Your Guide to the Tuileries Garden in Paris

a Custom Illustration Tuileries Garden Paris France

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If you are looking for a quick guide and answers to frequently asked questions about the Jardin des Tuileries, or Tuileries Garden, scroll to the end!

New York has Central Park; Paris has the Tuileries gardens: an oasis of greenery in the heart of it all. I have been to Paris nearly 50 times in my life, and yet I never get tired of walking in, around or through the Jardin des Tuileries, or Tuileries Garden. I count myself lucky to have stayed many times at a beautiful hotel located just steps away from the park. Still, I can tell you I can’t get enough of the magnificent views it offers. Besides, the people-watching in the area is top-notch!

Paris-view-garden-Tuillerie-from the Westin
View of the Tuileries Garden from Room 5068 at the Westin Paris Vendôme.

Of course, there are the hordes of tourists, getting a breath of fresh air after their visit to the Louvre. But then, you will also encounter joggers, slaloming between the fashionistas making their way from the high-end boutiques surrounding Rue de Rivoli to Café Marly. Idle teenagers mix seamlessly with corporate workers in well-tailored suits on an impromptu picnic during their lunch break. There is even an unofficial dog park in one of the grassy lawns near the Place du Carousel, where you can frequently find me lurking. The entire city seems to converge towards the iconic green chairs spread through the gardens as soon as there is a ray of sunshine.

Green chairs in the Jardin des tuileries Paris France

This green space has a long history. Once upon a time, instead of an elegant garden, there stood the roof tile kilns (tuileries in French, pronounced “twee-luh-ree”) that gave their name to the location. But in 1564, Queen Catherine de Medici decided to build in its place a grand palace at the west of the Louvre, which was the traditional – and rather dreary and forbidding – residence of the French Kings. In addition to the new castle, she ordered the erection of sprawling gardens. No need to look for the Tuileries Palace these days: it was burned down to the ground in 1871 during the Commune.

What remains is the beautiful grounds of what is the first public garden in Paris. In 1664, Louis XIV decided not only to have the Gardens entirely re-designed by Le Nȏtre – the Rockstar landscape artist of the times – but also to open them to the public (or, at least, to the ones he judged “respectable”). After the Sun King and the Court left downtown Paris for the greener pastures of Versailles, the Tuileries became the center of the social and political life in Paris. It was the theater of countless events, from civil unrest to the first air balloons’ ascension. And the best news is that, four centuries later, the entrance to the gardens, which are also named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is still free!

Jardin des tuileries Paris France

The Tuileries Garden covers over 22 hectares, most of which are accessible and stretches from the Louvre to the Place de la Concorde, between the banks of the Seine to the posh Rue de Rivoli. If it is your first trip to Paris, you must include it on your itinerary. It is pretty much in the middle, and within walking distance of some of the highlights of the French capital. It even has its own metro stop (Tuileries, on line 1). You can also access it easily from the Louvre (Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre on lines 1 and 7) or Place de la Concorde (Concorde on lines 1, 8, and 12).

The gardens are open year-round and open at 7.00 am. Depending on the time of year, they close between 7.30 pm (in the winter) and 11 pm (in the summer).

Jardin des tuileries Paris France

What’s in and around the Tuileries Garden?

You may think that you can just run through the Tuileries on your way to or from the Louvre. Frankly, that would be a mistake. Not only is it one of the most photogenic places in Paris, but there is also plenty to do in and around the area. These are spots highlighted in the illustration at the beginning of this post.

  1. The Louvre: Is there a need to present the Louvre anymore? Home of the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo (among many, many others), the Louvre covers over 160,000 square feet. Bring a map and a pair of comfortable shoes!
  2. The Louvre Pyramid: Love it or hate it, Ieoh Ming Pei’s masterpiece is almost as iconic as the Eiffel Tower itself. Opened on the 30th March 1989, it hosts the entrance hall of the Louvre museum. It includes the ticket office, museum boutiques, restaurants, a post office, and the Carrousel du Louvre shopping center.
  3. Place du Carousel: Across the street from the Louvre, the Place du Carousel is home to the Arc de Triomphe’s baby brother. Erected in 1808 to commemorate the victories of Napoleon, it is about half of the size of its more famous sibling on the Champs-Elysées, and it was intended as a monumental entrance to the Tuileries Palace.
  4. Grand Carré: Le Grand Carré (the Large Square) is the first part of the formal gardens when you turn your back to the Louvre. As a perfect example of the jardins à la française, it is all about symmetry, colorful flower beds, and elegant statues. By the smaller fountain on the Rue de Rivoli side (a.k.a Vivier Nord), kids of all ages can rent small colorful boats to push on the water. A word of caution: there isn’t much shade, so don’t forget your hat and sunscreen in the summer.
  5. Bassin Octogonal: Following the (nicely shaded) Allée Centrale towards Place de la Concorde, you will reach the Bassin Octogonal, located by the entrance on the Concorde side. It is the largest fountain in the Tuileries and the perfect spot for lounging around and watch the world go by. In the mood for a bite-size museum to get out of the heat/cold? Go right for the Jeu de Paume or left for the Musée de l’Orangerie.
  6. Jeu de Paume: Built in 1861 by Napoleon III to host the ancestor of tennis games, the Jeu de Paume building mirrors the older Orangerie building on the other side of the Tuileries. During World War II, it was used by the Nazis to sort through stolen art. Nowadays, it serves as an arts center for modern and postmodern photography and media. Exhibitions change regularly, so check their website to see what’s on display.
  7. Musée de l’Orangerie: Ever heard of Monet’s water lilies? I’m sure you have! If you have enough time, try to sneak a day to visit the painter’s home in Giverny: it is a great day trip from Paris! If you don’t, then visiting the Musée de l’Orangerie, their permanent home, is the next best thing. The exhibition rooms are built to display the art at its best, and it is as dreamy as you can imagine.
  8. L’Obélisque: The ritzy Place de la Concorde, with its fountains and its obelisk that (literally) sticks out in the middle, is one of those iconic Paris views. You will recognize it from scenes in movies and pictures everywhere. It once stood guard outside Luxor Temple in Egypt, where its twin remains. It was a gift to France from the viceroy of Egypt at the time, Mehemet Ali. If you look at its foot, you will notice the Roman numbers of a sundial.
  9. Terrasse du Bord de l’Eau: Located on the Seine side (hence its name, the « Water Side Terrace »), this long alley overlooks the Quai des Tuileries. Around the Orangerie, you will find many statues, most of them contemporary, including Rodin’s famous Kiss.
  10. Terrasse des Feuillants: On the opposite side, the Terrasse des Feuillants follows Rue de Rivoli. You will often see massive white tents set up for events in the area, from the FIAC to Fashion Week. It is also the home to the Fun Fair, which is set up in the Tuileries all summer long and includes dozens of attractions (for a fee). That big wheel and merry-go-round you have seen all over Instagram? Yep, that’s it!

Jardin des tuileries Paris France

If you speak French, you can also follow the free commented visit, which takes place on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays at 3.30 pm from April to October. For those who want to make an adventure of it, my friend Elisa has a wonderful self-guided scavenger hunt (in English) for the garden available for purchase. It is a very inexpensive, but unique way to visit the garden!

But more importantly, the Tuileries Gardens are best enjoyed at your own pace. It was conceived as a relief from the hustle and bustle of the city, and that’s how it should remain. For lovers of art, there are hundreds of statues disseminated throughout the alleys, ranging from the seventeenth century to modern artists. Get lost in the shaded alleys off the side of the main strip: they hide little fountains and hidden corners that are a delight. Even on the busiest day, you can still feel far away from the crowds. Sit on the green metal chairs (first come, first served) and enjoy a pastry and excellent people watching. Grab coffee or sandwich and eat in ones of the cafes nestled under the trees.

Next time you are in Paris, don’t just run through these beautiful gardens to get from one place to the next. Do like the Parisians, and make it your destination!

Jardin des tuileries Paris France

Quick Guide and FAQs about the Tuileries Garden

What is the price for the garden? Is there an entrance fee for the Tuileries Garden?

It’s free!

How to get to the Tuileries Garden?

The garden has its own metro stop (Tuileries, on line 1). You can also access it easily from the Louvre (Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre on lines 1 and 7) or Place de la Concorde (Concorde on lines 1, 8, and 12). It is pretty much in the middle of Paris and easy to find! It is part of the 1st arrondissement.

How do you pronounce Tuileries and what does it mean?

Tuileries in French is pronounced “twee-luh-ree” and it means tile as there used to be a tile roof factory on the grounds where the garden is now.

Fun Fact about the Tuileries Garden – The Axe

Paris Axe

The Tuileries Garden is part of the Axe historique which is a line of monuments, buildings, and thoroughfares that extends from the center of Paris to the west. It is also known as the Voie Triomphale (triumphal way). Here is more info from Wiki Voyage.

Jardin des tuileries Paris France

How about you? Have you visited the Tuileries Garden? What did you think? What was your favorite part?

Illustrations commissioned from Linden Eller.

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43 Comments

  1. Laura
    November 6, 2019

    What a guide!! Central Park has nothing on this beautiful Parisian garden. Saving this for my next visit

    Reply
  2. Coni
    November 6, 2019

    I know the quote goes ‘if you’re tired of London, you’re tired of life’, but I think it applies to Paris too. It’s impossible to don’t want to go back again and again. The Tuileries Garden is a fantastic spot, and all the details of this post are amazing!

    Reply
  3. Francesca
    November 6, 2019

    I have not yet visited the Tuileries Gardens. I’ll have to add it to my list. Your pictures are gorgeous. I would love to just sit and chill in the gardens. I also like the Lourve pyramids. I think they’re unique.

    Reply
  4. Shayla Marie
    November 6, 2019

    This post is absolutely gorgeous, stunning pictures. I’m going to show this to my kids as part of a little homeschool adventure! We would love to go to Paris someday, and the Tuileries Garden would be on the list.

    Reply
  5. Hannah
    November 6, 2019

    Wow!! Your photos are stunning! I just came back from Paris with my husband. Unfortunately, we only had 3 days there and didn’t get to go to the Tuileries Garden (we did go to the Lourve though!) Plus it was raining a lot.

    Hannah the Mad Dog

    Reply
  6. Merryl
    November 7, 2019

    I’ve visited these gardens before, but with no direction. Saving this for when I go back. This is going to be soo helpful

    Reply
  7. Neely
    November 7, 2019

    I went to Paris in high school but would love to see this! Looks so gorgeous!

    Reply
  8. Vanessa
    November 7, 2019

    What an awesome guide! I’ve been to Paris a few times and I’ve not even heard 3 of the places you’ve mentioned. Great job!

    Reply
  9. Christine
    November 7, 2019

    Absolutely saving this article, love the guide and the thought you put into it! Looks like so much fun and a beautiful place. I have this on our bucket list!

    Reply
  10. Kay
    November 7, 2019

    Great, I’m in process of planning my first visit to Paris. Have to get my friend to take me there.

    Reply
  11. Cassie
    November 7, 2019

    I love all of your pictures! These are amazing. It makes me want to travel even more now!

    Reply
  12. Jenn and Ed Coleman
    November 7, 2019

    For all the times I have gone through Paris, I never realized how close the Obelisk was to the Louvre. Without walking through the gardens, these seem like completely different sections of the city. Now I really want to return and walk through the Tuileries Garden and feel that Paris pride.

    Reply
  13. Clair
    November 7, 2019

    I have yet to visit here, but MUST know that I have seen the pictures and read your post! I will be saving this for when I go one day!

    Reply
  14. Chrissie
    November 7, 2019

    This is perfect! I have a Paris trip booked next April, so I’m definitely bookmarking this!

    Reply
  15. Cat Lin
    November 7, 2019

    I didn’t really know other lovely places to visit in Paris aside from the Eiffel tower. This is a really great help. I’m planning to visit Paris and I could add this to my itinerary. Your pictures look great! I won’t mind walking around this huge park wandering the places.

    Reply
  16. Jay Artale
    November 8, 2019

    I never get bored for Paris! It’s one of my fave cities. I love just wandering the streets and people watching but I’m going to have to take a detour to this park next time I’m there — I like the idea of a scavenger hunt.

    Reply
  17. Amy
    November 8, 2019

    Beautiful pictures! I’ve visited several times but realize I’d been pronouncing it wrong!!! Ha!

    Reply
  18. Mikkel
    November 8, 2019

    I’ve been to Paris a lot but never knew the history behind the Tuilerie gardens so it was so fun to read about it. I also didn’t realize about the “axe”! So interesting, Andi! I’ll appreciate it much more when I’m there next time. Also fun to see it throughout the seasons with the changing of the leaves during fall, especially!

    Reply
  19. Juliann
    November 8, 2019

    Like you, Andi, I stop at these gardens every time I visit Paris. Usually, I grab a crepe and enjoy that while I people watch. But then I have to explore the gardens. I love the symmetry of the trees, and all the paths to take. So beautiful!

    Reply
  20. Lesley
    November 8, 2019

    We too stayed at the Westin Paris Vendome on our recent trip to Paris! I loved being just across the street from the Tuileries and walking through the Tuileries regularly to admire everything. Those iconic chairs are so comfortable too – I must admit that I had a short nap in one, after a big lunch! Thanks for the great guide – I learned so much!

    Reply
  21. Paula
    November 8, 2019

    On our first visit to Paris it was very early spring and the garden was just coming to life. I hope to go back next year when it’s in full bloom . At least this time I will know how to pronounce it! Thanks for the guide, I love knowing the history of places I visit.

    Reply
  22. Nadalie Bardo
    November 8, 2019

    Such a stunning garden! One of my favorite walks was here. So beautiful!

    Reply
  23. Sage Scott
    November 8, 2019

    J’adore les jardins Tuileries! I always try to fit in a visit when I’m in Paris if at all possible!

    Reply
  24. Lisa
    November 8, 2019

    I love these gardens. We stayed directly across from them on our last visit and I would sit in my window every morning with my coffee and watch people as they strolled through them. We spent a lot of time just ambling around enjoying them.

    Reply
  25. Amber S Battishill
    November 9, 2019

    Wow, it’s absolutely stunning there! I’d love to visit Paris someday!

    Reply
  26. Lauren
    November 9, 2019

    Your photos are beautiful!! We visited in November and while the gardens were beautiful, still not as lovely as this!!

    Reply
  27. Nicole Claesen
    November 9, 2019

    A perfect guide!! When I visited Paris I didn’t get to spend near enough time in the Tuileries. I would love to go back in the Fall! I didn’t know some of the history you mentioned, so glad you included it. It’s wonderful to learn more about the places you visit.

    Reply
  28. Vanessa Shields
    November 9, 2019

    A very informative and helpful guide to Tuileries! It is definitely a park to visit and spend time in. I haven’t been back to Paris for a while but reading this post makes me want to go back! 🙂

    Reply
  29. Brianna Simmons
    November 9, 2019

    Is a trip to Paris complete without a stroll through the Jardin des Tuileries ? I think not. I love this oasis of green right in the middle of the city.

    Reply
  30. Stephanie
    November 9, 2019

    I will have to make a stop in these beautiful gardens next time we go to Paris!

    Reply
  31. Kemkem
    November 10, 2019

    This is awesome. Tuileries Gardens is a must visit for me every time l am in Paris and this post is making me long for another visit. So much easier now coming from Spain than from the U.S. Thanks for this awesome guide. Pinned for later so l can enjoy it even more.

    Reply
  32. Lynne Nieman
    November 10, 2019

    This will come in handy for my upcoming trip to Paris!

    Reply
  33. Sinjana Ghosh
    November 10, 2019

    Wow I love this detaile guide with your illustrative maps and wonderful photgraphs. I’ve een to Tuileties garden but I didn’t see it all. Your pics make me want to go back and check these spots again.

    Reply
  34. Maheen
    November 10, 2019

    Saving this post! Hoping to visit Paris next year!

    Reply
  35. Helga
    November 10, 2019

    So amazing to come through this article when I have my airbnb tab opened right near it, searching for a place to stay in Paris. Such a lovely article. I’m trying to put together the Paris map in my head and reading about the Tuileries Garden and everything that in and around helped so much!

    Reply
  36. Pansy
    November 10, 2019

    I’ve been to Paris a couple of times but have only seen a small part of Tuileries Garden even though I saw the outside every day (it was near my hotel)! I will definitely need to see more next time… all the gardens in Paris are so beautiful! oh that’s interesting info on it’s history as a tile factory! Beautiful pics btw!

    Reply
  37. Kez
    November 10, 2019

    Wow, I never came across this park when I was in Paris, but I’ll have to make sure I get there next time!

    Reply
  38. Ann
    November 10, 2019

    We are planning a trip to Paris during springtime, so this is really helpfull, thank you 🙂 I usually find thease kinds of guides and tours after I have visited a place, so this sure is a blessing 🙂

    Reply
  39. Maggie
    November 11, 2019

    I’m going to Paris for the first time in March and I’m so excited to get to see this beautiful garden in person!

    Reply
  40. Josefine
    November 12, 2019

    This place looks gorgeous! I’ll make sure to stop by here when I make it back to Paris <3

    Reply
  41. Josy A
    November 14, 2019

    I am normally pretty good at finding beautiful free places to visit in Paris, but somehow I completely missed this. What a gorgeous garden to explore. It’s even better when you think of its history!

    I love that you have given me another excuse to go back to Paris.

    Reply
  42. Ashley Hubbard
    November 14, 2019

    This guide is fantastic and the Tuileries Garden looks like my kind of place. I also love finding free and green spaces to spend time in a city. I’ve only been to Paris and it was a long time ago and a very short trip. I’d love to return.

    Reply
  43. Anita
    November 16, 2019

    What a great guide for such a beautiful garden! It’s something to consider for my next Paris visit. Thanks for detailed information and awesome photos.

    Reply

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