Visiting Copenhagen in the wintertime means you don’t get to sit at Nyhavn and drink beer. But there’s plenty of other things to do.
I live in Copenhagen and any time of the year the Botanical Garden is where my son and I go to “hygge”, but especially in the cold wintertime, the warm palmhouse is comforting.
The Botanical Garden
The botanical garden is actually a kind of a living museum – a collection of plants from all over the world. It’s part of the Natural History Museum belonging to the University of Copenhagen and research ground for botanists.
The history of the Botanical Garden dates back to 1600. The first was established on demand from the King, but it took almost 100 years until a gardener was hired.
Many plants in the garden are quite rare and old. One of the most prominent men of his time, Ole Worm (1588-1654) introduced a great number of Danish medicinal plants as well as rare foreign species into the first garden. Some are endangered or extinct, so don’t pick or step on any plants!
After the first botanical garden, two more gardens were funded by interested Kings, but finally it moved to the current location in and the construction was partly overseen by meacen and founder of the Danish brewery Carlsberg I.C. Jacobsen.
The Palm House
The palm house is both beatiful and a great place to pretend you’re somewhere tropical.
The great palmhouse was a very impressive construction when it was finished in 1874.
Inside are kept plants that cannot survive in the colder, ever changing Danish climate. In the largest room in the palmhouse it’s hot and damp – as you can see on my lens.
When you get inside, you have to take the stairs around the top. It might not be that fun if you are afraid of heights, but for everyone else it’s a great place for pictures.
In the Palmhouse and out in the garden you’ll see small yellow signs. These mean the plant is poisonous! Be careful if you have kids who will put everything in their mouths…
Next to large main room, there are several side houses with different climates and plants from all over the world – also from your country. Remember to see the Amorphophallus Titanum, a huge rare penis-flower that only blooms every decade. You might also see small frogs or butterflies.
The garden is protected by law. The garden is quite large with small ponds and secret places.The large number of statues is also thanks to aforementioned I.C. Jacobsen. (They are actually all over Copenhagen)
In the corners and all over the garden, there are nice benches. Especially the ones behind the two smaller greenhouses with rare plants will shield you from the cold wind. In the summertime there’s a small cafe serving drinks and ice cream.
On a small hill inside the garden, there’s an astronomical observatory. It’s closed for the public, but I’ve been inside a couple of times on special occasions. On the picture below, you can see how part of the roof slides back so the telescope from 1895 has a clear view of the night sky.
The garden is free to enter. The palm house used to be free, but now it’s 9 euro. You can also buy the entrance as part of a package to more museums.The garden is open 8.30-16 during winter and until 18 in the summer. Note the greenhouses are only open between 10-15/17 and the smaller cacti house only for an hour.
You’ll find all info here!
For more on Copenhagen, find a Local’s Top Free Sights or head to one of the islands for Ice cream & herring on the Sunshine Island of Bornholm.
Do you know a great botanical garden?