8 beautiful botanical gardens in Germany
With the weather heating up, a botanical garden is a fantastic place to spend a tranquil day out surrounded by nature. While there are many wonderful options in Germany, here are some of the best.
What is a botanical garden (Botanischer Garten)?
A botanical garden is a garden that has a collection of documented plants, flora, and vegetation. While botanical gardens are often used for scientific purposes, many of them are open to the public as well. The plants will commonly be labelled by their botanical name. Some gardens might contain specialist plant collections and even rare plants that are hard to find elsewhere.
Many gardens offer guided tours, educational displays, workshops, seminars, art exhibitions, book rooms, open-air theatrical performances, musical performances, and many other forms of entertainment. As most botanical gardens are for scientific purposes, they are usually run by universities or research institutions.
The best botanical gardens in Germany
Ready to spend a refreshing day at an elegant garden? Here are some of the best botanical gardens in Germany:
1. Heidelberg Botanical Garden
The Heidelberg Botanical Garden is owned by the Heidelberg University and emphasises protecting and preserving the beautiful flora that are threatened with extinction. The botanical garden was founded in 1593 and is one of the oldest botanical institutions in the world. In its long history, it has made many significant scientific contributions to the field of botanical research.
Alongside its public education programmes, the garden is generally a beautiful place to head for a dose of tranquillity and rejuvenation. The botanical garden is open year-round, and the public greenhouses are open every day apart from Saturday with free admission for the entire garden. The location is very easily accessible via public transportation.
2. Botanical Garden and Botanical Museum, Berlin
The Botanical Garden and Botanical Museum in Berlin is one of the most renowned botanical institutions in the world, and it contains over 22.000 different plant species. The stunning garden is located on Lake Eichenteich and has a variety of plants and other vegetation for visitors to admire.
The Botanical Museum is the only museum facility in western Europe that is dedicated to the preservation and presentation of flora. It is currently under renovation, but by 2025, visitors will be able to experience a completely new museum! As with most botanical gardens, it is also an international knowledge centre for biodiversity and fauna where they research plants, fungi and algae utilising the latest methods.
3. Botanical Garden Munich-Nymphenburg (Botanischer Garten München)
The Botanical Garden in Munich-Nymphenburg draws in over 350.000 visitors each year to explore its vast collection of flora. The garden's collection of around 20.000 plant species is involved in national and international research projects with live data being updated daily. The garden in Munich also stages an active programme of activities for avid flower fans, including a flower festival, lectures, art exhibits, and events for children as well.
Aside from researching and displaying the biodiversity within flora, the Botanischer Garten München also delves into the many birds, bees, and dragonfly species that exist in the garden. The gardens are open for visitors daily from 9am to 6pm, but the greenhouses close by 5.30pm.
4. Botanical Garden Cologne (Flora Köln)
Located right next to the Cologne Zoological Garden, the Botanical Garden in Cologne is a marvellous garden to relax in. Containing elements from French Baroque, Italian Renaissance and English landscaping, the mixed-style garden is one of a kind. In the centre of the park, there is a remarkable glass palace with flowerbeds and vegetation surrounding it.
Moreover, the garden offers a plethora of exhibitions and shows year-round, to be enjoyed at your leisure. At its core, however, this botanical garden is a research centre, inviting the public to get involved in its research, with certified botanists giving regular tours and talks. The Botanical Garden in Cologne is open daily from 8am until dusk (or 9pm, at the latest), and admission is free.
5. Botanical Garden Düsseldorf (Botanischer Garten Düsseldorf)
The Botanical Garden at the University of Düsseldorf is open to the public year-round, and it conveys the importance of understanding the biodiversity within botany, and how that affects humans. The plants displayed here consist of a variety of common and rare plants from all around the world.
The research conducted here is often demonstrated to the public via exhibitions, talks, and lectures for free. A novel aspect of this botanical garden is that there is also an apothecary garden with over 100 pharmaceutically relevant plants. Information about the effects of these plants and their pharmaceutical uses can also be read by scanning the QR codes on each plant label with your mobile phone.
6. Botanical Garden Hamburg
The Loki Schmidt Botanical Garden in Hamburg University represents plants and flora within small ecosystems. Complete with a farmer’s garden, this impressive garden brings together a variety of indigenous plant species to be enjoyed by visitors.
Wandering through the garden allows visitors to experience vegetation from all around the world. With everything from the flowers of the Mediterranean to the Spanish moss of Louisiana, the Loki Schmidt Botanical Garden has an enormous collection. There is also a Chinese temple that was donated by the city of Shanghai, and a Japanese section that was designed by Yoshikuni Araki.
7. Botanical Garden Marburg
The Botanical Garden in the Phillips-University Marburg has a gorgeous outdoor section with greenhouses for visitors to stroll through. Additionally, the garden offers private tours that provide information on biodiversity and the importance of notable flowers, and their contribution to medicine and pharmaceuticals.
The garden and tours also highlight the origin of the flora, and the history of how it was cultivated. The wide range of botany is enough to keep visitors entertained for hours, covering the tropical flora of the Canary Islands to aquatic plants like giant water lilies. The botanical garden also has a butterfly house, which is usually open from June to September.
8. Karlsruhe Botanical Garden
The Karlsrushe Botanical Garden, also known as the “oasis of green” in the German state of Baden-Württemberg, has some of the most interesting architectural greenhouses with flora from all around the world. Established by the Margraves and the Grand Dukes of Baden in the 1850s, this botanical garden offers a great variety of tours and information, along with activities for families and children.
The botanical garden also offers workshops on “garden art”, which includes carefully placing and planting the flora to create aesthetically pleasing patterns. Additionally, depending on the time of the year, the herbarium presents demonstrations about the flora in bloom. The garden is open every day except for Mondays.
Find a botanical garden near you
There is an abundance of established botanical gardens in Germany that provide visitors with tours and information about the specific research that is occurring in the field of botany and how the discoveries pertain to daily life. And they are also a delight to relax in!