Excursion tip: Botanical Garden in Salzburg

A paradise for nature lovers and explorers in the Salzburg region

by Silja / 22. Juni 2023 / Excursions / Nature
Botanischer Garten Salzburg © Silja Parke - Wilde Möhre Blog

A sea of blossoms of diversity: a stroll through the Salzburg Botanical Garden

If you are planning a city visit to Salzburg from Puch, you should definitely stop by the Botanical Garden of the University of Salzburg. With its 1.5 hectares, the Salzburg Botanical Garden is comparatively small, but nevertheless houses a remarkable botanical diversity as well as a wide variety of habitats, plant communities and interesting display areas - mainly from the Alpine region, which have been skilfully laid out. Here you can stroll along winding gravel paths through pergolas and over narrow bridges, and beautifully designed seating areas invite you to linger.

And you know what! The entrance to the Botanical Garden is even free and open to the public after opeing hours from April to October!

Botanischer Garten Salzburg © Silja Parke - Wilde Möhre Blog

TIP: The Botanical Garden in Salzburg can be reached quickly and easily by public transportation (which is free for vacationers with the TennengauPLUS Card) or via the picturesque Tauern Cycle Path.

Situated in one of the most beautiful parts of Salzburg's landscape

Especially from the slightly elevated alpine plant communities, you have an unobstructed view over the area. From here you can experience the magnificent view of one of the most beautiful parts of the landscape of Salzburg. To the northwest, the view sweeps across silhouettes of trees to the Hohensalzburg Fortress, to the southwest one recognizes the Untersberg and in the immediate field of vision the Freisaal moated castle.

Botanischer Garten Salzburg © Silja Parke - Wilde Möhre Blog

From alpine plant communities to the Salzburg farmer's garden...

... there is everything to discover in the Botanical Garden in Salzburg!

Botanischer Garten Salzburg © Silja Parke - Wilde Möhre Blog

A blooming paradise: The Rose Garden of Salzburg - An Oasis for Rose Lovers

The path in the rose garden begins right at the entrance. It shows the development of the simple wild rose, to the well-known noble roses. This area is a particularly beautiful feast for the eyes in June and July during the main blooming season. On warm, sunny days, a delicate scent of roses wafts over here and there.

Botanischer Garten Salzburg - Rosengarten © Silja Parke - Wilde Möhre Blog

Buzzing visitors: The fascinating world of insects and bees in the Salzburg Botanical Garden.

Even on the first meters, bees and other insects feasting on the variety of flowers catch the eye in fine weather. In the course of student courses, 70 species of wild bees have already been identified. In addition to the food supply, insects also find natural nesting opportunities in the Botanical Garden, as well as nesting aids and a sandarium.

Botanischer Garten Salzburg - Insektenhotel © Silja Parke - Wilde Möhre Blog

A botanical kaleidoscope: diversity and beauty of plant communities in the Salzburg Botanical Garden.

The tour continues through the plant communities of forests and ravines, habitats of alpine origin, colonizers of upland and lowland moors from the Salzburg and Upper Austrian regions, as well as rough grasslands with species of the alpine eastern fringe, past classical dye plants, raised beds, to the Salzburg farmer's garden according to traditional patterns, as well as an arable field with old varieties of cereals and vegetables. Rhododendrons and azaleas, a phenological plant calendar, watercourse, flower meadow, Mediterranean and dryland plants, succulent group and a snack garden complete the top-class collections.

Botanischer Garten Salzburg © Silja Parke - Wilde Möhre Blog

Everywhere the Botanical Garden is well signposted and a lot of interesting information about the plant diversity in the green oasis in the middle of the city of Salzburg awaits the visitors.

TIP: A garden guide and a brochure about trees and shrubs in the Botanical Garden can be purchased from the Botanical Garden staff for €2 each.

Beschilderung Botanischer Garten Salzburg © Silja Parke - Wilde Möhre Blog

Enjoy the diversity during a walk through the Botanical Garden in Salzburg. Especially now in July an ideal excursion for all botany lovers and nature lovers. Discover there, for example, besides the enchanting rose garden and the fascinating insect world...

High and low moors in the Botanical Garden Salzburg
Mediterranean plants - Greek mountain tea in flower, fireweed and betony
Exotic plants - redwood leaf from southern Brazil & swamp cypress - native along the east coast of North America, along the Gulf Coast and in the southern states.
Cultivated plant garden with root and tuber vegetables, leafy vegetables and seed and spice plants

Healing Power of Nature: Discover the Apothecary Garden at the Salzburg Botanical Garden.

At a time when more and more people are returning to a nature-based lifestyle, the demand for and consumption of herbal medicines and tea blends has risen sharply. As a result, the medicinal plant is gaining immense importance not only for lay people, but also for drug manufacturers, medical practitioners and pharmacists.

Botanischer Garten Salzburg © Silja Parke - Wilde Möhre Blog

The Apothecary Garden in the Salzburg Botanical Garden covers an area of 300 m² and is home to an impressive variety of around 280 different medicinal and healing plants. This garden was designed to provide a comprehensive overview of most native medicinal and aromatic plants. It serves not only as an inspiring place for interested visitors, but also as an important teaching garden for students to safely identify medicinal plants and avoid possible confusion with poisonous plants. The Apothecary Garden thus contributes to education and knowledge in the field of herbal medicine and pharmacology.

Botanischer Garten Salzburg © Silja Parke - Wilde Möhre Blog

With the Salzburg pharmacists as partners, it has been possible to establish a pharmacist's herb garden in recent years, which is one of the cornerstones of the facility, arranged according to areas of activity.

TIP: During the summer months, guided tours are held here on Tuesdays under the guidance of expert pharmacists.

In the apothecary garden visitors will find, among others, these 6 medicinal plants:
  1. Bach Flower No. 18 - Impatiens - for mild irritability and impatience.
  2. Chamomile - medicinal and aromatherapy plant - antispasmodic, sedative, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, etc.
  3. Angelica - medicinal and aromatherapy plant - antispasmodic, digestive and bile flow stimulant, among others
  4. Golden poppy - medicinal plant - use preparations from the pharmacy, as it contains toxic alkaloids! Among other things, it has antispasmodic, analgesic and sedative effects.
  5. Milk thistle - medicinal plant - among other things liver-protective and bile-flow and digestion-promoting
  6. Clary sage - women's medicinal plant and aromatherapy plant, including calming nerves, antispasmodic, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and wonderfully fragrant! Popular with the blue-black wood bee!

In the same way to see, is this poisonous spurge - however, castor oil, which is pressed from the seeds, is used for various applications of medicine, cosmetics and technology.

Botanischer Garten Salzburg - Rizinus © Silja Parke - Wilde Möhre Blog

Place for research and teaching

The Salzburg Botanical Garden is part of the Department of Environment and Biodiversity at Paris Lodron University Salzburg. A variety of research projects are carried out here in the garden. For example, the influence of drought stress on plant-pollinator interactions on the Styrian oil pumpkin was investigated here, or the question of whether climate change alters flower scent and attraction for pollinators.

Botanischer Garten Salzburg © Silja Parke - Wilde Möhre Blog

The botanical garden also serves as a place for demonstrations. Small groups of students can often be seen wandering through the garden with their professors. The Botanical Garden is thus of central importance for research and teaching at the Faculty of Natural and Life Sciences at Paris Lodron University.

From the Old Town to a New Beginning: The Changing History of the Botanical Garden in Salzburg

The Botanical Garden was not always located here in Freisaal. The Botanical Garden of the old University of Salzburg, which was founded in 1622 as a Benedictine university, dissolved in 1810 in the course of Salzburg's annexation to the Kingdom of Bavaria, and reestablished in 1962, was located in the Old Town on the site of today's Wilhelm Furtwängler Garden. Before the construction of the old university, the area belonged to an extensive women's garden, which was later used as the university's collegiate garden. The garden in the old city experienced various uses, for example by the private merchant and plant collector Franz Anton Ranftl, who leased the Kollegiumgarten to trade in bulbous and ornamental plants. Later, in 1835, botany was introduced as a subject at the newly established teaching institution for "surgical preparatory sciences" and a botanical garden of about 2,000 m² was established at the same location for the cultivation of medicinal plants (later considered to be enlarged to 4,700 m²). Later the garden was reduced again and although the necessity of a botanical garden was questioned and the funds were cut, the garden director, Prof. Fugger, succeeded in cultivating all species of the Salzburg flora here. In 1888 he had achieved his goal.

Botanischer Garten Salzburg © Silja Parke - Wilde Möhre Blog

Further staffing and funding cuts made it visibly more difficult to maintain the Botanic Garden, until the federal government handed it over to the City Horticulture Department. During the war years, the Botanic Garden served as a storage and rubble yard before becoming a public green space. In 1985, the present Botanical Garden was built in the course of the establishment of the Faculty of Natural Sciences in Freisaal and was thus able to continue the old tradition in Salzburg and is now making new history.

A place of beauty and inspiration: The Botanical Garden in Salzburg invites you to discover it.

The Botanical Garden is truly a beautiful place in Salzburg. You can visit it at different times of the year and always discover many interesting things! I myself work at the Faculty of Natural and Life Sciences in the Department of Environment and Biodiversity, right next to the Botanical Garden.

Botanischer Garten Salzburg © Silja Parke - Wilde Möhre Blog

Helpful info for your visit to the Botanical Garden in Salzburg:
  • The entrance is free!
  • Dogs are not allowed
  • Garden rules must be observed!!
  • Guided tours of the Botanical Garden for adults or for educational purposes are available by appointment via e-mail at  botanischer.garten@plus.ac.at. Guided tours for children and young people are offered by the Green School angeboten (gruene.schule@plus.ac.at; Tel: 0662 8044 7331)
  • The Botanical Garden offers public scientific garden tours and Chamber of Pharmacists tours of the Apothecary Herb Garden. See program or website. Meeting point: Garden main gate
  • Garden guides and the brochure "Trees and Shrubs in the Botanical Garden" are available for €2 from garden staff.
  • Opening hours:
    April: Tuesday-Friday 9 a.m.-4 p.m. 
    May-September: Tuesday-Sunday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
    October: Tuesday-Friday 9am-4pm
  • Getting there: The Botanical Garden is located in close proximity to the Faculty of Natural Sciences of the University of Salzburg at Hellbrunnerstrasse 34, 5020 Salzburg. Public but very limited car parking is available along Michael-Pacher-Strasse and adjacent streets, maximum parking time 3 hours. Bus stops are located nearby. 
  • Events: on the website you will find information about the current Summer-program
  • The general plan gives an overview of all areas in the Botanical Garden

Übersichtsplan Botanischer Garten Salzburg

Again and again I like to roam the grounds and observe the development of the plants through the garden year. Not only does this have a high recreational value, I also learn something new every time and am inspired and seduced by the colors, shapes, scents and aromas I encounter here. Of course, my herbalist heart beats faster. Please have a look too!

Yours sincerely

Silja Parke aka Wilde Möhre

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