Botanical gardens in the Netherlands
With the sun shining down gloriously on the Netherlands, what better a time than now to visit one of the many botanical gardens that the country has to offer? In the Netherlands, 26 botanical gardens are members of the Dutch Association of Botanical Gardens.
Let’s take a look at a few of these gardens!
Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam
Amsterdam has a few botanical gardens, but we’ll just mention two of them. You can find the Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam at Plantage Middenlaan 2A. It opens from 10am to 5pm every day and tickets for adults without a discount are 9,75 euros. Throughout the year, there are free guided tours on one of the days in the weekend- you can ask at the entrance for more information.
The garden is abounding with treasures, such as the Snippendaal garden, where you can find several species of plants from the 17th-century collection- in those days, medicinal herbs were of great importance, as they were used as a basis for medicines.
Other treasures include the Wollemi pine, a species vulnerable to extinction, and of which only a small number exist today; carnivorous plants in the butterfly greenhouse and a canopy walk in the Three Climate Greenhouse, which takes you from the subtropics to the tropics.
The Hortus Botanicus is full of gorgeous plants and collections to explore. And the wonder doesn’t end there. They also regularly have exhibitions. The current one, Table topics, runs from April 6 to August 31 and delves into food behaviour and edible plants. Visitors will be able to see the edible plant collection.
Botanische tuin Zuidas
Another one of the Botanical gardens in Amsterdam is the Botanische tuin Zuidas, which you can find at the Van der Boechorststraat 8, just behind the VU hospital. This garden may be small, but it has a rich plant collection of over 6.000 species and is free to visit! It is open on weekdays from 9am till 5pm or from April to October on weekends from 12pm till 5pm.
In the garden, you will come across a greenhouse complex with varying climates, greenhouses for seedlings and a cactus and succulent greenhouse, which houses the largest collection of these plants in the Netherlands. Some of the plants are more than 100 years old- now that’s an achievement!
The garden areas vary in collection. Explore the Chinese miniature landscape garden, a Bonsai display or the large-scale collection of Australian shrubs and trees. The garden is also special as plants that are seized at Schiphol airport are brought there to be taken care of. These plants are endangered species and may not be transported to other botanical gardens in the Netherlands.
Botanical Garden TU Delft
This garden is the largest single green area adjoining the Delft inner city and was made almost a hundred years ago. Upon entering, you will find yourself in the Tree Garden, where there is also a barefoot path for if you feel like freeing yourself from your shoes.
In the Tree Garden, there is also a rock garden, aviary and a children’s playhouse. Further into the garden, you will reach the Middle Garden, a space surrounded by high gables. Here, volunteers grow edible crops, lost vegetable species and flowers that bees love.
In the centre of the garden, you’ll find greenhouses filled with tropical and subtropical plants. You will also come across the Technical Plants section and a Tree Pavilion with a visitor’s platform at four metres above the ground.
The Botanical Garden is open from 10am until 5pm from Monday to Saturday during the year and on Sundays from 12pm to 5pm from the months April to October. Entry costs six euros for adults without a discount. If you have a Museum Year Card, you get in at no extra cost!
Pinetum Blijdestein Hilversum
This botanical garden tucked away in the suburbs of Hilversum can be found at Van der Lindenlaan 125. This garden is specialised in Gymnosperm plants, such as conifers, pines, junipers and yews, but also has a collection of ferns, rhododendrons, cycads and ephedras.
The Pinetum is home to almost 400 of the 1.000 species of Gymnosperm worldwide and 14 of the 26 endangered species. The garden is part of the Dutch National Plant Collection and one of the most important collections of conifers in the world!
The garden is open from Monday to Friday at 9am until 4.30pm and during the weekend from 12pm until 4.30pm. To enter, adults will need to pay an admission fee of only 2,50 euros! If you visit on a Wednesday, admission is free!
Hortus botanicus Leiden
The Hortus botanicus Leiden is the oldest botanical garden in the Netherlands. You can find it at Rapenburg 73. Permission to create the botanical garden was granted to Leiden University in 1590. Carolus Clusius, prefect of the garden, came to Leiden in 1593 and set up an extensive collection of plants. Clusius introduced the Netherlands to the tulip we all know and love.
The Hortus botanicus is home to more than 10.000 species of plants from all over the world. Some particular treasures you can find there are the Victoria Amazonica, a giant water lily with the largest water lily flower in the world- its leaves are so big that they could hold a small child; the jade vine, whose azure coloured flowers are hard to miss and the Titan arum, nicknamed the corpse flower due to its smell when in bloom.
It’s open from 10am until 6pm in the summer. Entrance costs eight euros for an adult ticket and is free to those with a Museum Year Card.
Photo: Wim Sonius
Trompenburg Tuinen en Arboretum Rotterdam
In Rotterdam, you can also find more than one botanical garden, but let’s take a look at Trompenburg Tuinen en Arboretum, which is located at Honingerdijk 86. The garden was created in 1850 in the style of an English landscape with plenty of water elements, winding paths and different types of trees.
Trompenburg Tuinen en Arboretum is known for its collection of trees, perennials, bulbs and tubers. Its collection of oaks, beeches, holly and plantain lilies are part of the Dutch National Plant Collection. You'll also be able to find around 700 different types of rhododendron, cactuses and other succulents in this garden.
This botanical garden is open from Tuesday to Sunday at 10am until 5pm and on Mondays from 12pm until 5pm. During the winter, the opening hours are shorter. To gain entry, you will need to buy a ticket, which costs 9,50 for the whole day. Museum Year Card holders get in for free.
Utrecht Botanic Gardens
The botanical garden in Utrecht is located in the heart of the Utrecht Science Park at Budapestlaan 17 and covers an area of nine hectares. At Utrecht Botanic Gardens, you will find six areas with distinct characteristics, namely the Rock Garden, Evolution Garden, Discovery Garden, Tropical Greenhouses, Birders Den and Bee Hotel.
The Rock Garden is one of Europe’s largest rock gardens and here you will be able to see primroses and a mountain brook and waterfall. You will also come across southern marsh orchids, sundews and cotton grass at the Atlantic Bog. In the other garden areas, you can see magnolia and water lilies along with dozens of other types of flowers.
Visit the greenhouse to see tropical plants and also edibles, such as mango, banana, papaya, cacao and vanilla. You can also admire the collection of succulents and tropical climbers, as well as “Cape plants” and several species of passiflora.
The gardens are open from 10am until 4.30pm every day and entrance for an adult without discount costs 8,50. If you have a Museum Year Card, you don’t have to pay admission!
Other botanical gardens in the Netherlands
There are of course plenty of other botanical gardens in the Netherlands that you can visit. We’ve only mentioned seven of the 26 which are members of the Dutch Association of Botanical Gardens. For more information about the 19 other botanical gardens you can visit in the Netherlands, please visit the Dutch Association of Botanical Garden’s website.