Gourmet food, a nice bottle of red, and a postcard worthy backdrop. A picnic near the Eiffel Tower – quintessential Paris.
Meredith, my mom, and I set out early in the morning, surprisingly cool for July in Paris, in search of a picnic experience that many can only dream about. Despite the cool weather and threat of rain, we were far from disappointed. You could spend an entire lifetime in search of the perfect picnic and never attain it. Paris will get you as close to that reality as possible.
Here’s the new rule:
“If it’s your first time in Paris, you must have a picnic somewhere near the Eiffel Tower.”
We studied the traditional guide books and noted that the overwhelmingly favorite area for a gourmand to shop near the Eiffel Tower is Rue Clare. Naturally, that’s where we ventured in hopes of finding warm breads straight from the oven, cured meats hanging neatly in rows, fresh fruits, and an entire world of dessert treats to salivate over.
Paris is a walk-able city. Bring quality running shoes and prepared to give them a work out! The first morning in Paris I know I got my 10,000 steps of exercise within the first 2 hours of stepping foot off the subway.
How to Get There
Our Route – We stayed at a Novotel Paris 17 in the north part of the city (District 17), which was within easy walking distance to the Paris Metro. We took the subway system to Trocadéro station and exited towards Jardins du Trocadéro. It is directly across the Seine River and trust me, you can’t miss the tall pointy object protruding into the sky in front of you.
The walked about 30 minutes from the Trocadéro station over to Rue Cler area. Of course, we stopped along the way for obligatory tourist photos with the Tower. This is not the most direct route, but we had a few hours to kill before enjoying purchasing and then enjoying our picnic food.
Alternative Route – As you can see from the map above, the Metro station École Militaire would be a better option. It is closer to both Rue Cler for buying your picnic food, and is only a short walk over to the landscaped paths and garden areas around the Eiffel Tower.
What can I say, the picnic area is highly accessible for any type of individual or group. Take a bus, subway, taxi, bike, or walk. There are any number of ways to reach the entire picnic ground area.
Things to Do
Sit in the grass on a sunny day and whisper sweet nothings in your lover’s ear. Read French poetry, even if you don’t understand a word of French. Watch the Parisian crowd saunter along the pathways. Sup on bread and wine.
What more do you want to do?
You have one of the best known monuments in the world in front of you. Basque in the glory of one of the most iconic symbols of love, and the great city of Paris.
A picnic park setting next to the Eiffel Tower is painfully romantic. Unfortunately, I had to score the romance factor on the lower side. The Nomad Newlyweds had a chaperon (as they say in french) – my mom joined us for the trip to Paris! Love ya mom, both Meredith and I were so happy to have the opportunity to exploring Paris and check off picnicking next to the Eiffel Tower from our list. However, the romance factor scored a bit lower with you on the blanket too 🙂
Food Tips: What We Ate
Fashionable Parisians parade from one end of Rue Cler to the other, we gawked at them along with the mouth-watering wares housed in shop windows. Our palates couldn’t hold out any longer and we made our decisions.
Fruits from an open air grocer Les Halles Bosquet, scrumptious macaroons and desserts from a bakery on the other side of the street named Patisserie Viennoiserie Artisanale, cheeses from La Fromagerie, and wine from the shop next door to the fromagerie called Le Repaire de Bacchus.
I am not sure what happened to my photos of our feast, but I now don’t seem to have any images! If my memory serves me, our picnic included the following tasty morsels:
- Fresh baguette
- Soft as well as sharp cheeses
- Fig spread
- Cherries & peaches
- Greek Salad
Pick vs Pack
Definitely Pick. Go to one of the local market areas like Rue Cler and buy your picnic fare. There is also a grocery store around the corner from the south end of Rue Cler called Carrefour City that offers a good offering of pre-made hot & cold lunch meals, fresh fruits, and the usual grocery store selection.
Rain or Shine
If your find yourself picnicking next to the Eiffel Tower for the first time, I don’t think you would mind a slight drizzle. A down pour or heavy rain would certainly dampen the mood, and I would be tempted to head indoors at that point. There are more than enough trees to shade you from the hot summer sun.
Eiffel Tower Picnic Ratings:
Note: Ratings are purely subjective and for entertainment purposes only. Don’t blame the Nomad Newlyweds if your romance factor isn’t as high 😉
Food / Drink: 8.5 / 10
Romance: 7 / 10
Acessibility: 8.5 / 10
Overall: 8.5 / 10
Picnic Like a Pro
Having the right tools & equipment makes any job easier. Consider buying a picnic backpack for your Paris picnic outings. These four backpacks from Amazon contain similar items as the one we use on many of our outings, and are all highly rated.
Do you have plans to picnic in Paris near the Eiffel Tower?