Palmengarten is a lovely botanical garden in the city of Frankfurt, a “tranquil oasis in the heart of the city.” In 2015 over 500,000 people visited the gardens. The entrance fee is less than 10 euro, for which you are given the opportunity to meander among plants and trees and flowers that you have never seen in your life! The signage is in German but you don’t have to read the signs to know you are in a special place.
To keep it special and always amazing, occasionally exhibits will close temporarily but there are always new and more beautiful things to see. I met a lovely woman who walks in the garden every Sunday morning and she said that it looks different every single week. Different plants and flowers blooming, all in their own time. For the summer, in July and August, the dahlias will be blooming in their spectacular fashion. Also in the summer, the Blue Egyptian Water-Lilies will be on display. You will be rewarded in the spring with hundreds of flowers and specifically in March you can see the flowering crocus.
As a bit of history, the garden’s architect and private financier was Heinrich Siesmayer. The park was completed for public viewing in 1871. Buffalo Bill visited from America in 1890. In 1931 the City of Frankfurt took over the park and then after WWII the American occupation authorities took control of the garden, returning it to the city in the 1960s. It was then that the parts of the park that were destroyed in the war began to be renovated and reconstructed and this construction was complete in 1992. The 52 acres are continually being updated and renovated.
There are play areas for the children and wide expanses of green lawn with sunbeds for relaxing or reading amongst the peaceful surroundings. There is a quaint little train that will carry you and your children through the garden. You can rent a small boat for floating and rowing to your heart’s content like you are in another time and place, and not in the middle of a bustling city right outside the gates.
You are free to bring your own picnic basket but should you decide to forego carrying all these things into the park, there are snacks available as well as a restaurant with delicious cakes and cappuccino.
A cursory review of their guest book revealed visitors from South Africa, the United Kingdom, Israel, New York City, Iceland, Bahrain, Estonia and so many more countries. Many residents of Frankfurt make the Palmengarten a routine stop for relaxation at all times of the year.
Check online for regular concerts and events happening at the Papageno Musiktheater am Palmengarten. There is a robust children’s program here on the weekends where the kids can enjoy such shows as Cinderella, Oliver Twist and many more. For the adults, the evening programs include Die Fledermaus and My Fair Lady.
On the practical side of things, you will find very clean toilets and the different attractions are well marked throughout the garden for ease of finding the greenhouses and restaurants. Feel free, however, to wander aimlessly and get “lost” in the peacefulness you will find in this beautiful botanical garden.
Frankfurt Palmengarten is located Siesmayerstrasse 61, 60323 Frankfurt am Main. Opening hours: Feb. until Oct., 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Nov. until Jan., 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Parking for a fee is available at the underground garage at Siesmayerstr. 63. For more info, visit www.palmengarten.de