In the past ten years the idea of finding ways to reduce stress has become increasingly popular. During my last visit to Paris, I discovered the perfect place to relax and be mindful: the Promenade Plantée (“tree-lined parkway”).
Promenade Plantee was built on the tracks of the former Vincennes railway which connected the Bastille station to Verneuil-l’Etang, passing through Vincennes (Wikipedia). The line stopped operating in 1969 and the area went through a renovation from the 1980s into the early 1990s. The Promenade was designed by Philippe Mathieux and Jacques Vergely.
Locating The Promenade Plantée
Paris has many beautiful parks and gardens but this is entirely different. The Promenade, also called Coulée Verte René-Dumont, follows the old Vincennes railway line and is an oasis above the busy streets of Paris. Calling it a “parkway” is odd as I think of a parkway as a busy street. The Promenade is a long tree-lined walkway and if you didn’t know what to look for, you likely would never find it.
Location: south east of the Bastille
Easiest way to get there: when you are at Place de la Bastille, walk 220 metres south on Rue de Lyon then left on Avenue Daumesnil. You will see a stairway entrance on your left: Le Viaduct des Arts.
It’s not very attractive looking and you may even see graffiti; however, upon reaching the top of the stairway, you will see this:
Follow the walkway for almost 5 kilometres. There are also ramps and elevators and one section allows bicycles. Looking across and down from the Promenade, you will have splendid views of the architecture and streets of the 12th arrondissement.
Take your time, take a seat on a bench, take a break, and savour the peaceful atmosphere.
After Your Visit….
Head back to the Bastille and then go east to Blé Sucre, my FAVOURITE place for croissants, pastries, salads and desserts. Pastry chef, David Lebovitz loves this place too. I discovered this gem thru him. Check out my post: An American In Paris: Following David Lebovitz. See the map above for the location: 7 Rue Antoine Vollon