The closest metro station is the Luxembourg RER station just outside of the park. We took the metro to Maubert-Mutualite station (Line 10) and walked passed the Pantheon and down Rue Soufflot. It was a nice sunny and warm day, perfect for a stroll in the park. This is one of the most famous and nicest parks of Paris. There are activities for both adults and children to enjoy.
Jardin du Luxembourg is in the 6th arrondissment (district) of the 20 which make up Paris, near the Latin quarter. Covering almost 25 hectares, the park is adorned with statues, fountains, forests, beautiful wild-flower beds and even palm trees. At the head of the park, is the Luxembourg Palace. Construction on the palace began in 1612 engaged by Marie de’ Medici, King Henry IV’s widow. The ground-plans for the palace were inspired by the Palazzo Pitti in Florence and would form her new residence. She also had commissioned a number of gardeners to create the park in the style of the ones in Florence. The park originally covered only 8 hectares. Over time, more land was added and the park was expanded. Today, the park’s relaxing and calming atmosphere is enjoyed by Parisians and tourists alike.
The Palace itself, is now owned by the French Senate where it continues to hold its senate meetings.
Entrance to the park is free. The park contains many activities to keep you busy and entertained, both young and old alike.
Listen to a Local Band Performance
More than often, during the summer months, you may have the pleasure of listening to a local band performing in the gazebo at the North-East side of the park.
The central section of the park contains the octagonal basin of water and flower beds. It is surrounded by chairs filled with people socializing, reading books, enjoying the sunshine and people watching. This was my favorite area of the park. Don’t just walk through the park. Find a chair and sit down. Only then, will you truly feel the atmosphere. Take it all in, it’s beautiful.
Sail by the Wind
This is a great attraction for kids. The moment my son saw the water basin filled with sail boats, his eyes just widened with excitement. And then came the exciting begging part. There are only a limited amount of boats available for rent so you may have to wait a little bit. There is a minimal cost to rent the boats. The boats are not motor powered so age will not limit your child’s ability to sail them. Your child with receive a stick that is used to give the boats a push start.
While I was sitting and relaxing, my son’s boat pulled up beside the little duck house in the center of the basin. Unfortunately, I wasn’t paying attention and missed some great photo opportunities. Two of the little ducklings climbed right into the sailboat and actually sailed in it for a while. My dad was able to capture some of it until he started laughing too hard. He created a small slideshow of the ducks sailing in the boat.
That’s Not All Kids
On the west-side of the park, the forest hides a couple more great attractions. For tennis enthusiasts, this area contains a couple tennis courts. Just across from the tennis courts you will find a kids playground. The playground is enclosed by a fence and has an entrance fee. Part of it is for kids under 7 and the other for the older ones. The playground is shaded by the elm trees and is great for hot sunny days.
Good to Know:
- Closest RER Station: Luxembourg (Line B)
- Getting off at Cardinal-Lemoine metro (Line 10) station provides a walk right past the Pantheon.
- The Luxembourg Gardens are featured in Les Misérables by Victor Hugo. This is where Marius’ and Cosette’s first meeting unfolds into the great love story.
- The park contains an apple orchard with a mixed variety of apples. The bees working these orchards, have been pollinating the gardens since the 19th century and live in the nearby Rucher du Luxembourg. If you are in Paris in late September, don’t miss the two-day Fête du Miel (Honey Festival).
- The grass areas are off limits to the public. If you were considering a traditional, on-the-lawn picnic, you will need to settle for the chairs scattered around the park.
- The park contains over 100 statues. One of them is a miniature replica of the Statue of Liberty.