28 of The Best Botanical Gardens In The World
I love botanical gardens! Whenever we travel, my aim is to visit the best botanical gardens in the world. I can’t always talk the rest of my family into it, but when I do I am always glad.
I asked some of my travel and plant-loving friends which their favorite botanical garden is and the response was overwhelming! I guess I am not the only one who loves strolling the paths past native and exotic plants, water features and towering trees. It seems that botanical gardens are a highlight of many people’s travels.
You will note that we are sadly lacking in botanical gardens in South America and Africa. I hope to rectify that in the future.
Best Botanical Gardens in North America
Japanese Tea Garden, San Francisco, California, USA
– Sage from Everyday Wanderer
Anchored by the historic Haight-Ashbury neighborhood on the right and the Pacific Ocean on the west, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park is a long, rectangular oasis in California’s fourth largest city. Home to a wide range of experiences, from art museums to bison paddocks, one of my favorite places is the Japanese tea Garden.
The garden was originally created in 1894 for the California Midwinter Fair (also called the World’s Fair). Tragically, the beautiful garden was neglected and then vandalized during World War II, but steps toward restoration began in 1952. Today, the Japanese Tea Garden is the oldest Japanese garden in the United States.
The Japanese Tea Garden takes up just five acres of the 1,000-acre Golden Gate Park, and every inch of the garden is beautifully maintained to create a serene environment. A winding path flanked by beautiful plants, colorful flowers, and stone lanterns, guides visitors through the garden. Steep “moon bridges” arch over calm, koi-filled waters below. And an ornate, red pagoda sits high on a hill, surrounded by greenery. There is a modest fee to visit the Japanese Tea Garden, and it’s worth every penny to see this gorgeous, one of a kind garden.
Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, Vail, Colorado, USA
– Dan from Honeymoon Always
Located at 8,200 feet, Betty Ford Alpine Gardens is the highest elevation botanical gardens in the world. It was named after the 38th First Lady of President of the United States due to her love for Vail, flowers, and gardening. The botanical gardens attract part of the international crowd that comes to Vail each year for the ski resorts and is full of unique alpine and mountain plants from around the world.
The gardens themselves are not huge, you could walk through them in probably 15 minutes. However, they provide a relaxing peaceful environment the invites you to stay a while. Along the garden paths, you will find benches that make great places to relax. The path loops around and as you get farther into the gardens you go higher on the hillside, providing beautiful views of the surrounding area. Beyond the hardy plants and flower species from around the world, you will also find some waterfalls along the way.
Tizer Botanic Gardens and Arboretum
– Mel from TravelingMel
Tizer Botanic Gardens is just south of Helena, Montana in Jefferson City. It’s tucked into the Elkhorn Mountains. TIzer Botanic Garden has about 0.05 miles of trails through several gardens. It’s both a botanic garden and a nursery. You can spend some time walking around their gardens and then take some plants home with you.
Tizer isn’t huge, but it is packed full. There is a rose garden, vegetable garden, herb garden, wildflower walk (my favorite), children’s garden and gazebo, shade garden, secret garden, butterfly and hummingbird garden, meditation garden (my other favorite), and two islands in Prickly Pear Creek– one of which has a small cabin on it.
Our visit to Tizer also included side trips to nearby Elkhorn Ghost Town and Boulder Hot Springs. Where else can you tour a ghost town, soak in a hot spring, and wander through gardens all in one day?
New York Botanical Gardens, New York, USA
– James from Travel Collecting
New York has very seasonal weather, and each season there are different areas in the New York Botanical Gardens that really come to life. In spring, there is a blaze of bright colors in the azalea, orchid and perennial gardens; daffodils, peonies and lilacs are in full bloom; crabapple, magnolia, and cherry trees all make beautiful places to have a picnic; and if you’re really lucky, you may get to see the Amorphophallus Titanium (a very smelly, rarely flowering, gigantic ‘corpse flower’) bloom.
In summer, stay cool in the arboretum collection and old growth forest, and enjoy the day lilies, rose garden, and water lilies and lotuses. In fall, the foliage becomes a blaze of reds, oranges and yellows in the arboretum, maple, magnolia, and crabapple collections, and the wetland trail makes an especially pretty walk. In winter, the whole gardens turn into a winter wonderland after snowfall.
There is a large greenhouse/ conservatory for tropical and desert plants open throughout the year, several dining options, a large research library and a “train” to carry you around (it is far too big to walk from one end to the other).
Hoomaluhia Botanical Gardens, Oahu, Hawaii, USA
– Bron from Smiths Holiday Road
In Hawaiian, hoomaluhia means “a peaceful refuge.” The gardens cover 400 acres and are the perfect place to adventure away from the beach and get in touch with nature. They provide the perfect balance for an Hawaiian adventure holiday.
The huge backdrop of the Koolau Mountains are spectacular and makes you think you are back in the prehistoric era. Hoomaluhia has a 32-acre lake, which is filled with giant goldfish that kids can feed while you enjoy a picnic on the grasses. Plants from across Polynesia are featured with bright colors as you wander through the humid landscape.
Montreal Botanical Garden, Québec, Canada
– Harmony from Momma To Go
During our five-day trip to Montreal, very high on my must-do list was a visit to the Botanical Garden (Jardin Botanique). It was late August, and a leisurely stroll through a beautiful garden sounded like the perfect, lazy French-Canadian day. My kids (age seven and nine), and husband were a little skeptical. “You mean we are going to look at flowers all day?”
But, like me, our day at the Montreal Botanical Garden, quickly became one of their favorite activities of the whole Montreal trip!
In addition to various gardens (Japanese, Rose Garden, and “Ombre”-shaded walk through lush trees) the Montreal Botanical Garden is also home to the Insectarium, or bug museum. Included in your garden admission, a visit to the Insectarium will fascinate you with exhibits all about insects! There are displays of live bugs, and models of insects, featuring such interesting information about this diverse group of animals.
The Insectarium is an inside attraction, so a nice respite from the elements. Back outside, the kids also spent hours enjoying the animal habitat exhibit. A sprawling display of cocoons, nests and other animal hideaways, we all enjoyed pretending to hibernate – at least for the afternoon!
Best Botanical Gardens in the UK
Wondering which is the most famous botanical garden in the world? It has to be the Kew Royal Gardens in London. It’s also the largest botanical garden in the world. In fact, the collections at Kew and Wakehurst Place include over 28,000 taxa of living plants, 8.3 million plant and fungal herbarium specimens, and 30,000 species in the seed bank.
In fact, the Kew Gardens are so popular that we have three entries for best botanical gardens around the world.
Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, London, England
– Joanna from Overhere
Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew are a great place to let your hair down – a beautiful and exotic getaway where you can rest from London’s hustle and bustle.
Every month is good to visit Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, but the most beautiful is spring. Flowers blossom, birds are singing merrily, and the grass and trees become lavishly green.
You should definitely reserve a whole day for visiting Kew Gardens – in a couple of hours you probably will not get to see even half the area. There are over 130 hectares of gardens, treetop walkway, tropical glasshouses, conservatories, lakes, and water-lily ponds.
I do recommend seeing as much as you can – everything is exotic and eye-catching.
There are also cafés, restaurants and art galleries. However, restaurants in Kew Gardens are usually crowded, so if the weather is nice, it is better to take packed lunch and enjoy the picnic.
I especially liked Palm House – the air in the greenhouse was so fresh and humid that I felt instantly better when I walked there!
Also, if you do not have fear of heights, go to Xstrata Tree Top Walkway. It provides unique experience of walking among the branches, plus it is good place to take great photos.
Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, London, England
– Fariba from Mixed Up Mama
The Kew Gardens in London, England are huge and always offer plenty to see and do. I have three children and there are always activities for kids, the massive tree forested area, temperate house and stately houses (even an old palace) are fascinating to see.
Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, London, England
– David from Delve into Europe
Kew Gardens, in the south-west of London, is one of our favorite botanical gardens in the world. The gardens and plant life around them are stunning, but there’s also so much amazing architecture to see there as well.
Kew Gardens are in the suburb of Richmond, an area that was once a royal residence. When two royal estates were merged in 1772, the gardens began to be developed. Some existing structures, including the Chinese pagoda, were incorporated.
It became the UK’s national botanical garden in 1840, and after this more and more additions were made to it. The graceful wrought iron and glass Palm House was added between 1844 and 1848, and the larger Temperate House followed soon afterwards.
The Arboretum covers around half the total area of Kew, and includes one of its best attractions. The treetop walkway is 60 feet (18 metres high) and 20 metres long. It takes you on a short but exhilarating journey through a British woodland’s tree canopy.
SkyGarden, London, England
– Constance from The Adventures of Panda Bear
London’s “Walkie-Talkie” building is known for a few things — its distinctly unique shape resembling a walkie-talkie, a free observation terrace with amazing views of London, and a botanical garden located at the top of the building on 20 Fenchurch Street.
Aside from the beautiful views of London, SkyGarden also has a lush garden filled with herbs, exotic flowers and plants, including French lavender, rosemary, bird of paradise flowers, and ferns. The garden is green and blooming all year round due to its greenhouse-like environment.
The garden is primarily made up of drought tolerant plants from the Mediterranean and South Africa spread over the space on greenery-filled terraces. You can explore the plants by walking up and down the stairs on the pathways next to the terraces. We loved that the plants had signs next to them to tell you what they were.
It is a great way to hit two birds with one stone and get a bird’s eye view of London while checking out a beautiful botanical garden. Even though it isn’t the largest botanical garden, it’s definitely well worth seeing, especially because it’s free!
Glasgow Botanic Gardens, Scotland
– Nathalie from Map of Joy
You can find the Glasgow Botanic Gardens in the West End in the north of Glasgow. It lies beside the River Kelvin. All year round you can enjoy pleasant riverside walks, peaceful woodland copses, and the botanic gardens here.
What I like most about the Glasgow Botanic Gardens is the diversity of the plants you can admire here. It’s a 20-hectare/50-acre site and it’s packed with the most beautiful plants from all over the world. The Glasgow Botanic Gardens offer extensive temperate and tropical plant collections.
If you’re a lover of plants your heart will skip a beat each time you enter a glasshouse here. Not only because the plants are gorgeous, but also because of the architecturally impressive glasshouses which are renowned internationally. Most impressive is Kibble Palace. A magnificent glasshouse designed by John Kibble. Here you can enjoy a national collection of tree ferns. If you like plants from tropical rainforests, go to the palm house.
Don’t miss The Botanic Gardens Tearoom (open from April to September). It can be found in the former curator’s house near Kibble Palace. The traditional afternoon teas are delicious.
Castle Gardens, St Helena, British Overseas Territory
– Sharon Henry from What The Saints Did Next
The Castle Gardens is the largest green space in the small city of Jamestown, St Helena, a British island famously known as the last exile of Napoleon Bonaparte. It’s a cool sanctuary for anyone wishing to escape the heat of the tropics under centuries old ficus trees with trunks that invites tree climbers and limbs that nest fairy terns and mynah birds. Although not technically a botanical garden as was originally intended, you’ll find island endemics of ebony and gumwood, tropical plants, and borders that give a riot of color. It’s a beauty spot featured in many a wedding photo album.
It’ll take a slow 10-minute stroll to enjoy the entire grounds; admire the topiary sculptures, and read memorials. One in particular honors the HM Waterwitch crew, who died intercepting slave ships crossing the Middle Passage from Africa to the Americas during 1839-43.
The Castle Gardens was created by the English East India Company around 1793. On display is a large anchor dating back to 1862 used to aid the haulage of large guns used to protect the island. A water fountain at the center adds to the illusion of tranquility.
The Castle Gardens are open 24/7 and admission is free.
Best Botanical Gardens in Australia and New Zealand
Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
– Sharon from Melbourne Family
The Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne are gorgeous, huge, and have over 8,500 species from around the world. There are lakes, huge areas perfect for picnics and special areas such as Fern Gardens, Bamboo Collection, Herbarium and Australian Forest Walk.
If you have kids, there is also a special Children’s Garden, which is just perfect for exploring and discovering nature. Kids can climb up into a tree house, sail boats in the mini creek and learn about how food is grown.
There is also a visitor center with lots of information and tours. There are also many events held here like the Christmas Carols at Christmas time, Moonlight cinema in summer and the huge Moomba Festival in March. If you get hungry, there are two cafés.
These are also very easy gardens to visit being just a short walk from Melbourne’s CBD and main train station.
Brisbane Botanic Gardens, Queensland, Australia
– Toni from 2 Aussie Travellers
The Brisbane Botanic Gardens in Australia are located across two sites. The heritage gardens on the riverside in the city were established in 1828 including Queensland’s first native flora planted in a garden and an exotic collection that arrived with the settlers.
The 18-hectare site includes over a kilometer of river front and became a valuable collection of plants and lush green space for public enjoyment. Today some of its most popular features are the expansive lawns under century old shade trees, seasonal floral beds, the bamboo grove and an avenue of weeping figs.
By 1974 the Brisbane River had flooded eight times sweeping through the gardens. A decision was made to develop a second garden six kilometers away at the foot of Mt. Coot-tha to protect the collection and biodiversity held by the city.
The 57-hectare garden now houses over 5,000 plant species from around the world. The culinary garden here is fabulous; there’s also a Japanese garden, lagoons, and ponds, an impressive tropical glasshouse dome and comprehensive Australian collection including a Bunya pine forest.
While the sub-tropical climate can be harsh these two diverse gardens are both beautiful examples of what can be achieved.
Adelaide Botanic Gardens, South Australia, Australia
–Josie from Josie Wanders
Adelaide Botanic Gardens are located right in the heart of the city, adjacent to the River Torrens and the Adelaide Zoo. It’s a huge site providing not only some great green spaces to relax in, but also works to preserve rare and endangered species.
While visiting, look out for the nineteenth century palm house and the water lily pavilion. If you come in spring, the wisteria arbor will be in full bloom with purple flowers. Make sure you call into the Museum of Economic Botany to see some amazingly realistic recreations of flowers, seeds and mushrooms.
No visit will be complete without calling in to Adelaide’s version of a tropical oasis in the Bicentennial Conservatory. It’s the largest single span glasshouse in the Southern Hemisphere and houses all sorts of interesting and endangered plants. One of the favorites is the elusive Corpse Flower (Titan Arum) that only blooms every two or three years and has the distinctive smell of rotting flesh.
A relaxing stroll through the Adelaide Botanic Gardens is a great addition to any South Australian itinerary.
Wellington Botanic Gardens, New Zealand
– Sarah from Sarah Sees The World
The Wellington Botanic Gardens are right on my doorstep in Wellington, New Zealand and my favorite in the world. The 25-hectare gardens include protected native forest, conifers, specialized plant collections, and colorful floral displays as well as a popular children’s playground and views over Wellington city.
To get there you can take the famous Cable Car up to the top from Lambton Quay, Wellington’s popular shopping street, and follow the paths and sculptures down (stopping at the playground if you wish!) to finish in the main seasonal flower gardens.
The perfect time to visit is during the Spring Festival when the tulips are out, but the Rose Garden seems to have various roses in bloom all year-round and is a beautiful setting for a coffee or brunch at Picnic Cafe.
The Wellington Botanic Gardens also host an annual summer festival in January with free nightly concerts in the soundshell and lighting displays to walk through.
Christchurch Botanic Gardens, New Zealand
– Emma from Kiwi Money Mum
The Christchurch Botanic Gardens are located near the center of Christchurch in New Zealand’s South Island. They span an impressive 21 hectares and contain many native and endemic plants, as well as a café, playgrounds, and paddling pools for the little ones, picnic areas and walkways.
We love exploring the Christchurch Botanic Gardens as a family. There is always something new to discover. We especially love the walkways around the water garden. There are many places to chill out in the sun (or shade) with a good book or have a picnic.
The Christchurch Botanic Gardens (known as ‘the gardens’ to locals) are a ten-minute walk from Cathedral Square in the city center. There is free parking for up to three hours in the carpark off the Armagh Street and Rolleston Avenue bridge.
Gates open at 7 am and close at 6:30 pm in winter and 9 pm in summer.
Best Botanical Gardens in Europe
Where is the world’s oldest botanical garden? It is one of two in Italy.
Some sources say the Orto Botanico di Padova is a botanical garden in Padua, in the northeastern part of Italy is the oldest botanical garden in the world. Founded in 1545 by the Venetian Republic, it is the world’s oldest academic botanical garden that is still in its original location.
Another source says that the Orto botanico di Pisa was founded in 1545 by the Medici family in Pisa, Italy. Either way, there are some historic botanical gardens in Italy.
Saussurea Alpine Botanical Garden, Courmayeur, Italy
– Gemma from A Girl And Her Dog On The Road
When you are out enjoying a hike in the Italian Alps it can be rather surprising when you suddenly happen across a Botanical Garden high up on the mountainside.
This is what happened whilst I was exploring the area around Courmayeur, where I am spending a few months.
The Alpine Botanical Garden Saussurea sits at over 2,000 meters above sea level and includes a beautiful rock garden and a less cultivated alpine pasture. The focus on alpine flora and fauna is quite unique. If you come at the right time of year you may get to appreciate the famous Edelweiss.
You can visit the gardens by getting the Skyway Monte Bianco Cable Car to the first station which is called Pavillon or, if you are feeling energetic, you can walk up from La Palud. The walk climbs up through woodland and then open pasture and is well worth it.
If you are going up with children there is also a lovely little play park.
Perhaps best of all, you are surrounded on all sides by absolutely stunning views of the Mont Blanc Massif.
Berlin Botanischer Garten, Germany
– Yulia from Miss Tourist
I am a really big fan of botanical gardens in general and I try to visit one as often as I can, in almost every country I go to.
The Botanical Garden in Berlin is definitely on my Top Five List of botanical gardens for many reasons.
First, it is truly huge! You can spend entire hours just walking around those vibrant green, fresh greenhouses filled with endless types of plants and flowers and you won’t get bored, that’s for sure. It doesn’t even matter if you are crazy passionate about plants and flowers or not, the Botanical Garden in Berlin is truly mesmerizing for any kind of traveler. Berlin Botanischer Garten is aiming to be “the world in a garden” and it houses around 22,000 different species of plants (cacti, white water lilies, carnivorous plants, huge bamboo trees, and more) and even a botanical museum, the only one of its kind in the entire Central Europe.
For me, botanical gardens are a great source of fresh air and a serene place for meditation and relaxation in the hustle and bustle of the city and this is only one of the reasons why you should add the Botanical Garden to your bucket list for Berlin.
Terra Nostra Botanical Park, Sao Miguel, Azores, Portugal
– Deeptha from The Globe Trotter
Spread over 31 acres, the Terra Nostra Botanical Park in Sao Miguel is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the Azores. The botanical park is over 200 years old and includes a number of gardens, walking avenues, streams, grottoes, and the highly popular thermal pool.
The pool is mineral rich, with the water temperature ranging between 35 and 40 degrees Celsius and is one of the main draws of the park. Some of the other popular areas in the botanical park include the fern collection (more than 200 varieties), the extensive Camellia collection, the Cycad Collection (said to be one of the largest European collection of Cycads), and the endemic flora garden that includes more than 70 varieties of plants that are native to the Azorean islands.
The grottoes that are scattered across various parts of the park are also very interesting. Overall, it is a unique botanical park, one that you must not miss visiting when travelling to the Azores.
The Japanese Garden, Budapest, Hungary
– Audrey Chalmers, from Gumnuts Abroad
Tucked into a corner of Budapest’s Margaret Island is a flawless Japanese Garden. It’s considered one of the most beautiful spots on the island. And with its water features, wooden bridge, and cute statues we can see why. The garden was built in the 1970s and in recent years has undergone extensive renovation. There are bamboo groves, Japanese maples, swamp cypresses, and Japanese inspired benches and seats to rest on.
Like most Japanese gardens water is an important feature here. And there are ponds filled with goldfish, turtles, ducks and water lilies. There’s even a pretty waterfall that gently trickles into the sparkling water below. We particularly liked the statue known as “The Little Mermaid of Budapest” that sits in the center of the pond. The garden has a serene environment that entices visitors to sit quietly in harmony with nature.
Tip: Try to visit towards the end of March when the trees are in bloom.
Jardin Exotique d’Eze, France
– Andrea from Andi On Adventure
Located high on a hilltop midway between Nice, France and Monaco, lies a small medieval village called Eze. As you wind through the cobblestone streets, keep walking in the direction of the sea and you’ll stumble upon the most amazing botanical garden. It’s a must-see for any visit to Eze!
The garden is built into the hillside on the ruins of a medieval fortress and offers the most stunning views over the red-tiled roofs. In the distance is the coastline of Cote d’Azur with Cap Ferrat, Mont Boron, and Antibes visible. The view is breathtaking and well worth the six-Euro entrance fee!
Scattered throughout the botanical garden there are 15 sculptures, “Goddesses of the Earth,” created by French artist Jean-Philippe Richard. Each one has a plaque with her name and a thought-provoking quote, encouraging you to stop and meditate.
Continue up the steps to the very top of the garden and you’ll find the remains of Sainte-Croix Chapel built in 1306. Information plaques are scattered around the edge of the remains and tell the fascinating history of the chapel and the enchanting village of Eze.
Keukenhof Gardens, Lisse, Netherlands
– Bianca from NomadBiba
The Keukenhof Gardens (which means Kitchen Garden in Dutch) in the Netherlands are definitely one of the most impressive gardens that I’ve ever visited. Known as the “Garden of Europe,” it happens to be the second biggest flower garden in the world. Located in Lisse, about 40 km away from Amsterdam, the Keukenhof is one of the country’s main tourist attractions with over one million people coming to visit every year.
One of the things that make the Keukenhof such an amazing place to visit is the sheer quantity of flowers that you can admire. Every year, over seven million flower bulbs are planted. Most of the flowers on display are tulips, but in the gardens and indoor pavilions, you can also see hyacinths, daffodils, orchids, roses, carnations, irises, lilies, and many others. The Keukenhof only opens for eight weeks every year, from mid-March to Mid-May. So if you are travelling to the Netherlands during that time, you should definitely visit the Keukenhof; because even if you are not into flowers, you’ll be impressed by it!
Yerevan Botanical Garden, Armenia
– Louiela from Beyond Chasing Dreams
Yerevan Botanical Garden is unique and extraordinary. It is not the usual botanical garden that we expect. This garden was opened during Soviet Era in 1935 in Avan District, Northeastern of Yerevan, Armenia.
With expectations to what botanical garden is, I must admit that Yerevan Botanical Garden made me ask, “what happened?” This question gave me the curiosity to explore more.
With broken panes of glasshouses, the trees and plants have overgrown. We can witness here the survival and power of nature. In spite of the lack of maintenance, there are still tree-lined pathways to walk and benches to sit. It remained to be a place with solemn open space to admire the foliage that hasn’t been really cared for…
So, why this happened?
The maintenance and financial support of the garden has been severely affected by the end of the Soviet Union. Yerevan Botanical Garden is a must-visit if you are into seeing places that are something-Soviet.
Overall, Yerevan Botanical Garden is a beautiful and peaceful place to enjoy solitude, find connection with nature and this is what I loved most.
Jevremovac Botanical Gardens, Belgrade, Serbia
– Stephanie from Sofia Adventures
Jevremovac Botanical Gardens in Belgrade is one of the city’s true hidden gems. While it’s no secret among locals – it’s one of Serbia’s most visited nature sites – it doesn’t get the international tourism it deserves. Which is a shame, because it was one of my favorite actives in Belgrade from my most recent trip to the city. Located in Palilula outside of Stari Grad, the gardens are a great escape from the bustle of downtown. I found it refreshingly peaceful.
The gardens have an interesting history of being entangled with communist censorship. They were built in the 19th century and named after King Milan Obrenović’s grandfather. After the Communists took over, they suppressed the name of the park and locals were told to call it just the “botanical gardens.” For over fifty years, they could not use the park’s actual name.
After the fall of communism, the name Jevremovac was put back in use and is proudly displayed at the gates.
Best Botanical Gardens in Asia
Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens, China
– Suzi from Survey Suzi
The Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens are quite unique among botanical gardens because it isn’t just a botanical garden, but there is a zoo part as well!
Hong Kong’s botanical gardens is on Hong Kong Island and is a great respite from the concrete jungle especially if you visit when it’s hot and humid. It’s a great place to sit and relax after a morning of sightseeing and there is a lot of shade. We loved the fountain area.
Once you have finished relaxing, it’s more interesting than many other gardens because you can view animals. There are birds, monkeys and other animals. The gardens are in two parts with a road between them. Make sure you find the underground tunnel and visit both parts.
If you have kids, there is also a playground area that’s lots of fun. I recommend getting a taxi up here from other parts of Hong Kong Island – it’s a steep walk and Hong Kong can be hot!
Gardens by the Bay, Singapore
– Marianne from Mum on the Move
The 100-hectare garden is home to over a quarter of a million rare plants, with many paths, suspended walkways, gardens, and water features to explore. The most famous attractions in Gardens by the Bay are the super trees – which have achieved iconic status since they were introduced in 2012.
An elevated walkway connects two of the larger super trees (not for those with a fear of heights!), giving panoramic aerial views over the gardens. Impressive light shows take place here every evening at 7.45 pm and 8.45 pm and should not be missed.
Also within Gardens by the Bay are two climate-controlled conservatories: The Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest. Both are fun to explore and make for a welcome break from Singapore’s heat and humidity.
If you are visiting with kids, there is a fabulous (free to use) water play area. This is ideal for cooling off on a hot day, so be sure to bring your swimmers (the water play area is closed on Mondays).
Garden of Morning Calm, Gapyeong, South Korea
– Marie from Be Marie Korea
Gapyeong is a famous tourist destination among foreign travelers. The most famous sites in the area are Nami Island, the Garden of Morning Calm, La Petite France, and Gapyeong Railbike. All of these locations have been featured in numerous Korean dramas or movies.
The 30,000-m² garden was created by a professor at Sahmyook University and is the oldest private garden in Korea. The garden houses over 5,000 kinds of plants including 300 plants that are native to the Gapyeong area.
All through the year, festivals are held in the garden, including the Spring Garden Festival and the Winter Lighting Festival. The best time to visit is during spring or autumn season. In spring the cherry blossom trees are in full bloom and during autumn the Korean foliage is extremely beautiful.
Try staying away from the Garden in weekends as then it is extremely busy and the garden can not be enjoyed to its fullest.
The Seoul Botanic Park, South Korea
– Hallie from The Soul of Seoul
The Seoul Botanic Park is the newest Botanical garden and greenhouse to open in the capital of South Korea. Technically, the park doesn’t open until May of 2019 but it is currently hosting a soft opening of sorts for locals and visitors until the official opening next spring. The entire park is roughly the size of 70 soccer fields and features outdoor gardens under various themes as well as a gorgeously huge greenhouse with twelve different unique botanical culture represented from twelve cities around the world. The gardens also have cafes and restaurants making it the perfect place to spend an entire day. The Seoul Botanic Park is definitely the newest hot spot in the city.
Hanoi Botanical Gardens, Vietnam
– Grace from Extreme Nomads
Hanoi, the clamoring, chaotic capital of Vietnam, is hardly the place that jumps to mind when you think of lush greenery and gardens. At street level, Hanoi is all beeping horns, swerving motorbikes, careening food vendors, and hole-in-the-wall shops piled high with china and silk lanterns. Charismatic, for sure- but it can feel pretty overwhelming. For me, this is a huge part of why the Hanoi Botanical Gardens is such a special place.
An oasis of calm, the Hanoi Botanical Gardens cover the sprawling grounds around the Presidential Palace- a lavish yellow building that was originally constructed to be the home of President Ho Chi Minh (though, interestingly, he chose instead to live in a small cabin elsewhere on the grounds). As soon as you step inside the garden walls, you feel world apart from the din of downtown.
The gardens are filled with pomelo trees and tropical flowers which grow alongside the winding pathways, eventually leading to the park’s centerpiece- an enormous carp pond full of gold, red, white, and black fish. While you’re there, make sure to pay a visit to the nearby Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, where the former president’s preserved body is available for viewing.
Best Botanical Gardens in Africa
There are many beautiful botanical gardens in Africa, including Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden in Cape Town, South Africa; Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech, Morocco, and Entebbe Botanical Gardens in Uganda. The garden listed below, Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Gardens is the oldest botanical garden in the southern hemisphere. I hope to add more African botanic gardens in the future.
Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Gardens, Pamplemousses, Republic of Mauritius
– Corinne Vail from Reflections Enroute
Mauritius is an island located in the Indian Ocean about 1100 miles east of Madagascar. Its natural flora includes rainforests and other tropical plants. Therefore, one of the best places to visit is the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Gardens, the national botanical gardens of the country.
Established in 1767, the botanical gardens have a variety of plants that people come from all over the world to view. One of these is the flowering palm, or Corypha umbraculifera. For me, though, I enjoyed the lotus gardens as well as the giant lily pads. The park is laid out so that it’s easy to visit all of the highlights, keeping as cool as you can in the humid weather.
One of the surprises in the gardens was a giant tortoise enclosure, put there to keep the animal safe from human encroachment. The botanical gardens is located in the Pampelmousses area and is open 8:30 – 5:30 every day of the year, including holidays, so don’t miss out!
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Cape Town, South Africa
– Suzanne from PhilaTravelGirl
Visiting Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, located in Cape Town, South Africa was a surprise start to finish. As someone who can barely keep a house plant alive, I’m drawn to the diversity of gardens around the world, but Kirstenbosch deserves its own category for its unique blending of nature, art, and biodiversity. One of ten national botanical gardens in South Africa, Kirstenbosch is the more popular given its location at the base on Table Mountain (there are trails to the top). While the stunning landscapes will astound you, it was the unique yellow bird of paradise, often called “Mandela’s Gold” that captured my attention. The gorgeous flower was one of many “wow” moments throughout the gardens. As a photographer, you will be spoiled with opportunity to capture color, variety, and uniqueness at the gardens and maybe see the owls that hide in the trees. After you capture all the perfect social media pictures, put the camera down, find a bench, and breathe in the beauty of the gardens and Table Mountain. This moment in Kirstenbosch is just for you and no one else.