As my belle-mère would say: “Why a duck?” Because if you like to walk (or run for those who like to jog) Paris is made for you, and one of the best walks is the path you stroll along the old train track, in the 12th arrondissement, the viaduc des arts. Opened in 1993, it’s a 3-mile long path of gardens, trellises and benches that start 22-feet high above street level and end in forest-like tunnel trenches. The Promenade Plantée, also known as La Coulée Verte, offers a great view of Paris’ 12th arrondissement, it’s buildings and parcs; don’t miss the police station along the way with its series of statues, the “slaves” inspired by Michelangelo’s.
La Promenade Plantée
From the beginning of the Avenue Deaumesnil (metro Bastille or Gare-de-Lyon) to the end of Rue du Sahel (at Boulevard Soult, between Porte de Vincennes and Porte Dorée), with stairs all along the way.
One of Paris’ most important archeological remains of the Gallo-Roman era, les Arènes de Lutèce was built in the first century AD. It is believed that this amphitheater could seat up to 17000 spectators and was the stage for both theater and gladiatorial combat. After the barbaric invasions which took place during the 3rd century AD, the arena became a cemetery that was later filled in completely. It wasn’t until 1869, during the opening of Rue Monge, that the arena was discovered. Without the determination of Victor Hugo and a few others to save it from destruction, les Arènes de Lutèce might have fallen forever into oblivion!
Whether you go there for a pétanque game, to sunbath, draw, practice your ball-juggling, eat or rest, there will always be room for you to sit down and contemplate how much time has passed while enjoying a moment of peace in the heart of a busy city. Also, just like in all of Paris’ parks there’s free Wi-Fi at les Arènes de Lutèce.
Arènes de Lutèce
49 Rue Monge
Metro: Place Monge, Cardinal Lemoine
Dec-Feb: 8am-5.45pm (9am on the weekend)
March: 8am-7pm (9am on the weekend)
April: 8am-8.30pm (9am on the weekend)
May-August: 8am-9.30pm (9am on the weekend)
September: 8am-8.30pm (9am on the weekend)
Oct-Nov: 8am-7.30pm (9am on the weekend)
Closing time’s around sunset basically!