Best Botanical Gardens To Visit In Florence, Italy

Despite the glum spring weather we’ve been having in Florence that may lead you to believe otherwise, the spring (consisting of April, May, and June) is the best time to visit Florence if you are interested in botanical gardens. May is really the time for flowers. As a botanist, I love to visit botanical gardens locally and when I travel (would you be interested in a post about my favorite botanical gardens around the world?). Here are the best botanical gardens to visit in Florence—and some are free!

1) Rose Garden

By far my favorite garden in Florence, the Rose Garden has everything going for it: multiple bloom times per year, beautiful views, a wonderful scent, and it’s free. I love the Rose Garden because you can relax on the grass or benches, bring along some sandwiches (or swing by my favorite nearby gelateria), and spot lizards with kids. It has also been recently updated, so there are some beautiful areas to view.


2) Bardini Garden

The Bardini Garden is famous for its wisteria tunnel that blooms in approximately April depending on the seasonal weather (check their Instagram and website for updates). If you do visit during the wisteria season, try to visit early in the morning to avoid crowds. Aside from visiting during wisteria season, the Bardini Garden is built upon a steep hill, making it interesting to check out the plantings that can be done in an atypical setting. A ticket to the Bardini Garden also gains you entrance into the Boboli Gardens.

The nearby Bardini Museum is also worth a visit and is one of my favorite museums in Florence.

3) Iris Garden

Of the gardens on this list, the Iris Garden, which is operated and maintained by the Iris Horticultural Society, has the most limited opening times—the Iris Garden is only open for about a month per year. In approximately each May, the Iris Garden exhibits different iris hybrids in all colors and also sells bulbs for you to grow in your own garden (if you live locally). Located just next to Piazza Michelangelo, this is an easy spot to stop for a rest or bring some sandwiches for a light lunch. The Iris Garden offers free admission! Find out their opening times on their website.


4) Boboli Gardens

On a sunny day in any season, maximize your spending in Florence by continuing on from the lovely Bardini Gardens into the Boboli Gardens, which share a ticket and are attached by a pathway. The Boboli Gardens don’t have a lot to show in the way of diversity of flowering plant species, but it is quite beautiful with its archways, statues, and glamorous palace views.


5) Orto Botanico di Firenze

Unlike all of the other gardens on this list, the Orto Botanico is located on the northern side of the Arno River. Because it is a bit outside the popular tourist path, the Orto Botanico is rarely crowded, so it is a nice spot in a typically crowded city to relax and take Instagram photos in peace. Learn more about the hours and opening days online.

If you are looking for a hotel conveniently located near some of these botanical gardens, my suggestion is Hotel David* because it is relatively low priced for Florence, has a great cafe, and is near one of my favorite pasticcerias.

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