Jardin des Plantes

sights / Parks & gardens

Jardin des Plantes information

Paris , France
Address
Street Place Valhubert & 36 rue Geoffroy-Saint-Hilaire, 5e
Getting there
metro Gare d’Austerlitz, Censier Daubenton or Jussieu
More information
www.jardindesplantes.net
Opening hours
7.30am-7.45pm Apr-Oct, 8am-5.15pm Nov-Mar
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Lonely Planet review

Founded in 1626 as a medicinal herb garden for Louis XIII, Paris’ 24-hectare botanic gardens – visually defined by the double alley of plane trees that run the length of the park – are an idyllic spot to stroll around, break for a picnic (watch out for the automatic sprinklers!) and escape the city concrete for a spell. Upping its appeal are three museums from the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle and a small zoo .

Other attractions include peony and rose gardens, an alpine garden, and the gardens of the École de Botanique, used by students of the school and green-fingered Parisians. The beautiful glass-and-metal Grandes Serres (a series of four greenhouses) have been in use since 1714, and several of Henri Rousseau's jungle paintings (sometimes on display in the Musée d'Orsay ) were inspired by his frequent visits here.