A sea of flowers in summer – and tropical nights in winter. Discover the fascinating world of plants at Berlin’s Botanic Garden!
In 1889, Adolf Engler, the first director of the modern Botanic Garden in Berlin, set out to create “the world in a garden”. Today, you can enjoy his remarkable achievement – a rich diversity of plants, from herbaceous and medicinal plants to roses, aquatic and marsh plants, an arboretum including American trees, an Italian garden, an impressive art nouveau Tropical Greenhouse, and much, much more. The Botanic Garden in Berlin is one of the world’s leading gardens, with a collection of 20,000 plant species flowering on site – a magnet attracting around half a million visitors every year.
Berlin’s Botanic Garden – from Arboretum to Tropical Greenhouse
The Botanic Garden offers 43 hectares for guests to stroll and explore. Laid out between by 1897 and 1910 by architect Alfred Koerner, the garden comprises three sections: the Arboretum (woody plants and rose collection), plant formations from similar geographical regions from around the world, and a section dedicated to systematic botany comprising around 1500 plant species.
The landmark Tropical Greenhouse offers a magnificent example of late nineteenth-century art nouveau design in glass and steel. Twenty-five metres high and set on the eastern edge of the garden, it towers over another 14 display greenhouses placed around it.
The Botanic Garden is not only a popular attraction in summer. In winter too, visitors can take the Seasonal Trails to explore the plants of Africa, Australia, East Asia, the tropics and the Mediterranean basin. Incidentally, as in the majority of Botanic Gardens, no dogs are allowed except for registered disability assistance dogs.
One of the jewels in the Botanical Garden is the over 100-year-old Viktoriahaus greenhouse. The romantic greenhouse is named after the giant water lily Victoria, and the glass pavilion is also home to tropical marsh and water plants.
The Victoriahaus is currently closed due to extensive renovations. It opens in summer with a big exhibition from 16 June to 25 August.
Berlin’s Botanic Garden is also home to a museum dedicated solely to botany – the only museum of its kind in central Europe. Since 1906, the Botanical Museum has housed the former royal collection of plants. This collection has been steadily expanded and includes a stunning range of models revealing plant structures normally invisible to the human eye – and an entire forest in a shoe box! You can even find out which plants were offered as funerary goods in the tombs of the Egyptian Pharaohs.
Events in the Botanic Garden – Concerts, Perennials Market and Tropical Nights
When the weather turns really cold in January, the Botanic Garden opens its doors to celebrate its Tropical Nights. On Friday and Saturday evenings, visitors can escape winter to enjoy music and cocktails under the palm trees in the Tropical Greenhouse. The Botanic Garden offers a wealth of concerts and markets through the year – with summer concerts, the Botanical Nights, the Berlin Perennials Market and the Orchid Show heading the popularity rankings for visitors.
The range of tours available on many days of the year also offers a chance to gain a deeper insight into the gardens and their rich variety of plants. The highlight or themed tours, all with experienced guides, are also offered in English for the garden and the museum – and due to their popularity, it’s well worth booking in advance (more details at http://www.bgbm.org/en/guided-tours).
Botanic Garden – Accessibility
The Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum are equipped with wheelchair accessible toilets and lifts. The Fragrance and Touch Garden covering 3000 sq. metres is especially designed for visually impaired and low vision visitors – and comes with the scents of eucalyptus, rosemary and chives. And in this area, visitors are actively encouraged to touch the plants!
Information for school classes
For school classes, a day ticket for the Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum only costs one euro per pupil. If school classes are only visiting the Botanical Museum, admission is only 50 euro cents for each school pupil. Supervisory adults with a school class do not pay an entrance fee (applies to a maximum of two adults). In addition, the Botanikschule offers guided tours for school classes on such topics as botany, the environment and sustainability.
Dahlem – the village
If you haven’t seen enough plants already, directly next to the Botanical Garden on Altensteinstraße is the Königliche Gartenakademie, a gardening school with a pleasant café in the greenhouse. The centre of the district, Dahlem-Dorf, is also very nice – take a stroll along it. On Königin-Luise-Straße the busy city seems very far away. In the Luise beer garden, students from the FU Berlin sit under shady trees discussing their recent lectures.
It’s much busier when the Domäne Dahlem hosts mediaeval festivals or the Christmas market. The former manor house is now an agricultural open-air museum with a farm shop. Not far away is the Dahlem museum complex.
Find out more about the city’s neighbourhoods with our Going Local Berlin app.
Opening hours (additional information)
Museum & Greenhouses:
Mon - Sun 9am - 7pm
Mon - Sun 9am - 8pm
Closed on 24.12.