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Green paradise just outside Utrecht

Logo of Botanische Tuinen Utrecht

Perhaps the most beautiful spot of the Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie: Fort Hoofddijk and the Botanical Gardens of Utrecht! Walk among trees and plants from all over the world, discover Europe's largest rock garden and find a greenhouse full of butterflies

The Gardens together cover an area of more than nine hectares! Wandering around here is a true voyage of discovery, because in every garden you will find something special. A swamp, for example, or plants with which you can make paint. But also species that are almost extinct and from which seed is extracted to preserve them. Some gardens are even more beautiful than others, with trees and plants from different countries. Fort Hoofddijk lies like a picture between the greenery and reminds you that this is also a historical place.

Climb the rock garden

Most striking is the Rock Garden, which rises like a large stone hill above everything else. Clamber between special mountain plants and immediately enjoy the view over the rest of the garden. This rock garden is one of the most beautiful and rich in species in Europe and attracts visitors from all over the world every year. Also special: the Discovery Garden. Here all your senses are stimulated with plants to smell, see, feel, taste and even hear.

Butterflies and bird house

The Botanical Gardens of Utrecht not only contain plants, but also animals. Surrounding the large Bee Hotel is a garden specially laid out for insects and small animals such as frogs and hedgehogs. Spy birds in the Bird House or play the Bird Game. And in the Tropical greenhouses you can see beautiful orchids and butterflies.

Pick a terrace

In the entrance building of Fort Hoofddijk there's a Garden Café with a terrace, where they serve coffee as well as delicious sandwiches. You can also browse around in the garden shop. Tip: regular activities are organised in the gardens, such as the Tropical Butterfly Festival and treasure hunts and craft afternoons for the children.