Across Europe, there are many stunning gardens and national parks that are definitely worth considering for a visit. Naturally, it’s impossible to list them all, but we’ve put together some of the most famous and unique botanical gardens in Europe, known especially for their beauty and diversity of plant life.  

6 unique and beautiful European botanical gardensThese are some of the best gardens the continent has to offer. 

1. Monet’s Garden, FranceMonet’s former home, now an elaborate garden open to the public, is where he produced his famous lily series. Located in Giverny, the charming village in Normandy in northern France where the artist lived until he died in 1926, the garden consists of two main parts: a flower garden and a Japanese inspired water garden.

The “Clos Normand” flower garden is divided into flowerbeds and fruit gardens with iron arches. The Japanese inspired water gardens have the famous bridge that is covered in wisterias, weeping willows, bamboo woods, and water lillies. These gardens are especially unique because of the dedication and devotion Monet put into growing his botanical beauties before painting them.

2. Arctic Alpine Botanical Garden, NorwayThe world’s northernmost botanical garden, Tromso’s Arctic Alpine Botanical Garden is filled with arctic, antarctic, and alpine plants from across the globe. The garden is open the entire year, with no fences or gates, and so is freely accessible to all. It’s a joy to see the garden at various times throughout the year because in the spring there are a plethora of bulbs that bloom.

In autumn, the colours are extremely vibrant, and by wintertime, snow covers the evergreen shrubbery, making it look like a winter wonderland. The garden contains over 25 collections of some of the rarest plants in the world. Along with some of the best natural scenery out there, the garden also has a cosy Hansine Hansen’s café that is open during the summer months for visitors to enjoy waffles, cake, ice cream, and hot drinks.

3. Alhambra Palace and Gardens, SpainThese exquisite gardens where the sultans of Granada would relax are a must-see for everyone. The Alhambra Palace and Gardens in Granada, Spain are the epitome of elegance and royalty. These Arab gardens are a representation of paradise, full of delight and pleasures. Water is an important part of this garden, and it is present in the fountains, ponds, and water sources.

The amazing gardens are lined with colourful tiles with beautiful flower motifs that are characteristic of Arab art. There are different sections that are open to visitors for free at any time.

4. Keukenhof Gardens, The NetherlandsThe Keukenhof Gardens are one of the largest gardens in the world and are known internationally for their stunning collection of tulips. Around seven million flower bulbs are planted here every year, and while Keukenhof is most famous for its tulips, there are also hyacinths, daffodils, lilies, roses, carnations, and irises. The famous tulip display is open for eight weeks from mid-March to mid-May, with the peak being in April, when over 800 different types of tulips are on display.

In addition to the tulip gardens, there is also an English landscape garden, a nature garden, and a Japanese country garden. There are also flower shows, intricate artworks, and wonderful events. The garden is only a short distance away from Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, and is easily accessible via public transportation. 

5. Maninau Islands, GermanyThe gardens are uniquely located on an island in Germany’s Lake Constance and are seen as a great model for environmental practices. Along with flowers, there is a park landscape with a view of the lake, and a greenhouse with tropical climate and thousands of butterflies.

This island garden has a microclimate, able to sustain palm trees and other Mediterranean plants, along with other rare and valuable plants such as a redwood tree. There are also palaces and other historic buildings in this stunning place, and if someone chooses to, they can have an opulent wedding on this garden island.

6. Rose Garden, Switzerland As well as being a stunning rose garden, the Rose Gardens in Bern, Switzerland offer visitors an incredible view of the Old Town, the Minster and the Aare River. Since the garden is situated up high, the views of the landmarks and sights of the city are incredible. On clear days, you can even catch a glimpse of the local mountains.

This public park and garden is a great place to visit to relax in the afternoon for a picnic with your family or even to read a lovely book by yourself. And because it has one of the best views to offer, don’t forget to take an incredible photo here as well! 

Explore nature this summer! If you enjoyed this list, then it’s time to head and see the real thing! Most of these are open during the spring and summer season, and some are open all year round and provide a great opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle of life and explore nature!

This article originally appeared on IamExpat in Switzerland.

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