Best Gardens in the World: Nature and Beauty
Merely taking a walk through a local nature park or planting flowers in your garden makes it is easy to appreciate the natural beauty around us. The pops of different colors, the sizes and shapes of unique plants, and the seamless coordination that ties it all together are just a few things that make the beauty of nature so incredible. When it comes to the best gardens in the world, though, this beauty is going to take on a whole new meaning!
Some of the gardens on this list have been expertly cultivated for hundreds of years. They feature some of the most unique and amazing horticultural on planet earth. A lot of these gardens also come with historical buildings like estates and castles as well, which allows visitors that much more of a reason to visit them.
These gardens are traveled to by people from all around the world. Whether you are planning a trip to visit one of these gardens or are just wanting to learn more about them, this list of the best gardens in the world is for you. Also, if you are looking to add some greenery to your own home, make sure to check out our list of the best house plants.
Top 25 Gardens in the World:
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Highlights: Interesting history, walking paths to explore, and a still, calming pond in the center of the garden.
About the Garden: Maybe a little bit smaller than some of the gardens on this list, the Koishikawa garden makes up for its lack of size with its beauty and history. The garden was first started in 1629 and then finished in 1669. Along with stunning flowers and plants, the garden also features several scenes that represent famous Japanese and Chinese landscapes. The final touch and centerpiece of the Koishikawa garden are the still waters in the center of the garden that brings everything together.
Location: London, UK
Highlights: 50,000+ living plants, UNESCO World Heritage Site, new exhibitions, short courses, and tours regularly.
About the Garden: With over 50,000 living plants on the grounds, Kew Gardens is a feast for the senses. Also, as a UNESCO World Heritage site, it is sure to be protected for years to come. Within the gardens, you will be able to explore the Davies Alpine House, the Arboretum, the Princess of Wales Conservatory, Lake and Sackler Crossing, and so much more. Kew Gardens offers something for everyone to see and enjoy. And, with so many different, exciting things to see, the only real struggle will be fitting it all in when you visit. Outside of the garden, you will also have so much to see and do in London as it is one of the best cities to visit in the world.
Location: Giverny, France
Highlights: Two gardens in one, well-loved, and visited every year, restored home and architecture.
About the Garden: Monet’s Gardens are loved by visitors from all around the world. In the seven months that they are open each year, 500,000 visitors enjoy all that the grounds have to offer. Inside, the garden consists of two separately themed parts. One is a flower garden called Clos Normand, and the other is a Japenese themed water garden. With an array of different colors and types of flowers, The Clos Normand portion of the garden will leave visitors awe-struck as they try to take in all of the scenery. The Japanese themed water garden will instantly transport visitors to a time of shoguns and samurais as they are able to enjoy the tranquil landscapes.
Location: Villandry, France
Highlights: Stunning garden symmetry, Château de Villandry as a background, and ten expert gardeners that preserve the grounds.
About the Garden: The Château de Villandry is a living piece of history. It has been preserved and allows visitors and guests to look back into time. And, while the inside of the Château de Villandry is impressive, the gardens cannot be overlooked. With stunning symmetry, the shrubbery, lawn, and flowers all come together to make perfect lines. Everything on the grounds comes together to create a stunning masterpiece that is enjoyed by thousands of visitors every year. To make sure this masterpiece is preserved, a team of ten expert gardeners works on the grounds daily.
Location: Aberdeenshire, United Kingdom
Highlights: Garden is located just outside a castle, has been around for over 300 years and offers eight different garden rooms to explore.
About the Garden: If you love castles, the Crathes Castle Garden is going to be right up your alley. The Garden is over 300 years old, and it consists of four acres of garden that are surrounded by walls. There are also eight garden rooms with different types of plants as well. Visitors can enjoy a view of the gardens from a terrace or amidst the different walking paths. And, as a bonus, when guests finish exploring the outdoors, they can head in to explore the castle.
Location: Longwood, Pennsylvania, USA
Highlights: Plenty of garden space to explore, indoor conservatory, events and performances, and free educational resources.
About the Garden: The Longwood Gardens consist of several different gardens for visitors to enjoy. And, depending on the time of year, visitors will be able to enjoy all kinds of different blooms. A couple of the featured gardens are the Meadow Garden and Peirce’s Park. Inside, they offer a stunning indoor conservatory that is full of color and plant life. Also, Longwood Gardens features a significant selection of events and performances, as well as dining. And, if you are looking to take your education of plants to the next level, they offer many excellent learning resources as well.
Location: Lugano, Switzerland
Highlights: Plenty of areas to explore, stunning water and mountains in the background, and events and guided tours.
About the Garden: If you are looking for a garden with sheer size, San Grato Park is going to be an excellent option. With grounds that cover 62,000 square meters, you will have all you can handle. Also, with a stunning backdrop of water and mountain views, you will better be able to appreciate all that the garden has to offer. Within the park, you will get access to themed walks, playgrounds, and some of the prettiest flours on the planet. And, if you feel like it is too much to take in during a single day, there are lodgings for guests that would like to spend the night.
Location: Arundel, England
Highlights: Picturesque foliage, stunning castle and town backdrop, and fun surprises around every corner.
About the Garden: Anytime a garden has an enormous castle as a backdrop, it is going to be a plus. As Arundel Castle towers above, visitors can enjoy all of the surprises that the garden has to offer. From the tranquility of the Rose garden to the unique design of the Stumpery, visitors have plenty to enjoy. Those visiting the Arundel Castle and Garden are able to step back into time and experience the beauty of the grounds. And, as always, when visiting a castle garden, visitors can also explore what is inside the castle as well.
Location: Vienna, Austria
Highlights: Free and open to the public, unique architecture, and romantic scenery.
About the Garden: The Volksgarten came to life in 1818. It was initially a private garden, but shortly after, in 1825, it was made accessible to the public. The garden’s architecture features several pillared buildings, as well as a fountain, and the carefully selected plants and flowers pair well with these different structures. When visiting the garden, it is easy to appreciate all of the intricate details that are on display. And, as this is a free park to the public, visitors can sit in the park and enjoy their favorite book, or simply take it all in.
Location: Pattaya City, Thailand
Highlights: Unique and beautiful plant life, differently themed gardens to explore, and wildlife statues.
About the Garden: If you are looking for unique, look no further then Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden. With beautiful tropical plant life around every corner, visitors will be on sensory overload. Also, with several differently themed gardens like the Garden in the Sky, Divinity Pavilion, Stone Forest, and more, it will take hours to see everything. Among the gardens, there is also a tribute to several different animals as well. Visitors will find life-like statues of dinosaurs, mammoths, flamingos, and more.
Location: Suzhou, China
Highlights: Over 500 years old, 52,000 square meters in size, several structures within the garden to explore.
About the Garden: There are a lot of highlights within the Humble Administrator’s Garden, but one of the biggest is the pools of water. Throughout the garden, the layout of the pools of water ties everything together. The water helps to highlight the plant life and allows for a magnification of the beauty around it. Also, the garden comes with a rich history. In 1509, the Ming Dynasty was responsible for the garden’s creation, and for over 500 years, it has been enjoyed as one of the best gardens in the world.
Location: Piedmont, Italy
Highlights: Many different types of gardens and plants throughout the grounds.
About the Garden: Technically labeled as one garden, the Giardini Botanici Villa Taranto is really a group of smaller gardens all put together. The variety of plant life and the structures between the different sections of the garden provides visitors with the feeling of stepping into a new garden each time. This is going to allow visitors to continue to be awed and impressed as they explore what each garden has to offer. From the Dahlia Garden to the Mausoleum to the Terraced Gardens, visitors will be able to enjoy it all.
Location: Versailles, France
Highlights: Immaculate symmetry between the plants and a stunning castle backdrop.
About the Garden: If you want to experience French royalty of the past, the Gardens of Versailles is one of the best ways to do it. In 1661 Louis XIV began working on the palace and the surrounding gardens. It was his belief that the gardens were just as important as the actual palace. Today, when visitors visit the palace and grounds, it is easy to see how his vision came to life. Every plant on the grounds seems like it was perfectly measured and placed in that exact spot for a reason. The symmetry and colors of the garden all work together to provide stunning, one-of-a-kind views. It is easy to see why the Gardens of Versailles made our list of the top 25 gardens in the world.
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Highlights: Unique plant life, open year-round, plenty of exhibits and guided tours to choose from.
About the Garden: You might not think of the desert as providing beautiful plant life, but after visiting the Botanical Gardens in Phoenix, you would definitely change your mind. Within the different gardens, visitors are able to fully appreciate all the beauty that the desert has to offer. These gardens are home to thousands of species of cactus, trees, and flowers from all around the world. And, with the gardens covering 55 acres, there is plenty of exploring to do.
Location: Xilitla, Mexico
Highlights: Unique structures, plenty of nature and plant life, nine different pools of water to explore.
About the Garden: Where art meets nature is the best way to describe Las Pozas. Throughout the garden, there are more than 30 unique structures that visitors can enjoy. These structures feature winding staircases to nowhere, cathedral inspired screens, and so much more. Many of them are ornately detailed, as well. Also, within the garden are nine different pools (which is where the garden gets its name from). Each of these pools adds to the feel of the garden and the plants that surround them. For one of the most “unique” gardens in the world, Las Pozas should be up towards the top of the list.
Location: Asheville, North Carolina, USA
Highlights: 20+ miles of explorable trails, a rose garden with over 250 varieties of roses, the Biltmore Estate.
About the Garden: The Biltmore estate is one of the reasons why Asheville is one of the best vacation spots in the US. The sheer size and luxury of the estate are stunning to witness in person. And, while the estate is worth visiting by itself, the gardens and grounds that surround it are as well. With 20+ miles of trails and several different gardens on the estate, visitors will have their hands full when trying to see it all. And, while there is plenty of plant life to see on the grounds, one of the shining jewels of the property is the Rose Garden that features more than 250 varieties of roses.
Location: Lisse, Netherlands
Highlights: Acres and acres of differently colored tulips, fun events for visitors.
About the Garden: If you enjoy tulips and stunning pops of color, Keukenhof Gardens is the garden for you. With acres and acres of tulips in a variety of different colors, the gardens are a feast for the senses. Visitors will be able to walk through the various patches of flowers, along waterways, and under the shade of full-grown trees. All of which is going to add to the ambiance and natural wonder of the garden. Also, with a variety of different events throughout the year, the garden is full of life and excitement.
Location: Brentwood Bay, British Columbia, Canada
Highlights: The grounds cover 55 acres, feature many differently themed gardens.
About the Garden: The garden started as a passion project by Jennie Butchart as she saw a need to add more beauty to this world. Today, the gardens are enjoyed by visitors from all around the world and are a National Historic Site of Canada. Within the garden, there are several smaller gardens, all with different themes. There is the Sunken Garden, Rose Garden, Japenese Garden, and several more. The grounds cover 55 acres, offer 900 bedding plant varieties, and feature 26 greenhouses. As you can imagine, this a lot to take care of. That is why the garden employs a staff of 50 full-time gardeners. What started as one woman’s dream is now enjoyed by more than a million visitors every year.
Location: Kauai, Hawaii, USA
Highlights: Features a large number of plants that are specific to Hawaii, offers a stunning rain forest backdrop.
About the Garden: When you think about Hawaii, you are usually thinking top-notch beaches. If you turn your back to the water, though, you will quickly realize that there is some beautiful plant life as well. Limahuli Garden and Preserve is going to highlight this as few other places can. The garden features plants that are native to Hawaii, and also plants that are culturally significant to Hawaiians. Also, many of the plants in the garden are endangered as well. So visitors will not only be able to enjoy all that the garden has to offer, but they will also be able to play a vital role in helping keep endangered plant life around.
Location: Suzhou, China
Highlights: Full of intricate details, beautiful ponds and surrounding plant life.
About the Garden: The second garden on this list located in Suzhou, China; The Master of Nets Garden features a stunning array of flowers, plants, water, and architecture. Dating back to the Song Dynasty (1174-1189), today, the garden is as beautiful as ever. Smaller in size than the Humble Administrators Garden (which was featured earlier in this list), The Master of Nets Garden still offers a lot for visitors to enjoy. From the Pavilion, visitors can take in the views of the garden, and with the Yinjing bridge, visitors can better appreciate the stillness and beauty of the water.
Location: Potsdam, Germany
Highlights: Commissioned by Frederick the Great, UNESCO World Heritage Site.
About the Garden: Built between 1745 and 1757 under the rule of Prussian King Frederick the Great, Sanssouci Park in Potsdam, Germany became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1990. Today the grounds are enjoyed by visitors far and wide. With walking paths, staircases, and bodies of water throughout, the plant life is perfectly framed for sightseers to enjoy. Also, with so many different unique buildings and structures within the park, there is plenty of exploring to do.
Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Highlights: Large selection of themed gardens to choose from, events and resources for visitors.
About the Garden: Consisting of several differently themed gardens, the Chicago Botanic Garden is a horticultural wonder. Visitors will be able to visit the Aquatic Garden, Bonsai Collection, Japenese Garden, Heritage Garden, and more. And, if you don’t feel like walking, a tram will take you around to visit each of the different gardens. Along with plant life, the Chicago Botanic Garden features many events for visitors and has educational resources that are available to all.
Location: Tivoli, Italy
Highlights: Roman themed architecture, built on an incline that allows for sweeping views.
About the Garden: With a distinct Roman theme, the Villa D’este Gardens offer stunning views and plant life. The garden was built on an incline that allows visitors to preview the garden as they stand atop of it. As visitors descend through the garden, they will be able to fully appreciate the different statues, pillars, and plant life that highlights the walk. Along with all of this, there are also several pools and fountains for visitors to check out as well. All of this is going to provide a unique garden experience for any visitors lucky enough to visit in person.
Location: Enniskerry, Ireland
Highlights: 47 acres of grounds to explore, Ireland’s tallest waterfall, Powerscourt Estate.
About the Garden: The Powerscourt gardens consist of 47 acres that visitors are able to explore. Also, for those who love waterfalls, the garden features Ireland’s tallest waterfall. And, if all of this is not enough, in the center of the grounds is the Powerscourt Estate. The Powerscourt Gardens consist of several differently themed portions. Some of these themed smaller gardens are The Italian Garden, The Japenese Garden, and The Walled Garden. Within the grounds, visitors will also find several unique buildings and architecture to explore as well.
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Highlights: Unique walking paths that allow for better viewing and exploring, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
About the Garden: Regarded as one of the best botanic gardens in the world, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is enjoyed by thousands of visitors every year. Inside the garden, visitors will get access to over 7,000 species of plants from South Africa. All of which are easily accessible by the unique walkway paths that the garden offers. Some of the different specific gardens on the grounds are the fragrance garden, medicinal garden, and the Protea garden.
Best Gardens in the World Conclusion
Beauty comes in all shapes and forms. It is something that is not always easily replicated either. This list of the best gardens in the world highlights 25 destinations that will allow visitors to experience pure, natural beauty. Some of these gardens have allowed themselves to be arranged naturally, and some have been meticulously sculpted. As you can see, though, there is a unique beauty in both of these styles of gardens.
So, while you may not be able to visit every garden on this list, we highly recommend that you get to as many of them as you can. Whether it is picking your favorite garden or the garden with the closest proximity, start enjoying the natural beauty and wonder that each of these gardens possesses.
Have you already been to one of these gardens? We would love to hear your feedback in the comments below.