We went to Paris in September, when the warm summer days started to fade, giving way to cool autumn breezes.

It was the perfect time to explore the city, climb the Eiffel Tower, and discover hidden gems without the usual crowds.

Yet, among all the wonderful experiences we had in the City of Love and Light, my favorite was the cheapest one: a simple picnic at the Eiffel Tower.

In this guide, I’ll share some tips on how to have the perfect picnic at the Eiffel Tower, including what to bring, where to buy supplies, and where to find the best spot.

After reading this, you’ll be set to enjoy your very own Eiffel Tower picnic.

Me and Maton in a sunny picnic at the Eiffel Tower. In the foreground, a checkered cloth holds a croissant, grapes, and strawberries on grass.
Our simple yet perfect picnic at the Eiffel Tower

Why do Parisians love picnics?

I enjoy slow travel in European countries. During my trips, I like to walk through parks, have picnics, and gain a more laid-back perspective of each place. Paris was no exception.

Having a picnic under the Eiffel Tower was the most romantic experience I had in Paris. It gave me a glimpse of a typical Parisian day and their love for enjoying life.

Parisians love to pique-nique

People of all ages spend their afternoons in parks like Champ de Mars to enjoy the fresh air. It’s a relaxing way to spend time with loved ones outside their usually small apartments.

Picnics are a way to experience joie de vivre or the joy of life. You can savor flaky croissants, lounge on the grass, and have meaningful conversations. All while putting aside your worries for a while.

Can you picnic at the Eiffel Tower?

Sadly no, you cannot have a picnic directly at the Eiffel Tower. There are no designated picnic areas on the Eiffel Tower itself.

Security is quite strict and visitors cannot take glass bottles or cans of drinks up the Tower.

But you can have a picnic near the Eiffel Tower for free. Champ de Mars, a large public greenspace located just southeast of the Eiffel Tower, is a popular spot for picnics with an amazing view of the tower.

The view of the Tower from Champ de Mars is equally mesmerizing, especially during sunset, when Paris becomes even more charming.

A picnic at the Eiffel Tower with a close-up of fresh grapes, strawberries, and croissants on a blue and white checkered cloth, and leisurely park-goers in the blurred background on a sunny day.
A Champ de Mars picnic with a breathtaking view of the Eiffel Tower

Where can I picnic under the Eiffel Tower?

The great thing about Paris is that it is home to many beautiful parks throughout the city.

Champ de Mars, The Trocadéro Gardens, and the Seine River are the closest spots for a picnic near the Eiffel Tower.

Related: The Best Affordable Michelin Star Restaurants in Paris

Best Tips for Finding Your Eiffel Tower Picnic Spot

Here are some tips to help you find the perfect spot for your Eiffel Tower picnic: 

1. Do you want to see the Tower up close? or do you prefer a secluded spot?

There are picnic spots near the Eiffel Tower, but you can also find quieter places around the city with views of the Tower.

2. How much time do you have for a picnic? 

Some shops provide picnic packages that handle the preparation and cleanup. You can also pick a picnic spot near shops to buy your supplies.

3. When are you having your picnic? 

The weather and how crowded it gets can change a lot by the day and time. Here are more details about each place:

Champ de Mars

The Eiffel Tower stands majestically under a clear blue sky, centered in the frame from the Champ de Mars. The well-maintained green lawns are famous spots for Eiffel Tower picnic.
Champ de Mars is a spot where you can enjoy a picnic in front of Eiffel Tower

Champ de Mars is the most popular picnic spot in Paris. It’s a huge public space around the Eiffel Tower and the closest place to enjoy a picnic with a view of the tower.

Aside from being a historic landmark, Champ de Mars is known for hosting exhibitions, concerts, and fireworks displays. This is the perfect destination for those who want to enjoy an outdoor getaway.

We had a picnic at Champ de Mars and I highly recommend it. The view of the Eiffel Tower from our spot matched with the vibrant grass of Champ de Mars, was simply beautiful. 

There were quite some people but the place was so big that it didn’t feel crowded. Many tourists would come, take pictures, and leave immediately. 

Champ de Mars is located in the 7th arrondissement, closest to the Ecole Militaire Station of Paris Metro Line 8, and just a 10-minute walk away from the famous market street of Rue Cler (where you can buy your supplies).

Trocadéro Gardens 

Sunlight filters through the leaves of a tree with the Eiffel Tower in the backdrop, capturing a serene morning in a park in Trocadero with clear blue skies and a hint of cloud streaks.
Trocadero, another spot for a picnic tour Eiffel

Trocadero is on the other side of the Seine River from Champ de Mars. This place is known for offering the best view of the Eiffel Tower so expect big crowds when you visit.

Although Trocadero has many monuments, sculptures, and even a museum, it’s famous for being the best photo spot with the Eiffel Tower.

I would not recommend having a picnic at Trocadero. It gets very busy. Plus, keep in mind the shell game scam that happens in the area. But if you really want this spot, head down to the gardens beside the fountains.

The Trocadéro Gardens is located in the 16th arrondissement and has its station on Line 6 and Line 9 of the Paris Metro. 

Banks of The Seine River

A view from the banks of the Seine River, with houseboats moored at the edge and the Eiffel Tower rising in the background, framed by greenery and a classic Parisian blue bridge, under a partly cloudy sky.
Looking for a quiet spot? Head to the banks of the Seine River

The River Seine used to be polluted but billion-dollar cleanup efforts have been started to restore the pristine beauty of the second-longest river in France.

We walked a LOT along the banks of the Seine. I loved seeing the humble bookshops and illuminated bridges at night. 

The concrete banks offer a great spot for picnics in front of the Eiffel Tower. There’s a priceless view down by the Pont d’Iéna, the bridge that connects the Left Bank to Trocadéro. It has been around since the 1800s!

This is a good spot because there are fewer people around. You can find a lot of nearby cafes in this area where you can buy your picnic food.

Just beware of ducks stealing your food and your belongings falling into the water! Also, please do not feed the ducks as it can lead to pollution and loss of the natural behavior of the ducks.

Read next: 25 Best Parks in Paris to Picnic Away from Crowds

Other Spots with the Eiffel Tower View

Although many people prefer to have a picnic up close to the tower, we discovered several parks, gardens, and rooftops that offer stunning views from a distance.

One of them is Parc de Belleville in the 20th arrondissement, the highest park in Paris, where you can enjoy the view of the entire city sprawled below you and some impressive street art.

Another unique spot is the Philharmonie Rooftop in the 19th arrondissement. This location has a capacity of around 700 people and offers a 360° view of the city.

How to Picnic at the Eiffel Tower?

Here’s the best thing about picnics: you can absolutely customize it with your favorite foods and drinks and even decorate it with flowers.

Mat and I had our relaxing picnic at Champ de Mars. We brought fresh fruits, nuts, and croissants from Rue Cler.

We packed our picnic towels from Vienna. It was a perfect way to unwind after exploring Paris on our first day.

A close-up of a picnic spread on a blue and white checkered cloth featuring ripe strawberries, a bunch of green grapes, a flaky croissant, and scattered almonds, set on green grass for a Champ de Mars picnic.
Our simple Eiffel Tower picnic setup: croissants, almonds, strawberries and grapes

If you’re looking for a fancier picnic experience, plenty of Parisian shops offer full picnic services that you can book in advance. These services are perfect for special occasions like proposals or anniversaries.

Packages usually include a curated selection of Parisian foods like wine, cheese, cured meats, specialty pastries, and fruits.

You can also arrange for the picnic to be set up at specific locations around the Eiffel Tower. Clean-up is included in the rates.

🤩 Book the BEST Eiffel Tower picnic for your Paris trip

We enjoyed a simple picnic. We spent hours talking and eating while lying on the grass.

It was a romantic way to recharge after walking from Rue Cremieux to the Grand Mosque in the morning. We regained our energy and climbed the top of the Arc de Triomphe at night!

Best Time for an Eiffel Tower Picnic 

The weather and the crowds can affect our plans, so it’s important to get the timing right for the best picnic experience.

I recommend choosing late weekday afternoons during the shoulder seasons – the periods between peak and offseasons – for a pleasant picnic. Let me explain why.

When we went, it was just before the end of summer. The crowds and the weather were both manageable even in a popular park like Champ de Mars.

In the height of summer, there are often large crowds of tourists and even occasional heatwaves.

Spring and fall are the best times to avoid crowds. Some picnic spots may be closed off during the winter.

Pack an extra umbrella for unpredictable spring showers and dress warmly for the cooler fall weather.

To avoid the crowds, note that Parisians gather in parks around 1 PM for lunch and again at 4:30 PM after school and work. In between, the park is empty.

How do you Pack a Picnic in Paris?

When in Paris, do as the Parisians do. 

Our picnic took just a small amount of planning, making it seem like it was something we did regularly. But whether you want to keep it minimalist or go grand, here are the basics you need.

An overhead shot of an elegantly arranged picnic tour Eiffel on a beige blanket, featuring an ornate wicker basket, a selection of dishes with fresh strawberries, cherry tomatoes, oranges, and assorted sandwiches, complemented by glasses and a bottle of wine, all basking in the warm glow of the sunlight, ready for a luxurious outdoor feast.
Want it fancy? Book a Parisian picnic curated for you!

What is a Parisian picnic?

The basics of a Parisian picnic usually include the following:

  • bread (usually a croissant or a baguette)
  • French pastries (like macarons, tarts or éclair)
  • picnic spreads
  • cured meats (like prosciutto or jambon)
  • cheeses (brie or camembert)
  • fruits (whatever’s in season!)
  • refreshing drinks
  • wine
  • waterproof mat (or blanket)
  • a tote bag or basket
  • napkins
  • some sun protection (hats or glasses)

You can get freshly made bread and pastries from local bakeries and patisseries all around the city.

Me in a flowing white dress smiles as she reads a menu outside a traditional French patisserie. The bakery display is filled with an assortment of fresh bread and pastries, including golden croissants and baguettes, invitingly showcased behind the glass counter, with the patisserie sign in bold letters anchoring the scene.
Croissants from Rue Cler for our picnic tour Eiffel

Specialty shops offer a variety of wines, cheeses, and cured meats. You can also easily buy fresh items from their supermarkets.

Plus, you’ll find vendors around famous picnic spots with buckets of wine or beer.

We saw some in the Champ de Mars, but I have no idea about their quality. I recommend packing all your favorites before heading to your picnic spot.

Tips on eco-friendly and sustainable picnic practices

Please keep the picnic spots as clean as you found them. Even better, pick up any trash you see.

Here are other sustainable practices for your picnic:

  • Carry a tote bag. Pack a foldable one and use this to transport your picnic items.
  • Opt for finger foods and drinks in glass bottles. Bring hand sanitizer to avoid using plastic forks, knives, paper plates, or cups.
  • Bring (or reuse) a small paper bag for trash. Trash cans may be far from your setup. Have something to store your waste temporarily.

Pro Tip: Garbage bins are color-coded in Paris. Yellow for paper, plastic, and metal. Brown for compostable food items. White for glass. Green for unrecyclable wastes. 

Where to Shop for Your Eiffel Tower Picnic

Supermarkets and open-air markets are available in every neighborhood in Paris. They offer the cheapest option if you’re not buying a curated picnic basket.

You’ll be surprised by the high quality of the food options available for their price.

Grenelle Market and Rue Cler are only 10 minutes from the Eiffel Tower. They offer a wide variety of fresh fruits, cheese shops, delis, and bakeries. 

Grenelle Market is open on Wednesday and Sunday mornings, while Rue Cler is open from Monday to Saturday and Sunday mornings.

A bustling fruit stand, "Au Bon Jardinier," on Rue Cler in Paris, brimming with an array of fresh produce under a canopy of green awnings, with shoppers browsing for an Eiffel Tower Picnic
Fresh and beautiful fruits and Au Bon Jardiner, Rue Cler

At Rue Cler, I have a few favorites that I would like to recommend! Au Bon Jardinier Cler for fresh fruits, Les Saveurs de Cler (Maison Julien) for croissants, and A La Mere de Famille for chocolates.

For all other drinks and snacks, go to Aldi supermarket.

There’s also an ice cream place in Rue Cler that’s so good, it deserves a separate mention. Amorino is undoubtedly the best ice cream I’ve tasted in my 10 years of traveling (I’ve yet to visit Italy, but until then, Amorino has my heart).

Ice Cream in Amorino, Rue Cler
Seriously, the best ice cream I had by far!

A full Parisian picnic usually includes a wine. Although I’ve been sober for over a year now, I still want to give you a quick guide for a uniquely French wine and cheese experience.

Here’s a short list of the most classic French wine and cheese pairings:

  • brie and Chardonnay (creamy cheese meets medium acidity wine),
  • camembert and Champagne (mild cheese meets high acidity wine),
  • Roquefort and Bordeaux (strong cheese meets fruity wine).

Parisian Picnic Etiquette 

As we enjoy our picnic at the Eiffel Tower, remember that other people are also trying to have a good time.

Remember these three things: Distance, noise levels, and cleanliness

  • Respect the Location: Choose a spot that doesn’t block walkways, entrances, or exits. Be mindful of flowerbeds, plants, and signs prohibiting sitting in certain areas. Set up your picnic at a respectful distance from other visitors.
  • Moderation in Noise: While picnics are fun, keep the noise down, especially in parks and near homes. Parisians like their public spaces to be quiet.
  • Clean Up After Yourself: This is perhaps the most important rule. Parisians take pride in the beauty of their city. Clean up your picnic spot, leaving it as clean as or cleaner than before. Make sure to throw away your trash properly.

Making It Special

Make your picnic special with DIY photoshoots, a board game day, or read a book you’ve been wanting to start or finish.

Whichever you choose, savor every scenery, every taste, and every laugh with your loved ones during your picnic in front of the Eiffel Tower.

Me and Mat sharing a tender moment at a picnic at the Eiffel Tower, gazing into each other's eyes, with the woman dressed in a white puff-sleeved dress and the man in a casual white t-shirt and sunglasses. They're seated on the grass with a picnic setup featuring a croissant, grapes, strawberries, and almonds on a checkered cloth.
The most important part of your Eiffel Tower picnic is you savoring every minute of it!

Dealing with the Unexpected 

We can plan as much as possible, but the unexpected can still happen.

Don’t get discouraged! There are ways to turn the day around if it rains, picnic spots are overcrowded, or strikes prevent you from commuting to your destination.

Look for a park near your accommodation. A park in a smaller neighborhood or even your rooftop garden could be the hidden gem of your trip. Make sure to bring foldable umbrellas or raincoats if it rains!

Reschedule immediately if you have a booking. For valid reasons, many picnic services allow postponing reservations to a more convenient time.

Or take a day trip from Paris! It offers a different sight from the Eiffel Tower but is equally worth your time. We went to the Grand Trianon in Versailles and didn’t regret it. You can also have a picnic here!

FAQs: Eiffel Tower Picnic 

Is it possible to picnic on the Eiffel Tower?

No, it’s not possible to picnic on the Eiffel. There are no spots to set up inside, but there are many parks and gardens below it where you can have a picnic for free. 

Can I bring food up to the Eiffel Tower?

Yes, the staff allows a certain amount of food and drink inside the tower. You can also buy them in the cafes on the 1st and 2nd floors of the tower.

Where are the other best places to picnic in Paris?

There are a lot of other places to picnic in Paris! I highly recommend the Canal Saint Martin, the Palais Royal, or Parc de Belleville which also has a stunning view of the Eiffel Tower!

Wrap Up: Is Picnic at the Eiffel Tower Worth It?

A restful picnic at the Eiffel Tower deserves a place in every Paris itinerary, especially if you have a busy schedule.

I know picnics are not exclusive to Paris nor extraordinary in any way. But I can say with my whole heart that it is easily the best thing I did in the city.

Read More Things To Do in Paris

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