Planten un Blomen – Hamburg’s Green Lung

Updated on January 19, 2024  

planten un blomen hamburg

Nestled in the heart of Hamburg, Germany lies a sprawling urban oasis known as Planten un Blomen.

Translated from Low German, the name means “plants and flowers” which perfectly encapsulates the essence of this lush 450,000 square meter public park.

Though it provides an escape from the bustling city, Planten un Blomen seamlessly links together key areas including the shopping districts, universities, convention centers, and nightlife hubs.

Planten un Blomen-colorful-flowers

The land was not always a recreational paradise. Up until the 19th century, it was part of Hamburg's medieval fortification system. After the defenses became obsolete, the ramparts were transformed into a greenbelt.

The site originally housed Hamburg's zoo and botanical gardens before being redeveloped into a public park in the 1930s.

Though the grounds underwent many designs over the years, including for International Garden Expositions, today Planten un Blomen pays homage to its origins with diverse gardens and greenery.

The park's convenient location makes it a popular spot for locals and visitors alike. It stretches over a mile from east to west, with the Neustadt shopping neighborhood on one end and the lively St. Pauli district on the other.

The northern border provides easy access from the Messehallen convention center and Dammtor train station, while the southern portion connects to the Landungsbrücken and Elbe river.

No matter where you enter, a peaceful natural sanctuary awaits.

Key Attractions in Planten un Blomen

Planten un Blomen contains several themed gardens and greenhouses, each with their own unique personality. Here are some of the top attractions to explore:

Apothecary Garden

The Apothekergarten features an assortment of medicinal and herbal plants traditionally used for healing remedies.

Visitors can leisurely stroll along the rows of flowering plants and read informational signs about their pharmaceutical uses.

Citizens' Garden (Bürgergarten)

Bursting with vibrant perennials, the Bürgergarten puts on a colorful floral display in every season. The bright blooms and ornamental foliage provide a feast for the senses.

Rose Garden

No park would be complete without a rose garden! With over 300 varieties, the Rosengarten contains a diverse collection of hybrid teas, wild roses, climbing roses, and other types.

Visit in summer to see the flowers in full bloom. An open-air pavilion provides information on the different species.

Japanese Garden

Spanning over 52,000 square meters, the Japanese garden is the largest of its kind in Europe.

Winding paths meander past ponds, pine trees, exotic maples, and zen-style rock arrangements.


The teahouse offers an authentic backdrop for traditional tea ceremonies. Visitors can immerse themselves in a serene slice of Japanese culture.

Mediterranean Garden

The Mediterranean Terraces transport you to a sunny southern climate. Heat absorbing slate enables citrus trees, olive trees, figs, and other warmth-loving plants to thrive.

The tiered slopes provide a new perspective as you traverse between levels.


The sizable greenhouse complex contains five different zones modeled after global biomes.

The tropical house, arid house, fern house, and other areas give a fascinating glimpse into exotic ecosystems. It's an ideal retreat on cold winter days.

Things To Do in Planten un Blomen

Beyond simply appreciating the scenery, Planten un Blomen offers many fun activities for visitors of all ages:

  • Ice Skating - The expansive outdoor rink opens in winter for skating under twinkling lights.
  • Mini Golf - Try your hand at a round of mini golf on the park's course.
  • Outdoor Chess - Giant chess sets provide fun for competitive types.
  • Children's Playgrounds - Let the kids roam free in the creative rope or slide playgrounds.
  • Water Light Shows - At night, illuminated fountains dance to music in mesmerizing displays.
  • Outdoor Concerts - In summer, concerts take place in the park's pavilions and lawns.
  • Café Dining - Several cafes throughout provide refreshments in scenic settings.

With this diverse mix of gardens, greenhouses, and entertainment, Planten un Blomen appeals to nature-lovers, families, couples, students, and anyone needing an urban escape.

fountain light show

Seasonal Beauty

One of the best aspects of Planten un Blomen is that it offers year-round enjoyment. Each season provides its own unique charm:

Spring - The gardens come to life with fresh greenery and colorful blossoms. Tulips, hyacinths, and daffodils welcome the warmer weather.

Summer - Vibrant roses perfume the air while fountains dance at night. Outdoor concerts and events create an energetic ambiance.

Autumn - Trees ignite into brilliant fall colors and pumpkins decorate the grounds. The summer crowds dissipate for peaceful strolls.

Winter - The lake transforms into an icy skating rink. Evergreen pines and the tropical greenhouse sustain the greenery.


The central location makes Planten un Blomen easy to access for locals and visitors. The park stretches over a mile between two train stations - Dammtor to the north and Landungsbrücken to the south.

Bus stops line the perimeter streets. Bike lanes also make it bicycle-friendly. Numerous pathways on foot provide entry from all sides.

Planten un Blomen

The grounds are completely free and open to the public. While certain events or attractions have fees, visitors can explore the gardens at no cost.

The park is open daily from 7am to 11pm in summer and 7am to 8pm in winter. Some areas may have limited hours. With ample hours, no admission cost and prime location, Planten un Blomen is an effortless urban escape.

History & Significance

It's hard to imagine that Planten un Blomen's grassy expanses were once part of Hamburg's defense system.

The medieval city fortifications that stood here protected against intruders from the 13th to the 17th centuries. [1]

After the ramparts were demolished in the 1800s, the grounds were redesigned as a landscape park and zoological gardens.

In the 1930s, the site was transformed into a public park meant to provide open green space accessible to all Hamburg citizens.


The name "Planten un Blomen" was born from a garden exhibition during this time. Though altered over the centuries, remnants of the old ramparts live on in areas like the “wallanlagen” (wall facilities).

Today Planten un Blomen holds deep significance for Hamburg. More than just a beautiful backdrop, the park provides environmental benefits like clean air, wildlife habitat, and stormwater management.

Its central location connects diverse communities and landmarks together through lush nature. For locals and tourists alike, the grounds offer historical intrigue and a serene escape from city life.

Why Visit?

What makes Planten un Blomen such a treasured urban oasis? Here are just a few of the top reasons to visit:

  • Immerse yourself in diverse gardens and greenhouse biomes
  • Enjoy free activities like concerts, chess, ice skating and minigolf
  • Relax in a tranquil setting right in the city center
  • Explore German culture through features like the Japanese garden
  • Experience the grounds through the seasons with seasonal beauty
  • Learn about the park's history from medieval days onward
  • Spend time outdoors walking, reading, or picnicking on the lawns

For locals, Planten un Blomen provides a “staycation” escape without leaving town. For visitors, it offers an authentic insider's experience off the standard tourist track. More than a mere park, Planten un Blomen is a Hamburg institution - an urban sanctuary for all to enjoy.

In Hamburg, exploring beyond the vibrant Old Town and the historic Speicherstadt is essential. For a serene retreat amidst the urban bustle, Planten un Blomen proves to be a hidden gem.

The park, with its lush gardens and captivating performances, adds a refreshing dimension to what to see in Hamburg. So, when charting your Hamburg itinerary, remember that beauty and tranquility await at Planten un Blomen—a delightful contrast to the city's dynamic landmarks.


1: Park Planten un Blomen - Öffnungszeiten, Bilder, Informationen -, retrieved from

About the Author

Stephan Drescher, founder of, is a German travel expert and insider, providing trusted tips and advice for a perfect trip to Germany. Born & bred German.