A visit to the Cologne Botanical Garden is a must for any tourist with a child. It is one of the oldest botanical gardens in Europe and if you are holidaying in Köln, take a few hours to visit this big blooming space to unwind. Designed by the famous Prussian landscape architect Peter Josef Lenne, the foundation of the garden was laid out in 1864 and it was considered to be the most complete garden ensemble of its time. The garden covers an area of 11.5 hectares and here are some reasons why you should visit this public place.

Things to know before visiting the Cologne Botanical Garden

  • It is a free attraction. This green urban oasis in Cologne is free to visit but make sure to check the opening hours before you visit.
  • Cologne Botanical Garden is also an events venue. Founded in 1863, Flora as it is popularly known used to have a winter garden with a glass roof and restaurant. The design of the winter garden was influenced by the London Crystal Palace, and it was a very popular place for balls and weekend trips. In 1920, it was merged with the adjacent botanical garden and it is what you will see today.
  • Another fun place to combine with the Cologne Botanical Garden is the Kolner Zoo which lies across the public garden.
  • An interesting way to visit the Cologne Botanical Garden is to take the cable car from Rheinpark, across the Rhine, and all the way to the Flora. However, expect crowds and long queues at the cable car stations.
  • A quicker and easier way to get to the gardens is via a hop-on hop-off tour bus.

Things to see a

  • Don´t miss the gorgeous Dahlia patch. This is a summer showstopper. With over three hundred varieties of dahlias grouped on well-designed garden beds, these flowers bloom in phases: from early summer to late autumn.
  • The French parterre is a stunning display of almost 30,000 summer flowers from all continents. It has indigenous flowers from South African red geraniums to Australia-native silver baskets.
  • The alpine garden has two thousand species of mountain-loving plants. Some of the blooms are even protected species and you might even find an edelweiss up close.
  • If you are lucky, then visit the Cologne Botanical Garden in spring to see the camellias in full bloom. Incidentally, this is where specialists grow the most delicate camellias. The Cologne Botanical Garden holds annual exhibitions of these beautiful flowers.

Take a look at this photo essay of Cologne Botanical Garden in summer. Have I convinced you to visit the Köln Zoo Flora yet? Oh, have I mentioned the dahlias?

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P.S – This blog post is part of the series called the Cologne Diaries, which highlights a new theme, emotion, and beauty of an expat life in Cologne. For more exotic fun, check out my Cairo Chronicles in the Expat Life category.