Jardin des Plantes
Quartier Latin (5th Arrondissement)
Submitted by: Allison Kave
A park with rose gardens and a greenhouse.
Located in the culturally stimulating Latin Quarter of Paris, Jardin des Plantes is a hidden gem of a park, containing a spacious and well-plotted rose garden, as well as a very large tropical greenhouse. This is the type of place that one could spend a whole day in, for the sprawling grounds feature many user-friendly amenities, such as benches, food kiosks and climbable sculptures.
In cold weather, Jardin des Plantes remains a wonderful destination, for its unparalleled greenhouse maintains its tropical temperature year-round, and features towering palm trees, rare orchids and an entire room devoted to cacti. Children love the climbable sculptures at the entrance and the ice cream vendors.
What Makes Jardin des Plantes a Great Place?
This place is truly at the heart of a wonderful location: One entrance is directly across the street from La Mosquee, a mosque converted into a full-service hammam (spa), which serves fabulous tea and pastries in its outdoor garden and indoor lounge. The park is accessible by foot, and is only a few blocks from the Jussieu metro station, which is located across the street from Paris VII, a school of La Sorbonne. Other attractions near the park include the Arabian Institute, with its landmark windows, and of course, the Left Bank of the Seine.
Jardin des Plantes provides all the amenities one could hope for: food kiosks, public restrooms, a warm retreat (the greenhouse), and ample seating. As is the case with most Parisian parks, Jardin des Plantes is immaculately clean, with many wastebaskets scattered throughout. Due to its highly populated neighborhood, security is never an issue, and the park is open to foot traffic only.
The park is never empty, no matter the season, yet it is not as crowded as the more famous Luxembourg Gardens. It is a place that appeals to all age ranges, from the very young to the elderly. It is also a wonderful place to learn about botany, with the many species of plants clearly labeled and described.
Because of its proximity to the Arabian Institute and la Mosquee, users of Jardin des Plantes are of a range of ethnicities and cultural backgrounds. Local residents, myself included, take friends here to show it off as their own private gem.