GardensThings To Do

De Hortus – Botanical Gardens in Amsterdam

Hortus Botanicus

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.

hortus botanical gardens amsterdam
De Hortus botanical gardens in Amsterdam

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 (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!

hortus botanicus greenhouse amsterdam
Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam – greenhouse

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) hosts the Hortus cafe inside the grounds is a great spot for a drink / snack with outdoor terrace – products served are organically and locally sourced. There is a 3 course lunch deal (€34) which includes admission.

hortus botanicus orangery amsterdam
Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam – Orangery

There is a large Hortus store onsite is located in the former director’s chalet-style home.  It sells plants, garden-related products, books, fair-trade food and various gifts.

There is also the small Zuidas Botanic Garden in Amsterdam Zuid which offers free entrance.

It is recommended to pre-book a ticket and timeslot.

Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam Essential Info

Opening TimesDaily 1000-1700.
Admission Prices (2022)€11.50 for adults, €6.50 for children 5-14, students and CJP cultural youth pass holders. FREE entry for children 0-4 and Iamsterdam City Card holders. Note, Museumkaart is NOT valid.

An annual pass costs €40 (one person) or €80 (family).

You can order the Iamsterdam City Card online here which gives free entrance to the Hortus.

Getting ThereDe Hortus can easily be reached from the centre of Amsterdam on foot – head towards Waterlooplein and continue further east along the Plantage Middenlaan. From Amsterdam Central take tram 14 to the Mr. Visserplein stop. Metro lines 51, 53 and 54 serve Waterlooplein.

Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam, Plantage Middenlaan 2A, 1018 DD Amsterdam
T: +31(0)20 625 9021, dehortus.nl

Last updated 10 January 2022. This article was first published in 2010 and has been regularly updated.

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