With the vast and superb Jardin du Luxembourg just minutes from our hotels, you’d be forgiven for wondering why we’d ever go to another Parisian park or garden.
Well if you don’t know the Jardin des Plantes you are going to be blown away.
Super close to us too, it’s a lot more than a simple garden, with a zoo, giant hothouses, the Natural History Museum, the gallery of Palaeontology and Comparative Anatomy with loads of impressive dinosaur skeletons (we visited it for you a while back, remember?, the Gallery of Mineralogy (with some great exhibitions like this one), a rose garden, a maze, a wonderful Alpine garden, and of course exceptional and rare plants and flowers everywhere!
Check out over 100 photos in our photo report!
It’s difficult to know where to start when you visit the Jardin des Plantes – there’s just so much to do and see.
Let’s start with perhaps the most obvious – the vast flowerbeds in the main central section that sweeps up from near the Seine to the Natural History Museum. The flowers are completely changed regularly, often with themed plantations – during our visit there was lots of purple and poppies as far as the eye could see.
The bees here must be really happy!
The flowerbeds are overflowing with lots of other colours too…
The long alleys invite you to explore the garden and discover all its plants, or alternatively sit in the shade of the trees and read a book or watch the world go by…
If you enter the garden from the bottom, near the banks of the Seine, you’ll see the gallery of Palaeontology and Comparative Anatomy just to your left.
Although not vast, this place is great, with so many different and impressive ancient roses. The forms and fragrances are astonishing.
Arriving at the far end of the rose garden, you’ll find the Gallery of Mineralogy in front of you just to your left, and the Museum just to your right. It’s up to you where to go next. Why not head for the hothouses?
The hothouses deserve an article of their own – it’s such a fabulous, surreal place that everyone who goes to the garden should pop in here too (even if it does costs a few euros).
For now though, we moved on to the maze (actually more like a simple spiral up a hill). Unfortunately, the pergola at the top needs work and is close, but there are some great views to be had from here over a corner of the garden that some people probably miss.
Just over the road, one lucky neighbour is enjoying the view while having breakfast on his balcony (something you can also do at the Hôtel Baume, Hôtel les Dames du Panthéon, Hôtel des Grands Hommes and la Belle Juliette.
From here we start going back down the garden on the other side, passing by the freshly-cleaned auditorium, the menagerie (where a few wallabies can be seen having a nap in the sun) before arriving at the entrance to the hothouses.
Here you’ll find a different style of garden, with water features, fish and even a small vineyard…
And this is where you’ll find probably our favourite secret garden in Paris (apart from the lovely one at the Belle Juliette of course) – the Alpine garden.
You can only reach it by going down a little underground tunnel, and when you emerge on the other side, you’re in a different world.
This large garden is hidden away because it’s mostly sunken compared to the areas surrounding it. Those in the know go there to take advantage of its numerous shady areas and spectacular flowers.
If you’re staying in one of our hotels, you’re lucky enough to be very close to the Jardin des Plantes and all its wonders.
Each season has its own particular charm there, as the flowers are changed frequently, the Museum is exceptional, the hothouses can be visited all year round – regardless of the weather – the zoo is perfect for a family day out, as are the Palaeontology and Mineralogy galleries, the Alpin garden is a great surprise and the rose garden will enchant you.
We’ve spent many happy hours there, and you won’t regret your visit we’re sure!
To check out all our photos of the Jardin des Plantes, simple click here.