The Garden Landscape Guide

Leiden Botanical Garden

Photograph ©
Photograph ©
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 purposes. 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.

Rapenburg 73, Leiden, Holland, 2311 GJ

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

Entrance fees Adults 5 6,- Children up to age 3 free Children age 4 - 12, CJP 5 3,- Museum card (MJK), ICOM free

Visit the Leiden Botanical Garden website

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  • over 4 years by Alina Chiriloi, Bucharest 5 / 5

    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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