Palmengarten means “palm garden,” but this 54-acre (22-hectare) garden complex contains far more than just tropical plants. An elegant rose garden, a succulent garden with huge cacti and a greenhouse containing plants of the sub-Antarctic are just a few of the Palmengarten’s features.
After being opened to the public in 1871, the Palmengarten has had more than a century to grow. Enter the Palm House, an iron-and-glass greenhouse that was built in 1869, to see the garden’s 19th-century architecture and a vast collection of tropical plants. The galleries around the Palm House also feature temporary exhibitions of plants and contemporary art.
Explore the Goethe Garden, which is dedicated to the famous Frankfurt author, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. In addition to a master of German literature, Goethe was an avid gardener. Look for one of his favorite plants, the ginkgo tree, which you can find throughout the garden.
Rent a boat to cruise over the Great Pond, which lies west of the Palm House. On a warm day, enjoy an apple wine, a Frankfurt specialty, at the beer garden, which opens only during afternoons in summer and is closed during all other seasons. If you want some exercise, play a round on the 18-hole miniature golf course.
Arrive in the evening during the summer months to enjoy one of the many musical and theatrical performances held in the gardens. Wander the gardens to the sound of a jazz band or a classical ensemble, or watch a chamber opera performed in the garden’s outdoor theater.
Wear good walking shoes, as the Palmengarten is quite large. You can also board an electric train that runs around the grounds regularly. The garden has two entrances, each within a short walk of a U-bahn station and a bus station. Parking is available for a fee in the underground garage on Siesmayerstrasse, near the northernmost entrance.
The Palmengarten is open every day. There’s a fee to enter. Expect to pay extra for boat rental, mini golf, rides and performances.