Botanical Garden in Ajuda, Lisbon

Botanical Garden in Ajuda - ornamental walkway

Lisbon has three botanical gardens as far as I know. Ajuda, Belem and the City Center. The one in the city center was under renovation when I was there. But I visited the one in Ajuda and Belem, they were very close to where I was staying. This post is about the botanical garden in Ajuda. It was the first one I visited and found totally fascinating! And possibly from what I read and hear it might be the best one in Lisbon.

As I entered the garden after buying a ticket from the office building I saw glimpses of a maze-style garden. In the official website of this botanical garden it is called the ‘ornamental walkway’ but I think of it as the maze garden cause it reminds me of a maze carved from garden hedges. 🙂

On the garden wall were a couple of peacocks basking in the soft evening sun. But I had just been to Tiruvannamalai and the peacocks roam around in the entire town so I wasn’t too excited. But happy to see them and also to remember Tiruvannamalai and Ramanasramam.

I walked all around this maze garden and then up the steps to see the elevated part of the garden. It didn’t seem to have any such intriguing maze so I assumed this maze garden was the highlight of the park. And I was quite happy with it. From this elevated garden you can see the ornamental maze garden with a center piece fountain which was under renovation. From the little I saw of the fountain, it was quite ornate. And beyond the walls of the garden the Tagus river sparkled away in the distance and the soft evening sun was soon to reach its waters.Botanical Garden in Ajuda in the Setting Sun light

Botanical Garden in Ajuda, Lisbon, Portugal
The architecture was striking, after all, this garden had originally been part of the Ajuda palace and was commissioned by the royalty for the use of their kids. (This is one of the oldest botanical gardens in Portugal)

But then was the biggest surprise that I didn’t expect.
This upper garden holds some of the most fascinating types of trees from around the world including a Baobab, strange Cactii wonders and a lot more.

Baobao in the Botanical Park of Ajuda, Lisbon
in the Botanical garden of Ajuda
Huge tree with lots of huge roots intertwined with each other above ground
Botanical Garden of Ajuda
Fascinated by this huge tree sit-out….

And there are many smaller fountain pieces here too, but none as big as the one in the lower ornamental maze section. At one of these smaller fountains, there was an artist sitting and sketching on her book. That really completed the scene for me. So serene. I loved this place.

An artist sitting by a fountain sketching - Botanical garden in Ajuda
You can see the artist at the far-right side. I was shy to photograph her directly. 🙂

Garden of Scents and Smells

I had read about a trekking path for the blind somewhere in Japan I think. But here in this Botanical Garden of Ajuda I came across such a garden.

A small walkway through plants which gave out distinct aromas – a garden of scents and smells. And the little boards with names of the plant were in Braille too.

Unfortunately, maybe because of the season (November) or some other reason the  shrubs didn’t seem in full bloom. But at least a few of them gave out a very distinct scent.

So another lovely addition to make this a very enjoyable botanical garden.

How to Get Here & Other Details

This botanical garden is a 10-15 minutes up-hill walk from Belem Center – which is a frequent stop for tourists and travellers due to the Monastery, Pasteis de Belem, planetorium and Tagus river walk. You can also take a bus from the Belem city center, but I am not sure of the bus number.

If you are coming from the Lisbon city center then you could take a bus directly from Maquiz Pombal or some other stops. The two bus stops right by this garden are, CC da Ajuda for 18E tram, 729 bus & Rua do Jardim Botanico for 727, 732 buses.

The ticket price and other details can be seen in this notice that was put up outside this garden when I visited there.

Botanical Garden in Ajuda, Lisbon
Timings, ticket prices and other details

So all in all if you would like to be amidst nature, check out unusual trees and spend some quiet time in Lisbon this is a great place! And if botanical gardens are your thing this one was really enjoyable. Have you been to other amazing botanical gardens? Share with me in comments so I can also keep them in mind if I am thereabouts some time.