The Botanical Garden thrills the hearts of plant lovers and is popular both among nature fans and those who simply want to unwind in a peaceful setting. Visitors will encounter a wide variety of plants from all around the world, including medicinal herbs, numerous native species, and a large number of exotic flowers, bushes and trees, so you can take a whirlwind trip around the globe, if you wish. The collection’s main focus is on Alpine plants and steppes.
At the Botanical Garden, you can travel around the world in an afternoon, at least from a botanical point of view, from the steamy tropics, over the central-Asian steppes, through the aromatic Mediterranean region and shady jungles of east Asia, and all the way back to the cool Alpine breezes.
More than 5,500 types of plants from all over the world are on display on the slopes beside the Aare river near Altenberg. While walking through the centerpiece of the garden, the Alpinum, which covers the Pyrenees, Alps, Balkans, Caucasus, Himalayas and Rocky Mountains, you will discover over 1,500 plant species along the path.
If you take the small trails that lead through the lush growth in the Alpinum, you will also find yourself on an interesting journey through native vegetation. You will encounter diverse Swiss flora, for example, discover rare species and feel that you have been transported to an idyllic mountain setting.
A visit to Bern’s Botanical Garden is worthwhile for all plant lovers and those who want to become one and is also a great destination for families, romantically inclined couples and wanderlust-stricken souls.
Six greenhouses are open to the public and are home to plants from different climate zones, divided into regions and plant species. In addition to the Mediterranean and steppe regions, orchids, palm trees, ferns and succulents each have their own building. In the steamy Palm House, you can experience a vibrant rain forest with all your senses. With a little luck, a practiced eye will be able to spot beautifully colored butterflies or ripening pineapples.
After your little botanical world trip over hill and dale and plants, why not end things off with a colorful salad or tasty soup in the cozy Café Fleuri? The charming café is open from April until October. In the idyllic café-restaurant, surrounded by lush green plants, you can enjoy a “Fleuri breakfast”, take a well-deserved break at noon, or chat with friends over a beer after work. If you are not as weatherproof as you think, don’t worry. You will be served in the Succulent House as soon as any rain threatens.
More about Café Fleuri
Asian Year at the Botanical Garden: Something New from the Far East
During the previous season, the newly designed “Asia” garden section was meticulously created behind the three large greenhouses, in the eastern section of the Botanical Garden. This garden section features a multifaceted collection of hardy plant species from the Far East. The motto for the Botanical Garden in 2019 is “Something New from the Far East”. Things will kick off during the Museum Night at the Botanical Garden.
Throughout the entire year, the public tours from Aquilegia will feature an “Asia and Far East” theme, and visitors will be led through the new garden section with the usual expertise and introduced to highlights from the new and expanded plant collection.
In May and June, experts will lecture on botanical idiosyncrasies, current research projects, and both known and unknown links between Asia and local Swiss biodiversity. The presentations will be held outdoors, and you can finish off the evening at Café Fleuri.
During summer weeks in July and the beginning of August, the Asian focus will shift from research to cuisine. There will be many things to discover and sample together with Café Fleuri and a lineup of invited guests: sake tastings, tea ceremonies, spring-roll workshops and much more.
There is also an enchanting Asian garden for the younger Botanical Garden visitors, “Asian Plant Treasures”.
Education, Culture and Entertainment Among the Plants
If you think that you would be able to hear the grass grow at night in the greenhouses at the Botanical Garden, you would be wrong. There is often a wide array of events hosted on the unique green premises after official opening hours have ended.
Lovers of culture, music and literature will find a veritable Eden here, with the popular Museum Night, numerous public tours focused on medicinal herbs, deadly poisonous plants, and the truly astounding interactions between plants and habitats, lectures and presentations by experts on biodiversity and its impact on humans, concerts during the Advent season, kids’ programs, themed days for young and old (24-Hour Biodiversity, “Bamboo, Rice and Chinese Lanterns”) and the summer poetry nights enhancing the already diverse event schedule at the Botanical Garden.
You can find more art and culture highlights here.
The BOGA is open 365 days a year. Admission is free.
Greenhouses 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Gardens October–February 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
March–September 8:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m
Café Fleuri May–September 9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
April and October only when the weather is nice
Detailed program can be found at: www.botanischergarten.ch (in German only).