From behind the Opéra Bastille to Vincennes runs one of my favourite features in Paris. The Coulée Verte was the first elevated park in the world, and inspired the much-loved High Line in New York City, its junior by 16 years.
This green carpet, lined with a variety of trees and flowers traces 4.7km through the 12e arrondissement and was constructed along the path of the Vincennes railway line.
I like to hop on to walk home from Bastille or the Marché d’Aligre, but most often to jog to Vincennes and back.
As a rambler, depending on the time of day the concentration of Paris’ jogging population can pose a challenge, but the path is wide and weaves through fountains, ponds, parks and under arch trellises.
The first stretch from Bastille to place du Colonel Bourgoin is built upon pre-existing, restored viaducts that now house high end showrooms and boutiques and provides beautiful views and plenty of secluded benches.
The next section boasts a bridge over the Jardin de Reuilly, a peaceful park with plenty of ‘baskable’ lawn, water fountains for joggers and an impressive leafy wall reaching down to the town hall (Mairie) of the 12th arrondissement.
Beyond this, it opens onto tunnels with water features and outdoor gym equipment – think bars for pull ups and manual cross-trainers – dotted throughout the natural track.
Whether you want to wander, jog, find a quiet bench to read or just enjoy a unique view over the Parisian rooftops, I’d highly recommend paying the Coulée Verte a visit.
Coulée Verte | Relaxing | Free
Mon – Sat 08:00 – 17:00, Sun 09:00 – 17:00