Part of the oldest botanical gardens in Sweden, the Uppsala University gardens were funded by donations of money and land from King Gustav III and established in 1807 by Carl Peter Thunberg, a protégée of the world-famous botanist Carl Linnaeus. Sitting close to Uppsala Castle, the gardens display more than 9,000 plant species, some rare and many ancient, including potted laurel trees that were planted by Linnaeus himself.
The central feature of the landscaped parklands is the formal Baroque Garden, designed by landscape architect Carl Hårleman in the 1750s. Today the garden is still faithful to its original layout, thanks to extensive restoration work in 1974; the neat rows of topiary, tinkling fountains and manicured lawns all leads to the imposing Neo-classical Orangerie, added in 1787 by Jean Louis Desprez and the site of occasional botanical exhibitions. More than 100,000 visitors flock to the gardens each year, where other focal points among the greenhouses, flower beds and kitchen gardens include the Tropical Greenhouse. This was built in the 1930s and is the steamy home to Sweden’s only rainforest, full of palms and extremely rare giant lilies, which flower between July and September.
Villavägen 8, Uppsala. Open: Park May–Sept daily 7am–9pm;
Oct–Apr daily 7am–7pm. Orangerie Sept–May Tue–Fri 9am–3pm; June–Aug Mon–Fri 9am–3pm. Tropical Greenhouse Sept–May Tue–Fri 9am–3pm, Sat–Sun 12pm–3pm; June–Aug Mon–Fri 9am–3pm, Sat–Sun 11am–4pm. Admission to the Orangerie and Park are free; Tropical Greenhouse SKR 40. The botanical gardens are adjacent to Uppsala Castle and best accessed on foot.