Located in the 19th arrondissement of Paris, the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont is one of my favorite fairy tale places in Paris. Somewhat removed from the main area of the city, this park always feels entirely secluded and totally removed. I visited often when I lived in Paris, and maybe it was just because it was the middle of winter, but I always felt like it was nearly empty. But not in a creepy way.
The highlight of the park, in my opinion, is the Temple de la Sibylle, which is a faux temple located atop a mini mountain in the middle of a lake, in the center of the park. It’s a very romantic spot, yet it’s also an entirely surreal one — climb to the top of this temple and look out over the city of Paris. To the right, you’ll also have views of Sacré-Cœur, located at the top of Montmatre. When I discovered this park, I had just been wandering around the neighborhood and discovered it on my own, not knowing where I was. Needless to say, it’s a very magical discovery. The picture above? That’s the view. Stunning at twilight.
There are grottos and waterfalls and the park grounds are sort of sloped, so you feel like you really are exploring some woodland area as you wander through the trees. There are also open grassy areas that sort of made me feel like I was in the Swiss Alps. Bonjour, Heidi, or something.