Located in the 12th arrondissement is one of Paris’ hidden gems. The Promenade Plantée, also known as the Coulée Verte René-Dumont (tree-lined walkway en Anglais), is an exquisite promenade that stretches just under 3 miles (around 4.7 kilometers) spanning from the Bois de Vincennes to Place de la Bastille, via the old Vincennes rail line.
Having walked across New York’s High Line last October, I was convinced that it was unique to the American city. However, Paris’ Promenade Plantée was in fact the very first green space constructed to form a public park/promenade, as it was inaugurated in 1993. Similar to New York’s High Line, the Promenade Plantée was erected from a disused railway line
The entire promenade is aligned with a variety of beautiful flowers, plants and trees. It was almost like walking through a perfumery – the sheer amount of different plants was not only aesthetically magnificent, but also nice on the nose!
The Promenade Plantée offers a variety of wonderful sights and experiences. Part of the promenade follows the route across a wooden bridge. This bridge reveals fantastic views of the Jardin de Reuilly. In this park, many Parisians had gathered to picnic and bask in the beautiful spring weather.
As we reached the end near the Bastille (which may be the beginning for others!), the promenade rises 10 m above the surrounding area. Now located above the Viaduc des Arts, underneath the promenade one can find a variety of arts and crafts shops, which are all located in the arches of the former elevated railway.
The Promenade Plantée offers walkers an amazing experience, something truly unique to Paris. Often off the beaten-track for tourists, the promenade provides visitors with expansive views of the city – you become one with the various buildings and architecture, yet remain a flâneur simultaneously. During the walk, one also encounters beautiful landscaped areas of parks, secluded from the modern metropolis. It is a surreal experience – hardly do you find a place within a capital city wherein you feel totally separated from the buzz and rush; but whilst uniquely being right in the middle of it.
Overall, the Promenade Plantée enables those visiting an enjoyable experience. Whether jogging, walking or just enjoying the landscape and views; the Promenade Plantée offers the perfect respite from the hustle and bustle of Paris. A definite must.