A stroll through some world botanical gardens feels pretty close to walking in paradise. Whether you prefer perfectly-coiffed flower beds of formal gardens or casual country gardens spilling over with wildflowers, you’ll find them here.
In this comprehensive showcase, discover 35+ best gardens of the world chosen by travel bloggers to provide garden inspiration, at home or away.
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CONTENTS: In this article, you will explore these world botanic gardens:
- VanDusen Botanical Gardens
- The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens
- Monte Palace Tropical Gardens
- Powerscourt Gardens
- The Butchart Gardens
- Giverny Gardens
- Allan Gardens
- Gardens by the Bay
- The Hamilton Gardens
- Mount Usher Gardens
- Le Jardin Secret
- Jardín Botánico Culiacán
- The Gardens, Palace of Versailles
- The Royal Botanical Gardens
- Jardin des Tuileries
- Orto Botanico di Padova
- Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden
- El Rosedal
- The Garden of Ninfa
- Kew Gardens
- Schönbrunn Palace
- Atlántico Botanical Garden
- Alnwick Garden
- The Luxembourg Gardens
- Boboli Gardens
- Balboa Park
- International Rose Test Garden
- Hershey Gardens
- Fairmount Park
- Resource List
By Rachel Heller of Rachel’s Ruminations | Twitter
Keukenhof, in the Netherlands, is arguably the most famous garden in the world. Originally a castle park, since 1950 it’s taken the role of exhibit space for Dutch bulb and flower growers, primarily spring-blooming bulbs like hyacinths and Holland’s signature flower: tulips.
The main thing to see, then, is the flowers. Tulips and other bulb flowers come in far more varieties than you might imagine, and they’re all on display in meticulously arranged flower beds. The sight is truly breathtaking. Look for themed sections too, such as a “tropical beach” garden, a cottage garden, a “green tea” garden and a “mystical” garden.
Besides strolling the paths between the flowerbeds, other activities are on offer. For children, there’s a playground and an “animal meadow.” You can take a whisper boat ride or go cycling along the flower fields outside the park – but please do not walk into flower fields for photos; it damages the flowers and bulbs, which form the farmer’s livelihood!
Because of its focus on spring flowers, Keukenhof only opens its doors for a short while each spring from mid-March to mid-May, yet in that short window, 1.5 million people visited in 2019. For this reason, it’s best to book ahead and plan your visit so that you arrive on a weekday before the doors open. That will give you an hour or so before the crowds grow.
Visit Rachel’s Ruminations to read more about things to see in the Netherlands, both in and outside of Amsterdam.
VanDusen Botanical Gardens [Vancouver, B.C.]
by Go Far Grow Close | Facebook
VanDusen Botanical Gardens is a 55 acre park in the centre of Vancouver. It contains over 7,500 plant species from around the world and lots of local wildlife including hummingbirds, hawks, owls, Canada Geese, herons, eagles, ducks, butterflies, and turtles. Visitors are welcome to enjoy the lakes, a waterfall, and beautiful sculptures scattered throughout the park. There are over 50 botanical collections to discover.
My children grew up playing in this beautiful setting. One of the biggest attractions for my family was the “living maze” – an Elizabethan hedge maze made up of over 3,000 pyramidal cedars. This maze is nestled below a hill and is the perfect spot for children to be let loose to try and find their way to the end.
Another fantastic reason for families to visit VanDusen is that it often offers treasure hunts of some kind or another. My kids would become laser-focused whenever they came to VanDusen Gardens and they were presented with these kinds of challenges. Currently, VanDusen Gardens has a Bird Hunt – the Junior Birder Challenge – where children have to find certain birds that reside in the gardens. When kids complete the challenge, they can select one of 4 bird pins as a prize.
For adults, VanDusen offers a lovely restaurant and gift shop. A definite treat and something that I would recommend visitors trying is the afternoon tea. With a lovely view out to the gardens, it is a serene way to spend a beautiful late afternoon in Vancouver. You can also make your visit extra special by booking this amazing private tour of VanDusen Botanical Gardens right now!
The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens [Tasmania, Australia]
By Jan Robinson from Budget Travel Talk | Facebook
The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, otherwise known as Hobart Botanical Gardens are the second oldest botanical gardens in Australia, having celebrated their bicentenary in 2018.
The gardens are situated on the western bank of the Derwent River only 2 km from the heart of Hobart, the capital city of Tasmania, the most southerly Australian state.
Being an island, Tasmania offers slightly different experiences to those found on mainland Australia, so it is not totally surprising to find the garden is home to a Sub Antarctic Plant House.
Experiencing Sub-Antarctic conditions on a hot Australian day is totally unexpected and such fun. Dome walls painted with Antarctic Ocean views, set the scene for plant groupings native to Macquarie Island, a Tasmanian State Reserve and UNESCO World Heritage site, more than 1500 km south-east of Hobart. With birds calling eerily and mist swirling, this exhibit provides an intriguing and authentic glimpse of a Sub-Antarctic island.
Tasmania began life as a penal colony and there are convict-built walls still standing within the garden. The serene and photogenic lily ponds kept drawing us back and they are serendipitously close to the Gift Shop, Café, and Restaurant.
The Lily Pad Viewing Decks, that overlook the pond, are a representation of lily pads in timber form and were completed for Bicentennial Celebrations in 2018.
Things not to miss are the Japanese Garden, French Explorer’s Garden, Anniversary Arch, plus the historic Arthur’s Wall and Eardley Willmot wall.
Monte Palace Tropical Gardens [Madeira]
by Sinead Camplin of Map Made Memories | Facebook
Monte Palace Tropical Gardens on the Atlantic island of Madeira lies just outside the capital, Funchal, at an elevation of 600 metres. The gardens provide sweeping views of the Bay of Funchal and the dramatic Maderian coastline. The garden’s cobbled walkways cut through ferns, cycads and ground grown amaryllis to lead you around the different sections of the gardens.
There is a section on native plants of Madeira including Laurissilva, Dragon Trees and endemic Euphorbias. Explore the pretty Orient garden with its red pagoda and carp pond. My favourite area was the short but beautiful Orchid walkway which was lined with rich toned orchids of all shapes and colours. Our children loved the central lake and cascading waterfalls, designed to emulate the famous irrigation channels, the levadas, for which Madeira is famous.
Original artworks are dotted all over the gardens – sculptures, paintings and intricate tile panels in the distinctive yellow and blue colours associated with Madeira. In addition to the outside attractions, there are a couple of indoor exhibitions including an extensive collection of crystals and geodes. We spent five hours exploring this 70,000 square metre garden with our three children; there was something new to see and explore around every corner. You could sign up for a marvelous, 4-hour private tour of the enchanting, Monte Palace Tropical Gardens right now.
The journey to Monte Palace Gardens is also part of the experience. Take a winding bus trip up or catch the scenic cable car which stops right outside the entrance to the garden. To return to Funchal, descend by a wicker toboggan , a short, fast and thrilling ride steered by a straw hatted Carreiro.
Powerscourt Gardens [County Wicklow, Ireland]
By Fiona from Passport and Piano | Facebook
Powerscourt Gardens is listed frequently by the likes of National Geographic as one of the world’s most beautiful gardens. Not far from the city of Dublin in County Wicklow Ireland, Powerscourt estate covers 47 acres and the gardens of one of the landmarks in Ireland not to miss.
From the main house, Sugar Loaf Mountain provides the most exquisite backdrop to the magnificent Italian garden. Here you’ll find spectacular statues and perfectly manicured topiary.
At the end of the main path, two majestic stone horses frame the main pond beautifully. There’s also a spectacular fountain which provides the central focus.
There are several gardens with a theme to explore, and one of the most popular is the Japanese garden. The water features are beautiful, and there are several pagodas where you can sit and enjoy the ambience.
Whatever time of year you visit the Japanese garden is always stunning, but the vibrant reds of the maple trees are at their best during autumn. In spring the azaleas take over with their delicate blooms.
The summer months are the best time to visit the kitchen garden as the fruit bushes are heavily laden with ripe produce. Beans, brassicas, pumpkins and much more fill the vegetable patches.
The woodland path is delightful throughout the year, and in the spring, the rhododendrons that edge the way fill the air with a lovely perfume. You can also see the bluebells underneath the trees at this time of year.
To get the best view of the estate, take a walk to Pepperpot Tower. The spiral staircase leads to a 360-degree lookout which is spectacular, especially on a clear day.
At the end of your visit, treat yourself to a delicious homemade cake at the terrace cafe. There’s also an array of artisan shops which are perfect for those unique souvenirs to take home. You can also stop by the Powerscourt Distillery and enjoy a fantastic whiskey tour and tasting.
Powerscourt Gardens are open all year round except on the 25th and 26th December.
You can visit between 9.30 am and 5.30 pm although they tend to close at dusk in winter.
The Butchart Gardens [Victoria, B.C.]
Imagine that it’s one hundred years ago and you are the wife of a fabulously rich cement baron who has moved from the United States to rural Victoria, British Columbia, Canada to be close to the limestone quarry your husband needs for his work. Before the move, you loved dabbling in chemistry, flying airplanes and even hot-air ballooning. How on earth will you occupy yourself now?
The answer is The Butchart Gardens, Victoria’s most famous tourist attraction and one of the biggest and most beautiful botanical gardens in the world.
Initially the Butchart Gardens began with a simple tea garden, but eventually the gardens took over the entire quarry with a stunning Sunken Garden, and then added on an Italian Garden, a Japanese Garden, a Rose Garden and a Mediterranean Garden, together covering more than fifty acres in total.
Today, visitors flock from around the world to see The Butchart Gardens, founded by the incomparable Jennie Butchart and still lovingly owned by the Butchart Family. The gardens are special in every season: spring brings new blossoms, summer has full, colorful blooms, autumn showcases the changing leaves and winter features the gardens’ signature “Twelve Days of Christmas” light show that tells the story of the popular Christmas carol through twelve light displays (using more than 10,000 bulbs!) spread throughout the gardens.
No matter what season you visit, you’ll be awed by the Butchart’s family love of the natural world and commitment to preserving their family’s botanical gardening heritage. So, book your tour of the Butchart Gardens now and enjoy all of this botanical beauty for yourself.
Giverny Gardens [Normandy, France]
By Erica Riley of Travels with Erica | Facebook
Giverny is a small village nestled in Normandy, France and is home to one of the most spectacular gardens in the world: Monet’s gardens.
Claude Monet lived in Giverny in the final years of his life and painted countless pictures of the gardens at Giverny. You’re able to visit the famous water lily pond in person, and it is exactly as stunning in person as it is in the painting.
There are actually two gardens in Giverny. The main flower garden located right outside Monet’s house and the water lily garden, which is located further back behind the main garden.
Both gardens are spectacular. They’re full of vibrant colours and unique flowers, but, unsurprisingly, the water lily garden is the most popular to visit.
Another great feature of the gardens at Giverny is that you’re able to tour Monet’s home. You can see his bedroom, study, and kitchen. The house is filled with replicas of his paintings, and you’re able to get a really good sense of how Monet lived and worked.
Giverny is just a short 45-minute train ride from central Paris, so it is the perfect day trip from Paris. Monet’s gardens are quickly becoming more and more popular with tourists, so it is best to try to get to the gardens right when they open at 9:30am.
To visit, simply book an exciting, half-day tour to Giverny right now. Just remember that Monet’s gardens are only open April through November so be sure to check their calendar to ensure they’re open when you want to visit!
Allan Gardens [Toronto, Canada]
by Stephanie of The World As I See It | Instagram
In the heart of Toronto, Canada you’ll find a spectacular oasis. Keeping you warm on the coolest of winter days or dazzling you with incredible floral displays throughout the year, Allan Gardens is one of the best gardens you’ll find across the globe and for many reasons.
Located in the heart of downtown Toronto, Allan Gardens is one of the city’s oldest parks. Surrounded by winding, tree-lined paths sits the Palm House, a stunning building that was built out of cast iron in 1910.
Upon entering the Palm House your eye is immediately drawn up to the soaring domed ceiling and the massive palms that reach up towards it. Within the conservatory are six different greenhouses that cover 16,000 square feet and range from tropical to desert plants.
There are so many highlights of Allan Gardens, one of my favourites is the Cool Temperate House with its lemon trees and lovely koi pond. Another is the Tropical Landscape House with its incredible hanging orchids that will make you feel like you’re stepping into the pages of Alice and Wonderland.
Allan Gardens is a wonderful place to visit any time of year. But during special occasions, the Conservatory puts on flower shows where the flowers become art. There’s the Christmas Flower Show, the Spring Flower Show, and the Chrysanthemum Show in the fall.
In my opinion, the best time of year to visit is during fall in Toronto. The summer crowds are gone and you’ll more than likely have the place to yourself. And the best part, Allan Gardens is free!
Gardens by the Bay [Singapore]
By Mal Hellyer from Raw Mal Roams
Do you want to visit the most spectacular garden in the world? Well, Singapore has got you covered. Gardens by the Bay are situated in the heart of the city, next to the luxurious hotel – Marina Bay Sands. They extend over 101 hectares of land and are home to 18 unique structures – named Supertrees, that meant to extend the garden’s vegetation vertically, towards the sky. Come back at night time for a free light and music show.
Take a stroll on the OCB Skywalk which is a bridge connecting two of the biggest tree structures. The bridge offers some breath-taking vistas over the city and its most recognisable landmarks.
Also, don’t forget to explore the Cloud Forest. It’s a conservatory with a microclimate replicating a humid jungle. It is home to many interesting plant species including carnivorous flowers and the world’s largest indoor waterfall that is 30m long. Another extraordinary place is Flower Done which is the world largest greenhouse. It replicates the dry Mediterranean climate and exhibits thousands of different flowers, trees and plants including curious-looking old baobabs.
The park has many other different areas, including Chinese Garden and Indian Garden. It is also a place of many family events and parties so check in advance of visiting. Lines to enter the park can also be quite long, so be sure to book your tickets online, right now.
The Hamilton Gardens [New Zealand]
By Nadine from Auckland Uncovered | Facebook
The Hamilton Gardens are a local favorite, but they’re still relatively undiscovered by all but the most discerning of international visitors to New Zealand. Unlike more traditional gardens around the country, what makes the Hamilton Gardens stand out are their elaborately themed spaces within the gardens.
Each of the five separate collections contains several gardens in differing styles but with a common element. The Paradise collection showcases landscape styles from around the world and transports you to faraway lands with every turn. Visit the Italian Renaissance garden for romance and fountains, or the Indian Char Bagh garden for a colourful spectacle in a serene setting.
For a more insightful visit into New Zealand’s native plants and history, visit the Productive Collection which houses the Te Parapara garden – complete with Māori carvings – or the Kitchen Garden which produces fruit and vegetables for the onsite cafe. You can even pick up a jar of sauce or jam to take home with you!
The Hamilton Gardens are an easy day trip from Auckland City , and they’re completely free to the public. Kids love visiting too, to discover the enchanting maze of gardens, to play in the open fields and to explore the large onsite playground. Make sure you pick up a free Discovery Trail workbook from the information centre for them to complete as you explore!
Mount Usher Gardens [County Wicklow, Ireland]
by Marta Correale of Learning Escapes| Facebook
If you love gardens that mix the charm of country meadows with the elegance of a manicured estate, then you should visit the wonderful Mount Usher Gardens in Ireland.
Located in County Wicklow, less than an hour South of Dublin by car, Mount Usher Gardens are among the most famous in the country and receive regular praise for their beauty from local and international visitors and gardening publications alike.
The gardens are famous for being a great example of Robinsonian style, a type of garden that was born in Ireland and that takes its name from its creator: William Robinson (1838 -1935).
Wanting to move away from the manicured and grand style of the Victorian gardens so popular during its time, Robinson advocated a more natural style of outdoor spaces, with local plants and trees organically living together without the aid of large greenhouses or intensive gardeners care.
The result of this vision is wonderful. Mount Usher strikes an incredible balance between a natural space and a well looked after one and envelopes its visitors in a serene and truly welcoming space.
The gardens are nestled into a small, sheltered valley along the river Vartry and they have a wonderful collection of trees, shrubs and informal floral planting schemes.
An easy to follow path leads meanders through the valley and good maps are available on arrival.
Le Jardin Secret [Marrakech, Morocco]
by Eva Westerling from Not Scared of the Jetlag | Instagram
There are a few gardens in Marrakech, and the one that is not on every tourist’s radar yet is Le Jardin Secret. It is located in the medina, the old fortified part of the city, so it is easy to add it to your Marrakech itinerary.
Le Jardin Secret (the secret garden) is located in two connected courtyards of an old Riad, originally dating back around 400 years. Of course, it’s been recently restored, but the main features remain the same.
The first courtyard is an exotic garden filled with plants and trees from all over the world, showing off the city’s international connections at the time. The second courtyard holds an Islamic garden with typical geometric features and including a little fountain and walking paths. Both parts are colourful and each has a different appeal to the eye.
One really interesting feature is, that the garden is still watered the same way as 400 years ago, via tunnels coming straight out of the Atlas Mountains. It is a nice place to escape the hustle and bustle of Marrakech, there is also a small café to enjoy a traditional mint tea.
You can visit some of the rooms surrounding the courtyards, getting an impression of life in one of the bigger Riads of Morocco. You can pay extra to climb the tower in the corner of the Riad for a nice view overlooking the roofs of Marrakech.
Jardín Botánico Culiacán [Culiacán, Mexico]
by Paul Hudson of Playasyplazas | Instagram
If you have ever heard of Culiacán it is more likely that you associate the city with the Sinaloa Cartel rather than with one of North America’s most spectacular botanical gardens. Which is a shame because infamy has eclipsed a beautiful destination.
Culiacán is an agricultural community that grows the best tomatoes in Mexico among many other products. It also happens to be a wealthy community with the means to donate the resources to maintain a large and immaculately manicured garden.
The Jardín Botánico Culiacán was founded in 1996 with a donation of plants from a local engineer, Carlos Murillo and prime real estate from the government of Sinaloa. In addition to the 25 acres of gardens, there is a research center studying medicinal plants, a conservation center, cultural center, library, auditoriums, and modern art installations. The grounds have been grouped in 19 different collections with more than 1,600 species of plants.
The garden has created ecosystems from across the planet but the endemic plants from the State of Sinaloa are spectacular. Sinaloa is part tropical and part high desert. In addition to the endemic plants, the Spanish colonial trade with the Philippines introduced many Asian botanicals. There is a unique diversity in this part of Mexico.
My favorite part of the garden is the area around the pond. A huge swing is set up in the shade of the palm trees. The pond is full of koi, water lilies, and exotic birds. My second favorite area is the bamboo forest because of the iguanas jumping from branch to branch in the canopy. These gardens attract some wildlife.
I hope you get a chance to visit the Culiacán Botanical Gardens in Sinaloa. They are truly some of the world’s finest.
The Gardens, Palace of Versailles [Paris, France]
by Darcy Vierow of Plan, Ready, Go | Facebook
The gardens at the Palace of Versailles are a must-do on your Paris Itinerary. They comprise nearly 2,000 acres of the most stunning garden scenery you will encounter anywhere in the world. The palace and gardens are easily accessible from Paris by train (RER C) followed by a short walk from the train station to the palace gates.
When King Louis XIV decided to convert his father’s hunting lodge into what would become the most spectacular of palaces, he also set about renovating the more modest gardens. It took approximately 40 years to complete the renovations. Over the years the gardens have been completely replanted a few times, including after a series of storms is the late 20th century.
Key points you will want to include on your stroll through the gardens are Apollo’s Fountain, Latona’s Fountain, the Royal Way, the Orangery, and the Grand Canal. Golf carts are available for rent to make your visit to the gardens and park a little easier on the feet. The vehicles are equipped with GPS and audio guides in eight languages.
Entrance to the gardens at Versailles is free except for those days with Musical Fountains Shows and Musical Gardens. On those days only children 5 and under are admitted for free. And if you want to visit the palace while you’re here, then be sure to book your skip-the-line ticket right now since Versailles is quite popular, and wait times can be extremely long.
The Royal Botanical Gardens [Edinburgh, Scotland]
by Daniela Frendo from Grumpy Camel | Instagram
If you’re visiting Edinburgh in summer and want to avoid the festival crowds, go for a leisurely stroll or a quiet picnic in the city’s beautiful botanic garden.
The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is a slice of paradise in the heart of the Scottish capital. It was founded in 1670, making it one of the oldest of its kind in the UK.
There are about 13, 500 plant species in the garden – as well as several friendly squirrels! These 70 acres of landscape are laced with winding paths that take you through the different parts of the gardens, including the Chinese Hillside, the Woodland Garden and the Rhododendron collection. There is also a nice wee café on a hill, where you can indulge in homemade snacks and cakes while enjoying views of Edinburgh Castle and the New Town.
Edinburgh’s botanic garden is also worth a visit at other times of the year, especially during autumn and late spring. While entrance to the garden is free, there is a small fee for visiting the glasshouses. The Tropical Palm House was built in 1834 and is the oldest glasshouse in Scotland. The other glasshouses are also packed with lush tropical trees and exotic plants, like orchids, ferns and giant water lilies.
Oh, and if you’re planning a trip to Edinburgh during the festive season, make sure to check out Christmas at the Botanics – an after-dark event during which the garden is decorated with an array of magical light displays.
Jardin des Tuileries [Paris, France]
by Linda Malys Yore of Linda On The Run | Blog
Located in the heart of Paris, France, the Jardin des Tuileries is an expansive gathering space for locals and tourists alike! In Paris’ first arrondissement, the garden separates the Louvre Museum from the Place de la Concorde.
This popular seventeenth-century formal garden has exquisitely manicured tree-lined walkways, famous fountains and is dotted with statues throughout it.
Commissioned in the mid-1500s, the Garden of the Tuileries derived its name from the tile factories located on the site before it.
There are two beautiful ponds to sit and relax at, or bring a picnic lunch and spend some time outdoors to observe Paris culture.
When visiting Paris, my family and I love to spend time at the Garden of the Tuilleries. No matter what time of year, the gardens never disappoint. After visiting the Louvre Art Museum (be sure to book your skip-the-line entrance ticket right now since wait times to get into the museum are notoriously long), I suggest meandering through the Tuilleries Gardens admiring the landscape and iconic statues. Or have that picnic! During the winter there are free tours of the gardens. And during the summertime, the gardens take on a carnival atmosphere with rides and sweet treats to indulge in.
At the other end of the gardens, you will find the Place de la Concorde. And the beginning of the most swank avenue in the world, the Champs Elysees. And beyond that the iconic Arc de Triomphe.
The beautiful Jardin des Tuileries is centrally located in Paris and a fantastic way to experience the history and splendor of all France has to offer!
Orto Botanico di Padova [Padua, Italy]
by Shandos Cleaver of World Heritage Journey| YouTube
The early 16th century in Europe was a time when a new era of intellectual curiosity and exploration was blooming. It was the time during which Leonardo da Vinci lived, when the Americas were being discovered. And it was also when the first academic botanic garden in the world, that still remains in the same location, was founded: the Orto Botanico di Padova (or Padua Botanic Gardens), founded in 1545.
Located in the northern Italian city of Padua, about 40km west of Venice, the botanic gardens are located in the University of Padua and are fortunately open to the public, allowing you to walk the same paths in between the same garden beds that intellectuals have walked over the years. Due to their significance, the Padua Botanic Gardens are one of a handful of UNESCO World Heritage listed gardens.
While many of the plants included in the collection are European, including a large collection of medicinal plants and poisonous plants, there’s also species that were collected within the newly discovered Americas and brought back by Venetian merchants.
A particularly interesting tree in the garden is the Goethe Palm, which dates back to 1585 and is named the German writer and scientist, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who mentioned it in several of his papers.
Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden [Rio de Janeiro, Brazil]
by Ruth of Tanama Tales| Pinterest
If you are visiting Rio de Janeiro , I highly recommend stopping by the city’s Botanical Garden (Jardim Botanico).
This particular garden is like no other in the world. In an area of 1.5 squared km, you will find 6,500 species of plants. The majority of the specimens displayed come from the different regions of Brazil. In theory, you will be able to admire the fauna of one of the most biodiverse countries in the world in a single place.
Spend some time checking the bromeliads, orchids, Araceae, palms, cacti, edible herbs, old trees, and carnivorous plants. In terms of foreign species, there are spaces with plants native to countries such as Japan and Mexico. In addition, you will be able to see ponds, filled with giant Amazonian water lilies, fountains, monuments, museums, a sensorial garden, and an archeological site.
Part of the garden is composed of Atlantic Forest, a South American type of forest that extends along the coast. If you follow the paths around this area, you may encounter toucans, squirrels, opossums, hedgehogs, and the famous marmosets. When I visited, I observed a group of black capuchin monkeys eating a huge jackfruit.
Do not miss the palm tree avenue and the views of Corcovado Mountain with Christ the Redeemer on top. The garden has a cafe where breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served.
If you want, you can also combine your visit with a lovely trip to the Tijuca Forest or stop by other nearby attractions such as the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, Lage Park and trailhead to a waterfall.
El Rosedal [Buenos Aires, Argentina]
by Erin of Sol Salute| Instagram
The Rosedal rose garden in Buenos Aires is actually just one fraction of the large network of parks that make up the Bosques de Palermo. The immaculately maintained rose garden has over 100 species of roses adding up to more than 18,000 flowers when in full bloom. Spring is, of course, the ideal time to visit, from the end of September through November. There’s a lake surrounding the Rosedal with paddle boats for rent and a running path where you can rent skates and bicycles to complete your day in the park.
The park was designed by Carlos Thays, a French-Argentine landscape artist who is responsible for all of the stunning parks in Buenos Aires. Wealthy citizens even hired him to design their estates in the countryside. He completed his beautification of the park at the turn of the 20th century and this green space has served as a major meeting point for the population of Buenos Aires ever since.
The Rosedal is free to visit. Winter hours run from April 22-September 21 and are from 8 am to 6 pm. It extends its hours for the long summer days from September 22-April 21, opening from 8 am to 8 pm. It’s open every day except for Mondays.
Filoli [San Francisco, California]
Located just south of San Francisco, in the Silicon Valley town of Woodside, the spectacular Filoli gardens presents something special year round. The name is taken from the family motto–“Fight for a just cause; Love your fellow man; and Live a good life.”
The property is reminiscent of an English country estate, and the atmospheric arrival is via a long woodsy driveway entrance. In February and March more than 200,000 daffodils burst into bloom (24 varieties are represented).
April brings on more than 70,000 blooming tulips, and in May the rose garden is at its peak. The garden also has a noteworthy collection of camellias, rhododendrons, and azaleas; a significant collection of fruiting trees; and 1 mile of hedges.
Formal “rooms” include two manicured English knot gardens, a stained-glass window garden, a cutting garden, and a sunken garden. A mansion on the property, which has been the filming site for movies and TV shows, is also open for tours. A highlight is a magnificent ballroom with a very high ceiling and gold leaf gilding from the family’s gold mine.
Flower arrangements harvested from the gardens are displayed throughout the house. The property is owned by the National Trust, and it is a California Historical Landmark.
Grünen [Basel, Switzerland]
by Anya from Unexpected Occurrence | Instagram
Park im Grünen is my favourite place to go in Basel, Switzerland. While Basel is typically overlooked, the rolling hills and mild climate make it a fantastic year-round destination. Take advantage of the warmer winters or summer heat by taking a visit to Park im Grünen!
It’s easily accessible with the 11 tram. They always have some sort of amazing flower or tree in bloom, there’s a little farm area with sheep, bunnies, and cows, and there incredible wellness gardens to walk through.
Whether you want to go for a run, view the collection of irises in the springtime, or wander through the trails, there’s always a new place to discover and explore. The park is frequently visited, though it’s always peaceful and quiet.
My favourite thing to do is to bring some picnic food with me, have a little walk, and then on the hill overlooking the water. If you’re not the picnic kind, there’s a cafeteria that has a great view of the park.
If you’re looking to get away from the city and into nature, without having to travel all the way to the Alps, Park im Grünen is a spectacular garden that you can’t miss!
The Garden of Ninfa [Ninfa, Italy]
by Annalisa of Travel Connect Experience
The Garden of Ninfa, or “Giardino di Ninfa” in Italian, is a Natural Monument of the Lazio region that you can visit on a day trip from Rome.
The story of the garden and of the archaic village of “Ninfa”, has lots of ups and downs that take you to the final bloom of this enchanted place holding your breath. Ninfa was first a worship center on the banks of the River Ninfa, where a sanctuary to the Goddess of spring water appeared during the Roman Age.
In the Middle Ages, several families acquired and lost the property of the land. A commercial town flourished, which was subsequently destroyed during religious conflicts and later abandoned because of the malaria in the area.
The remains of the medieval town are still there, untouched, mysterious abodes for fairies and elves of the garden. The fortunate fate causing the Garden of Ninfa to bloom and become the romantic place we see today is the action taken by some of the women of the Caetani family, that has owned the land since the 13th Century, and particularly by Ada Bootle Wilbraham.
The English woman, the wife of Onorato Caetani, reclaimed the land around the ghost town of Ninfa, removed invasive plants from the ruins, and planted oaks, beeches, and roses. The two subsequent curators of the garden, women as well, honored Ada’s mission and kept tending the garden without using chemical pesticides.
The Garden of Ninfa is now managed by the Caetani Foundation and open to the public on fixed days April to November, only for guided tours of about 80 minutes. You can check the opening dates and book your visit now as part of a combined visit to Sermoneta.
Stourhead [Wiltshire, England]
by Suzanne from Meandering Wild| Instagram
Stourhead is a large garden in the south west of England near Salisbury. It was designed and built between 1741 and 1780 by Henry Hoare although the gardens opened in the 1740’s. When it first opened it was described as a ‘living work of art’.
Over the years the garden was developed and the first buildings in the gardens were inspired by the Grand Tour that the 18th Century owner had taken to Europe. A stream was dammed to form a lake and on the shore a temple was built, dedicated to the Roman Goddess of flowers and spring as well as an ornate Palladian Bridge, grottos and an ice house.
Originally planted by 50 gardeners the woodlands that surround the lake and the small village are now a stunning location to visit. As well as the Temple of Flora and the Palladian Bridge the small grottos that reflect the light from the adjacent lake and the man made waterfalls give the area a serene but grand feeling.
In the spring the area is yellow and white with daffodils, primroses and snowdrops which then turn blue with bluebells in the early summer. As the summer draws to a close the trees turn every shade of red and orange and are reflected in the lake. It is the perfect location to sit and watch the world go by before exploring the small village and pub. You can also book this fantastic, 4-hour, private tour of Stourhead and the magical English gardens there.
Kew Gardens [London, England]
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, more commonly known as Kew Gardens, is not only a park that offers breathtaking scenery, buildings of historical and artistic interest, and interesting exhibitions letting you approach the plants in a personal way, but it is also a UNESCO world heritage site.
Easily accessible by public transport in half an hour from the city center, the Kew Gardens are perfect for a daytrip from central London. The park is so vast and diverse that you will easily enjoy a full day in it.
Entering from the main gate (Victoria gate) I suggest starting your visit by following the path on the right. You will soon meet the Temperate house where you can appreciate some of the rarest plants in the world, followed by the Great Pagoda where you can be carried away by oriental charm while admiring the city-scape in the distance, and the Treetop Walkaway where you can admire the views from between the branches.
Continuing north you can cross the beautifully designed Sackler Crossing to journey towards the eastern part of the park with other unmissable attractions such as the impressive Palm House, perfect to forget the British winter, and the Rock Garden to name a few.
Whether you just want to picnic in nature, experience the desert, or feel lost in a tropical forest, in the Kew Gardens you will find the answer to all your dreams. Just try to book your tickets well in advance since queues into the garden can be quite long.
Volksgarten [Vienna, Austria]
by Anca, of Dream, Book, and Travel | Facebook
Austria’s capital is better known for its cultural landscape, the New Year’s Eve classical music concert, the Habsburgs, amazing coffee houses, delicious pastries, and some of the best white wines in the world. All very compelling reasons to visit Vienna. However, as locals who advise travelers on where to stay in Vienna and what to do in the city, we always recommend spending some quality time in one of the city’s parks and gardens.
My favorite garden in Vienna, located right on the main boulevard (the Ringstrasse) but often overlooked by tourists, is the Volksgarten. It is open round the clock and offers amazing views from unique angles of the city’s landmarks. Up to ten of Vienna’s main attractions can be photographed from here, on the background of flower beds and roses in every color.
The garden’s most notable features are the fountain dedicated to Empress Sissi and the neoclassical Theseus temple, used as an exhibition space. The restaurant with outside seating Volksgarten Pavillion is an ideal place to get a feeling for a traditional beer garden right in the heart of the city.
Like everywhere in the city, locals come here to enjoy the great outdoors right in the heart of the city. For the connoisseurs, this is the best place to read in Vienna!
Schönbrunn Palace [Vienna, Austria]
by Imani of Imani Escapes |
Schönbrunn palace is a popular spot in Vienna for tourists and locals alike. It is one of the former residences of the Habsburg royal family, who ruled Austria between 1804 and 1918. The property now belongs to the state.
The palace gardens are extensive, pristinely maintained and completely free. They also serve as a public park for Viennese joggers and dog walkers. What a place to have on your doorstep eh? You could walk there every day and still not cover every corner.
The gardens themselves are a mixture of decorative flower beds lining the palace lawns and endless shaded tree lined walkways marked with elaborate fountains and sculptures. This place must take a lot to care for, as you can tell that every tree and hedge has been carefully preened.
The level of garden maintenance is also evident in the slightly over attentive garden police, who ride around the grounds on bikes stopping to visually intimidate anyone who sets foot in the grass!
As well as being very visually pleasing, Schönbrunn gardens also have a Palm House with a large collection of tropical and indoor plants, a fabulous glorietta archway and even a zoo! At points the grounds also offer a stunning view of Vienna’s skyline. This is the perfect place to spend an afternoon getting lost in nature, all within the heart of Vienna.
I hope this has convinced you to pay Schönbrunn gardens a visit, and to travel to beautiful Vienna! You can also save yourself some time by booking your tickets online, and in advance, right now.
Kongens [Copenhagen, Denmark]
by Derek and Mike of Everything Copenhagen | Blog
Copenhagen is routinely regarded as one of the most livable cities in the world, and public gardens like Kongens Have (“The King’s Garden”) are a prime example why.
The oldest park in Copenhagen, Kongens Have started as a private vegetable garden for King Christian IV in 1606. It expanded into a formal garden when Rosenborg Castle was completed two decades later, and has been open to the public since 1770. Since this time, a visit to Kongens Have has become one of the best things to do in Copenhagen. Starting as a respite within the cramped city and now as a beautiful expanse for locals to enjoy the long days of summer.
The park today is dominated by two long parallel tree-lined paths, one ending at the Hercules Pavilion (containing a nice cafe with outdoor seating), and the other at a statue of famed Danish children’s author Hans Christian Andersen. These avenues are crossed by many paths lined with sculptures, and plenty of open grass where you can relax.
A highlight of the park is a beautiful rose garden along the Rosenborg Castle moat, which is in full bloom during summer. During summer the park is also an entertainment hub, with a daily marionette show for children and live music during the Copenhagen Jazz Festival in July.
If you are visiting and need a break, or if you want to experience daily life like a local, Kongens Have is the perfect spot to visit. Stop into a grocery store, grab a bottle of wine and some snacks, find a little patch of grass in the sun and you can picnic in a 400-year old garden just like a local!
Atlántico Botanical Garden [Gijón, Spain]
by Jeremy of Cultura Obscura | Blog
The Atlántico Botanical Garden resides on the outskirts of the city of Gijón, in the Asturias region of Northwest Spain. Opened in April 2003, the project was conceived by Gijón’s City Council as a way to educate visitors in the ways of sustainable environmental development and the preservation of plant biodiversity. Not only were they successful in doing so, but they also managed to create one of the most beautiful and pleasant botanical gardens in the country.
Strolling leisurely through each intricately designed landscape, stopping occasionally to sit and take in the vast breadth of horticultural variety on display, is one of the most relaxing things to do in Gijón.
There’s a lot to learn here. The site itself is vast, covering almost 16 hectares. Once through the entrance visitors are presented with the main learning area, featuring floral gardens and museums showcasing the history of farming and agricultural life in Asturias.
After that, the land is sorted into distinct sections, each with its own unique vibe and purpose. Boarded walkways wind their way through forestry with trees hundreds of years old. Stream-side paths follow the water as it flows into ponds and watermills.
There are caves, waterfalls, sculptures, gazebos, picnic areas and open green spaces. There’s even a labyrinth that showcases toxic plants. The Atlántico Botanical Garden really does have it all!
Roozengarde Display Garden [Mount Vernon, Washington]
by Constance of The Adventures of Panda Bear| Blog
Roozengarde Display Garden is the best highlight of the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Mount Vernon, Washington. The display garden is created annually by one of the top two tulip bulb producers in the Skagit Valley, Roozengarde. These technicolor tulips are a sight to be seen!
The gorgeous garden doesn’t just include rows of tulip fields like you’d be expecting to see, it also has a large area of beautifully arranged tulips. This makes the display garden similar to the amazing display gardens at Keukenhof in The Netherlands. The tulip planters are aligned in crazy curlicue patterns and various shapes custom made to show off their tulips.
You’ll even get to see tulip colors you’ve never seen in your life! These aren’t the typical solid colored tulips, some of them are multi-colored, striped, and more. The tulips at Roozengarde are absolutely beautiful, it is said that some growers in the Netherlands actually source their bulbs from Roozengarde.
Be sure to also check out their Dutch-style decorations, including a large windmill, and a few small displays. They’re the perfect photograph opportunity! Aside from flowers, the garden also sells food, beverages, and of course, tulip bulbs, so you can bring home your very own tulip garden.
Alnwick Garden [Alnwick, United Kingdom]
by Stephanie from Explore More Clean Less | Instagram
While Alnwick Castle is the biggest draw for tourists visiting the area, the neighboring (and separately ticketed) Alnwick Garden is one of the most beautiful and exciting gardens in the world! It has over 40 acres of land with themed plantings, manicured formal gardens, and winding trails.
The visual centerpiece is a stunning, cascading water fountain but the most exciting feature is the world-famous poison garden. Filled with over 100 toxic plants and under lock and key, the only way to get inside is to take one of the guided tours where you’ll learn about a few of the plants and their uses along with hearing some local stories and myths.
Couples will enjoy walking through the rose garden, that boasts over 300 roses in varied colors and scents. Swings and park benches are sprinkled around the trails and provide a pretty view around the pond.
Families will enjoy chasing their kids through the bamboo labyrinth or letting them ride the pedal tractors in front of the fountain and then running through the lit-up topiary tunnels along the sides of the fountain. With a nearby cafe, it’s easy to spend the better part of a day enjoying the blooms and lush greenery!
And as always, be sure to book your tickets online and well in advance since queues into the castle and associated gardens can get quite long.
Boboli Gardens [Florence, Italy]
by Katy Clarke of Untold Italy | Facebook
Many people visit Florence to soak up its art, culture and museums but the Renaissance city is also home to spectacular gardens. And the jewel in its crown is the Boboli Gardens of the Pitti Palace. These landscaped Italian style gardens cover over one hundred acres of land in the heart of Florence and date back over 400 years to the city’s peak as leading city state.
Known for their traditional Italian design and green “rooms” rather than floral displays, the Boboli Gardens feature ponds, statues and fountains. Many of these items were collected over the centuries and curated by master gardeners including Bernardo Buontalenti, who wanted to create the green heart of Florence.
The centerpiece of the gardens are the amphitheater and its Neptune fountain that gushes in front of the Pitti Palace. But you can’t miss the impressive Buontalenti Grotto (Grotta del Buontalenti) This man made structure was built between 1583 and 1593, and features stalactites, carvings and waterworks.
If you need to escape the heat of the summer sun in Florence, the Boboli Gardens are a lovely shady place to wander. Just book your tickets in advance right now. It’s not hard to stroll in relative solitude away from the crowds before heading up to the grounds of the Museum of Porcelain on the hill where you can enjoy spectacular views of the Duomo, river Arno and city below.
The Luxembourg Gardens [Paris, France]
by Elisa from World in Paris
The Luxembourg Gardens, in the 6th District of Paris, are together with the Tuileries Gardens the most beautiful gardens in the French capital.
They are located between the neighborhoods of Saint Germain-des-Près and the Latin Quarter and they were built in the 15th century for Queen Marie de Médicis to decorate her new palace.
After the death of her husband, King Henry IV, Queen Marie de Médicis decided to leave the Louvre Palace and the hustle and bustle of Paris for the Luxembourg Palace, a quieter place in the countryside (at that time this area was outside Paris). The design of the gardens was inspired by the Boboli Gardens of Florence, the Queen’s birthplace.
There are many beautiful spots in Luxembourg Gardens but perhaps the most popular ones are the central pond, just in front of the palace, and the Médicis Fountain. The latest is considered by some as one of the most romantic places in Paris.
The Luxembourg Gardens also hosts many entertaining activities like pétanque, playgrounds for kids, a puppet theater, small concerts on the music kiosk and it is also possible to play chess! When the weather is good, many people like to bring their picnic and have an informal lunch on the grass.
Balboa Park [San Diego, California]
by Maria Haase of San Diego Explorer | Facebook
Balboa Park is a 1200-acre park in the heart of San Diego, home to the famous San Diego Zoo and dozens of amazing museums and exhibits. No matter your interest, you will find a fun museum at Balboa Park.
If you like flowers and gardens, there are a variety of different gardens you can visit at Balboa Park, showcasing various native and non-native plants and landscape designs that are simply stunning.
On the weekends and in the summer, you find lots of artists and booths on the main street, El Prado. It is a great place for people-watching and going for a stroll through beautiful gardens.
Balboa Park is also one of the most popular spots for wedding/quinceanera/prom photo shoots that are fun to watch. It is really pretty and picturesque and definitely one of the most Instagram-able spots in San Diego.
Extra Tip: If you are a resident of San Diego County or active Military (plus dependents), the Balboa Park museums are free on a rotating basis every Tuesday (check here for the schedule).
International Rose Test Garden [Portland, Oregon]
by Gina at Evergreen & Salt: West Coast Travel | Facebook
When visiting Portland, Oregon, a must-see for the city is the International Rose Test Garden, often just referred to as the Rose Garden. After all, Portland’s nickname is the City of Roses due to how well the beautiful flower grows in the climate.
The International Rose Test Garden is located in Washington Park, which has a vantage point high above the city. As you walk through the garden you will be immersed in rows of colorful petals while also getting views of Portland’s city skyline below. The International Rose Test Garden grows a variety of different breeds of roses and you’ll see different labels for each varietal indicating where it originated.
The garden spans across several tiers connected by steps and sloping walking trails. Give yourself a few hours to have time to adequately explore all parts of the garden. The best time to visit the International Rose Test Garden is in late spring and early summer when the petals are in full bloom. Be aware that parking can be challenging in Washington Park.
There is paid street parking, but it is limited. Public transportation is also available to the garden from the city center. Admission to the Rose Garden is free. There are also free guided tours offered at 1 p.m. each day between Memorial Day Weekend and Labor Day Weekend, which you can join up with ten minutes prior at the Rose Garden store.
Hershey Gardens [Hershey, PA]
The Hersey Gardens are nestled in beautiful Hershey, PA. Across from Hershey Park and just down the road from the Hotel Hershey, the garden is a beautiful place to visit year-round. With an array of seasonal displays, an indoor butterfly atrium, and a children’s garden, there is always something to see and experience!
Hershey Gardens began with Mr. Hershey’s request to “create a nice garden of roses.” The original 3 1/2 acre rose garden opened to the public in 1937. By 1942, Hershey Gardens had expanded to a dazzling 23-acre botanical garden.
To see the garden fully in bloom, you will want to visit mid-summer. This is when the famous Hershey Rose Garden is in bloom. With over 5600 roses of 275 different varieties in bloom, your eyes won’t believe the amazing variety of colors! You can even see and smell the beautiful M. S. Hershey Rose, developed in honor of Mr. Hershey and first made publicly available in 1941.
Not into roses? Don’t worry, there are plenty of other things to see at the Hersey Gardens. The Butterfly Atrium is a beautiful room where over 400 varieties of butterflies are featured throughout the year. As you walk through the atrium it is not unusual for a butterfly to take a quick rest on your clothes, especially if you are wearing something colorful!
The Hershey Gardens is a must-visit for anyone traveling through Pennsylvania!
Fairmount Park [Philadelphia, PA]
by Mari Di Chiara of Mari on the Map | Instagram
Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park, the Largest Urban Park in the United States.
When thinking about amazing gardens, Philadelphia probably isn’t the first place that comes to mind. Very few travelers know what Philadelphia locals know—the city is home to the largest urban park in the USA! Fairmount Park has something every botanical buff can get behind.
There’s the Forbidden Drive Trail in the 2,000-acre Wissahickon Valley section of Fairmount Park, which contains 50 miles of gladed trails. The flora and fauna change seasonally, bursting to live in spring and continuing with splashes of color through fall. Another local favorite is the lesser-known Shofuso Japanese House and Garden (pictured), also within Fairmount Park.
The Japanese garden is home to a 17th century tea house that was built in Japan. Visitors can enjoy self-guided tours of the house and gardens, which include koi ponds, a waterfall, and tea garden.
Rounding out the tour of Fairmount Park is Kelly Drive, a trail along Philadelphia’s Schuylkill River, which is open to walkers, runners, and cyclists. The six plus-mile trail will take you through various gardens along the way, including an azalea garden, a fairy garden and a sculpture garden.
It’s also one of the best places to get a view of the city skyline, with the trail starting just behind Philadelphia’s famous and impressive Museum of Art.
Favorite of the World Botanical Gardens?
Have you visited or hope to visit any of these magnificent places? Which of these World Botanic Gardens is your favorite? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
World Botanical Gardens (Listed Alphabetically)
Allan Gardens Conservatory
160 Gerrard St.
E, Toronto, ON M5A 2E5
The Alnwick Garden
Greenwell Road Alnwick Northumberland
NE66 1HB United Kingdom
Phone: 01665 511350
Address: Avenida del Jardín Botánico
2230, 33203 Gijón, Asturias, Spain
Phone: + 34 985181105 | + 34 985185130
1549 El Prado
San Diego, CA 92101
Piazza de’ Pitti, 1, 50125
Firenze FI, Italy
Phone: +39 055 229 8732
The Butchart Gardens
800 Benvenuto Ave, Brentwood Bay
British Columbia, Canada
Phone: +1 (250) 652-4422
Philadelphia, PA 19119
86 Cañada Rd.
Phone: (650) 364-8300
Gardens By the Bay
18 Marina Gardens Dr.
Phone: (65) 6420 6848
84 Rue Claude Monet
27620 Giverny, France
Phone: +33 2 32 51 28 21
Park im Grünen
Phone: +41 058 575 80 00
Hamilton 3216, New Zealand
Phone: +64 7-838 6782
170 Hotel Road, Hershey, PA 17033
International Rose Test Garden
400 SW Kingston Avenue
Portland, Oregon, USA
Jardín Botánico Culiacán
Calzada de las Américas Norte 2131
Culiacán, Sinaloa, México
Le Jardin Secret
Rue Mouassine 121
Phone: +212(0)524 39 00 40
Jardin des Tuileries
Place de la Concorde
Phone: +33 (0) 1 40 20 53 17
Stationsweg 166A in Lisse
Royal Botanic Garden, Kew
Kew, Richmond, London,TW9 3AE
Phone: 020 8332 5655
Øster Voldgade 4A
1350 København K
The Luxembourg Gardens
Rue de Médicis – Rue de Vaugirard
Monte Palace Tropical Gardens
Monte Palace Madeira
Caminho do Monte, 174
Mount Usher Gardens
Ashford, Co Wicklow, Ireland
Phone: 353 (0)404 49672
Ninfa Gardens | Giardino di Ninfa
Via Provinciale Ninfina
68. 04012 Cisterna di Latina (LT)
Phone:+39 378 3012866, +39 378 3012864, +39 (0)6 96000062
Orto Botanico di Padova
Via Orto Botanico
15, 35123 Padova PD, Italy
Phone: +39 049 827 3939
Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden
R. Jardim Botânico, 1008 – Jardim Botânico
Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 22460-030, Brazil
Phone: +55 21 3874-1808
Roozengarde Display Garden
15867 Beaver Marsh Rd.
Mt Vernon, WA 98273
El Rosedal, Buenos Aires
Isabel, Infanta Av. 900
The Royal Botanic Garden
Arboretum Pl, Edinburgh
EH3 5NZ, 0131 248 2909
Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens
Lower Domain Road
Hobart. Tasmania. 7000
Mere, Wiltshire, BA12 6QD
VanDusen Botanical Gardens
5251 Oak St, Vancouver, BC
V6M 4H1, Canada
The Gardens, Palace of Versailles
78000 Versailles, France
Phone: + 33 1 30 83 78 00
010 Vienna, Austria
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