Strasbourg Botanical Gardens is like an oasis in the middle of the city and feels pretty underrated and less known than other city parks. We got there on bikes and locked them right near the entrance.
Strasbourg Botanical Gardens, pros, and cons
1. The entrance is free!
And the Gardens are easy to find: located on the university grounds in the middle of the city. (The full name is Botanical Gardens of Strasbourg University.) Hours: daily from 15.00 – 19.00. (Check the website for occasional closures)
2. Lots of shade and trails to escape on a hot summer day
We especially liked the bamboo forest for it, (and even made a superquick picnic there):
3. Fewer crowds than at the popular Orangerie Park
During our visit, on a hot Thursday evening, there were maybe 10 other families. We had a lot of space and time to walk, stop, and read the signs (well, to translate with Google :))
4. Huge, captivating collection of plants
Almost 5000 species of plants grow at the Strasbourg Gardens.
Nearly half of the garden area is devoted to the arboretum, where you can find trees native to all 5 continents! I was happy to spot North American trees: Bald Cypresses (native to the Southeastern US, I wrote about them here).
A little story about Bald Cypress “knees”, pictured below:
– the origin and purpose of roots growing OUT of the ground are still unknown. Aerating and supporting the tree in unstable, muddy soil are the top explanations.
Local Giant Sequoia, pictured below, is also very worth stopping at. (Giant Sequoias have been named the “largest trees in the world”, and they are also one of the oldest. The famous one, General Sherman in California is around 2200 y.o., 83 meters high)
We also were delighted to find plants we used to see in Hawaii: fragrant, blooming plumeria:
And sensitive plants, Mimosa pudica (in the video below). The leaves of the plant fold inward and droop when touched, defending themselves:
Most of all we liked Serre Tropicale, a tropical greenhouse section of the Garden with 450 plants:
Also, the trail around the pond is very nice: it has several secluded platforms to sit on and a nice willow tree:
- The Garden is beautiful and deserves more funding and hands to take care of it … I checked the webpage and didn’t find anything for volunteers. I bet people would love to devote some free time to it.
- The Garden might not be suitable for little children who want to be “free”: loud voices, plant picking, and climbing the trees are forbidden. A very nice lady was patrolling the Garden to make sure everybody follows the rules.
- Not sure if it is suitable to spread the blanket or have a picnic: I didn’t see anybody who was doing this. But it wasn’t on one of the 10 rules either :).
Strasbourg Botanical Gardens: other good to knows
- We spent 1.5 hours at the Gardens and saw maybe 3/4 of it.
- Public toilets we passed on the way to the Gardens located right near Quai des Pêcheurs street and Pont Saint-Guillaum. As far as I know, there is no public one onsite at Strasbourg Botanical Gardens.
- There is a nice view from the Pont Saint-Guillaume over the iconic, gothic St Saint-Paul church standing on the island.
Merci beaucoup! – Thank you very much 🙂
– Your Grazy Goat