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Jardin du Luxembourg

The Luxembourg Gardens offer a peaceful respite from sightseeing. If you have children, the playground and pony rides are hard to resist.

Lunch crowd in the Jardin du Luxembourg

ABOVE: A lunch crowd relaxes in the Jardin du Luxembourg on a sunny spring day.

Cheryl Imboden in Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris.The Jardin du Luxembourg (in English, Luxembourg Gardens) is one of the most popular parks among visitors to Paris, and with good reason:

  • It's spacious (covering about 25 hectares or 60 acres of prime Rive Gauche real estate, with many trees, shrubs, lawns, flower beds, chairs, and benches to provide a break from the city streets on warm, sunny days).

  • It has a great location (on the border of the 5th and 6th arrondissements, about a 10-minute walk inland from the Seine).

  • It's a short walk from many hotels on the Left Bank.

Palais du Luxembourg fisheye viewIn addition to hosting beautiful Italian Baroque-style gardens that date back to the 17th Century, the Jardin du Luxembourg incorporates the Palais du Luxembourg, which houses the French Senate.

Park facilities include a playground, pony rides, a puppet theatre, a pond with model boats for rent, tennis courts, fountains, sculptures, a café-restaurant, snack bars, chessboards, boules or pétanque courts, a music pavilion, an orangery, and the Musée du Luxembourg.

Visitor information:

Admission to the Jardin du Luxembourg is free, although you'll pay extra for activities such as the children's playground, pony rides, model-boat rental, and tennis.

Model-boat pond in Luxembourg Gardens, ParisHours of operation vary by season, with opening times ranging from 7:30 .am. (March-September) to 8:15 a.m. (mid-December through mid-January).

Closing times can be anywhere from 4:30 p.m. in the dead of winter to 9:30 p.m. in late June.

For a detailed calender, see the French Senate's Les horaires d'ouverture du Jardin du Luxembourg page. The Paris Tourist Office also has an information page about the gardens.

More photos:

BELOW: This map, which is displayed on a signpost in the park, shows the Jardin du Luxembourg's location on the Left Bank. (The Seine is at the bottom of the map, which means south is at the top.)

Jardin du Luxembourg map

BELOW: The Palais du Luxembourg is a classical French building from the 17th Century. The palace is located at the north end of the gardens, and it's the home of the French Senate.

Cheryl Imboden and Palais du Luxembourg

BELOW: Armed guards protect senators and their building.

Guard at Palais du Luxembourg (French Senate)

BELOW: Tree-lined paths offer shade on hot, sunny days.

Trees and path in Jardin du Luxembourg

Tree in Jardin du Luxembourg

BELOW: The trees also provide a venue for Tai Chi classes. (Note the freestanding chairs, which visitors can move around instead of having to share fixed park benches.)

Tai Chi class in Jardin du Luxembourg

BELOW: Park patrons who prefer sunshine can sit on designated lawns or bare their tummies for pregnancy photos.

Lawn at Palais du Luxembourg

Pregnant lady in Jardin du Luxembourg

BELOW:  The Jardin du Luxembourg has its own beehives.

Beehives in Luxembourg Gardens

Beehives in Jardin du Luxembourg

BELOW: One of our favorite areas is the pond where visitors can rent model sailboats. 

Sailboat pond at Jardin du Luxembourg

Sailboat pond at Luxembourg Gardens, Paris

BELOW: Looking for an inexpensive souvenir? Buy a poster that shows the park's model sailboats in their many national liveries. It's available at the sailboat-rental kiosk.

Jardin du Luxembourg - sailboat rentals

BELOW: This boy preferred his own pirate ship to a rental sailboat.

Pirate ship in Luxembourg Gardens, Paris

BELOW: After you've seen the pond, look for the Medici Fountain (built in 1630), which is tucked among trees near the northeastern corner of the park.

Medici fountain, Jardin du Luxembourg

BELOW: Ponies--and pony rides--are popular with local children and visitors.

Ponies in the Jardin du Luxembourg 

Pony ride in Luxembourg Gardens, Paris 

BELOW: Dogs are welcome in the Jardin du Luxembourg, but only in specified areas on the east side of the park. Look for a path near the Boulevard Saint-Michel (which is also used by joggers) and a canine water fountain.

Dogs in Jardin du Luxembourg

BELOW: The Jardin du Luxembourg has an excellent playground. There's an admission fee for children (with a smaller fee for parents who watch their kids from inside the fence).

Playground in Luxembourg Gardens

Children climbing in Luxembourg Gardens playground

Admission prices at Jardin du Luxembourg playground 

BELOW: We were especially impressed by this "glide ride" in the Luxembourg Gardens, which is well worth the price of playground admission. Kids grab a rope, stand or kneel on a small platform, and let gravity whip them around the apparatus.

Overhead ride in Luxembourg Gardens playground

Playground ride in Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris 

BELOW: For adults, the park's diversions include tennis (but visit the toilettes before you hit the courts).

Tennis club at Jardin du Luxembourg 

Sign at Luxembourg Gardens tennis courts

BELOW: If you prefer visual arts to athletics, you can catalog the 70+ sculptures in the Luxembourg Gardens. (The Greek actor in this statue is staring at a scroll, not a smartphone.)

Greek actor sculpture in Jardin du Luxembourg

BELOW: Auguste Bartholdi, creator of the Statue of Liberty, donated a model of his sculpture to the Musée du Luxembourg in 1906. This bronze replica replaced the original model in 2012 for "reasons of conservation."

Statue of Liberty replica in Jardin du Luxembourg

BELOW: When you've had your fill of art, you can fill up on food and drink (including Berthillon ice cream) at several snack bars and kiosks in the Luxembourg Gardens.

Snack bar in Jardin du Luxembourg

More articles about Paris parks:
Parc des Buttes Chaumont
Parc Montsouris

About the author:

Durant Imboden photo.Durant Imboden is a professional travel writer, book author, and editor who focuses on European cities and transportation.

After 4-1/2 years of covering European travel topics for About.com, Durant and Cheryl Imboden co-founded Europe for Visitors (including Paris for Visitors) in 2001. The site has earned "Best of the Web" honors from Forbes and The Washington Post.

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