Located in near the Eiffel Tower, the Jardins du Trocadero (Trocadero Gardens) are a sprawling park and green space ideal for a stroll, picnic or cool-off on a hot summer day. The gardens' long, rectangular lawns feature numerous spectacular fountains, playgrounds, snack bars and other features that both adults and kids can enjoy. Especially after experiencing the crowds and heights of the nearby tower, the gardens can offer a welcome break — and they're free to visit, too.
The site was initially home to the garden created for the original Palais du Trocadero, which opened for the 1878 Universal Exposition. The current gardens, laid out by architect Roger-Henri Expert, date to 1937 and were unveiled for another exposition dedicated to arts and "techniques of modern life." They measure nearly 110,000 square feet.
What to See & Do There
- Visiting the gardens, you'll probably immediately notice the Warsaw Fountain, a rectangular water feature that is centered around 12 enormous fountains, each projecting columns of water that reach nearly 33 feet into the air. These are complemented by 24 smaller fountains and 10 water "arches." On the side facing the Seine River, finally, you'll see 20 dramatic water cannons, each capable of spraying jets of water reaching up to 164 feet high.
- During calmer moments, including the early mornings, the mirror effect in the Warsaw Fountain can be dramatic. On a warm summer's day, the breeze from off the fountains can provide relief from the heat and humidity, but it isn't recommended that you splash around in them.
- The garden's statuary in bronze and stone is ornate and worth taking a closer look at. Some depict Greek and Roman gods, such as the 21-foot bronze Apollo holding a lyre from sculptor Henri Bouchard and a sculpture of Hercules accompanied by a bull. Others, including two gilded bronze statues displayed within the fountains, render enormous animals.
- Relax on the lawns surrounding the fountains for a laid-back picnic, or buy an ice-cream or other snack from a nearby vendor.
- On Bastille Day (July 14th), fireworks are frequently launched nearby, making the gardens an ideal place to take in the show and snap memorable photos of fireworks bursting into color around the Eiffel Tower.
Coming Soon: Lush New Gardens Around the Eiffel Tower
The whole area is getting a dramatic makeover, with plans currently in the works for enormous gardens and pedestrian-only walkways to be created around the Eiffel Tower and existing green spaces by 2024.
Rather than disturbing the existing gardens, the architects behind the project plan to add numerous shading trees, create new fountains and pedestrian pathways to complement existing ones, get rid of noise from cars and traffic and generally create an oasis for visitors to enjoy.
Even more dramatically, the Pont d'Iéna bridge will be made pedestrian-only and planted with lines of trees, creating a green belt across the Seine, through the Trocadero gardens and straight to the Eiffel Tower. Co-designer Kathryn Gustafason has described the project as yielding “Paris’s largest garden”: a mile-long green belt in one of the city's busiest tourist areas.
Location and Contact Information
The Trocadero gardens are located in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, within close reach of attractions including the Palais Chaillot, Modern Art Museum of Paris and the Champs de Mars.
- Address: Place du Trocadéro, 75016 Paris
- Metro: Trocadéro (Line 6 or 9)
- Bus lines: 22, 30, 32, 63, 72, or 82
The gardens are open daily (including on French bank holidays including New Year's Eve and Christmas Day), 24 hours a day. In case of stormy conditions, the gardens may be exceptionally closed as a safety measure.
Sights and Attractions to Visit Nearby
In addition to the famous tower, there are plenty of interesting tourist sites easily accessible from the gardens.
- The Palais de Chaillot is part of the wider Trocadero complex and includes the Musée de l'Homme anthropology museum, a museum dedicated to architecture, National Maritime Museum and the National Dance Theatre. The open terrace area offers another ideal place to view and photograph the Eiffel Tower, whether during the day or night.
- Contemporary art fans will also find a wealth of interesting sites: pay a visit to the nearby Modern Art Museum of the City of Paris and Palais de Tokyo for a look at recent artistic innovations and movements.
- If you're at all intrigued by the history of fashion, the Palais Galliera, is an interesting, little-known museum that hosts temporary shows on design and style history, as well as retrospectives on important designers and style icons.
- The Invalides and Musée de l'Armée (Army Museum) house the tomb of Napoleon I, an impressive historic collection of armour and artillery, and more of the sprawling lawns so typical of the area around la Tour Eiffel.
Also consult our guide to the seven top sights and attractions around the Eiffel Tower for further suggestions on what to see and do in the area.
Safety Tip: Watch Out for Pickpockets
While the area around the gardens is generally quite safe, especially during the day, you should be aware that this is a prime site for pickpockets who often target tourists amid the crowded conditions. Consult our full guide to avoiding pickpockets in Paris to learn how to safeguard your belongings.