Best Places to Picnic with a Water View

Late summer/early fall is perfect weather for picnics in Paris. And picnics allow you to eat great food on a budget, in parts of the city you might not otherwise visit.

Oh, and great views? If goes without saying. Here are a few of my favorite spots beside water.

At night:
Pont des Arts, a footbridge overlooking the Louvre, with views of the Eiffel Tower, is a popular evening picnic spot. You’ll see couples sharing coupes de champagne, solo travelers pulling baguette sandwiches from worn backpacks, and groups sharing multi-course dinners around brightly colored tablecloths.

Looking for something a bit more low-key? Tango fans meet on the Quai St Bernard, between Sully and Austerlitz bridges.

Lovers prefer the area around the Square du Vert-Galant, the small, charming park near historic Pont Neuf.

Midday:
Lunch at Port de l’Arsenal, the city’s harbor near the Bastille, will acquaint you with lovers of water craft. You can watch life aboard the many houseboats docked here, and even smell the smoke from their deck-top grills.

Film-lovers set up beside the Canal St Martin, near the Hôtel du Nord (102, Quai de Jemmapes), between the Rue de la Grange aux Belles and the Rue du Faubourg du Temple. The atmosphere is young, relaxed, and full of joie de vivre.