Travel guideEverything you need to know about the Frankfurt Palmengarten

Discover why this beautiful botanical garden is a perfect family day out

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New York has the Botanical Garden, London has Kew and Frankfurt has the Palmengarten. A vast and verdant sanctuary in the shadow of the city’s skyscrapers, it is bursting with exotic blooms and enchanting flora and fauna that will fascinate budding junior botanists and adults alike.

 

A noble history

Opened in 1871, the Palmengarten has an illustrious heritage. Duke Adolph of Nassau’s Wiesbaden-Biebrich castle gardens were home to an impressive collection of over 200 exotic plants. 

With the help of esteemed horticulturalist Franz Heinrich Siesmayer, he used them to establish the Palmengarten in Frankfurt. 

It quickly became Frankfurt’s definitive destination for discerning social gatherings, helped by the addition of a concert space. Siesmayer’s successors over the years have since expanded the grounds, added greenhouses and modernised it into the glorious destination it is today.  

 

Botanical delights

Frankfurt Palmengarten is home to 13,000 species of plant, all planted across stunning themed gardens or housed in vast glass conservatories. 

The star of the show is the garden’s Art-Deco-style Palm House, one of the world’s largest. Step inside a lush jungle with giant shrubs, tree ferns and tropical plants filling every corner. The modern Tropicarium replicates sweltering biospheres, such as steamy rainforests, arid deserts and mangrove swamps; look out for the giant perennials and glorious orchid flower beds as you walk through.

 

Travel from the tropics to cooler climes in The Subantarctic House where the flora of outer Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego and the Falkland Islands are on show, along with other plants indigenous to the southern hemisphere.

The grounds themselves are wonderful for an afternoon stroll. From the shrub-adorned Rock and Heather Gardens to the Japanese-inspired Bamboo Grove, Palmengarten is filled with beautiful botanics at every turn. Look out for the seasonal exhibits where visitors can enjoy fragrant blooms such as roses and azaleas at their best.  

 

Family fun

One of the best ways to see the garden in all its glory is by hopping aboard the Palmen-Express, the miniature railway that chugs around the garden’s grounds. Kids will also love the garden’s playground, complete with fairytale castle, climbing frames, sandpits and slides, or taking a boat out on the lake, followed by a family picnic on the lawn. 

The Palmengarten even has an educational centre, the Green School and innovative Children in the Garden project, where visitors can join a variety of horticultural-themed classes, talks and workshops.  

 

Located in the heart of the city, just 10 minutes from Frankfurt Palmengarten, Jumeirah Frankfurt is a sophisticated base from which to explore this German city’s highlights.