Quintessentially Parisian, Le Jardin de Luxembourg is a must see when visiting the French capital. Originally created for Queen Marie de Medici, the widow of King Henry the IV, Le Jardin de Luxembourg is in the 6th arrondissement – a chic district situated on the border between Saint-Germain-des-Prés and the Latin Quarter. The gardens span over 60 acres and are split into both French and English gardens with a large pond between the two.
We’d walked to Le Jardin de Luxembourg from the Île de la Cité in the 4th arrondissement with six year old POD. It was her first time in Paris so she’d already been to the top of the Eiffel Tower as well as visiting Montmartre, Sacre Coeur and Notre Dame.
Inspired by the Boboli Gardens in Florence, Le Jardin de Luxembourg has a geometric forest, the large pond with the Medici fountain, an orchard, an apiary, an Orangerie and a pavillion plus over a hundred statues which are dotted around the park. We were fairly hot when we arrived so headed down the tree-lined pathways to a restaurant for ice-cream. POD promptly tripped over and dropped hers but it was quickly replaced. Having sat on one of the many benches watching the world go by, we headed down to the large pond. Situated in front of the Luxembourg Palance, it’s where we were able to hire a boat for POD to sail. Costing just ¢4 for 30 minutes, she was thrilled to pick a boat with a yellow sail.
We did wonder how we’d get the boat back to us after it set sail but we were assured they always return within the allocated time. There were a fair few on the water although being yellow, POD’s would be easy to spot. The POD Father launched it into the water and we watched it sail away, POD taking great delight in chasing it round. It did go a little awry a couple of times but just as the man had suggested, it pretty much came back to us. It’s funny, despite being a popular spot Le Jardin de Luxembourg is a remarkably relaxing park. We really would have loved to stay longer but we’d had a busy day and there was food waiting for us at the the 4* Meliá París La Défense.
As we were leaving however, we got to see a bandstand through the trees and a concert. There was such a lovely atmosphere. We could have easily lost a few hours here if we’d arrived earlier, particularly on a warm summers day. As well as sailing boats on the large pond, Le Jardin de Luxembourg has puppet shows, rides and slides plus there are other activities for adults like playing tennis, remote control boats or chess. Next time we’re in Paris, we’re definitely coming back. Hopefully sooner rather than later, we totally forgot how much we absolutely love this city.