The Hebrew University Jerusalem Botanical Garden is a hidden paradise not well known amongst locals nor amongst visitors. The Jerusalem Botanical Garden is located near the university’s Givat Ram Campus and not far from the Children Science Museum. In the gardens, you can find a very large (in Israeli terms) garden that hosts more than 10,000 plants from all over the world.
The garden is organized by the continents of origin of the plants and is especially beautiful in the early spring (end of February till April) starting with a beautiful Japanese cherry blossom and showing all the local flowers at their best.
The Jerusalem Botanical Gardens is one of the secret gems in the city and boasts more than 10,000 plant species, which have been brought to Israel from several parts of the world. These plants are displayed in six sections: Australia, Central Asia, Europe, Mediterranean, North America and South America, with each designed to create a miniature landscape of the region of these plants’ origins. In the Japanese section, for instance, there are about 150 bonsai trees, the largest concentration of bonsai trees in the world.
The botanical garden also attracts about 46 species of birds, making it a perfect place for birdwatching.
At the heart of the garden is a large lake and water system. The site is accessible by wheelchair but please note that it is very hilly. On busy days an internal shuttle (train style) operates and there are often craft workshops for the children. The Botanic Garden Website has details (In Hebrew, but you can click “English” on the upper-left-hand corner to view the English version).
On other days this is a great place for small children to run around in a safe environment whilst the adults enjoy the flowers. For the older children, they may find the “Discovery Trail” an interesting spot. The trail provides an interesting and exciting hands-on trail for the kids, giving them the opportunity to play and explore with the water, build with the earth, and discover plant life.
There is another trail, the 500-meter long “The Biblical Trail,” where over 70 of the 400 plants mentioned in the Bible have been identified by scientists.
For more pictures of the Botanic Garden see our Botanic Garden Photo Album.
There is a popular café and restaurant by the lake. It has a magnificent location although it would not be our first choice.
The garden is open every day and is suitable for a Saturday morning stroll in a city that is almost completely closed on the weekend, but it is not suitable for the religious audience as there is charge of a small entry fee for the gardens. For the religious audience we recommend the Islamic Art Museum which does not charge a fee on Saturdays. (Islamic Art Museum Website)