Parc de la Villette Park in Paris
The Parc de la Villette is one of the largest parks in Paris that extends over 55 hectares and 35 hectares are outdoors and it has the largest green area in the city, yet there are many different cultural places to visit from theatres to themed gardens and a cinema through to two incredible museums in Paris as well.
About the Gardens at Parc de la Villette
When you look back at the history of the Parc de la Villette, this area was once the scene of the cattle markets and abattoirs, yet all that remains of its past is the Grande Halle that has now been put onto the supplementary list of historical monuments in Paris.
The Park was designed by Bernard Tschumi and provides a place where people can go to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, whether it be taking a stroll, a gentle cycle ride or maybe just admiring the themed gardens such as the Jardin des Bambous that has over 30 different species of bamboo planted.
In fact, when it comes to the gardens, there are coming up to around 3,000 trees in addition to numerous different species of plants and flowers, plus vines in the Jardin de la Treille. But to visit the park at night is also a fantastic experience, especially in the Jardin des Iles, the Jardin des Ombres and the Jardin des Equilibres, as these were designed with special lighting effects.
And for those of you that enjoy being near water, you will be pleased to hear that the Canal de l’Ourcq also runs through the park plus there are numerous different water features such as fountains, ornamental ponds and waterfalls, which make this a tranquil and serene area to enjoy.
You will also find a paved blue path that meanders through the park between the ten themed gardens, which also include three play areas for children, one of which is called the Jardin du Dragon that is home to a large steel sculptured dragon that has a 24m slide. But for those in a hurry there are two walkways and the first runs across the park from the Porte de la Villette to the Porte de Pantin and the other is elevated and runs along the south bank of the canal.
Yet there are also 26 follies, that are basically a contemporary version of a traditional gazebo, and these bright red follies in all different shapes have become the architectural hallmarks of the Parc de la Villette and were all meant to be just purely ornamental, whereas some of these today now have functional uses such as an information centre.
Plus there are also two large green open spaces known as the triangle and the circle, which provide lovely grass areas for people to relax, have a picnic or just watch the world go by.
Visiting the tourist attractions at the Parc de la Villette
There are so many different places to discover at the Parc de la Villette that you will guarantee to be able to please any member of the family, young or old.
To start with you have the Grande Halle, which as we mentioned earlier, is the old slaughterhouse and has been classed as a historical monument in Paris, but even this building has been completely renovated and now plays host to fairs and exhibitions.
Then you have the decommissioned submarine called the Argonaute, which is now a museum that you can discover and it also has a visitors centre to provide more information about the French navy, submarines, etc.
Opposite the Argonaute you have the Cite des Sciences et de l’Industrie, which is often just known as the Cite des Sciences, and this is the largest science museum in Europe with a planetarium, dedicated areas for children and teenagers, and it is here that you can discover anything from weightlessness and outer space through to microbiology, go on a simulator, and much, much more.
Yet just outside there is the Geode, which is a large sphere that shimmers from its polished stainless steel and it holds the most attended cinema in France for large format films. Plus it is a unique movie theatre that has one of the largest hemispherical screens in the world and is an architectural feat of engineering that is a sight not to be missed.
You then have the prestigious Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, which translates to the National Conservatory of Music and Dance which accommodates over 1,000 students, studios, a library and much more.
Then opposite this there is the Cite de la Musique that hosts over 250 concerts each year with a very wide variety of different performances from Baroque to hip hop and classical to contemporary, plus there is a media library.
Also linked with the Cite de la Musique is another museum in Paris called the Musee de la Musique, which is home to one of the richest collections of musical instruments in the world. Yet you can also listen to musicians actually playing on some of these fabulous instruments along with learning more about their history, different types of music, composers, instrument makers such as Stradivarius, etc.
Now talking of music, there are also other venues at the Parc de la Villette that you may wish to experience such as the Zenith, which is a concert arena located at the edge of the Canal de l’Ourcq or the Cabaret Sauvage. You also have the Trabendo with different concerts and international stars appearing like Kevin Costner and the Theatre Paris-Villette.
So as you can tell, there is something to interest everyone at this park in Paris, not forgetting that there are plenty of places to get something to eat while you are here.
Access to Parc de la Villette
Located in the 19th Arrondissement this park in Paris is open all year round and you will be pleased to know that the park is accessible to the disabled, although there are a few spots that may require the aid of an additional person to help, yet there is street level access from the Porte de la Villette, plus there are disabled toilets dotted throughout this large park as well.
Now when it comes to public transport, you will find that the nearest Metro stations are either the Porte de la Villette stop located close to the Cite des Sciences at the northern end serving Line 7, or the Porte de Pantin stop serving Line 5, which is located at the southern end of the park close to Cite de la Musique and the Grande Halle.
There is also the Tramway serving Line T3B located close by, plus the bus lines 75, 139, 150, 151, 152 and 330 along with the Noctilien Night Bus Service via Lines N13, N41, N42, N45 and N140 will also get you within walking distance of the Parc de la Villette.
However, there is also a Velib station for the self service bike hire located next to the park, plus there are several different public car parks with 24 hour surveillance that you can utilise if you have your own vehicle, although do bear in mind that there are height restrictions on these, although they do have dedicated disabled spaces as well.
In addition to these options, you could always enjoy a canal cruise, or even rent your own boat on the canal, and one company offering cruises and even a shuttle service during the summer months is Canauxrama. Yet there is also another called Paris Canal that leaves from a dock by the Musee d'Orsay in the heart of Paris for a cruise that take you close the Parc de la Villette.
Address and contact details
Parc de la Villette, 211 Avenue Jean Jaures, 75019, Paris, Ile de France, France
Tel: +33 (0)1 40 03 75 75
Info and ticket office between 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday to Friday
Parc de la Villette photos
Attractions in Park Villette
S636 Argonaute Submarine
Philharmonie de Paris Concert Hall
Le Balcon restaurant
Cite de la Musique
Cafe Musique - Now Cafe des Concerts
Musee de la Musique
Cite des Sciences et de l’Industrie
Fontaine aux Lions de Nubie
Le Hall de la Chanson
La Grande Halle de la Villette
Centre Equestre de la Villette
Le Zenith de Paris la Villette
My Boat restaurant
Pavillon Paul Delouvrier
Pont Flottant Villette
Canal de l'Ourcq
James Bond 2016 Exhibition photos
Cite des Sciences photos
S636 Argonaute Submarine photos
Geode Cinema photos
Peniche Cinema photos
Jardin de la Treille photos
Philharmonie de Paris 2014 photos
Fontaine aux Lions de Nubie photos
Cite de la Musique photos
Canal de l'Ourcq photos
Grande Halle photos
Pont Flottant de la Villette photos
Paris Metro lines 5, 7
Bus line 75
Bus line 139
Bus lines 150, 151, 152
Bus line 330
Night bus line N13
Night bus lines N41, N42, N45
Night bus line N140
Tram line T3B
Attractions close by
Bassin de la Villette
Au Boeuf Couronne
Parc de la Butte du Chapeau Rouge
Pont Levant de la Rue de Crimee
Square Marcel Mouloudji
Passerelle de la Moselle
La Peniche Opera
Rotonde de la Villette
Place de la Bataille de Stalingrad