5 Steps to the Perfect Picnic in Paris

After a week, or long weekend siteseeing in Paris, what could be better than buying local produce on a Sunday morning from one of the many food markets; walking to the Parc du Champ ­de ­Mars to enjoy the feast and take in the view of the Eiffel Tower, alongside the locals.

Read also: How to do Everything Amelie Does in Montmartre, Paris

#1 Start by Choosing a Market

1. Market
Decisions, decisions

The oldest of the street markets is Marche les Enfants Rouges, located in Bastille or at the edge of the Marais. The street is lined with antique, second hand and, most importantly, food shops, including a luxury chocolate shop, which are all open on Sundays. As well as the shops there are market stalls selling bread, cheese, pastries and hot street food.

Rue Cler is the most famous market street in Paris and is located a 10-­minute walk east of the Champ de Mars. It is a smaller, more intimate market with food shops that spill out into market stalls on the streets; selling everything you require for your perfect picnic.

If you like organic produce, go to Marche Biologique Raspail, it is the only organic food market open on Sundays. It is located on Boulevard Raspail in the central pavement; the market stalls lining either side creating a narrow walk way between the green and white canopies. This is a more extensive market with plenty of choices; not only can you buy bread, cheese, and pastries for your picnic, you will also find locals picking up fresh meat and vegetables to cook for Sunday dinner, and freshly cut flowers to decorate the table.

#2 Then You Have to Decide What to Buy

2. What to buy
Always chose macaroons

Buy as much food as you can carry: you will need enough to last all day. You can start by buying some freshly baked bread; cheese and ham; followed by some yogurt and strawberries (or any other fruit that takes your fancy); a croissant or pain au chocolat, and perhaps a cake and some crisps for later in the afternoon. Bring some water and pick up a bottle of red wine or champagne at the supermarket on your way to Parc du Champ­de­Mars.

#3 Getting to Your Destination

3. Walk to the picnic
A walk to enjoy

From Marche les Enfants Rouges, it is a 10-­minute walk through the 3rd and 4th arrondissement to the Seine. You can cross the Seine at Notre Dame, walk west along the Left Bank, pass the Louvre on the other side of the river, all the way to the Eiffel Tower, where you head into Parc du Champ-­de-­Mars. This market is the furthest from the Eiffel Tower with an hour and 20-minutes walk along the river. This is the best route if you want to catch a glimpse of all the best sites before you leave.

Rue Cler is a short walk through residential streets of the 7th arrondissement. If you want a break from walking around the city or you are short on time, this is the best option.

Walk north from the market on Boulevard Raspail up to Saint Germain, eventually reaching the Seine just opposite the Grand Palais; again walk west along the river until you get to the Eiffel Tower. This is a 35­-minute walk in total.

#4 Where to Sit

Eiffel Tower as seen from Champ-de-Mars
Eiffel Tower as seen from Champ-de-Mars

The Eiffel tower is situated along the edge of the river Seine at one end of Parc du Champ-­de-Mars. The Ecole Militaire is located at the other end. The park is laid out in small sections of grass with walkways creating the segments. The further back you go from the Eiffel Tower, the better view you will get while enjoying your local produce. All of the grassed areas have a few trees, creating some natural shade to keep you cool on warmer days.

#5 Take Your Time

5. Picnic
Voila. The perfect picnic in Paris

Don’t rush. No one in Paris is in a rush, especially when it comes to meal times. You can sit here all afternoon; people watching; reading a book or magazine; talking with your friend or partner; sleeping in the sunshine. Take the rest of the day to sit and relax with the locals eating brunch and watching their children play.

Oui oui

Photo credits: Main4 and others courtesy of Sian. 

Sian Marsh

Sian's earliest ambition was to be a beach bum. She has travelled to all the continents... except Antarctica. Sian is an enthusiastic diver, beach lover, and enjoys going to the gym and to yoga classes – especially Bikram!

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.