Fodor's Expert Review Jardin du Luxembourg

St-Germain-des-Pres Garden Fodor's Choice
Luxembourg Gardens, Jardin Du Luxembourg, Paris, France

Everything that is charming, unique, and befuddling about Parisian parks can be found in the Luxembourg Gardens: groomed trees, ironed-and-pressed walkways, sculpted flower beds, and immaculate emerald lawns meant for admiring, not necessarily for lounging. The tree- and bench-lined paths are a marvelous reprieve from the bustle of the neighborhoods it borders: the Quartier Latin, St-Germain-des-Prés, and Montparnasse. Beautifully austere during the winter months, the garden grows intoxicating as spring brings blooming beds of daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths, and the circular pool teems with wooden sailboats nudged along by children. The park's northern boundary is dominated by the Palais du Luxembourg, which houses the Sénat (Senate), one of two chambers that make up the Parliament. The original inspiration for the gardens came from Marie de Medici, who was nostalgic for the Boboli Gardens of her native Florence; she is commemorated by the recently restored Fontaine de Medicis, a... READ MORE

Everything that is charming, unique, and befuddling about Parisian parks can be found in the Luxembourg Gardens: groomed trees, ironed-and-pressed walkways, sculpted flower beds, and immaculate emerald lawns meant for admiring, not necessarily for lounging. The tree- and bench-lined paths are a marvelous reprieve from the bustle of the neighborhoods it borders: the Quartier Latin, St-Germain-des-Prés, and Montparnasse. Beautifully austere during the winter months, the garden grows intoxicating as spring brings blooming beds of daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths, and the circular pool teems with wooden sailboats nudged along by children. The park's northern boundary is dominated by the Palais du Luxembourg, which houses the Sénat (Senate), one of two chambers that make up the Parliament. The original inspiration for the gardens came from Marie de Medici, who was nostalgic for the Boboli Gardens of her native Florence; she is commemorated by the recently restored Fontaine de Medicis, a favorite spot in summer for contemplative readers.

Les Marionettes du Théâtre du Luxembourg is a timeless attraction, where, on weekend mornings and afternoons, along with Wednesday afternoons, you can catch classic guignols (marionette shows) for €7. The wide-eyed kids might be the real attraction—their expressions of utter surprise, despair, and glee have fascinated the likes of Henri Cartier-Bresson and François Truffaut. The park also has a merry-go-round, swings, and pony rides. The bandstand on the eastern side of the park hosts free concerts on summer afternoons.

As you stroll the paths, you might be surprised by a familiar sight: one of the original (miniature) casts of the Statue of Liberty was installed in the gardens in 1906. There are over 100 other statues in the gardens too. Check out the rotating photography exhibits hanging on the perimeter fence near the entrance on Boulevard St-Michel. And if you want to burn off that breakfast pain au chocolat, there's a well-maintained trail around the perimeter that is frequented by gentrified joggers. Gendarmes regularly walk the grounds to ensure park rules are enforced; follow guidelines posted on entry gates.

READ LESS
Garden Fodor's Choice Family Outdoor

Quick Facts

Bordered by Bd. St-Michel and Rues de Vaugirard, de Medicis, Guynemer, Auguste-Comte, and d'Assas
Paris, Île-de-France  75006, France

www.senat.fr/visite/jardin

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: Free, Closed dusk–dawn

What’s Nearby