Located in the middle of the 12th arrondissement of the city of Paris, on the outskirts of the Vincennes Wood, is a gorgeous 35-hectare park. Garden and botany lovers visit the area to marvel at the dazzling displays of irises, dahlias, tulips, bonsais, rhododendrons, and camellias. This area is perfect for leisurely strolls and watching the sceneries transform throughout the year featuring a number of beautiful themed gardens.
The Floral Parc also features numerous children’s play areas, such as a miniature golf course decked up with replicas of famous Parisian landmarks. Music festivals such as the Paris Jazz Festival, Pestacles, and the Classique au Vert take place there during the summer months. In the fall, the best dahlias are judged and awarded at the world-famous International Dahlia Competition.
Established in 1969 in the Bois de Vincennes, the Paris Floral Park (Parc Floral de Paris) is a premier botanical garden and event space in the French capital. The park is home to more than 3,000 plant varieties, and it’s located right near the Château de Vincennes. Its stage is very popular, especially during major events like the Paris Jazz Festival.
While the rest of the Bois de Vincennes was utilized for military training by Napoleon, the Parc Floral de Paris was originally used for royal hunting. Paris chose in the 1960s to build permanent gardens, exhibition halls, and other attractions at the site of an annual international flower show called the Floralies.
The Parc Floral is well-known nowadays for its beautiful ponds and extensive flowerbeds (particularly the Valley of Flowers). Festivals like the yearly Paris Jazz Festival and the Classique au Vert (dedicated to classical music) take advantage of the area’s event spaces and stages and draw large crowds to the park throughout the year.
There are a lot of unexpected things to do in the Parc Floral de Paris. The first is a miniature golf course with 18 holes themed after various landmarks in the City of Light. Le Chemin de l’Évolution is a walking track that aims to chronologically trace the evolution of different plant species, and the park also features sculptures by artists like Jean Amado and Alicia Penalba.
History of Parc Floral de Paris
Part of the Bois de Vincennes, the Parc Floral was once a royal hunting preserve and recreational park. King Philippe-Auguste of France walled off the park in the 12th century, and King Charles V of France constructed the adjacent château.
Outside of the Parc Floral, near the crossroads of the Route de Polygone and the route royale de Beauté, stands a pyramid (1831), the work of King Louis XV’s reforestation effort and the first major construction project of his reign.
Napoleon Bonaparte, during the French Revolution, used the Bois de Vincennes as a military training field. The Parc Floral area was cleared of its trees and made into a massive 166-hectare field for infantry drills between 1840 and 1843.
While much of the Bois de Vincennes was opened to the public during the Second Empire of Napoleon III, the area that would become the Parc floral remained under military administration for many years after World War II ended.
It was mostly level and featured a few structures that may be converted into museums. The property’s best features were a forest of oaks and a forest of pines.
In 1959 and 1964, the Bois de Vincennes played host to the international flower show Floralies. Because of the popularity of the Floralies and similar concerts, Paris decided to establish a permanent venue for them.
Several architects, including Caroline Stefulesco-Mollie for the valley of flowers, Jacques Sgard for the sculpture garden, Alain Provost for the water garden, and Lucienne Talihade-Collin for the playground, helped Paris city architect Daniel Collin complete the project in 1969.
Highlights of Parc Floral de Paris
Plant and environment enthusiasts go to the seasonal Parc Floral de Paris, which first opened in 1969. It is part of the Paris Botanical Garden, together with Parc de Bagatelle, École du Breuil, and Jardin des Serres d’Auteuil.
The park, which spans 28 hectares, is located within the Bois de Vincennes and is only a short distance from the nearby Château de Vincennes. There are four different ecological zones. Excellent for strolling, as well as socializing (exhibition hall, gardening activities, etc.).
A miniature golf course in the park is designed to seem like a scaled-down replica of Paris, with each of its 18 holes named after a famous building in the city. Numerous free events, including the Paris Jazz Festival, Pestacles, and Festival Classique au Vert, are held in the park every summer.
Through its many themed pavilions, the garden delights visitors with bonsais, succulents, tropical, medicinal, and aquatic plants, 1,500 types of iris plants, flowering meadows, butterfly sanctuaries, small lakes, and a massive fountain by François Stahly. There is also a beautiful flower valley and a pine forest that provides protection for a plethora of azaleas, rhododendrons, and camellias.
How to get to Parc Floral de Paris?
Despite being situated across the Périphérique from central Paris, the Parc Floral is well-served by a variety of public transit options. The park is located in the middle of Bois de Vincennes, not far from the Vincennes RER station (on line A) and the Château de Vincennes Métro station (on line 1). You can also drive there, use a Vélib bike, or take the bus (lines 46 or 112).
Tucked away on the edge of the Bois de Vincennes, not far from the Château de Vincennes, is Parc Floral, a veritable paradise of exotic plants and flowers. It’s excellent for picnics and strolls with the family because it spans 35 hectares of green space and has been designated as a botanical garden since 1998.