I love public green spaces and being elevated – it’s a “being short” thing. Put those things together and it usually results in something that becomes a one of my favourite things, like the High Line in New York. I had equally high hopes for the Promenade Plantée.
The Promenade Plantée – or the Coulée Vert – is the older, more experienced French cousin of the High Line. Constructed on 4.5km of abandoned rail bed in Eastern Paris and opened to the public in the early 1990s, it’s now a pleasant, well-cultivated garden walk through the 12e arrondissement.
Even during a weekday, the Promenade was well-traveled: lunch-time walkers, school kids, runners, all taking in the brief respite from spring showers to get out.
There’s a lot to see, both within the park and in the surrounding neighbourhood. The most striking sight was the police station in the 12e (corner of Avenue Daumesnil and Rue de Rambouillet), which is inexplicably topped by 12 recreations of Michelangelo’s “The Dying Slave.” (BIG thanks to Paris Walking Tours for the identifying the building and sculpture for me!)
Unlike the High Line, which retained a lot of its railway features, there are only a few spots on the Promenade where you can see parts of the remaining railbed. It’s not a bad thing, just noteworthy.
Escape the rain & refresh
To escape the rain and warm up, we stopped at Café Le Remontalou. A fantastic neighbourhood joint that was full of lunch-time regulars and spirited conversation about football. I loved every minute of it.
Shopping along the Viaduct des Arts
After walking the Promenade, you can work your way back at street level along the Viaduct des Arts, which runs underneath. Jewelers, furniture, clothing, design and decor – artisans of all stripes sell their wares.
Promenade Planetée and Viaduct des Arts
Metro: Bastille, Daumesnil
Cafe Le Remontalou
82, avenue Daumesnil
Metro: Gare de Lyon