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“Okay, But Would Not Be On Our Top 20 Must-See List” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Parc de la Villette

Parc de la Villette
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Seine River Cruise and Paris Canals Tour
Ranked #109 of 1,085 things to do in Paris
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: This 130-acre park in northeast Paris is home to a music academy, a science museum and an IMAX theater.
Minneapolis, MN
Level Contributor
22 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
“Okay, But Would Not Be On Our Top 20 Must-See List”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 17, 2013

My family of three (2 adults and an 11-year old) had high-hopes for Villette. We made the trip up to the 19th arrondissement thinking it would be a fun alternative to all of the typical tourist stuff.
My daughter enjoyed the Jardin des Vents et des Dunes - running in the hamster wheels, going on the zip line, crawling through the tunnels, etc.
The Folie Belvédère was a BIG hit with my daughter - she spent more than an hour climbing up and down the stairs, running up and down the large circular ramp to the first level, and spinning around on the silver chairs that are lined up adjacent to the structure. (Also right next to this Folie is Claes Oldenburg's "Buried Bicycle" sculpture.)
There is a beautiful, double-decker carousel next to the canal - kids can choose to ride in a submarine, a hot air balloon, on a motorcycle, or on a variety of animals.
The Jardin des Bambous was very pretty. If you enter it via the Allee du Zenith, you walk down a flight of steps that has water cascading down on either side. At the bottom of the steps is a round room that echoes the sounds of the rushing water.
On our way back to the Metro, we got to walk across the canal via a floating bridge - it is open limited hours; check the schedule on the board.
Despite these highlights, we left Villette feeling a little let-down.
When the park was originally built back in the mid-1980's, I am sure that it was a beautiful, vibrant place. On the day we visited - 2nd Wednesday in June - it felt very run down and forlorn. The only place that really seemed to have any vibrancy to it was Prairie du Triangle, where a number of kids and adults were playing ball.
The Vent & Dunes playground was in very bad repair. The hamster wheel had no rubber runner on the inside anymore, so it was slippery, the astro-turf/carpeting on the hills and valleys was completely shot, and there was a fair amount of trash laying around.
The Jardin des Mirrors was very muddy, littered with trash, and was inhabited by a couple of transients.
The Dragon slide, which looked really cool in the pictures we had seen on-line, had been completely dismantled and the whole area was cordoned off with orange construction fencing.
As we walked around the park and checked out the various gardens, we came across at least a half dozen couples in (very) intimate situations. (Granted, this is Paris, and it is "Romantic", but these are not the type of "off the beaten track" sites I wanted my child to see.)
Perhaps on a weekend during the height of the summer, when there are a lot more families visiting, the general vibe of the park is different, but based on our experiences, my family's consensus is that Villette was not worth the special trip up to the NE side of the city.

Visited June 2013
1 Thank MplsMommy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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375 reviews from our community

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Ancona, Italy
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“relax and enjoyment”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 30, 2013

get to the parc by velib ( a must ), ride along Canal St Martin, Canal de la Villette. A corner of France and Holland together. Fantastic atmosphere, very romantic, very green, relaxing, and interesting museum of science

Visited May 2013
1 Thank valeg0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
64 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Bike Path Runs Through Middle”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 21, 2013

As a roller blader, i appreciate a bike path that runs along the canal which also runs through this park. Paths through park are too rough for blades but along the canal is great.

Visited May 2013
1 Thank robbfasken
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lexington, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
144 reviews
55 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Great "modern" park with many things to do”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 3, 2013

Wonderful expanse of space and "attractions" for walking, watching people, or taking in "events" and museums on the site.
We discovered originally by boat tour and came back to explore on foot. Went to Parc des Buttes Chaumont later in the day for a wonderful contrast of new and old. Check them both out.

Visited May 2013
Thank GrozPerk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canterbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
251 reviews
189 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“Science in a park”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 30, 2013

You will need a whole day to enjoy the full facilities of this park, the cost to see all attractions is €18.50, so make good use of it. We only had a few hours there before moving on.

Visited April 2013
1 Thank GrahamGrape
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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