Hidden Gems of Paris, that’s what everyone says they’re looking for, right? Well here’s one to add to the list.
The “Jardin Atlantique” is located on the roof of the Montparnasse-Bievenue rail station. To find it, walk inside of the station, follow signs to train queue 1 and then up the stairs following the signs. The Jardin appears on maps, but your GPS placement dot will wander around the edge of the green garden image while you walk all the way around the metro station searching for a park entrance, thinking “I’m right here, there must be an entrance somewhere”. Just walk inside and find the staircase.
Once there, a visitor can take advantage of the wide green spaces, flowers and some funky architecture. The garden feels exactly like you were on the ground level because the surrounding buildings are all many stories higher than the park — therefore, it feels just like a typical ground level park. If you exit the park and explore the many paths around the edge, you enter a world of apartments and office buildings with exterior doors to their 10th floors. While you can’t enter the buildings without a code, its incredible to see this virtually unknown world above the ground.
If you’ve done enough relaxing for the day, the Jardin Atlantique also holds the Musée du Général Leclerc de Hauteclocque et de la Libèration de Paris (Musée Jean Moulin). These are two small rooms (unlike their large names) that hold artifacts and signs describing the role of the Free France movement and the French colonies in World War Two, focusing on the liberation of Paris from the Nazi occupation. The museums are free to everyone and don’t take very long (30-40 minutes). They’re also a great source of respite from heat or cold if you’re stuck out and about in Paris.
If you’re early for your train, need a quick picnic spot, or just want to take a nap — Jardin Atlantique has a local feel and semi-secluded area just waiting for you. Oh, and the cherry on top: Jardin Atlantique is part of Paris’ free-wifi network.