From Claude Monet’s gardens to exotic gardens of Monaco, the best botanical gardens in Europe are not to be missed. Spend a bit of time on your next European vacation getting outside and exploring these beautiful gardens.
As you prepare to stretch your legs and smell the flowers, don’t forget our tips on enjoying and preparing for botanical gardens. Take a second look at our packing list – and don’t forget to charge your phone and download PlantSnap (iOS and Android).
If you’re a big world botanical garden enthusiast, be sure to check out our lists of the best botanical gardens in North America and the best botanical gardens in Central and South America.
To keep it simple, we sorted the list of the best botanical gardens of Europe alphabetically.
All price conversions are based on conversion rates in August 2018.
Location: Berlin, Germany
Size: 106 acres
Number of Species: 22,000
Key Features: Features the “Great Pavillion” with giant bamboo and other tropical plants. Also features its own museum with a focus on paleobotany and geobotany.
Description: This ancient botanical garden and museum is part of the Free University of Berlin. It was founded in the late 1800s to house exotic plants that were brought to Germany by explorers. Today, it features an arboretum and acres upon acres of open-air gardens. The tropical glass houses are not to be missed and are particularly enchanting during the cooler months.
Entry Fee: 6 Euro ($7) for adults to the gardens, 2.50 Euro ($3) for the museum. Children are 3 Euro for the gardens and 1.50 Euro for the museum.
Hours: Opening hours vary seasonally, but generally the gardens open around 9am and close between 6 and 8pm. Check their hours here.
Location: Giverny, France
Size: 3+ acres
Number of Species: 97
Key Features: Visit Claude Monet’s home and the gardens he created.
Description: These gardens are not as huge or diverse as others on the list, but are special for their historical significance. The gardens were created for the purpose of painting them, not preserving scientific species. The gardens feature both Japanese gardens and the Clos Normand, a rectangular and lush garden full of climbing plants.
Entry Fee: 10 Euros for adults ($11.50), guided tours available for an additional fee. Tours available in English, French, or German.
Hours: 9:30 to 6pm, late spring through early fall
Size: 3.7 acres
Number of Species: Unknown, thousands of succulents
Key Features: Houses thousands of succulent species as well as giant trees that line the paths. Also features an underground limestone cave to satisfy geological curiosity.
Description: These gardens offer a stunning overlook to the ocean and beyond, while visitors explore thousands of species of succulents and other arid plants. The underground limestone caves offer access to an observatory and fascinating geological structures.
Entry Fee: 7.20 Euros ($8.30) for adults, reduced rates for seniors, children, students, and the disabled.
Hours: February to April and October: 9am to 6pm. May to September: 9am to 7pm. November to January: 9am to 5pm.
Location: Lautaret, France
Size: 5 acres
Number of Species: 2,300, plus more preserved in the library and as seeds
Key Features: This high-alpine botanical garden offers free tours for much of the summer.
Description: This garden is one of the world’s best gardens for mountain plants. The gardens feature plants from mountain ranges around the world, painstakingly labeled and displayed. Free tours help guests get the most out of the gardens.
Entry Fee: 7 Euros for adults ($8), reduced rates for groups. Children under 12 are free.
Hours: 10am to 6pm, June through September (closed in the winter)
Location: Merano, Italy
Size: 30 acres
Number of Species: 5,800
Key Features: 80 different areas, sorted by the origin of the plants. The castle also features an aviary.
Description: These gardens feature areas such as forests of the world, Oleander steps, sun gardens, terraced gardens, water gardens, and the English gardens. The gardens pride themselves in offering a variety of sensory experiences, not just visual beauty. Enjoy scent, sound, and touch at a variety of engaging exhibits.
Entry Fee: 13 Euro for adults ($15), discounts for seniors, families, children, and students. Guided tours available for a fee.
Hours: Open at 9am daily, closing later in the summer and earlier in the winter. Generally closes no earlier than 5pm. Check full hours here.
Did we miss any of the best botanical gardens in Europe? Let us know your thoughts below!