6 of the World’s Most Beautiful Botanical Gardens

Beautiful, colorful flowers at Claude Monet Gardens in Giverny, France
Claude Monet Gardens in Giverny, France.

Inspiration for your next vacation may strike at the most unusual moment. Spectacular botanical gardens may be the reason for your next international vacation. If you've been dreaming of endless flowers and touring magical gardens, we've found some of the best places to satisfy your travel needs. 

Six of the world’s best botanical gardens for your daydreams

1. Claude Monet Gardens in Giverny, France - like his paintings, Monet’s gardens are colorful, if slightly muddled. Monet spent his final years cultivating his garden inspired by tranquil scenes from the Japanese prints he collected.  His flower garden, called Clos Normand, features flowers grouped by color and anchored by nasturtiums. A tour of the more famous Japanese-inspired water garden includes the wisteria-covered footbridge across a pond crowded with water lilies accented by nympheas that bloom all summer long.

2. Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden in Cape Town, South Africa is one of the few botanical gardens in the world that only cultivates indigenous plants. Located at the foot of Table Mountain, this 89-acre garden is home to over 7,000 types of plants, some of which are rare and threatened species. In 2004 Kirstenbosch was the first garden in the world to be named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

3. Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, England – another UNESCO World Heritage Site, this 300-acre garden near London is home to the world’s largest collection of plants. While most visitors are there for the flower exhibits, Kew has made great contributions to our understanding of botanical science.  Its world-class attractions include a Treetop walkway, the Hive bee structure and the modern Davies Alpine Glass House make it an ideal choice for your next international vacation. 

4. Rio de Janeiro Botanical Gardens - like the Kirstenbosch Garden, the Rio de Janeiro Botanical Gardens boasts an impressive view: the Corcovado Mountain and of their 6,500+ types of indigenous and international plant species, 900 are palm tree varieties. The Gardens were founded as a research organization tasked with acclimatizing spices like vanilla, cinnamon and pepper. Animals roam the grounds – during your tour, try to spot frogs, turtles, toucans, lizards and monkeys. 

5. Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania - local benefactor and chemical magnate Pierre S. du Pont transformed his personal estate into a public park, Longwood Gardens. With a million visitors annually and a staff of 1,400, the garden is constantly refreshing its look. Spring is an ideal time to tour the Gardens, with the holiday season as the second best. The Christmas plant display includes 40 miles of twinkling lights, 80 Christmas trees, colorful fountain shows and live musical performances.  

6. Byodoin near Kyoto, Japan – this serene former country estate on the outskirts of Kyoto is yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site. The awe-inspiring 5-acre garden includes an 11th-century Buddhist temple and a garden filled with lavender wisteria and elegant weeping cherry trees designed for meditation.  Byodoin is the best example of a Pure Land (or, Paradise) garden - one of only five remaining in Japan.  

Whether you decide to visit Africa, tour Asia or wander the eastern U.S., protect your dream international vacation with travel insurance from Generali. If you purchased Cancel for Any Reason coverage and gentle rain showers turn into torrential thunderstorms, you’ll be glad you bought insurance before you left home.  

And, whether you're on another continent or in your hometown, stop and smell the roses.

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