Spring is almost here. Well, that is what I thought prior to the recent arctic blast we experienced this past week complete with snow and icy roads. Previously, I had been boasting of the mild winter weather this year and anticipating the arrival of spring with its fresh blooms and sunny weather. This bit of winter weather will not deter my optimism and has inspired me to share some of my favorite gardens that I have visited in Europe.
Who doesn’t love a nice garden on a sunny day? Not only does it offer a great background for amazing photography, but it also uplifts your mood gazing at the vibrant colors and taking in the pleasant aroma. I encourage you to add local gardens to your itinerary when visiting a city. It is often something overlooked in favor of monuments, museums, and unique architecture. In addition to its sensory appeal, many gardens are free to visit or they are positioned adjacent to more famous sites so they are an easy and affordable addition to your itinerary.
Check out these beautiful gardens I encountered while visiting these amazing European cities…
Buckingham Palace Garden
Buckingham Palace is a very popular destination for London tourist. Many people flock to this estate to try to catch a glimpse of the fabulous royal family and the changing of the guard.
Some may opt to take a tour of the interior with tours starting at €23 for adults while others may settle for a quick selfie in front of the palace. I, instead, directed my attention to the adorable garden in front of the palace and had a mini photo-shoot.
The Kensington Gardens, one of London’s eight royal parks is a great place to visit, not only for the beautiful scenery but for the gorgeous historic royal palace on its grounds, Kensington Palace. I originally planned to visit Kensington Gardens for a traditional afternoon tea at the Orangery. Once I arrived, I was pleasantly surprised at the beautiful gardens surrounding the estate.
Doesn’t this look like scenery straight out of a movie (likely starring Hugh Grant in some type of romantic comedy)? This is what I think of when I imagine the English countryside. It is so beautiful and serene. You could spend hours just relaxing in the sunshine reading a book and enjoying the view. All at no extra cost except for Tube or bus fare to the gardens.
London is full of grand sites to see but can be a bit pricey. Do yourself a favor and check out Kensington Gardens where you can get a lot of bang for your buck and an awesome English experience.
Jardin du Luxembourg
Le Jardin du Luxembourg, or Luxembourg Garden, houses the Luxembourg Palace where the French Senate meets. This garden is very spacious and perfect for a mid-day picnic. Stop by a nearby cafe, pick up a ham or club sandwich, and enjoy your meal while sitting out in this expansive garden.
Luxembourg Garden is a scenic respite from the hustle and bustle at the more popular tourist attractions such as the Louvre, Champs Élysées, or Eiffel Tower. Additionally, as you may have guessed, it is a free activity that offers amazing views and awesome atmosphere.
Soooo I had to save the best for last, Keukenhof Garden in Lisse, Holland. This garden is the WORLD’s largest flower garden and it is a must see. I knew when I traveled to Holland that I had to see a tulip garden but I did not expect to see a garden of this magnitude. Keukenhof is only open from mid-March to mid-May so you would have to plan a trip to Holland in the spring to be able to visit.
Travel to Keukenhof Garden from Amsterdam is very easy. You can catch a bus from Schipol Airport directly to Keukenhof and the ride takes about 30 minutes. The cost for bus fare plus Keukenhof Garden entrance fee is €24 for adults. Not a bad deal for a day trip to the world’s largest flower garden.
I know it is hard to see everything when you travel to new places but I encourage you to include gardens into your list of must-see sites. They are very affordable to visit and usually near other amazing places to visit so it will likely not be hard to add to your itinerary.
What is your favorite garden in the world?
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