Forstbotanischer Garten




Circular trail, playground, restaurant — forest pool in Rodenkirchen

Hiking through the forests of Europe and North America — with a detour to California — then to Japan and back through ex-military territory of the city of Cologne, in just one day? Yes, it can be done: In the Forstbotanischer Garten (Forest Botanic Garden) near Rodenkirchen in southern Cologne. With over 3,000 species of woody plants — from deciduous trees and conifers to rose bushes — the Forstbotanischer Garten has a particularly large variety of species, including an especially large number of non-native plants. 
This botanic garden is part of a 90-hectare green area in the south of Cologne. It was created in 1964 and covers about 25 hectares on its own. 

Theme plots with trees and woody plants

The park is divided into different plots, each focusing on different species of woody plants or regions of origin. Thus, in the Forstbotanischer Garten you have the opportunity to stroll through the forests of Central and North America with their maples, incense cedars and redwoods as well as through native deciduous forest or woody plants from Japan such as ginkgo, magnolias, witch hazel and Japanese cherries. Moreover, you’ll have the opportunity to admire other mixed forests that offer a different natural experience depending on the season. Worth mentioning here is, for example, the Japanese maple in autumn or the katsuras, as well as the colourfulness and abundance of flowers of the numerous rhododendrons.

Origin and history

The area of the Forstbotanischer Garten originally belonged to the outer fortification ring of Cologne. This was once the site of the Hermannshof infantry base. Pieces of rubble from the former fortification found a new purpose in the rock garden in the Rhododendron Gorge. In the 1950s, the park’s aim was to create a local recreation area for the population, which would enable botanical experts and lay visitors alike to enjoy nature and discover new things. You can visit another botanic garden of the city of Cologne, the Flora, in Riehl in the northern part of the city near the zoo.

The Forstbotanischer Garten is right next to the Peace Forest, which is devoted to the idea of international understanding. For this purpose, between 1979 and 1981, trees and shrubs from many different countries of the world were planted in this forest to represent the growth of good diplomatic relations. 

Diverse, edifying and adventurous: free-ranging peacocks included

The grounds of the Forstbotanischer Garten are extensive and very diverse. In addition, there are many exciting “discovery trails” or “adventure trails,” such as down into the Rhododendron Gorge with its rock garden as well as to the Peony Meadow. A visit the garden with children is nice family experience, thanks to the entertainment provided by free-ranging peacocks.
In the centre of the complex you will find a water lily pool with water features. This place is certainly idyllic and shady-cool in the summer.

The Playground at the Forstbotanischer Garten

Even more fun for children is provided by the playground in the middle of the large green meadow in front of the actual Forstbotanischer Garten. Its sand and playground equipment make it a popular spot for families. In addition, when the wind is strong, the meadow around the playground is perfect for flying kites.

Useful Information

General Information

  • Parking Available


  • for Groups

  • for families

  • for individual guests

Payment Options

Entrance Free

Parking facilities

The walk from the Siegstraße stop (Tram lines 16 or 17) to the Forstbotanischer Garten takes about 9 minutes.

More information

Dogs are not allowed in the forest botanical garden.


It appears that you are using Microsoft Internet Explorer as your web browser to access our site.

For practical and security reasons, we recommend that you use a current web browser such as Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera, or Edge. Internet Explorer does not always display the complete content of our website and does not offer all the necessary functions.