Luxembourg Gardens definitely ranks as a highlight of our recent visit to Paris. We missed this elegant, relaxing place on earlier trips, and I’m so pleased we included it in the itinerary this season. If you go early in the day you’ll find yourself among joggers and roller bladers and local families. Here are my top 5 reasons you will want to spend time in this park if you are in or near Paris.
There’s a Palace
The centerpiece of the gardens is a real palace. Luxembourg Gardens and the palace date back to 1612. They were designed for Princess Marie de Medici, who became Queen of France. Nazis occupied the residence during WWII, and the French resistance fought nearby. The palace is now used by the French Senate.
Toy Boats Sail in the Pond
Children can sail colorful wooden toy boats in the lake. On weekends, families rent the boats for a half hour and push them with long poles across the lake. The young ones run around the lake chasing the boats and laughing. It’s simply charming.
The Paris Chairs Sit Scattered Throughout
The iconic green chairs of Paris sit scattered here and there, ready to enjoy. We ate take-away sandwiches made with fresh bread while we sat on chairs in front of the lake. On a sunny day. With children sailing their toy boats. And the palace as a backdrop. Life doesn’t get much better.
Sculptures Decorate the Landscape
Luxembourg Gardens hosts more than 100 sculptures. You will even find a small-scale replica of the American Statue of Liberty. Somehow the friendly French folks took one look at us and knew we are American and should wind around the paths to see this. As their directions were in French, we had to follow their waving arm signals and almost gave up. But rounding a bend under the trees, voila! Lady Liberty herself.
Last but not least, Luxembourg Gardens offers lovely gardens. Flowers, tall trees, and carefully groomed lawns fill the area.
Luxembourg Gardens is open daily and is free.
How about you? Have you found a garden area you especially enjoyed?
P.S. The Eiffel Tower is faintly visible in one photo, and the Pantheon is in another photo. Can you spot these Paris landmarks?