Ajuda Botanical Gardens
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Ajuda Botanical Gardens (Jardim Botânico da Ajuda)

Located in the Belém district of Lisbon, the Ajuda Botanical Gardens offer a tranquil escape from the hubbub of city streets. The beautiful botanical garden in Ajuda is the oldest in Portugal. They were laid down in 1768 following the devastating earthquake thirteen years earlier and the relocation of the royal family away from the city centre. The Ajuda Botanical Gardens boast a diverse collection of plant species from around the world, meticulously curated to showcase botanical wonders.

Visitors can wander through lush greenery, fragrant flower beds, and serene ponds, immersing themselves in nature's beauty. The gardens also feature historical landmarks, including the neoclassical Ajuda Palace, adding a touch of grandeur to the scenery. Whether you're a nature enthusiast, an inquisitive visitor, or simply seeking a peaceful retreat, the Ajuda Botanical Gardens provide a serene oasis in the heart of Lisbon. Explore winding pathways, discover rare plant species, and unwind amidst the beauty of these enchanting gardens. Bus and tram services stop just outside, making Ajuda Botanical Gardens a viable option to wind down after a busy day sightseeing the monuments close by. Let MADABOUTLISBON.COM be your essential guide to this wonderful hideaway piece of Eden.


Ajuda Botanical Gardens

Baroque staircase (Escadaria Centro)l

Discover the rich history of Ajuda Botanical Gardens, tracing back to the aftermath of the devastating 1755 Lisbon earthquake and the ensuing tidal wave. Originally conceived as part of King Dom D. José I's visionary plan to relocate the royal palace to higher ground post-disaster, these gardens, spanning 3.8 hectares, were meticulously designed by esteemed naturalist Domenico Vandelli. Established in 1768, they stand as Portugal's inaugural botanical haven.

Throughout the tumultuous Peninsular Wars, Napoleon's forces plundered the gardens, relocating prized botanical treasures to Paris. Despite these losses, subsequent efforts saw the gardens replenished, although the advent of the Escola Politécnica botanical garden rendered Ajuda's scientific role obsolete.

Transitioning into a leisure retreat for the royal family until the dawn of the Portuguese Republic in 1910, the gardens underwent a revival initiative spearheaded by the Instituto Superior de Agronomia (ISA), culminating in their public unveiling. Ongoing restoration initiatives, buoyed by EU support, continue to preserve and enhance this historic sanctuary.


Perched gracefully on dual terraces, Ajuda Botanical Gardens offer panoramic vistas of Belém and the majestic river Tejo. Linked by the grandiose Baroque marvel, the Escadaria Central, this verdant oasis unfolds its splendour in two distinct tiers.

The lower terrace exudes an Italian allure, boasting meticulously crafted plant beds and hedgerows. At its heart lies the venerable 18th-century Fountain of the Forty Spouts (Fonte das Quarenta Bicas), adorned with serpentine motifs featuring captivating sea creatures. Adorned with whimsical statues of frogs, shells, and waterfowl, this fountain is a testament to timeless elegance.

Ascending to the upper level unveils the botanical treasure trove of the garden, showcasing operational greenhouses and a treasury of rare tree species. Among these botanical wonders stand the majestic Ficus Microcarpa and Ficus Macrophylla, alongside the Schotia Afra and Ocotea Foetens. Standing beneath the cooling canopy of a 400-year-old Dracaena draco from Madeira, visitors can enjoy a tranquil respite amidst peacocks ambling at their feet.

Catering to sensory exploration, the Jardim dos Aromas beckons with its aromatic allure, thoughtfully tailored for the visually impaired. Raised flowerbeds facilitate tactile engagement, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the fragrant tapestry of plants and flowers, complemented by Braille descriptions for an enriching experience.

Completing the experience, a former greenhouse near the Calçada do Galvão gate houses a charming restaurant, inviting patrons to savour delectable cuisine amidst the botanical splendour.

Ajuda Botanical Gardens

Ajuda Botanical Gardens

Belém Bundle

Visitor Information

October to April Daily: 10h00 - 17h00, May to September: Daily: 10h00 - 20h00
Adult: €2.00, Concessionary: €1.00, Under 5: FREE,

Yellow Bus Tour

Getting To The Ajuda Botanical Gardens

Tram #18E Timetable
727, 729 & 732
Contact Details
Calçada da Ajuda, 1300-011 Lisboa, Portugal.
38° 42' 59.7"N | 09° 11' 45.6"W | +351 213 622 503
botanicoajuda@isa.ulisboa.pt | Website

Yellow Boat Tour