It’s finally summer. And as we are now able to stroll around the city as usual, here are some bookmark-worthy ideas and inspiration for exploring! We’ve been through the City of Light’s prettiest secret streets, so here are some of the most beautiful squares. They’ll take you all across Paris and into bucolic hidden corners that’ll make you forget you’re in the city.
You’ve probably been to the Île Saint-Louis. A stop at Berthillon for a cone on a humid summer day. Sunsets and people-watching at one of the brasseries. While the western side of the island is always hopping (thanks to a bridge connecting it to Île de la Cité), walk to the eastern tip and you’ll find a delightful park. The tip of this square looks out onto the Viaduc d’Austerlitz and a nice view of the 12th and 5th arrondissements, which are, I believe, not as heavily favored as the beloved Tour Eiffel. Square Barye is lush in summer and abounds with blooms in the spring, while also offering plenty of cold winter sunshine.
Just around the corner from the Lédru Rollin stop on metro line 8 is Square Trousseau. It’s small and unassuming, with standard greenery for a Paris square, plus a playground. The location, however, is what makes it stand out. It’s steps from the open-air market at Place Aligre, surrounded by cafés and bistrots, 10 minutes from the Promenade Planté (a raised walking path that’s part of the Coulée Verte, and the inspiration for the Highline in New York), and, most importantly, right in front of one of my favorite Paris boulangeries. Pop into Blé Sucré for a madeleine (and anything else, really). They are dense but soft and delicately glazed. A perfect afternoon snack enjoyed in the sunny square.
I will wager that this is one of the least-known and best-kept secrets in the city. One day, I was walking along the Seine when I came across this little square. Honestly, at any other time of the year, there’s not much to see (although it’s shaded and thus perfect for an afternoon of reading). It happened to be April – and there was a cherry blossom explosion, and no competition for the photos. I came and it was empty. If you want the flowers all to yourself, mark this spot.
This is another cherry-blossom peeping spot in the Latin Quarter, by the École Polytechnique and a short walk from the Panthéon. At the cross of rue Monge and rue des Écoles, branches of cherry blossoms spill onto the sidewalk as their petals sprinkle the benches. I’d personally hop off the metro at Maubert-Mutualié, grab a warm,1€ croissant from La Maison d’Isabelle (just outside the exit), and then walk to the square to enjoy the flowers.
Place de Furstenberg
Technically not a square, but very Paris. Musée Eugène Delacroix sits here, under the shade of leafy trees. A beautiful and classic lamp post adorns the center, anchoring the little roundabout. You can exit in one of two directions: the Saint-Germain-des-Prés church, or via rue Jacob. Both are great, but rue Jacob is my favorite at sunset. The street just seems endless, the buildings leading you right to the pink and orange sky.
When we’re allowed out and about again, I’ll be beelining for Square Trousseau for an iced madeleine, and then running to Paul-Langevin. Where will you go first?
Where to go
Square Barye – 2 Boulevard Henri IV, 75004 Paris
Berthillon – 31 rue Saint Louis en L’ile, 75004 Paris
Viaduc d’Austerlitz – 50 Quai d’Austerlitz, 75013 Paris
Square Trousseau – 1 Rue Antoine Vollon, 75012 Paris
Promenade Plantée – 1 Coulée verte René-Dumont, 75012 Paris
Blé Sucré – 7 Rue Antoine Vollon, 75012 Paris
Square Marie-Trintignant – Quai des Célestins, du Fauconnier et rue France, Rue de l’Ave Maria, 75004 Paris
Square Paul-Langevin – 20 Rue Monge, 75005 Paris
Panthéon – Place du Panthéon, 75005 Paris
La Maison d’Isabelle – 47ter Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75005 Paris
Place de Furstenberg – 8 Rue de Furstemberg, 75006 Paris
- Read more about the sustainable movement taking over Paris’ flower industry
- Paris is reopened, and locals are enjoying a tourist-free summer in their city
- Everyone’s washing their hands more often these days– why not keep yours clean with one of our favorite French soap brands
Written by Marissa Wu for HiP Paris. Looking to travel? Check out Haven In for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long-term or buy in France or Italy? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates.