Last updated on 19 October 10

Leiden Botanical Garden

  5.0/5 (1 ratings)
  • Leiden Botanical Garden, Holland Photograph ©
  • Von Siebold Memorial Garden, Leiden Botanical Garden Photograph ©

Gardenvisit Editorial

One of the Europe's first botanic gardens, now part of the University of Leiden. It is small and beautifully kept. There is also a Japanese garden named after the scientist Von Siebolt who carried out botanical research in Japan during the 19th century. Part of the botanical garden is a historical reconstruction of the very first version of Leiden university botanical garden. It is a 16th for medical purposes. There is also a systematic garden named after the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus.

Head Gardener's Comment

The Hortus botanicus is the oldest

botanical garden in the Netherlands and

located in the historical centre of Leiden.

Behind the academy building of the

University of Leiden you will discover

a green oasis with a large collection of

plants native to South-east and East Asia,

Southern Europe and South Africa.

The Hortus is a haven within the city

centre, a historical monument and a

meeting place full of character. People

come here to relax, enjoy the seasons or

to learn more about the diversity of the

vegetable plant.


In 1590 the Hortus was founded by the

University of Leiden. In 1594 Carolus Clusius

(1526 - 1609) turned it into a medicinal herb

garden. But Clusius introduced the tulip

and many other plants to the Hortus.

These flowers and plants became known

throughout Western Europe.

A living museum

There are more than ten thousand botanical

species and dozens of bird species growing

and living in the Hortus. For more than

four centuries and to this day plants from

all corners of the world are collected and

cultivated in the garden and greenhouses

for research, education and exhibition


The current Front Garden is the oldest part

of the Hortus. It was founded in 1590 and

houses the Clusius garden which is a reconstruction

of the garden of 1594. Here you

will also find the Winter Garden which has

a large collection of Cycades and carnivorous

plants. The Hortus also has a monumental

Orangery dating from 1744 and

extensive tropical greenhouses, many old

trees, a beautiful Fern Garden, Rosarium,

Japanese Garden, Herb Garden, Nut Field

and System Garden. Many famous

international scientists such as Clusius,

Boerhaave, Linnaeus and Einstein were

connected to the Hortus botanicus in

Leiden. In the 19th century the German

physician Philipp Franz von Siebold

(1796 - 1866) brought hundreds of plant

species with him from Japan to the

Netherlands and 15 of these original

introductions can still be found in the

Hortus today.

Research and education

The Hortus botanicus in Leiden has always

been a garden where students come to

study plants. Scientists of the Hortus are

cooperating with NCB Naturalis

(Netherlands Centre for Biodiversity

Naturalis) to write research on plant

species. The Hortus also plays an important

role in the cultivation and preservation

of endangered species. Dutch and foreign

botanical gardens are cooperating and

exchanging material in order to preserve

these threatened species.

Plants of Note

Carnivorous plants, orchids, Ginkgo bilabo, Amorphophallus titanum, Victoria amazonica etc.

Address - Rapenburg 73, Leiden, Holland, 2311 GJ
Opening times - All year. Daily (except Monday from November to March). Winter November 1 - March 31, Closed on Mondays Open Tuesdays until Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Summer April 1 - October 31 Open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed October 3 (relief of Leiden) December 25, 2010 until January 1, 2011
Admission - Entrance fees Adults 5 6,- Children up to age 3 free Children age 4 - 12, CJP 5 3,- Museum card (MJK), ICOM free
Website - Visit the Leiden Botanical Garden website

Nearby Gardens

Gardens within 30km as the crow flies from this garden.

Reviews and Comments

Have you visited this garden?

  • over 2 years ago Alina Chiriloi, Bucharest said

    It takes at least two hours to visit this botanical garden, and it is a good idea to know in advance which are the most interesting plants to see for the specific season when you are visitng. You shouldn't miss the greenhouses, the Japanese garden, the arboretum, and the systematic garden. There are many more places worth seeing in Hortus Botanicus Leiden, and you will have a great time.


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