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When it comes to gardens, Europe has a lot to offer. From centuries-old gardens with fascinating histories to more modern ones with innovative designs, there’s sure to be a garden that appeals to your taste. So pack your bags and get ready to enjoy some of the most beautiful gardens in the world!
There are many different gardens in Europe that are worth visiting. Each garden has its unique features and charms that make it special. Some gardens are centuries-old from Roman times, while others are more modern.
- Best European Gardens to Visit
- 1. The Gardens of Versailles, France
- 2. Keukenhof, Netherlands
- 3. The Boboli Gardens, Italy
- 4. Real Jardin Botanico de Madrid, Spain
- 5. Villa d’Este, Italy
- 6. Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Scotland
- 7. Alhambra Palace and Gardens, Spain
- 8. Jardin des Plantes, France
- 9. The Botanical Gardens of Padua, Italy
- 10. The Gardens of Schönbrunn Palace, Austria
- 11. Mainau Island, Germany
- 12. The Botanical Garden of the University of Coimbra, Portugal
- 13. The Orto Botanico di Brera, Italy
- 14. The Gardens of the Royal Palace of Caserta, Italy
- 15. Kew Gardens, England
- 16. Arctic-Alpine Botanical Garden, Norway
- 17. Petrin Gardens, Czech Republic
- 18. Monet’s Gardens, France
- 19. Alpine Botanic Garden, Switzerland
- 20. Luxembourg Gardens, France
- 22. Het Loo Palace Gardens, Netherlands
- What are some of the best gardens in Europe to visit?
- Which European country has the best gardens?
- What is the biggest garden in Europe?
- What’s behind the primal lure of the garden?
Best European Gardens to Visit
Let’s get into our list of the most beautiful gardens in Europe to visit.
1. The Gardens of Versailles, France
The Gardens of Versailles are some of the most famous in the world, and for good reason. Spanning over 800 hectares, the gardens feature beautiful lawns, groves of trees, flower beds, sculptures, and fountains. The incredible scale of the gardens is sure to impress, and there’s plenty to explore, making it a perfect spot for a day trip from Paris.
As you wander through the Gardens of Versailles, you’ll be transported back to the height of the French monarchy. From the manicured lawns to the intricate sculptures, every detail has been carefully designed to create an experience that is truly unique.
Whether you’re a history buff or simply looking for a stunning place to spend a day, the Gardens of Versailles will surely exceed your expectations.
2. Keukenhof, Netherlands
Keukenhof, or the Kitchen Garden, is a must-visit for flower lovers and Holland-goers alike. This incredible flower garden in the Netherlands is home to over 7 million bulbs, including 800 different types of tulips. Keukenhof is open for just a few weeks each year, so be sure to plan your visit accordingly!
You’ll see these world-famous tulips up close and personal during your visit. The Keukenhof gardens are truly a sight to behold, especially with the Dutch windmill backdrop. Make sure to snap plenty of pictures during your visit.
See Related: Best Museums in Europe to Visit
3. The Boboli Gardens, Italy
The Boboli Gardens are located in Florence, Italy. Dating back to the 16th Century, the gardens were created for the Medici family and feature an impressive array of sculptures, fountains, and flowers.
The Boboli Gardens are particularly beautiful in springtime when the flowers bloom. The best time to visit the gardens is early morning before the crowds arrive. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes as a lot of walking is involved. The Boboli Gardens at Pitti Palace is a must-see for anyone visiting Florence.
4. Real Jardin Botanico de Madrid, Spain
Today, it’s home to over 4,000 different species of plants, making it a veritable paradise for anyone who loves to explore and learn about new plant life.
In addition to its many different species of plants, the Real Jardin Botanico de Madrid also boasts a beautiful glass greenhouse. Trust us – this is one spot that you won’t want to miss on your next trip!
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5. Villa d’Este, Italy
Villa d’Este is one of the best gardens in Europe and definitely worth a visit if you’re ever in Italy. The villa was built in the 16th Century for Cardinal Ippolito d’Este and featured an impressive array of fountains, statues, and flowers.
The gardens are lovely in the spring and summer months when the flowers bloom. Even if you’re not a gardener, you’ll appreciate the Villa d’Este for its history and beauty. So, if you want to learn more about gardening or see some of the best gardens in Europe, be sure to add Villa d’Este to your list.
6. Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Scotland
You can’t miss the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh when you’re in Scotland – it’s one of the most beautiful gardens in the world. The garden covers 70 acres and is home to over 13,000 different species of plants.
The garden also has an impressive glasshouse, which is worth a visit. You’ll definitely want to take your time exploring all the different areas of the garden and be sure to bring your camera so you can capture all the beauty.
If you’re looking to visit the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, then there’s no need to worry – it’s easy to get to from anywhere in Scotland. The garden is just a few minutes from Princes Street in the heart of Edinburgh.
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7. Alhambra Palace and Gardens, Spain
Alhambra Palace and Gardens is a Spanish tourist destination with a fortress, and the palace complex Generalife Gardens and Graça. Alhambra is known for its Islamic style and is considered one of Spain’s most popular tourist destinations.
The Alhambra Palace is amazing and a walk around, admiring rare flowers, and provides a joyful, tranquil sensation unlike anywhere else in the world. Do not miss the terraced pool of the Acequia, a vast pool surrounded by flower beds, fountains, and arcades. Take a walk on the promenades and see the cypresses.
Pro Tip: Get an Alhambra ticket with Nasrid Palace. Three hours is a reasonable amount of time to explore. Alhambra Palace and Gardens should not be missed on your next visit to Spain!
See Related: Things to Do in Costa del Sol, Spain
8. Jardin des Plantes, France
If you’re looking for a historic garden to explore on your next trip to Paris, add the Jardin des Plantes to your list. The garden was founded in 1626 and is home to over 10,000 different species of plants.
It’s one of the top gardens on this list if you’re traveling with kids. In addition to its impressive plant collection, the Jardin des Plantes also has an impressive zoo, which is worth a visit.
The garden is a great place to spend an afternoon strolling among the flowers and getting up close and personal with some of the world’s most amazing animals.
See Related: Most Beautiful Villages in France
9. The Botanical Gardens of Padua, Italy
The Botanical Gardens of Padua are some of the oldest in the world, founded in 1545. The gardens are home to over 8,000 different species of plants, making it an excellent spot for plant lovers.
The gardens also have an impressive glasshouse, which is worth a visit in itself. The Botanical Gardens of Padua are located in Italy and can be reached by train from Venice. The journey takes about an hour and a half. The gardens are open every day from 9 am to 5 pm.
Admission is 10 Euros for adults, 5 Euros for students, and free for children under 6. The gardens are a great place to spend a day seeing some of the world’s oldest and rarest plants.
10. The Gardens of Schönbrunn Palace, Austria
The Schönbrunn Palace Gardens are some of the most beautiful in Europe. The gardens span over 50 hectares and feature beautiful lawns, groves of trees, flower beds, sculptures, and fountains. The gardens are lovely when the flowers bloom in the spring and summer.
Schönbrunn Palace is a popular tourist destination for those who appreciate gardens and history. The gardens are considered some of the best in Europe, and they do not disappoint. If you find yourself in Vienna, be sure to add Schönbrunn Palace to your list of must-see destinations.
See Related: Best Places to Visit in Austria & Things to Do
11. Mainau Island, Germany
Mainau Island in Germany is home to one of the best gardens in Europe that you can visit during summer and spring. Mainau is affectionately known as a ‘flower island’ for its spectacular baroque palace and lavish Italian-style garden on ten terraces. The Mainau rose garden is one of the island’s highlights, with a pyramid of more than 1,000 roses.
It’s definitely worth making a trip to see the rose garden if you’re lucky enough to visit Mainau in April. Spring Avenue is another must-see attraction on Mainau Island, where you can observe the abundant color. If you love flowers, Mainau Island is definitely a place that you’ll want to add to your travel itinerary.
12. The Botanical Garden of the University of Coimbra, Portugal
The Botanical Garden of the University of Coimbra is one of the best gardens in Europe. The garden is home to over 5,000 different species of plants, making it an excellent spot for plant lovers.
The garden also has an impressive glasshouse, which is worth visiting. The Botanical Garden of the University of Coimbra is definitely worth a visit if you’re ever in Coimbra.
To get to the Botanical Garden of the University of Coimbra, take a train from Lisbon. The journey takes about two and a half hours. The gardens are open every day from 9 am to 5 pm. Admission is 10 Euros for adults, 5 Euros for students, and free for children under 6.
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13. The Orto Botanico di Brera, Italy
The Orto Botanico di Brera is one of the best gardens in Europe and definitely worth a visit if you find yourself in Italy. The garden was founded in 1776 and is home to over 6,000 different species of plants. The garden layout is relatively traditional, with neatly manicured lawns, hedges, and flower beds.
The real highlight of the Orto Botanico di Brera is the garden’s glasshouse. The glasshouse was built in 1829 and is one of the oldest in Europe.
It houses a collection of exotic plants from all over the world, including cacti, palms, and citrus trees. The Orto Botanico di Brera is a must-see for any garden lover or anyone interested in horticulture.
14. The Gardens of the Royal Palace of Caserta, Italy
The Gardens of the Royal Palace of Caserta are some of the most beautiful in Europe and span over 120 hectares. The Royal Palace of Caserta Gardens features beautiful lawns, groves of trees, flower beds, sculptures, and fountains. The gardens are gorgeous when the flowers bloom in the spring and summer.
The gardens are a must-see for anyone visiting the area. Visitors can easily spend a whole day exploring the luxurious gardens and taking in the sights—plenty of places to grab a bite to eat or have a picnic.
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15. Kew Gardens, England
Kew Gardens, London, England, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and arguably the most famous entry on this list. The garden has more than 50,000 living plant species and contains the most extraordinary biosphere on the planet.
Part of the Royal Botanic Gardens’ appeal is its iconic architectural designs and landscape designs by distinguished landscape architects. Highlights include the Forest Garden, whose entrance is the temple Aeolus. This temple was built in the 1760s as a tribute to Aeolus, the king of Wind.
In Greek mythology, Aeolus was entrusted with keeping the winds imprisoned subjects of Zeus at Aeolus’ home on an island. Aiolos would release them from their imprisonment depending on what direction they needed to go.
The Aeolus Temple is a circular domed folly that overlooks the lake. It is one of several temples and monuments throughout the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, built during Georgian times as garden ornaments.
Another highlight is the Palm House, a spectacular glasshouse housing a collection of palm trees and other tropical plants. The Prince of Wales Conservatory, built in 1987, contains ten internal climate zones, including a tropical zone with a rainforest canopy walkway 30 feet above the ground is also must-see.
See Related: Things to Do in London
16. Arctic-Alpine Botanical Garden, Norway
If you’re looking for a breathtaking garden experience, put the Arctic-Alpine Botanical Garden in Norway at the top of your list! This beautiful park is located in the Arctic Circle, and it comes alive in spring with stunning flowers and wildlife.
Among the most beautiful species in the garden are Arctic ponies, Siberian lilies, Wilander buttercups, and Tibetan blue poppies. The latter bloom in late June and can reach heights of 3 feet!
When planning your trip, remember that the best time to visit the garden is late May and early July. During this period, you’ll see the most incredible variety of flowers and plants in full bloom.
See Related: Famous Historical Landmarks in Norway to Visit
17. Petrin Gardens, Czech Republic
Petrin Gardens in Prague are one of the city’s best-kept secrets. These beautiful gardens are located at Petrin Hill and can be accessed by taking a scenic funicular ride.
The summit of Petrin Hill contains a fragrant rose and lavender garden, as well as stunning Seminary gardens with more than 200 fruit trees. Children will love running around in the mirrored mazes, making this an enjoyable experience for the whole family.
Prague’s Petrin Garden and Petrin Tower are definitely worth a visit for the excellent views from a panoramic perspective.
18. Monet’s Gardens, France
Claude Monet’s gardens are some of the most beautiful gardens in the country – if a lot smaller than many others on this list. Monet spent his last 40 years painting, planting, and caring for his flowering plants. Poppies, sunflower, and nasturtium plants will be found along this garden tour, as well as irises, peonies, daffodils, and many rose plants.
A few steps from here are the marshes and a small lake where Monet created the renowned Oriental floating gardens. This city day trip from Paris is easily accessible by train. Monet’s Garden is a must-see for anyone who loves flowers and gardening.
The garden is well-maintained, and the flowers are beautiful. Claude Monet’s Garden is a great place to spend a day if you’re looking for a beautiful place to relax and enjoy nature.
See Related: Must-See Small Towns in France
19. Alpine Botanic Garden, Switzerland
The Alpine Botanic Garden in Wengen is one of the most beautiful gardens in Europe. The garden has over 700 varieties of native Alpine vegetation and breathtaking panoramas of the mountains and lakes. The garden is open from late May to September.
Head north on a railway track through Schynige Platte to begin your trip. While in the garden, you may listen to Julie Andrews’ songs from “The Sound of Music.” When visiting Switzerland, Alpine Botanic Garden is a must-see.
Getting to Wengen, Switzerland, is easy whether you’re coming by air, rail, or road. The closest airport is Bern Airport (BRN), about an hour away by car or train. Take the A6 motorway from Bern towards Thun if you’re coming by car. Exit at Spiez and follow the signs to Lauterbrunnen. From Lauterbrunnen, it’s a 10-minute- or 20-minute train ride to Wengen.
If you’re coming by rail, take the scenic route on the GoldenPass panoramic train line from Montreux or Lucerne. The journey takes about 3 hours and gives you stunning views of the Swiss Alps.
20. Luxembourg Gardens, France
The Luxembourg Gardens are another one of the most beautiful gardens in Europe and definitely worth a visit when you’re in the Saint-Germain neck of Paris. These gardens were inspired by the Boboli Gardens of Florence and Queen Marie Medici. They consist of two parts; the French Gardens and the English Gardens.
In the middle of the Luxembourg Gardens is a geometric forest with a pond. If you’re lucky, you might see some of the ducks that live there. The Luxembourg Gardens also have an apple orchard, an apiary, greenhouses full of orchids, and beautiful rose gardens. It’s a delightful place to spend a few hours walking around and enjoying the different flowers’ sights and smells.
See Related: Best Lakes in Germany
22. Het Loo Palace Gardens, Netherlands
Het Loo Palace, located in Apeldoorn, is a beautiful medieval palace built in 1250 for William of Orange. The Het Loo Palace gardens are definitely worth a visit if you’re in Holland, as they are some of the most stunning gardens in Europe.
The Het Loo Palace Gardens will be open to the public each spring, beginning in April, while the Het Loo Palace is renovating. When visiting the Het Loo Palace gardens, you’ll definitely want to take some time to explore and enjoy all the beauty that surrounds you. It will be even more beautiful in a year or two!
What are some of the best gardens in Europe to visit?
While many beautiful and unique gardens are located throughout Europe, some standouts include Kew Gardens in London, England, the Keukenhof Gardens in the Netherlands, and the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh, Scotland. And the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris, France. Each of these gardens has distinct features and attractions that make them well worth visiting.
Which European country has the best gardens?
Many different gardens in Europe are worth visiting. Each beautiful flower garden has unique features and charms that make it special. If we had to choose just one European country with the best gardens, it would have to be Italy.
The Italians have historically had a true passion for gardening, which shows in the beautiful gardens throughout the country. Some of the most beautiful gardens in Italy to visit include Villa d’Este in Lombardy, Boboli Gardens in Florence, and Orto Botanico di Padova.
What is the biggest garden in Europe?
Keukenhof is the biggest floral garden in the world and is located in Lisse, Netherlands. The popular attraction has over 7 million bulbs planted in the gardens annually. Keukenhof means “the kitchen garden” and is frequently called “The Gardens of Europe.”
The Keukenhof is only open for eight weeks between mid-March and mid-May.
During this time, Keukenhof welcomes almost one million visitors from all over the world. Keukenhof consists of 32 hectares of land, over seven million flower bulbs, and 800 varieties of tulips.
There are also many beautiful sculptures throughout Keukenhof. In Keukenhof, you can also find a windmill, an old country house, and a Dutch clog shop.
In terms of actual size, Kew Gardens are the largest botanical gardens in Europe and the world, covering over 300 acres and playing host to the most extensive living plant collection at a single site – around 17,000 plants.
What’s behind the primal lure of the garden?
Gardens are unique places for so many different reasons. For some, peace and tranquility come from being surrounded by nature. For others, it’s the chance to get away from everyday life’s hustle and bustle and reconnect with what’s important. And for still others, it’s simply the beauty of being in a place where everything looks perfect.
No matter what your reason is, there’s no doubt that gardens have a special place in our hearts. And that’s why we’re always looking for the best gardens in the world.
Whether it’s a stunning public park in England or a hidden gem in Italy, we want to ensure you have all the information you need to find the perfect garden for your next vacation.
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Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a full-time traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers experience a fully immersive cultural experience as he did initially living in Italy. He’s a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wanderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). After visiting 12 countries and 13 national parks in a year, he was devoted to creating and telling stories like he’d heard.
Plus, after spending more time on airplanes and packing, he’s learned some incredible travel hacks over time as he earned over 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points in under a year, helping him maximize experiences as much as possible to discover the true meaning of travel.
He loves listening to local stories from around the world and sharing his experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time.