If you’re looking for a beautiful day trip, try Palmengarten, Frankfurt’s botanical garden. Open year-round, it’s an exquisite place in and of itself. And it manages to shine even more thanks to it’s unexpected location in the heart of one of Germany’s largest cities.
It’s no surprise that the Palmengarten hosts beautiful landscapes. If you visit in the spring and summer, you’ll want to remember to bring your camera. The meticulously manicured rose garden is a must-see for any green-thumbed fairies among you looking for inspiration or a sight with which to forget all your daily troubles. There are, of course, many other varieties of gardens, including a succulent, perennial, bamboo, and heather garden. In spring, the bulbs bloom in droves around the ponds and pathways.
Several water features scattered throughout the park add to the beautiful landscape. The largest is a shallow lake which has rowboats for rent (during summer) so you can get a closer look at the fish and waterfowl or reenact “The Notebook” (no shame, we’ve all done it). Either way, you will train your upper arms and see the garden from a new perspective. It’s a win-win-situation, if you ask me. Prices and information on boat rentals can be found at the Palmengarten website.
If you’re looking to escape the chilly air or happen to have caught a drizzly day, Palmengarten mercifully has several indoor houses, which host impressive displays of exotic and tropical plants. We enjoyed our retreat in the Tropics house as we walked from one humid room to the next and admiring the foliage.
Do not miss the nearby Palmenhaus, or Palm House, which features rotating exhibits throughout the year. During our visit, we were blown away by the Orchid exhibit, which had multiple varieties on display (and for purchase!).
Kids will have a great time exploring this botanical wonderland. In addition to two playground areas with slides, swings and climbing things, there is minigolf and a mini train.
The 18-hole mini golf course is open daily May-September from 10 a.m.-6 p.m and on weekends or holidays in April and October. Clubs and balls are available for a €10 deposit from the nearby Children’s Kiosk. A game will cost €2.50 for adults and €1.50 for children 14 and under. The Children’s Kiosk also sells snacks and drinks to replenish your energy after a lively game!
For those looking for a more leisurely visit, the Palmen Express electric train will take families around the Palmengarten daily from April to October. Tickets are €1 for children 2-16 and €1.50 for adults.
Where to eat
Café Siesmayer, located inside the park, is a Vienna-style coffee house that offers traditional German cakes and French pastries as well as sandwiches, soups, salads and a small menu of hearty German delicacies. Stop to enjoy a treat or do what we did and take your chocolate éclairs to go! They were even more enjoyable sitting inside the Tropic House, watching turtles bathe in a waterfall.
The Palmengarten is open February-October from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and November-January from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tickets are €7 for adults and €2 for kids 13 and under.
How to get there
Address: Palmengarten, Siesmayerstraße, Frankfurt
The Palmengarten is located in downtown Frankfurt, a 20 minute walk from Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof. It is a 5 minute walk from the nearby Bockenheimer Warte U-bahn station. For train times and information visit DB Bahn or www.rmv.de.
If you choose to drive, there is an inexpensive parking garage (Parkhaus) on site (address: Siesmayerstraße 61 60323 Frankfurt am Main), as well as several other garages in the nearby area. The botanical garden is located about 30 minutes from Wiesbaden, 1.5 hours from Kaiserslautern and 2 hours from Stuttgart.
Author Profile: Kelly is a DOD wife, devoted dog-mom, mediocre cook, whiskey aficionado and an avid traveler, who’s exploring the Kaiserslautern area with dog and husband in tow.