Boasting one of the most surreal views of the Eiffel tower, the Champs de Mars Park is the Parisian destination for any and every tourist.
The Champs de Mars Park has the proud title of being Paris’s largest green space spanning a total of sixty acres, just a bit bigger than the Jardin du Luxembourg, it runs from the Eiffel tower that is situated in the North-Western part of Paris to the École Militaire situated at the South-Eastern end of Paris. Originally it was a flat piece of land, called the Grenelle that was fragmented and claimed by locals who grew flowers, vegetables and fruits to sell at the local market, the soil, however, was not very fertile. It then became the training and marching grounds for the students that attended l’École Militaire, it was officially closed off to the public, as it would hold almost ten thousand men at one time whilst practicing their drills. It was then that the name changed to ‘Champ de Mars’ in reference to the roman god of war, which only seems appropriate in the context of a military school. However, towards the end of the 18th century, the fences on the borders of Champs de Mars were taken down and military sessions ceased resulting in the park once again being open to the public again. The Champs de Mars was host to many festivals and exhibitions, with one, in particular, resulting in the creation of the Eiffel tower, non-other than the Éxpositions Universelles, the World fair, hosted on the grounds between 1889 and 1900.
In the days of the Grenelle and military training sessions, the Champs de Mars was actually more than one hundred acres but was minimized to only 60 acres for the World Exposition that took place in 1880. Today the Champs de Mars is a wonderful picnic site, with nothing less than the Eiffel tower as its backdrop, what more could you ask for. There is no admission cost and it is open all day, every day. It is very popular among Parisians as there is a lot of open space to participate in activities, such a playing Frisbee for example and has many playgrounds for children. At night you could even get a front row seat to the beautiful light show displayed on the Eiffel tower for 0€. What would a trip to Paris be if you didn’t lounge on the lawn, relaxing whilst reading one of your favorite books, with the full blown Parisian ambiance surrounding you? Considering it requires you to relax to enjoy the destination, it is one the best places to visit in Paris. It allows you to immerse yourself in an activity that the average Parisian would do on a normal day, giving you the idea of what it would be like to be Parisian and not just a tourist doing tourist things but actually embracing the culture and normality Paris has to offer as well. It is for these ‘normal’ reasons the Champ de Mars is one of the best places to visit in Paris.