Just a stone’s throw from the Champs-Élysées, nestled every so quietly behind the Grand Palais, is a corner of Paris many might not ever see. A small sign, a flight of broken ivory colored stairs and there it is: silence. In the middle of this bustling metropolis, there exists a hidden gem of a garden where the sounds of a tiny waterfall somehow wash out the traffic above.
To find this haven in Paris, also known as the Jardin de la Nouvelle France, one must look closely. At 1.7 acres and below street level (and, if you, like us, are looking for it’s former namesake, Jardin de la Vallee Suisse aka the Swiss Garden), it is easy to miss. So easy, that the first time we set out to find it, we returned home Jardin-less.Start on the corner of Avenue Franklin D. Roosevelt and Cours la Reine and find the marble sculpture by Alphonse de Moncel. To the right, you’ll see a small set of stairs leading you to an even smaller path surrounded by evergreens, lemon trees and bounds of purple flowers careening down the man-made stone walls – and there you have it. Unlike the manicured lawns of Luxembourg and Plantes, this wild garden holds just a few benches. But you won’t find yourself queuing for a spot by the pond, whose water runs from the Seine. Just a handful of pedestrians make their way through the winding path, leaving the quiet moments to those lucky enough to find this nearly invisible garden – or at least those looking for the correct name.
Jardin de la Nouvelle, France. 8th arrondissement.