The first time I visited the Meise Botanic Garden was only three years ago when an acquaintance of mine moved into the area and told me about it. Until that moment, to be honest, I had no idea it existed at all. Quite a shame, I admit, if you consider that this is a world-renowned garden located just 10 kilometers north of Brussels: it contains more than 18.000 species of plants and one of the largest plant collections in the world.
This lack of knowledge of the many jewels on our doorstep - hidden or not - is characteristic of many other places in the Brussels-Capital Region. As a matter of fact, we, the people of Brussels, have an unfortunate tendency to ignore the beautiful corners of our city, and always to believe that “grass is greener on the other side.” Speaking of green grass, I can assure you that a visit to the Botanical Garden in Meise is a must-do. Definitely ideal for families, couples, or people on their own who want to take a relaxing day in the open air, wandering between ponds, through animals, and between plants. But it is also the case for wildlife enthusiasts aiming at improving their botanical knowledge.
Imagine just a huge park. You have decided to take some fresh air on the edges of Brussels. You have a full day for yourself and your loved ones. Just take the time to wander through the whole park, and then go to the tropical greenhouses (divided into several sections) to admire species from around the world.
In spring, around April, magnolias are in bloom, and the spectacle is breathtaking. Wide shady alleys lead to very beautiful and quiet places, where silence is only broken by the singing of the birds. And this stays true all year long. The park is only closed on the Christmas day (Dec 25th) and New Year (Jan 1st, Jan 2nd).
Also, the Garden is a center for research in tropical and European botany, with a rich library and a herbarium of nearly 4 million specimens. The institution is active in protecting biodiversity, safeguarding as many plants as possible, and sharing knowledge about them.
If you favor public transportation, you can take bus lines 250 or 251 (“De Lijn”), which allow you to reach the Garden from the North Station, or even from further away, in the municipality of Molenbeek Saint-Jean, west of Brussels. During the week, there are two bus connections per hour, which makes access to the Garden very convenient.
If you are by car, you must take the A12 motorway (Brussels-Antwerp), and take exit n°3 at Meise.
Immerse yourself into nature. Get some fresh air and enjoy a unique stroll into the Meise Botanic Garden, just a few kilometers outside Brussels.
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