July 16, 2024

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Best Time to See Royal Greenhouses of Laeken in Brussels 2024

4 min read

Once a year, when the majority of plants are in blossom, the royal garden and greenhouses open their doors to the public. Anyone can stop by the Castle of Laeken, pay an entry fee of 2.5 €, and spend a day wandering around. The castle is the official residence of the King and the royal family, and the garden is not a tourist attraction. Thus, aside from three weeks in spring, it is closed and only foreign officials and selected guests may visit.

As the Royal Greenhouses are located only 5 km from Brussels, it is easy to get there. Over 2.5 hectares (6.2 acres) of the garden contains a collection of rare flowers and plants. Among the valuable exhibits are plants from Africa, palms, roses, azaleas, geraniums, fuchsias, and the Orange tree collection. The greenhouses also give shelter to the world’s oldest and largest collection of camellias—305 species grow in Laeken.

Some plants grow outdoors in the garden, while others require special treatment and are kept in tropical, subtropical, or cold greenhouses. But it’s not only the plants that are worth attention—the greenhouses themselves are impressive architectural samples. The Winter Garden, for example, is well worth visiting.

Visitors can choose between a short or long path for the best experience. The long route contains a walk through the gardens of the Royal Domain and the greenhouses. For the short visit, guests will only tour around the greenhouses. Also, on May 14. there will be an adapted path with assistance available at critical points along the route for individuals with reduced mobility.

Admission

Guests must book a visit to the Royal Greenhouses online in advance, as tickets cannot be bought on-site. Up to 15 people can visit the greenhouses in one time slot.

Greenhouses Hours

The gates close during the day at 4 pm (5 pm on Wednesdays) and at 10 pm during the nocturnes.

Royal Greenhouses of Laeken History

The monumental dome-shaped buildings of iron and glass and the glass galleries date back to the late 19th century. Alphonse Balat, a famous Belgian architect, designed the greenhouses for King Leopold II. Even though over one hundred years have passed, some of the plants still belong to the original collection of Leopold II.

Practical info

What is the time frame for visiting Royal Greenhouses of Laeken when they are open?

The Royal Greenhouses of Laeken welcomes visitors for a limited period when the majority of plants are in full bloom – from mid-April to early May. This period provides the perfect opportunity for tourists to the Belgian capital to take a tour of the greenhouse and enjoy the rare and exotic species from across the world that are displayed. Show more

Which Belgian city is home to Royal Greenhouses of Laeken?

Brussels houses the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken, situated just 5 km away from the main city center. It is part of the Castle of Laeken that serves as the official residence for the Belgium Royal family. Various modes of transportation, such as metro, bus, or a more relaxed tram ride, allow individuals unmatched ease of access to the site. Show more

What species of plants does the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken have that are not found elsewhere?

Rare plant species such as camellias, palms, roses, azaleas, geraniums, and fuchsias are staples of the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken. Aside from these species, the lush green homes of the exotic Orange tree collections are also an eye-catching feature. With 305 varieties of camellias on show, the greenhouse can boast the world’s oldest and largest collections of the species on display. Show more

Are visitors allowed inside the Castle of Laeken to encounter members of the Belgium Royal Family?

Access to the Castle of Laeken for members of the public is strictly prohibited. It remains the official home for the members of the Belgium Royal Family. However, commencement of the start of the seasonal bloom is an excellent opportunity for tourists, for a fee of €2.5, to tour the gardens and greenhouse at designated times during the three weeks they open in the spring. Show more

Who was responsible for the design of the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken, and what is the history behind them?

In the late 19th century, Alphonse Balat, a prominent Belgian architect, designed the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken. The iconic cathedral-sized metallic and glass dome-shaped constructions that visitors see today were commissioned by King Leopold II. Visitors can witness some of the original King Leopold II’s plants still growing at the garden. Show more

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