If you get stranded a day or a half in a wonderful wide-open garden with a castle, where would it be? Introducing Plantentuin Meise, a botanic garden established in 1796 and said to be older than its own country, Belgium. It's no surprise why the garden stands out among others. With its rich history including a castle tower that dates back to the 12th century and a 92-hectare land with different varieties of flora, Meise Botanic Garden is the epitome of Belgium's effort to build sustainable plant-preservation.
“Building a sustainable future through discovery, research, and conservation of plants.” Steven Dessein, CEO
Where is Plantentuin Meise? And, How to get there?
Plantentuin Meise or Meise Botanic Garden is located in Meise, about 11 km away from the capital, Brussels. It is accessible by car, train(NMBS/SNCB), and bus. The distance going to Meise obviously varies, depending on where you live in Belgium. The same goes on when you take a commute using a train or a bus. Google Maps will be your best friend if you decide to take public transportations. Don't be upset! Getting to the Botanic Garden is not a hassle. The nearest bus stops to the location are Meise Private Dreef(15-minute walk) and Meise Plantentuin(8-minute walk). For those coming with cars, there are plenty of free parking lots outside the vicinity.
Meise Botanic Garden
Opens every day at 09:30.
How much does the entrance cost?
Whether you come with family, friends, a group, or even alone, Planteintuin Meise has a formula for every visitor. The entrance ticket can be purchased either online or the day of your visit at the entrance gate. However, it is recommended to buy it online and avoid long queues at the cashier.
Take a look at their Offers and Discounts!
*Adults(from 18 years old) – € 7
*60+ or Disabled Persons – € 6
*Students(On presentation of a valid student card for full-time study at a recognized educational institution) or Natuurpunt members(On presentation of a valid membership card (max. 2 persons per card) – € 3,50
*Children 6-17 years old – € 1
*Children aged 5 and under – FREE
*Carer/Supervisor of a person with a disability – FREE
*Residents of Meise – FREE
*Teachers card, Brussels Card and Museum pass – FREE
For info about Group Tickets, call the Reception at 02 260 09 70.
Click Here to Buy Ticket Online.
What to do inside the botanical garden of Plantentuin Meise?
Upon receiving your payment or your online booking at the entrance, the person in charge at the cashier will hand you over with a brochure(containing tips for your visit and a map of the 92-hectare estate that houses 18,000 flora species) and your tickets.
Visit Royal Palace in Brussels For FREE starting on July 23.
Highlights to visit in Meise Botanical Garden:
1. Take a Photoshoot for Special Occasion
Are you looking for a place to do a pictorial for an anniversary, prenuptial photoshoot, communion, or baptism? Plantentuin Meise is a beautiful place to take photos of yourself. Make the medieval castle, clean green grass, and numerous flowers as your backdrop.
2. Surprise Gift for Special Someone
Who would say no to a romantic surprise visit with your loved one in the botanical garden? Treat your spouse or partner with a tour at the magnificent garden and have a simple but memorable dinner in the Orangery restaurant. This is a memory for keeps!
3. Learn about Tropical, Winter, Desert Plants
For sure, we have one or two friends or family members in our lives who are Plant-Geek. They are those people who can't stop talking about their collections of cactus, crocus, or tulips. Why not invite them to visit Plantentuin Meise, not only it will bring a smile to their faces, you also get to learn so many varieties of plants yourself.
What is the best season to visit?
Every season is a great time to visit Meise Botanical Garden. The garden is open all year round except December 25 and January 1 and 2. Aside from the seasonal plants that give color to the garden periodically, what else can you see or do there? They also offer all sorts of fun activities specific for each season.
Spring is when flowers like tulips, snowdrops, orchids, and peonies start to fill the garden with different rainbow-like colors. Check out the picture-perfect magnolias at the left-side corner of the main entrance. You'll be amazed at how beautiful they bloom.
Summer is when the sun shines at the highest. The weather can get sultry, hence making it suitable for a nice walk in the garden with your flip flops. Rose garden, hydrangeas, rhododendrons, and biennials are the main attractions at this time of the year.
Autumn is the second spring as they say. It is when trees turn into flames of flowers. You shouldn't miss out the picturesque landscape, autumn flowers, and the golden sunlight. If you're thinking of doing a photoshoot with friends, then come on in autumn!
Winter is when those frosty white flowers called snowflakes are everywhere. They come in different size and shape but all beautiful. The garden is at its most magical when the ground is all covered with snow. You'll see snowdrops, crocuses, and other winter plants this season.
Where to eat at Plantentuin Meise?
When hunger or thirst strikes after a long time of exploring the garden, there is no need to look outside and find a place to stop by and eat. Meise Botanical Garden has several places where you can grab quick yummy foods to eat or set up a picnic with a bunch of people.
- Both Garden Shop and Pachthof offer coffee and other hot drinks for sale. If you like to order cold drinks, they do have vending machines too.
- If you feel like picnicking, they have lots of tables and benches at the courtyard next to the Garden Shop where you can eat your packed snacks or lunches.
- Orangery is a self-service restaurant at the heart of the botanical garden. There you can enjoy their sumptuous meals wherever you feel dining. Whether you like to stay inside with their cozy interior or hang outside under the summer umbrellas, it's a relaxing place to eat and take a break.
Giant Water Lilies: The main attraction in Meise Botanical Garden
Have you ever seen a giant water lily as big as your round dining table at home? Seriously, the water lily specie is called Victoria Amazonica. Its leaves can get up to 3 meters(10 feet) in diameter and its stalks that hold them go up to 7 to 8 meters(23-26 feet) in length. They are originally growing in the shallow waters of the Amazon River and now available for viewing in Belgium. Thanks to Plant Palace, the massive greenhouse which houses extensive collections of tropical plants including these gigantic lilies.
How to Book a Baby Fotoshoot in Meise Botanical Garden?
What's more adorable than seeing your little one floating on top of a giant water lily? Besides the unparalleled experience for parents and the child, they also receive a memory of a lifetime through a special photoshoot. The pictorial for babies on the floating lilies only happens once every year, mostly during June and July on selected dates. The reason for this is to make sure that the water lilies maintain its glorious state and remain unharmed. But, how to score a spot for a Baby Photoshoot with the lilies?
1.The baby should not be older than one year and not heavier than 10 kilograms. So for moms who have kiddos who are just a little older and bigger than the requirement, no worries you still have a chance for your next baby.
2. Online booking is required for your baby to have a photoshoot with the lilies. Now, this step can get a little tricky because there are only a few dates and a number of spots available on the website. They basically run on a first-book, first-serve basis.
3. The Plantentuin Meise works together with a photography studio that handles the pictorials for the babies. They provide planning and photographers to do the job for you. Since you cannot just simply place your baby over the lily and start taking photos on your own. There are two easy ways to get a spot for your baby.
a. You need to make a super advance online booking. Check this link every now and then as the photoshoot tickets are easily running out in a matter of few months. When you book and pay online, you will get an email confirmation which you will need to present at the main entrance to get your actual tickets.
b. Send an email to [email protected] to get notified for photoshoot details and make an online reservation. Sometimes, it happens that there are no more spots available on their website. In this case, you will not be able to book and pay online anymore. If this happens, send them an email and they will normally reply and let you know if your baby can still join the photoshoot. This means you will have to do the payment at the main entrance.
Baby Photoshoot Ticket Price: € 17(includes 1 accompanying Adult and the baby)
4. Once you passed the main entrance, please don't lose the photo ticket as that's the only proof you have for your baby to be photographed. The pictorials are done inside Plant Palace. So make sure, your baby is wearing comfortable clothes especially during summer where the temperature inside can get up to 30 degrees.
5. While your baby is photographed on top of the lilies by a professional photographer, you may also take photos using your own devices.
6. After the photo session is finished, you may purchase the printed copy of the photos at the main entrance of Plant Palace. Price for each photo varies from one another.
Read the next article, Discovering Belgium to know more about great places to explore in Belgium.
Which attraction in Belgium would you like to be featured in our next article?