Paris audio tour: The Left Bank's Most Elegant Park: Exploring The Luxembourg Garden

The Left Bank's Most Elegant Park: Exploring The Luxembourg Garden

Walking Tour

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35 mins
|
1mi

About the Tour

The Luxembourg Garden is far more than the prettiest park in Paris — it’s also a way of life. With this VoiceMap tour, you’ll enter the gardens as a visitor, but you’ll soon saunter around them like a local.

While you walk with me, I’ll introduce you to its various elements — historical, natural, sculptural and sporting — while leaving you the freedom to partake as you wish in the lifestyle of the Jardin du Luxembourg. Yes, you may have passed by or even stopped in at all those wonderful pastry shops and stunning churches in the nearby Saint Germain and Latin Quarters, but you can’t truly know the Left Bank until you’ve spent time exploring the gardens’ 62-acres. My goal is to reveal their secrets and history so that you’ll be as at home here as I am as a Parisian.

When the weather’s right, all of Left Bank Paris passes through the Luxembourg Garden. And when the weather’s wrong — well, the weather’s never wrong in the Luxembourg Garden. Here, every sky and each season has its charms.

Along the way, you'll see and hear about:

• Illustrious women
• Mythological drunks
• A jealous cyclops and the queen who admired him
• The birds and the bees and the flowering trees
• A historic apple and pear orchard
• Signs of the German Occupation during WWII
• The patron saint of Paris
• The Paris meridian
• The Statue of Liberty

Though I’ve timed this as a 35-minute walk, I won’t be insulted if you turn me off every now and then to soak in the atmosphere, rest your feet, linger over a view, sit in one of the garden cafés or even nap on one of the inclined chairs.

Tour Producer

avatar

Gary Kraut

Gary Lee Kraut is an American and French dual citizen who has been inspiring and informing travelers for three decades through travel writing, consulting, lecturing, and guiding. He is the author of five travel guides to France and Paris, hundreds of articles, and numerous essays, short stories, and op-ed pieces concerning travel, culture, cross-culture, and life abroad. He operates the award-winning travel e-magazine France Revisited, francerevisited.com. Gary’s unparalleled experience has made him the go-to guy for individuals and travel professionals seeking highly personalized tours, advice, and small-group events in Paris and throughout France, garysparistours.com. He’s happy to share his passion for travel discovery in this VoiceMap.

Major Landmarks

  • The Luxembourg Palace

  • The Medicis Fountain (under restoration until spring 2021)

  • The Paris Meridian

  • A view of the Pantheon

  • A Statue of Liberty

  • And of course the beautiful gardens.

Directions to Starting Point

Among the many entrances to the Luxembourg Garden, I've selected for the start of this VoiceMap the northeast entrance that is just behind the Odeon Theater and across the street from the corner of the streets Rue de Vaugirard and Rue Rotrou. The closest marked address is 20 rue Vaugirard, across the street from the entrance. The closest metro station is Odéon, about 500 yards away to the north of this entrance. The nearest RER (suburban train) station is Luxembourg, about 500 yards away to the southeast of this entrance.

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Tips

Places to stop along the way

There are two cafés in the garden. On the edge of the garden, the Luxembourg Museum hosts world-class temporary exhibitions for which advance tickets may be necessary. The Pantheon is nearby and so may be visited before or after the Luxembourg Garden. There are several public toilets inside the garden.

Best time of day

The garden opens at 7:30AM March-September and 7:45/8:00/8:15AM for the rest of the year, depending on the month. Throughout the year it closes just before sunset, meaning as early as 4:30PM in December and as late as 9:30PM in June. There is no best time of day since it all depends on when you're ready to take a beautiful stroll. The Luxembourg Garden is worth a visit at any time of year since charms vary from season to season.

Precautions

This is considered a safe location, particularly since it's the backyard of the French Senate, so there is much security around. Beware, however, if visiting as a couple: your loved one might try to steal a kiss.

Comments

Great thanks Gary
The best garden in Paris

Posted by Anonymous Explorer , 5 days ago

Gary was wonderful

Posted by Anonymous Explorer , 5 days ago

Relaxing,historical, well-paced
The tour began at the kiosk on one side of the Sénat and ended on the other side. The GPS and phone camera helped me stay on the path electronically, and Gary’s easy-to-follow instructions and his map guided me physically. I have replayed the tour twice more! Gary gives precise instructions in an easy-to-listen, casual tone. I learned at least 5 new tidbits of history and was able to stop and go and replay and take photos as I wished. I enjoyed the app very much!

Posted by Anonymous Explorer , about 1 month ago

Excellent audio tour. I felt like the guide was right there with me. Enjoyed the explanations of the history of the gardens and monuments. I wish there had been more audio tours by this tour guide during my stay in Paris. Hopefully there will be on our next trip back to Paris.

Posted by Robert Kraut , about 2 months ago

A splendid tour with a wealth of information!

Posted by Jill , about 2 months ago

This audio tour is fabulous! I learned so much about the garden; making it come alive as you walk in the steps of so much history. There’s the fascinating history of Queen Marie de Medici of France when she had both the garden and the magnificent Palace constructed, the background of the many female statues including Lady Liberty , the actions of the student Resistance here during the German Occupation, the botanical history of the pear and apple orchard and so much more. Wonderfully paced for a garden stroll you are sure to love it!

Posted by Anonymous Explorer , 2 months ago
Preview mode limited to first 3 locations.
The Left Bank's Most Elegant Park: Exploring The Luxembourg Garden