Spread over an incredible 2,400 acres (that's around 3 times the size of New York's famous Central Park), the public park of Bois de Vincennes (Vicennes Wood) has been offering Parisians welcome respite from the urban bustle since the 12th century. Originally designed by Baron Haussman as a royal hunting ground for Louis VII, the collection of lakes and woodlands also form part of the grounds of the 14th-century Chateau de Vincennes.
Earning the nickname of the 'Lungs of Paris,' the park offers a seemingly endless stretch of greenery on the cusp of the city, with a vast network of walking, cycling and horseback riding trails spanning over 32km, as well as a number of attractions. Popular highlights include the Daumesnil Lake, where you can take a scenic boat trip out to the two islets; the Bois de Vicennes Buddist Temple, with its pretty wooden pavilion and towering Buddha statue; and the Lac des Minimes, where a footbridge leads out to the island restaurant. At the East End of the park, the idyllic Parc Floral is home to an impressive array of flowers and botanical gardens, with its central stage hosting summer plays and concerts; and the Parc Zoologique de Paris (Zoo de Vincennes) is a 38-acre enclosed zoo housing giraffes, giant pandas and monkeys among its sizable collection and featuring a large artificial hill that offers great views over the park.