Despite being in the heart of Paris, Parc Rives de Seine is easily missed by visitors hunting out the well known landmarks of the Right Bank, however a detour riverside leads to the capital’s new outdoor hotspot. 

Following the success of the Left Bank’s riverside revival in 2013 -  running between Pont D’Alma and Pont Royal - this new section connects to the Left Bank section via bridges across the Seine, creating a vast riverside playground for those looking to escape the city buzz. Opened in April, this new dedicated stretch of Seine side riverbank between Pont Neuf and Pont de Sully has been reinvented as a 10-hectare nature-focused eco zone. Roads have been replaced with parks for fun and repose, fair trade snack outlets and green space for perfect picnicking. Paris has plenty charming squares and parks but locals are revelling in this newly created pedestrianised zone dedicated to relaxation, play and social interaction. Benches, deckchairs, and the odd hammock, provide ample seating to enjoy the scenery and partake in some people watching. It is a wholly multi functional and multi generational space hosting more mature residents gathering to soak up some sun and chat, families snacking and playing and young hip locals socialising over beer and a game of Pétanque. Energetic residents love this free outdoor gym, working out freestyle on the grass verges or pedal pushing on the exercise bikes stationed along the river. Runners jog, children scoot, skateboard and cycle amusing themselves with various activities including wooden play apparatus, climbing walls, balance games, swings, mini football pitch and grassy areas for free play. Nice touches include the decorative piano enticing the musically inclined to sit and play a tune or two, the 3D telescopes offering users a Parisian history lesson and the cute store selling quality Paris themed novelties.

Sunny days can be spent lounging admiring the views, with picnics or bites from cafés and food stalls and containers dotted along the Quai. Evenings encourage dusk time aperitifs, sociable drinks and romantic strolls.

The next time the heaving crowds at Notre Dame or the Louvre become overwhelming you know what to do.

Access and activities are free making for a worthwhile, and economical, spend of a Parisian afternoon.

Left Bank between Pont D’Alma and Pont Royal

Right Bank between Pont Neuf and Pont de Sully


Elaine MacKenzie