I don’t normally visit botanical gardens when I’m in a new city. To be honest, I’ve never found anything quite appealing about them, except for the fact that they offer some much needed respite from the hubbub of big cities.
But after popping into the gorgeous Palmengarten, a stunning botanical garden in Frankfurt, I started to understand why such places are popular among tourists.
If you’re planning to visit Frankfurt anytime soon, here’s why you should take advantage of a sunny day in the city to visit the largest botanical garden in Germany.
It’s not just for plant lovers.
A leafy paradise in the heart of Frankfurt, Palmengarten, which means ‘Palm Garden’, has been open to the public since 1871. Besides housing a rich variety of tropical and exotic species, this 22-hectare garden complex is also a popular venue for exhibitions, concerts and theatrical performances. Oh, and sunbathing, too.
You don’t need to have a keen interest in plants to enjoy a stroll through Palmengarten. Take your camera with you – there’s plenty to catch your photographic eye. If you’re planning to spend a full day in the garden, pack a good book and scout for a hidden spot.
You can also ride a paddle boat across the lake or bask in the sun on one of the sunbeds in the Green Rest Area.
It transports you to another world.
Actually, it transports you to different parts of the world. From the humid climates of rainforests to the semi-arid land of desert regions, Palmengarten takes you around the globe through a perfect simulation of various natural habitats. Most of these plants are found in The Tropicarium; a group of 14 greenhouses containing species from fog deserts, mangrove swamps, monsoon forests, cloud forests and lowland rainforests, among other regions.
Another stunning attraction is the 18-metre-high Palm House, which was constructed in 1869 and is one of the largest buildings of its kind in the world. Packed with exotic wonders, which include gigantic palm trees and a few charismatic cockatoos, the Palm House gives one the impression of having just walked into a lush tropical forest.
You can have a wee adventure in the heart of Frankfurt.
Palmengarten is the perfect respite from Frankfurt’s busy shopping streets. Despite being located bang in the city centre and surrounded by tall buildings, the botanical garden is tucked well away from traffic and noise.
But Palmengarten is not just a place to go to for some peace and quiet – it is also the right stop for anyone craving some outdoor fun while in Frankfurt. After surviving the sultry heat of the Tropicarium Humid Tropics, head to the Rock and Heather Garden and explore the secret passageways in this area.
You need at least an hour to explore the different areas in the garden and good walking shoes are highly recommended. Also, you don’t need to take any food with you; there are two restaurants and a kiosk in Palmengarten, and their prices are quite reasonable. Caféhaus Siesmayer has a wide selection of cakes and sweets.