Twelve years ago on our first visit to Paris I walked into Luxembourg Gardens and knew that this was a very special place. It was the middle of winter, the trees were bare, the flower beds were empty, the iconic green chairs were sitting in the rain, empty. Luxembourg Gardens is a bit of crossroads in the Latin Quarter between the 5th and 6th arrondissements and even in the rain in the middle of winter you’ll find it busy with people sitting under the trees, strolling slowly with umbrellas or jogging on one of the many paths.
Since discovering the gardens twelve years ago we have made a few return trips and we will make our sixth trip back in three weeks, I can’t wait. What’s special about the Jardin du Luxembourg? I guess the simplest way to put it is that it is a beautifully designed park in the middle of the most beautiful city. It is kind of like everyone’s back yard. It’s not particularly big, but there are a number of walking/jogging paths, a few cafés, a large fountain and hundreds of spots to put up your feet and appreciate the most simple things in life. Parisians, tourists, young and old fill up the park year-round.
Best thing to do in the park? I have two main activities: 1) Grab a bite to eat at any one of the dozens of boulangeries surrounding the park, find a comfortable chair and enjoy the view. Or 2) Go, find a spot to sit and do nothing.
Since the park is in the heart of the left bank and we have never stayed more than a couple blocks from the gardens our day usually starts with a walk through the park and ends with a slow stroll and rest in the park. I can’t wait to be back home.