8 Best Botanical Gardens in the World

Northern Hemisphere or Southern, east or west, there’s always something in bloom at the best botanical gardens in the world. The astonishing variety of flora on display offers an escape for nature lovers and inspiration for aspiring green thumbs. And although most of these top botanical gardens are temporarily closed as part of the global effort to contain the spread of COVID-19, some are offering virtual tours online—and all are dreamy ideas for when you can hit the road again.

1.Royal Botanic Gardens – Kew, England

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Kew Gardens is the world’s largest collection of living plants. Founded in 1840 from the exotic garden at Kew Park in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, UK, its collections include more than 30,000 different species of plants, while the herbarium has over seven million preserved plant specimens.
Kew’s glasshouses provide hours of undercover discoveries. With amazing giant lily pads in the Waterlily House, exotic rainforests in the Palm House, and 10 climatic zones in the Princess of Wales Conservatory. While Kew Palace and the Royal Kitchens allow you to discover Kew’s history and explore a beautiful Georgian royal retreat.

Visit Kew Gardens virtually:


7 Best Botanical Gardens in the World

2.Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences – Yunnan, China

Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden of the Chinese Academy of Sciences was established in 1959. It is a public institution directly under the Chinese Academy of Sciences. It is a comprehensive research institution integrating scientific research, species preservation, and science education and a well-known scenic spot at home and abroad.

8 Best Botanical Gardens in the World

In 2011, it was approved as a national 5A-level tourist attraction. In 2013, it became the chairman unit of the Chinese Botanical Gardens Alliance. In 2015, it approved the establishment of the Southeast Asian Biodiversity Research Center of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. In 2019, it was approved as one of the three components of the core botanical garden of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The whole park covers an area of about 1,125 hectares and collects more than 13,000 kinds of live plants. There are 38 special plant areas and an original tropical rain forest with an area of about 250 hectares. The botanical garden with the most parks is also the botanical garden with the largest number of outdoor preserved plant species and plant groups displayed to the public in the world.

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3.Jardin Botanique de Montreal – Montreal, Canada

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The garden, which was founded in 1931, takes advantage of both indoor and outdoor spaces to provide a year-round treasure to visitors. In warmer months, the 30 themed gardens is the best place to visit. Highlights include the largest Chinese Garden outside Asia and the Japanese Garden, dedicated to bonsai and featuring some exquisite water features, as well as a First-Nations Garden that focuses on the cultivation of North American crops.
In cooler weather visitors head indoors to the Insectarium, containing 160,000 live and preserved bug specimens. The highlight is the Butterflies Go Free exhibit, during which thousands of live tropical butterflies and moths are released into the glasshouses.”


4.Singapore Botanic Gardens – Singapore

7 Best Botanical Gardens in the World7The Singapore Botanic Gardens, the Lion City’s crown jewel, celebrates its 160th anniversary this year. It is the only tropical botanic garden on the UNESCO World Heritage list and the first UNESCO World Heritage site in Singapore. The 203-acre greenspace welcomes millions of visitors a year, many drawn by plentiful photo opps of lakeside gazebos, groves of wild fruit trees, the bonsai garden, and a perfumed grouping of frangipani. Of special note is the 7.4-acre National Orchid Garden—the largest of its kind, with more than 1,000 wild species and 2,000 hybrids, organized into color zones.

5.Arctic-Alpine Botanical Garden – Tromso, Norway

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The Arctic-Alpine Botanical Garden, the world’s northernmost botanical garden, showcases traditional perennials and herbs from the tippy-top of Norway, plus a surprising array of plants from other continents. Part of the University of Tromsø, there are 25 collections in total, specializing in Arctic and Antarctic plants, as well as species native to the Himalayas, South America, and Africa. The garden is open year-round and free to visit, but most flowering takes place between May and October. In winter, BYO skis to experience the AABG’s evergreen shrubs and snow-capped rockscapes.

6.New York Botanical Garden – New Your City

This garden contains 50 different gardens and plant collections. Garden highlights include an 1890s-vintage, wrought-iron framed, “crystal-palace style” greenhouse; the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden; a rock garden; a 37-acre conifer collection; extensive research facilities including a propagation centre, 550,000-volume library, and an herbarium of over seven million botanical specimens dating back more than three centuries.
At the heart of the Garden is 50 acres of old-growth forest, the largest remnant of the original forest which covered all of New York City before the arrival of European settlers in the 17th century.

Visit the NYBG virtually:


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7.Missouri Botanical Garden – St. Louis, Missouri

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Established in 1859 by merchant Henry Shaw, this National Historic Landmark is America’s oldest botanical garden still in continuous operation. Its 79-acre spread is best known for the Climatron, a geodesic-dome greenhouse with a rain forest–like climate, dense tropical foliage, and a river aquarium teeming with exotic fish. More than 2,800 plants grow inside, including cacao and coffee. It’s also earned international acclaim for its comprehensive botanical reference library and herbarium with more than 6.5 million mounted specimens (the second-largest in the States). Other notable draws include the 14-acre Japanese strolling garden, one of the oldest in the nation, and an 8,000-square-foot glass butterfly conservatory housing more than 60 species of the winged beauties and 100 species of exotic flowering plants.

Visit Missouri Botanical Garden virtually on its YouTube channel:


8.Desert Botanical Garden – Phoenix, Arizona

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The Desert Botanical Garden has a unique display of desert plants with plenty of walking trails. It is beautiful no matter what time of year you visit, and you can learn about the many varieties of plants by taking a tour through the garden. There are several places where you can get food, and the prices are in line with the area – and the food is good. There are always special exhibits on display. You can also learn about gardening and sustainable living.

Visit the Desert Botanical Garden virtually on its YouTube channel:


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