hectares containing 22,000 plants from all over the world, Berlin’s World
Garden is not only
one of the world’s biggest – it’s also one of the most impressive.
Located in the
Steglitz district, the garden dates back to the 17th Century, when
it was used to grow herbs for the royal family. Today it’s owned and managed by
the city’s Freie Universität (Free University) and features enough attractions to keep visitors busy all
day long: rock gardens, an arboretum, a garden with medicinal and poisonous
plants, a Romanesque rose arbour, a smelling and touching garden for the visually
impaired… plus 15 striking 19th-century steel-and-glass greenhouses
containing a multitude of tropical plants.
One of the most romantic times to visit is on the annual
Botanical Night, this
year held 13 July. From 5 pm, the gardens are embellished with and theatre
performances, food and drink stalls, special illuminations and even mythical
creatures. Botanists and gardeners run guided tours, and at nightfall visitors
can watch an elaborate firework display over the Italian garden.
Though the event draws up to 10,000 people, the
gardens are vast enough to absorb the crowds and not feel cramped. If you’re not yet in town, don’t worry: the event also
kickstarts the venue’s popular Summer Open-Air
Concert series . The impressive line-up includes Berlin's own Trio Fado, who give famous fados (Portuguese songs) new arrangements (19 July), and the Deutsches
Symphonie Orchestra playing the works of Roussel, Saint-Saens and Mozart (23
Tickets for the Botanical night cost 38 euros and can
be bought via the official
website or at the box office (49-18-05-44-70). Children under 14 are free
with proof of age.
for the Summer Concert series cost 15 euros per event and can
be bought in advance from Konzertkasse COCA 36 or at
the box office on the day of.
Paul Sullivan is the
Berlin Localite for BBC Travel. He also runs/writes slowtravelberlin.com.