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It’s no secret by now how much I love visiting and photographing beautiful gardens and with spring just around the corner, I figured it was high time I shared my favourite Amsterdam. One of the oldest botanical gardens in the world, Hortus Botanicus is a wonderful spot to spend some quiet time with a book, take a green break from the busy city centre or discover unique plants from all over the world. If you love photography or are an Instagram addict like myself, it’s also a great place to take beautiful pictures!

The first time I visited Hortus Botanicus was right after taking a food tour around De Pijp. The weather was gorgeous, so I decided to walk all the way there – the best way to justify hours of eating delicious food and gaining loads of calories! Not surprisingly for Amsterdam, a portion of the garden runs along a canal which got me excited to discover the rest. I was actually surprised to find out that Hortus Botanicus originally served as a medicinal herb garden. Nowadays it’s home to one of the oldest potted plants in the Western world, the Eastern Cape Giant Cycad and one of the tallest tree species in the world, the Sequoia sempervirens. Another must-see is the Butterfly House (yes, there are real butterflies!).

Although the garden is not really big, I managed to spend a few good hours there just relaxing and taking (way too many!) pictures. Before leaving I treated myself to a quick coffee at the Orangery, the little cafe of Hortus Botanicus which I found to be lovely. The building dates back to 1875 and its name refers to its use as a place to shelter citrus plants in the wintertime. 

Hortus Botanicus is open throughout the year and hosts special events, such as concerts and exhibitions, from time to time. I’m heading back to the Netherlands soon, so if you know any hidden gems I should absolutely visit, feel free to share! For more off-the-beaten-path Amsterdam tips, don’t forget to check my trip diaries with IAmsterdam (part I & part II).

Address: Plantage Middenlaan 2a, 1018 DD Amsterdam, Netherlands  
Telephone: +31 20 6259021
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Sandy (@smarksthespots)