Red Maps Travel News Blog

Springtime in PARIS: Chateaux & Flowers

images of fontainebleau chateau taken by red maps city guidesphoto of colorful flowers next to notre dame cathedral in paris

Planning to be in Paris in the spring or summer, then you'll want to take advantage of the outdoors.  For that we'd suggest a focus on in-town flowering parks and easy day trips outside the city to explore the grounds of some spectacular chateaux.  Here  is a quick go to list with useful facts and links.


Jardin des plantes - 7 rue Cuvier, 5th Arrondissemont

Paris' Botanical Garden has a history which goes back to 1626, and offer 28 hectares or 69 acres of flowers, plants, herbal gardens and research.  All of this framed by architecturally significant pavilions, including the grande galerie de l'Evolution that features dinosaurs - many of whom were plant eaters in keeping with our theme.

Parc Monceau - 8th Arrondissemont, near Arc de Triomphe

A trip to this park rewards you with architectural ruins and follies set amidst waterfalls, hills and lakes.  The park dates from 1769 when Louis XV ruled.  There is a gate house designed by Claude Nicola Ledoux, the famous French Neoclassicist.

Jardin du Luxembourg - 7th Arrondissemont, Saint Germain

Created in 1612 for Marie de'Medici for her new palace, which frames these picture- perfect flower beds and grand fountain.

Montmartre Cemetery - 20 avenue Rachel, near Sacre-Cour

We know what you're thinking, a cemetery on your vacation?!  All that death!  Well, this cemetery near to the Sacre Couer is architecturally fantastic and its occupants are a who's who of French history that includes Degas, Zola, Truffant, Greuze and Nijinsky, among many others.  The website link above has a useful map page to find their tombs.


image of chateau vaux le comte franceimage of chateau Domaine Chantilly France

Photos: Top image is Vaux-le-Vicomte courtesy of the chateau.  Bottom images are of Domaine Chantilly, from the chateau's website.

There is Versailles, but treat yourself to these less visited, yet architecturally spectacular residences.

Vaux-le-Vicomte - Approx. 35 minutes by train from Gare de l'Est and another 25-30 minutes via shuttle bus from the local train station. 

Built for Nicolas Fouquet in 1661, this chateau's design was so good that it set the standard for how grand the future Versailles would be. Vaux-le-Comte is a high point of design, from its perfectly on-axis oval Grand Salon, to the integrated formal gardens spread over 40 hectares (100 acres) and views.

Fontainebleau - Approx. 45 minutes by train from Gare de Lyon and another 25 minutes via shuttle bus from the local train station.

For eight centuries this was the residence of French Kings, as well as Napoleon's favorite.  Of note, see Emperor Napoleon's apartments, the throne room and the Theatre Imperial.  Fontainebleau has a pretty village right at its gates offering cafes and restaurants before heading back to Paris.

Chateau de Chantilly - Approx. 35 minutes from Gare du Nord, and then 10-15 minutes via a free shuttle bus.  Additional directions: local train station.

On the expansive grounds of this 18th century chateau's gardens are the "great stables," considered the grandest in Europe.  Chantilly has France's second largest collections of illuminated manuscripts and antique paintings.  The house is intact, as its last owner bequeathed it and its contents to the Institut de France upon his death.  The chateau also host equestrian events and an important annual flower show, Les Journees de Plantes de Chantilly.

image of chateau vaux-le-vicomte building and grand galleryPhotos:  Above: Vaux-le-Vicomte and its Grand Salon, courtesy of the chateau. 
Top of Article:  Chateau Fontainebleau grand staircase, woods and view of the house from the gardens.  Below: The flowering beds planted next to Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, taken by Red Maps.

See the Red Map Paris:

red maps paris guide and paris themed stationery


photograph of london sky and clouds by red maps city guidesImages of London sites and attractions by red maps city guides

LONDON is in the air for 2018.  For spring and summer, we have compiled a list of smart hotels, new restaurants, and art exhibitions to create your perfect London holiday.

Hotels - Chic & Central

Blakes - 33 Roland Gardens, KENSINGTON

Brown's - Albemarle St, MAYFAIR

Ham Yard - 1 Ham Yard, SOHO

The Edition - 10 Berners St, FITZROVIA

Lunch, Dinner, Wine

Bernardi's - 62 Seymour St, EDGEWARE

Delamina's - Albemarle St, MAYFAIR

Fucina - 26 Paddington St, MARYLEBONE

Lyle's - 56 Shoreditch High St, SHOREDITCH

Spring - Somerset House, ALDWYCH / STRAND

Museum Shows

Royal Academy of Arts 

SUMMER EXHIBITION:  This is the longest running open-submission show in the world.  Organized by the Academy for 250 Years!

Tate Modern -

ALL TOO HUMAN: Bacon, Freud and a Century of Painting Life:  Until Aug 27, 2018



images of london victoria and albert museum new entrance 

Theatre: The Hottest Ticket?

KING LEAR - Starring Ian McKellan 

This July, in the same theatre where the actor made his West End debut in 1964, is to be this, his farewell role in a Shakespearean play. 

And There's More:

From our recent archives, here is a cornucopia of places to explore and enjoy in London.

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