Paris Promenade or Coulée Verte is a Beautiful Greenway in the Heart of Paris
Whether you know the Paris Promenade as “La coulée verte” (green stream) or “La promenade plantée”, this beautiful greenway provides you with elevated views of Paris away from the bustle of street traffic. Located in the 12th arrondissement, the walkway is 2.9 miles of greenway oasis and a total shock to the system after the noise of the city. Along the way you will find lots of local with their lunch (if you are walking during the lunch hour). What a great way to recharge your batteries!
The former railway line that connected Paris and Strasbourg provides the elevated base for the Promenade. Extending from Place Bastille on rue Daumesnil to the Jardin de Reuilly. The walkway can be accessed at various points along the way via staircases leading from rue Daumesnil. At Jardin de Reuilly, the green-way descends to street-level. This is the entrance you see above. Jardin de Reuilly is an excellent stopping point for a picnic. Wild vegetation found along the Promenade Plantée has existed since the old railway line was here. Along the route it mixes with modern landscaping to provide a lush green environment.
On your walk you will encounter flaneurs (those persons who are just out for a stroll), joggers, cyclists and roller-skaters. At mid-day, every spot of shade is occupied with people enjoying their lunch before returning to the office. From your elevated view on the Promenade Plantée you have great views of Haussmanian architecture and the grand clock at the Gare de Lyon (looking south) on one side and when you turn to face the other side (north) you have old Paris in all her beauty.
Part of “old Paris” also lies directly beneath you in the Viaduct des Arts which is located at the end of the walkway closest to the metro Bastille. In general, the Promenade itself is open from dawn to dusk. However, the boutiques and shops in the Viaduct des Arts follow varied operational hours.
The viaduct consists of beautiful red-brick and stone archways. It is difficult to believe that it once carried the elevated railway above it! Housed within are approximately 50 arcades where artisans have gathered to sell their creations. Sometimes you will find an artisan who has set up his workshop in the window so you can watch him/her at work before entering the shop to make your purchase. Although the official site is in French, you can get a preview of the various artisans at the Viaduct.
Don’t miss a visit to the Marché d’Aligre while you are in this area of the city. Descend the Paris Promenade at rue Abel and walk north approximately two blocks to the market. It is open daily except Mondays (in general, mornings being the best time to arrive). Located between Faubourg St Antoine and rue Cherbourg, this covered market has been here since 1779.