite. I visited on a warm, sunny late September morning when mothers and nannies were walking babies in strollers, men were engrossed in conversation and school children were enjoying their outing. The park encompasses about 20 acres.
The Duke of Chartres, a cousin of Louis XVI, bought the land during the latter half of the 18th century and went about creating a public park. It was his intention that it be an "English Garden", less formal than the more symmetrical French gardens of the time, but over the years it experienced a number of design changes.
In 1781 a circular rotunda known as the Pavillon de Chartres was added at the northern edge of the park on Boulevard de Courcelles.
In the middle of the 19th century Baron Haussmann, the force behind the public works program that transformed Paris, made a number of design changes that included paved alleyways for carriages, meandering footpaths, a 27 ft. high gate and a bridge modeled after the Rialto bridge in Venice.
This the magnificent gate at Boulevard Malesherbes at the eastern edge of the park.
More wrought iron and gold at the main entrance on Boulevard de Courcelles.
This archway belonged to the former Paris city hall.
Haussmann also added many beautiful trees and flowers.
There was a small Troll exhibit when I visited!
Some of the statuary in the park.
The park is surrounded by beautiful "hôtels particuliers" which can be seen through the trees.
I thoroughly enjoyed my morning at Parc Monceau.
Monet was also taken with Parc Monceau. This is one of his paintings of the Parc, done in 1876.
➜ Top Tips
The closest métro station is Monceau, line 2.
If you have time, visit the Musée Cernuschi and the Musée Nissim de Camondo, both of which are at the edge of the park.
The park is a free Wi-fi area, so take your laptop and spend a few hours there.
If possible, visit on a sunny day to fully enjoy the beauty.