When the hubbub of the city gets to be too much a botanic garden is the perfect place to escape on a city trip. A good garden should capture your imagination, calm you down and offer you a respite from normal every day life.
Get lost in the greenery at some of the best botanical gardens in Europe. Wonder at the shapes, colors and scents of the amazing plants.
30+ Best Botanical Gardens in Europe
Whether you like to visit gardens as a sightseeing activity on your vacation or plan your holiday around gardens you would like to see, here are a few of our favorite gardens and glasshouses in Europe and what makes them extra special. We have divided them into categories to make them a little easier to find. Enjoy!
Be sure to also take a look at the 30+ best botanical gardens in the USA!
GARDENS IN FRANCE
- Domaine du Rayol: a botanical garden and arboretum in the south of France dedicated to plants of the Mediterranean basin
- Jardin botanique de la Ville de Paris: four gardens make up the Jardin botanique including the greenhouses of the Jardin botanique des Serres d’Auteuil and the arboretum
- Monet’s gardens: possibly some of the most famous gardens in the world, home of Monet’s waterlilies.
- Jardin Botanique de Lyon: there are lovely old greenhouses at France’s largest public city garden.
- Don’t miss the stunning gardens of Versailles. It’s one of the most famous gardens to see in Europe. Check out our tips for visiting by bike and enjoying a picnic on the grounds. Or get your tickets online here.
GARDENS IN PORTUGAL
- Botanic Garden Coimbra: the gardens have 22 acres of forest and some of the oldest iron structures in Portugal
- Jardim Botanico Lisboa: part of the Museum of Science, these gardens have an amazing palm collection and an interesting area with plants that grew during the time of the dinosaurs. I am always a fan of those exhibits! Click here for places to stay near Jardim Botanico.
- Sintra has fabulous castles and intriguing gardens. Take a guided tour or explore on your own.
GARDENS IN THE NETHERLANDS
- Hortus Botanicus: this historic botanical garden in Amsterdam has warm greenhouses in cold winter, check out the butterfly house. Get tickets online here. Amsterdam is a wonderful place to visit in the spring and summer. Click here for places to stay near Hortus in Amsterdam.
- Keukenhof: an amazing display of seasonal bulbs and flowers can be seen here in springtime, this park in the center of the Netherlands is one of the best flower gardens in Europe. Read more here. It’s open from March-May, and you can get tickets online here.
GARDENS IN BELGIUM
- Royal Greenhouses of Laeken: these beautiful glasshouses near Brussels are only open for three weeks a year each spring
- Den Botaniek: a small public botanic garden and greenhouse in Antwerp that used to be the medical garden of the nearby Saint Elisabeth hospital. For more things to do in Antwerp, take a look at our weekend guide.
GARDENS IN THE UK
- Kew Royal Botanic Gardens: an extensive property with treetop walkway, Victorian glasshouses, Chinese pagoda and many other features makes Kew one of the best botanic gardens in the world. Definitely don’t miss it when visiting lovely London. Purchase your Kew Gardens tickets in advance here.
Click here to see places to stay near Kew Gardens.
- Royal Botanic Garden of Edinburgh: possesses one of the world’s largest living collections of plants
- Belfast Botanic Gardens: home to a lovely palm house and a tropical ravine
- Oxford Botanic Garden: a wonderful historic place to stop when visiting Oxford. Click here for places to stay near Oxford Botanic Gardens.
- Take a half day to explore one of the beautiful gardens outside London with a private tour.
GARDENS IN SPAIN
- Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid: an amazing botanical garden with cacti and bromeliad greenhouses. Visit in May to experience the blooming of the rose garden. Don’t miss our 5 favorite things to do in Madrid!
- Jardí Botànic Valencia: this botanical garden is connected to the University of Valencia and has amazing palm gardens and cacti greenhouses
- Jardí Botànic Barcelona: part of the Museu Ciencies, the botanical gardens demonstrate the similarities between Californian, Chilean, South African and Australian landscapes and those of the Mediterranean basin through a wide-ranging representation of plant species from Mediterranean climates. Click here for places to stay near Jardí Botanic in Barcelona.
- Another famous park in Barcelona is of course Gaudi’s Park Güell. Get your tickets here.
- Real Alcazar: garden lovers should not miss the beautiful Real Alcazar in Seville filled with orange trees and palms, one of the most unique gardens to see in Europe. Take a guided tour and skip the lines.
- Granada has many beautiful gardens, including at the Alhambra.
GARDENS IN GERMANY
- Botanischer Garten München-Nymphenburg: lovely waterlily glasshouses, fountains and a huge array of plants
- Sanssouci Park: a huge palace and park just outside Berlin in Potsdam. Click here for places to stay near Sanssouci.
- Botanischer Garten und Botanisches Museum: be sure to visit the Great Pavilion and see the giant bamboo at this garden in Berlin. Experience the magic of the botanical gardens during the winter Christmas season.
- Flora und Botanischer Garten Köln: public garden in Cologne with nearly 10,000 types of plants. Click here for places to stay near the Cologne botanical garden.
GARDENS IN MONACO
- Jardin Exotique: this hillside cactus garden with spectacular views is a good reason to visit Monaco
GARDENS IN HUNGARY
- Füvészkert Botanical Garden: the oldest botanical garden in Hungary has some very old orchid plants, making it one of the best flower gardens in Europe
GARDENS IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC
- Botanická zahrada Přírodovědecké: these botanic gardens in Prague are owned by Charles University. Click here for places to stay when visiting these gardens.
GARDENS IN ITALY
- Orto Botanico di Roma: run by Sapienza University, this is a beautiful historic garden in the heart of Rome.
- Orto Botanico di Palermo: these lush educational and research gardens have greenhouses, water features and are home to around 12,000 species. Click here to find places to stay nearby.
- Giardino Esotico Pallanca: if you are a fan of cacti, check out this amazing garden
- Orto Botanico di Padova: the oldest botanical garden in the world is a UNESCO World Hertitage site. Click here to find places to stay in Padova.
- The famous Vatican gardens are definitely worth a visit. Get discounted tickets here.
GARDENS IN SCANDINAVIA
- Botanical Garden of Copenhagen: with 27 glasshouses this Danish garden is worth a visit. Click here for places to stay nearby these beautiful gardens.
- Kaisaniemi Botanic Garden: this garden in Helsinki is one of the oldest botanical gardens in Finland
- Gothenburg Botanical Garden: this huge 40 acre garden has around 16,000 cultivars. Don’t miss the rock gardens.
Trying to decide what to pack? Check out this packing list for a springtime trip to Europe.
While collecting the links for this list I came across a few websites with love for plants and gardens. Check them out!
Do you have a favorite botanical garden in Europe (or abroad)? Let us know about it so we can check it out too!
Be sure to also check out these 30+ best botanical gardens in the USA!
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