Home to museums, concert venues, green spaces, and architectural wonders, Parc de la Villette is one of Paris’ largest and most dynamic public parks. Stretching across 87 acres (35 hectares), the park attracts upwards of 10 million visitors each year and is a destination for education, leisure, culture, and family-friendly activities.
Once host to slaughterhouses and considered an industrial wasteland, Parc de la Villette was transformed by architect Bernard Tschumi in the 1980s. Now Paris’ largest landscaped park, Parc de la Villette—situated on the northeastern edge of the city—has become a cultural heavyweight. Home to the Cité de la Musique (a campus that includes the Musée de la Musique and the Philharmonie de Paris), the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie, Le Zénith Paris (a sprawling concert venue), La Grande Halle de la Villette (a former abattoir, now a restored exhibition space) and more, the park also hosts numerous themed gardens and is bisected by the Canal de l'Ourcq.
Some boat tour itineraries venture near Parc de la Villette, and several of its attractions are included in the Paris Pass scheme, including the Cité de la Musique and the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie.
Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- There are numerous cafés and eateries on-site, including Le Café des Concerts, Goutu, and La Petite Hall.
- While Parc de la Villette is free for all to visit, its various attractions are ticketed separately and have their own entrance policies.
- Parc de la Villette is broadly accessible and includes handicapped parking, but the aid of another person may be required in some points throughout the park.
To access the northern edge of the park, which is near the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie, take Métro line 7 to Corentin Cariou. To access the southern edge of the park, near the Cité de la Musique, take line 5 to Porte de Pantin. The park is also served by the 75, 151, PC2, and PC3 bus lines and can be visited by car, by Vélib’ bike, or even by canal boat.
When to Get There
Parc de la Villette is open 24/7, though each of its venues and attractions has unique opening hours. It’s worth researching in advance if you’re planning to visit a specific site. Several high-profile annual events are held at Parc de la Villette, including the Villette Sonique music festival in May and the Cinéma en Plein Air à La Villette outdoor film series, usually in July and August.
Other Venues On-Site
Parc de la Villette has one of the heaviest concentrations of cultural venues anywhere in Paris, and in addition to its top-tier museums, its highlights range from the Cabaret Sauvage and Le Trabendo (two alternative-music venues) to the Théâtre Paris-Villette (a small theater) and the Espace Chapiteaux (dedicated to the circus arts).