Jardin Des Plantes Festival of Lights – An Event You Shouldn’t Miss

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Dive into the enchanting world of the Jardin Des Plantes Festival of Lights – an event that celebrates the breathtaking power and allure of light.

 

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Festival highlights

About the Jardin Des Plantes Festival of Lights

At the heart of Paris, the Jardin des Plantes Festival of Lights dazzles with its breathtaking light sculptures, transforming the historic botanical garden into a luminous fairy tale. Each year, it adopts a new theme, weaving a narrative of light that captivates and educates; from the depths of “Océan en Voie d’Illumination” to the explorative “Évolution en Voie d’Illumination,” the festival invites visitors on a journey through nature and science. Previous editions, such as “La Jungle en Voie d’Illumination,” have spotlighted wildlife creatures in monumental light structures, making every visit a unique discovery.

Ideal for both kids and adults, the Jardin des Plantes Festival of Lights is more than just a festival of lights; it’s an immersive experience that merges art, nature, and education in the alleys and pitches of this venerable garden. The changing themes, like “Espèces en Voie d’ Illumination” and “Mini Mondes en Voie d’Illumination,” ensure that each visit is a fresh adventure. It’s a place where light art installations tell stories, enchant the senses, and illuminate the night with wonder.

Festival Dates

The Jardin des Plantes Festival of Lights is a winter spectacle, traditionally unfolding between November and January. For the 2024-2025 season, specific dates are still under wraps, keeping anticipation high. This period allows the light festival to shine during the darkest months, offering a radiant escape in the heart of Paris.

Visitors eager to experience this unique blend of art and nature will need to stay tuned for the announcement of the official dates. The festival’s timing takes advantage of the early nightfall, making it a perfect evening adventure. It is a magical period when the historic garden transforms into a wonderland of light and color.

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An image inspired by the Jardin des Plantes Festival of Lights

Where It’s Located and How to Get There

The Jardin Des Plantes Festival of Lights finds its home in the heart of Paris, within the storied confines of the Jardin des Plantes. This verdant oasis is located at 57 Rue Cuvier, 75005 Paris, France, providing a picturesque backdrop for the dazzling displays of light. The festival’s setting within one of Paris’s oldest and most esteemed gardens adds an extra layer of enchantment to the luminous celebrations.

The nearest airport to the Jardin des Plantes is Paris Orly Airport (ORY), situated approximately 14 kilometers south of the garden. Visitors have several convenient options for traveling from the airport to the festival location:

  • Taxi: A direct and comfortable way to reach the Jardin des Plantes, with a journey time of about 30 minutes depending on traffic.
  • Bus: The OrlyBus service connects Orly Airport to Denfert-Rochereau in Paris, where you can transfer to Metro Line 7 towards “Mairie d’Ivry” or “Villejuif-Louis Aragon” and exit at “Censier Daubenton,” a short walk from the garden.
  • RER and Metro: Take the Orlyval light rail to Antony station, then switch to RER B towards Paris, and change at “Saint-Michel Notre Dame” for RER C towards “Pontoise” or “Versailles Château Rive Gauche,” exiting at “Gare d’Austerlitz.” From there, it’s a brief walk or a metro ride to the festival.

Traveling to the festival from other cities in France by train is also a convenient option:

  • From Lyon: Board a TGV from Lyon Part-Dieu to Paris Gare de Lyon. From Gare de Lyon, take Metro Line 14 to “Châtelet” and then switch to Line 7 in the direction of “Mairie d’Ivry” or “Villejuif-Louis Aragon,” getting off at “Censier Daubenton.”
  • From Marseille: Take a TGV from Marseille Saint-Charles to Paris Gare de Lyon. Follow the same metro directions as from Lyon.
  • From Lille: Catch a TGV from Lille Europe to Paris Gare du Nord. From there, take the RER B to “Châtelet Les Halles,” then Metro Line 7 as described above.
  • From Bordeaux: A TGV from Bordeaux Saint-Jean to Paris Montparnasse. Then, take Metro Line 6 to “Place d’Italie” and switch to Line 7 towards “Mairie d’Ivry” or “Villejuif-Louis Aragon,” exiting at “Censier Daubenton.”

If you liked this festival, you might also want to check out these other breathtaking light festivals:

Lewis Ginter Lights

Jeju Light Garden

Festival Hours

As dusk falls over Paris, the Jardin des Plantes begins to glow from 6:00 PM, inviting visitors into its illuminated embrace until 10:00 PM. This window allows for an evening full of exploration under the starry sky, punctuated by the festival’s vibrant light displays. It’s the perfect timing to witness the magical transformation of the garden, offering an unforgettable experience in the City of Light.

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An image inspired by the light displays at the breathtaking Jardin Des Plantes Festival of Lights

How Much Does It Cost to Visit Jardin Des Plantes Festival of Lights

For those eager to immerse themselves in the radiant beauty of the Jardin des Plantes Festival of Lights, the 2024-2025 season’s ticket details are yet to be announced. Last season (2023-2024), attendees could delve into this luminous world for a cost ranging from 15€ for a reduced price to 18€ for the full experience. It’s a small price to pay for an evening under the enchanting Parisian night sky, adorned with thousands of twinkling lights.

As anticipation builds for the upcoming festival, potential visitors and light art aficionados must keep a watchful eye for the announcement of ticket prices. The previous season’s pricing framework offers a hint of affordability, ensuring access to a magical experience for a wide audience. This tiered pricing structure aims to accommodate different budgets, ensuring everyone has the chance to witness the spellbinding light art installations.

Weather and What to Wear

During the months of November to January, Paris transforms under a chilly winter spell, setting the perfect scene for the Jardin des Plantes Festival of Lights. Temperatures in this period range from lows of about 3°C (37°F) in the coldest nights of January to highs around 10°C (50°F) in the milder afternoons of November. With the potential for rain and the crisp winter air, visitors are enveloped in a genuine Parisian winter experience, illuminated by the glow of thousands of lights.

To ensure a comfortable and enjoyable visit to the festival, here are some recommended clothing items:

  • Warm Coat: Essential for staying warm during the cool evenings. A waterproof option is advisable in case of rain.
  • Scarves, Hats, and Gloves: These accessories provide extra warmth and can be easily adjusted as needed while wandering through the light displays.
  • Comfortable Footwear: Durable, waterproof shoes or boots are recommended, as they keep feet warm and dry, especially important for exploring the outdoor installations.
  • Layers: Wearing layers allows for easy adjustment to changing temperatures throughout the evening. Consider thermal undergarments for extra insulation.
  • Umbrella: Given the likelihood of rain, having an umbrella on hand is a wise choice to stay dry during unexpected showers.

Where to Sleep – Hotels Nearby

Discovering the right place to stay is key to enjoying the Jardin des Plantes Festival of Lights to its fullest. Here are three hotels that offer comfort and convenience for your visit:

Novotel Paris Centre Bercy

  • Location: 85 rue de Bercy, 75012 Paris, France
  • Description: This contemporary hotel is situated directly opposite the Bercy Arena, making it an excellent choice for visitors looking to blend their festival experience with modern comforts. The area is well-connected by public transport, ensuring easy access to the Jardin des Plantes and other Paris attractions.
  • Amenities: Free Wi-Fi, pet-friendly options, on-site dining, family-friendly rooms, and proximity to the Gare de Lyon train station.

Hôtel Eiffel Blomet

  • Location: 78 Rue Blomet, 75015 Paris, France
  • Description: Nestled in the 15th arrondissement, Hôtel Eiffel Blomet is a short distance from the Eiffel Tower and offers a tranquil retreat with its Art Deco style and welcoming atmosphere. The hotel is in a vibrant neighborhood filled with cafes and shops, providing a genuine Parisian experience.
  • Amenities: Free Wi-Fi, an indoor pool, a wellness area with a sauna, and laundry facilities.

Hotel De Paris Saint Georges

  • Location: 55 Rue Jean-Baptiste Pigalle, 75009 Paris, France
  • Description: Located in the lively Montmartre district, this hotel offers easy access to the Sacré-Cœur and the bustling nightlife of Pigalle. Its cozy rooms and friendly service make it an excellent choice for travelers looking for local charm.
  • Amenities: Free Wi-Fi, airport shuttle service, 24-hour front desk, daily housekeeping, and luggage storage.

Where to Eat – Restaurants Nearby

Discover a selection of top-notch dining options close to the heart of Parisian festivities, each offering a unique culinary journey.

Au Pied de Cochon

  • Location: 6 Rue Coquillière, 75001 Paris, France
  • Description: A beloved Parisian brasserie that never sleeps, Au Pied de Cochon has welcomed guests since 1947, offering a menu that celebrates the best of French cuisine. Its relaxed atmosphere is perfect for enjoying a hearty meal any time of the day or night.
  • Foods Served: Indulge in specialties like roasted sea bass filet, succulent beef filet, and bourbon vanilla creme brulee. The restaurant also offers happy hour food, charcuterie boards, draft beer, and cocktails.

Restaurant Guy Savoy

  • Location: Monnaie de Paris, 11 Quai de Conti, 75006 Paris, France
  • Description: This sophisticated establishment, nestled within the historic Monnaie de Paris, is the realm of celebrated chef Guy Savoy. The restaurant is renowned for its high-concept cuisine, offering a memorable dining experience with a la carte and fixed-price menus complemented by exquisite wine pairings.
  • Foods Served: Signature dishes include red strawberry and black liquorice, roasted milk-fed lamb with herbed jus-bouillon, and raw/cooked lobster paired with a carrot-lobster crisp.

Epicure

  • Location: 112 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 75008 Paris, France
  • Description: Epicure offers an oasis of culinary excellence within the luxurious setting of Le Bristol Paris. Overlooking a beautiful courtyard garden, this upscale restaurant specializes in French fine dining, offering a refined selection of dishes that celebrate the richness of French cuisine.
  • Foods Served: The menu features exquisite options such as caviar de sologne, pigeon bressan, and chocolat d’origine equateur, with thoughtful vegetarian options and outdoor seating available.

More Things to Do in the Area

Exploring Paris goes beyond the luminous allure of the Jardin Des Plantes Festival of Lights; the city brims with iconic landmarks and cultural treasures waiting to be discovered.

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Eiffel Tower

  • Location: Champ de Mars, 5 Av. Anatole France, 75007 Paris, France
  • Description: The Eiffel Tower, a global symbol of France, stands tall on the Champ de Mars. This engineering marvel, designed by Gustave Eiffel’s company between 1887 and 1889, offers breathtaking views of Paris from its three levels.
  • Activities: Visitors can ascend by elevator or stairs to enjoy panoramic views of the city, dine in its restaurants, or simply marvel at its illumination at night.

Arc de Triomphe

  • Location: Pl. Charles de Gaulle, 75008 Paris, France
  • Description: The Arc de Triomphe, standing majestically at the end of the Champs-Élysées, honors those who fought and died for France. This monumental arch offers insights into French history and spectacular city views from its terrace.
  • Activities: Climb to the top for stunning vistas, visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and experience the intricate reliefs depicting French military victories.

Louvre Museum

  • Location: 75001 Paris, France
  • Description: The Louvre Museum, housed in the Louvre Palace, is the world’s largest art museum and a historic monument in Paris. It’s renowned for its extensive collection, including “The Mona Lisa” and “The Venus de Milo.”
  • Activities: Explore thousands of works from civilisations around the world, attend thematic exhibitions and workshops, or simply enjoy a walk in the adjacent Tuileries Garden.

A Final Sparkle: Wrapping Up Your Unforgettable Visit to Jardin Des Plantes Festival of Lights

The Jardin des Plantes Festival of Lights stands out as a mesmerizing experience in Paris, transforming the historical garden into an enchanting world of light and color each winter. With its breathtaking light sculptures and thoughtfully curated themes, it invites visitors of all ages to explore the natural beauty and artistic creativity under the Parisian night sky. 

Beyond the lights, Paris itself offers endless opportunities for discovery, from iconic landmarks to culinary delights. This festival is more than just an event; it’s a doorway to experiencing the magic and charm of Paris in a wholly unique way.

FAQ

Is parking available at the Jardin des Plantes for the Festival of Lights?

Limited street parking is available around the Jardin des Plantes. Visitors are strongly encouraged to use public transportation due to high demand and environmental considerations during the festival.

Can I smoke within the festival grounds?

Smoking is not permitted within the Jardin des Plantes during the Festival of Lights to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all visitors.

Are pets allowed at the festival?

Pets are not allowed within the festival area, with the exception of service animals, to ensure the safety and comfort of all guests and the protection of the light installations.

Are there food and beverages available for purchase at the festival?

Yes, there are selected food and beverage stalls offering a variety of options. Visitors can also explore nearby restaurants and cafes for more dining choices.

Is the Festival of Lights accessible for visitors with disabilities?

The festival strives to be fully accessible to everyone. Wheelchair-accessible paths are available throughout the garden, and there are dedicated viewing areas for visitors with disabilities.

Can I take photographs or videos during the festival?

Photography and videography for personal use are encouraged. However, the use of drones or professional-grade equipment may require prior permission from the festival organizers.

What should I do if I lose an item during my visit?

Lost and found services are available at the festival’s information booth. It’s recommended to contact them as soon as possible with a description of the lost item.

Is there an age limit for attending the festival?

The Jardin des Plantes Festival of Lights is a family-friendly event suitable for all ages. Children under the age of 12 should be accompanied by an adult.

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An image inspired from the Jardin Des Plantes Festival of Lights

Sources: https://worldinparis.com/festival-of-lights-paris-jardin-des-plantes-illumination 

https://www.sortiraparis.com/en/what-to-visit-in-paris/walks/articles/177574-illuminating-the-jungle-our-photos-of-the-2023-festival-of-lights-at-the-jardin-des-plantes 

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