Ever wanted to see palm trees in the middle of Brussels? Look no further than the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken.
The Royal Greenhouses of Laeken are a vast complex of heated greenhouses in the park of the Royal Castle of Laeken in the North of Brussels. Built in 1873 for King Leopold II, the greenhouses are part of the Royal Park and private royal gardens. They are not usually open to the public – but the King and Queen let you in for only 3 weeks during Spring, so you gotta be quick!
For only €2.50 (or free for under 18s), you can wander through the greenhouses, enjoying all the exotic plants and flowers on display. The exotic smells, vibrant colours and enchanting atmosphere is perfect to brighten up anyone’s day.
Here’s a few top tips to make the most out of the day;
Be prepared to queue.
And I mean long queues. We visited around lunchtime on a Sunday and had to first queue to get a car parking space, queued to get tickets and then queues for 2 hours to actually get into the greenhouses. Thankfully it was a bright, sunny and warm day. We saw plenty people with snacks, sandwiches and juice.
Think about parking on the street
We planned to park opposite the entrance in the Castle, in the official car park , but as always there was a queue. We finally found a space on a nearby street. So either go early, or travel by public transport.
There is an official path and route through the greenhouses for the public to follow. Be prepared to walk a lot – so best to wear comfy shoes. Take your time to walk through the greenhouses to fully enjoy the experience.
The photos don’t really do this place justice. The smells, the atmosphere, the sheer beauty is something you have to experience in person. It is a worthwhile trip.
Visit The Belgian Monarchy website to find out more and for next years opening dates.