Picnic at Champ de Mars

Paris is probably the most famous tourist destination in Europe. How many times have we seen in movies Paris’ charming Eiffel Tower, cute outdoor cafes, and romantic streets? And I think that everyone, at least once in their life, has said or thought that they want to go to Paris someday. Of course, there is so much to do in this city, from seeing the Eiffel Tower to visiting the Palace of Versailles, exploring the Louvre, one of the best museums in the world, to the most famous cathedral Notre-Dame de Paris. And I am sure that no matter how long you would spend in Paris, one week, one month, or even a year, you will always find something new and unexpected for yourself. But if you just have a few days in Paris and want to experience how charming and romantic Paris can be, then I have a tip for you. Have a picnic at Champ de Mars! This is maybe not the most important thing to do in Paris, but surely one of the most romantic.

Picnic at Champ de Mars
Cody enjoying the warm weather

The Champ de Mars is a large greenspace, located between the Eiffel Tower and the Wall of Peace. This park was named after the Roman god of war, Campus Martius (Mars). Why? Well, long before my time the park was used as a drilling ground for the French army (glad they have stopped doing it).

Eiffel Tower
This is as close to the tower as you can get from the south side of the park

The Champ de Mars park is open to the public these days and as you have understood by now, it has turned out to be a great picnic spot. Of course, it would, right? You are sitting right in front of the most romantic monument in the world, on a green lawn, and in a company of your friends, family or your partner. Why not enjoy some French cheese, bread, and wine together?

French bread
What is more iconic for France?

The green lawns of the Champ de Mars can be crowded, especially on weekends. Cody and I went to have picnic on a nice Tuesday afternoon and it weren’t crowded at all. We brought some French cheese, bread, prosciutto, cherry-tomatoes and of course the most amazing macarons. The day was warm and sunny, and the green lawn was comfortable to sit on without a blanket, although I imagine that on a colder day you would need to sit on a blanket.


We really enjoyed our afternoon on the Champ de Mars lawns, I even took a small nap under the warm sun. People are respectful and the relaxing vibe just permeates the air.

Bee's sting
Bee sting

Everything is perfect with the whole picnic experience at Champ de Mars but one thing. In the warm season there are lots of bees flying around and you should be careful with what you eat and on what you sit. Bees are especially attracted to the meat like prosciutto. Unfortunately, I wasn’t that careful at first and was stung by a bee.  Although, I don’t have allergy and bee’s poison doesn’t affect me that much, it still was unpleasant and a bit painful.

What Do You Need To Prepare For A Good Picnic At Champ de Mars:

  1. French cheese
  2. French bread
  3. Prosciutto or aged salami
  4. Some vegetables like cherry-tomatoes are perfect for the picnic. I don’t recommend bringing grapes or other sweet fruits because of the bees.
  5. Water (you don’t want to be dehydrated)
  6. Wine (read about drinking at Champ de Mars below)
  7. Small knife (better if you have a utility tool)
  8. Blanket (although if it is a hot day most people just sit on the grass)
  9. A hat or a cap to protect your head from the sun.
  10. A few paper cups.
  11. Of course, you would need napkins (better if you have both wet and dry ones)
  12. A bag for your garbage. Remember we mustn’t litter!
Champs de Mars bird looking at itself in our mirror.

For the first five things, we actually went to Rue Cler market street to get all our cured meats and cheeses and macarons. This is only a few blocks away from the Champ de Mars so it was a perfect place to pick up picnic supplies. There are cute gourmet shops as well as a major grocery store for the basics.

The Most Popular Questions About A Picnic In The Champ de Mars:

Picnic at Champ de Mars

Can you picnic at Champ de Mars?

Yes, of course. It is absolutely legal to walk, play, or have a picnic on the green lawns of the Champ de Mars.

Is the Champ de Mars free?

Yes, the park is free and open to the public.

Can you smoke at Champ de Mars?

Yes, you can. The French law forbids smoking indoors, but you are allowed to smoke outdoors (like at a park).

Can you drink alcohol at Champ de Mars?

Well, as I understood after reading tons of the reviews and experiencing it myself, I can say YES, you can. Although, it is not truly legal, everyone brings alcohol and has a good time at the Champ de Mars. Even if you don’t bring it, there are vendors selling bottles of champagne with disposable glasses walking around the park.

However, I have a bit of advice for you:

  1. Don’t get drunk. Police don’t usually bother people at the Champ de Mars, but if you get to drunk and will behave badly, you probably will get in trouble. And police will confiscate the alcohol.
  2. Don’t be too loud and disturb other people who want to relax. First, it is not nice and second, you would attract the attention of the police.
  3. Don’t leave garbage after the picnic. Let’s pretend that we are all smart people and not disgusting pigs and that we know littering is bad.

What is the legal drink age in France?

Legal age in France is the same as almost everywhere in Europe. It is 18 years old.

Can police arrest you for drinking at Champ de Mars?

If you are of legal age and have a reasonable amount, not drunk, or don’t behave like one, then the police will not bother you at Champ de Mars. But if you attract the attention of the police, they could confiscate the alcohol and it is probably the most that they will do. Of course, it does not apply to those who are rude and aggressive.

When is the best time to go picnic at Champ de Mars?

The best time to picnic at Champ de Mars will be anytime in the afternoon during the daylight. It is better to not drink at the Champ de Mars after the sunset.

Can I buy wine near the Champ de Mars park?

Yes, you can. In fact, locals sell alcohol right at the Champ de Mars park. They usually carry different wine bottles in a bucket with ice, so you can have something refreshing. The prices are reasonably cheap, and it is convenient for tourist to buy it right at the park. However, I am 95% sure that selling wine in the Champ de Mars park is illegal. That is why sometimes the vendors are just disappearing, probably when the police are around.

If you don’t want to wait for the vendors and you didn’t bring anything with you, you can go down the small streets on the side of the park. There we found a small store. It is full of wines and some snacks, and if you will by wine there the vendor will open it for you as well as provide disposable cups.

How To Get To Champ de Mars?

Alona, Picnic at Champ de Mars
Enjoying the great weather

If you are staying far from the Eiffel Tower and need to get to the Champ de Mars, you can get there by subway. There are a few subway stations that you can use. The nearest subway stations are “La Motte-Picquet–Grenelle”, “École Militaire” and “Champ de Mars-Tour Eiffel”. There is also a RER train station – “Gare Champ de Mars Tour Eiffel”.

Location: 2 Allée Adrienne Lecouvreur, 75007 Paris, France

Picnic at Champ de Mars

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