Each year, in the spring, the Royal Greenhouses in Laeken are opened to the public, during almost three weeks. This tradition has been carried on for a century. In 2023 the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken are open to the public from 14 April until 7 May (closed on Mondays).
You will be able to choose between a short (1.5 hours) or long (2.5 hours) visit. On the long route, your visit begins with a walk through the gardens of the Royal Domain. There, you will first discover the wondrous architecture of the greenhouses from afar, exploring other special spots along the way, such as the temple ruins at the edge of one of the ponds or the rose arch. Once you have completed the outdoor leg of your visit, it is time to enter the greenhouses themselves. The shorter tour leads you around the greenhouses only. You will be able to visit the Palm Plateau, the Embarcadère, the Congo Greenhouse, the Winter Garden and the Orangery.
During the nocturnes – evening openings on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (and on Monday 1 May – it is only possible to complete the shorter of the two. On Thursday 27 April support will be offered for individuals with reduced mobility on an adapted route of two hours. Assistance will be available at critical points along the route. Any other visitors on that day will have to take the modified route.
The greenhouses are the result of numerous conversations, letters, sketches, preliminary studies and designs between architect Alphonse Balat and King Leopold II. They were built in Art Nouveau style and a first section was inaugurated in 1880. Several more greenhouses were also added afterwards. Inside one can find a plant collection with many extremely rare and precious plants. The gardeners are currently trying to create the ideal conditions for all the plants to bloom at the right time, while open to the public.
The ticket sale has started on 20 March 2023. Tickets cost 5 euros. Children under 12 may enter for free, but their tickets have to be reservated in advance. Entrance and exit along the honorary gates of the Castle of Laeken, Avenue Royale Park, 1020 Brussels.
For photos I took in April 2016, see here.
For more information about the greenhouses see here.