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Jardin du Luxembourg

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Jardin du Luxembourg Review

Everything that is charming, unique, and befuddling about Parisian parks can be found in the Luxembourg Gardens: cookie-cutter 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 two neighborhoods it borders: the Quartier Latin and St-Germain-des-Prés. Beautifully austere during the winter months, the garden grows intoxicating as spring brings blooming beds of daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths, and the circular pools teem with boats nudged along by children. The park's northern boundary is dominated by the Palais du Luxembourg and the Sénat (Senate), which is one of two chambers that make up the Parliament.

Highlights

The original inspiration for the gardens came from Marie de Medici, nostalgic for the Boboli Gardens of her native Florence. She is commemorated by the Fontaine de Medicis.

Les Marionettes du Théâtre du Luxembourg is a timeless attraction, where, on weekends at 11 and 3:15 and Wednesday at 3:15 (hours may vary), you can catch classic guignols (marionette shows) for €4.70. 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 hosts free concerts on summer afternoons.

Check out the rotating photography exhibits hanging on the perimeter fence near the entrance on the Boulevard St-Michel and Rue Vaugirard.

If the grass is en repos, a nice way of saying "stay off," feel free to move the green chairs around to create a picnic spot or people-watching perch.

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.

If you're looking for a familiar face, one of the original (miniature) casts of the Statue of Liberty was installed in the gardens in 1906.

Gendarmes regularly walk the grounds to ensure park rules are enforced; follow guidelines posted on entry gates.

Updated: 02-19-2014

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating:  
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    One of the city's best parks

    Definitely one of Paris's best parks, large enough to keep one occupied but small enough not to overwhelm. Huge fountain and palace (can't go inside the latter), plenty of garden space, trees, and statuary. A must.

    by bachslunch, 11/9/08
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    Wonderful Reprieve from Noise & Heat of Paris

    Jardin du Luxembourg should not be missed! They are a wonderful reprieve after walking the streets of Paris. Paris is beautiful - amazing architecture, people, shops, food and music and we also enjoyed getting away from the noise & heat to walk through the shaded paths, rest by the fountains and snack on ice cream. There is a portion of the lawns that people can sit on and we enjoyed watching the locals relax with their blankets, books and snacks.
    We visited Jardin du Luxembourg twice during our time in Paris and it was definitely a wonderful experience.

    by vmacleod, 7/18/08
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    Quintessential Parisian Experience

    Please don't miss a lovely stroll and a relaxing time in the Jardin du Luxembourg. A wonderful spot for families or lovers. There are many sections to explore, but it is the beauty of it all that is forever memory making. Please note, that unlike in American parks, there is no walking or laying on a blanket on the grass at Jardin de Luxembourg. However, there are chairs, tables, and benches scattered throughout the park. Enjoy!

    by lindasp62, 7/17/08

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