De Hortus Botanicus is located just east of Amsterdam centre and is one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world.
With its garden and special greenhouses it has a collection of over 4,000 plant species. It is a lovely place to spend a couple of hours and connect with nature...
The Hortus was opened by the city council in 1638 - originally as a medicinal herb garden to help combat plague-type illnesses which gripped Europe at the time. Its collection then expanded as Dutch traders bought back exotic plants from all over the world, particularly from South Africa and Asia. Today the Hortus organisation does important work ranging from education to the preservation of plant species. It specialises in the care of cycads and other rare plants from the African Cape region.
The Hortus is spread over 1.2 hectares and is split into 29 sections for different types of plant species. There are 7 greenhouses on site - including the old Palmhouse (from 1912), a butterfly greenhouse and the modern 3-climate greenhouse (1993) which has desert, sub-tropical and tropical climates. Walking from outside into the hot and humid tropical section is certainly an experience!
There are leaflets at the entrance (Dutch and English) with info and maps - including an "evolution tour" and "tree route" which highlights 24 trees in the garden, some over 200 years old.
The Orangery (1875) cafe inside the grounds is a great spot for a drink / snack with outdoor terrace - products served are organically and locally sourced. It can also be rented for private functions.
There is a large Hortus store onsite selling plants, garden-related products, books, fair-trade food and various gifts.
Hortus Essential Info
Opening Times: Open 1000-1700 daily. Closing time is extended to 1900 in July and August.
Admission Prices (2016): Adults €8.50, students €5, children 5-14/seniors 65+ €4.50; free entry to children 0-4 and Iamsterdam City card holders. Note, Museumkaart is NOT valid. A guided tour is given on Sundays at 1400. Private tours can also be arranged on request.
Getting There: The garden can be reached easily with a short walk from Waterlooplein. Or take trams 9 or 14 to stop "Mr. Visserplein".
Botanicus, Plantage Middenlaan 2a, Amsterdam
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