School holidays in Monaco: Exploring the Jardin Exotique’s Centre Botanique

Although the Jardin Exotique remains closed to the public for the time being, the Centre Botanique can be visited and makes for a great day out during the school holidays. 

After the Jardin Exotique was opened in 1933, the Centre Botanique followed in the 1960s. It was moved to a new site in 2017 and is now a stunning glass and wrought iron structure designed by architects Fabrice Notari and Rudy Ricciotti that houses more than 10,000 different species of cacti and succulents.  

Spread throughout the 900m2 of greenhouse is a variety of plants from around the world – Mexico, Central and South America, the Arabian Peninsular, South and West Africa amongst others – that need a little more protection than those that thrive outside in the main garden space. As such, the Centre Botanique is a haven for those who appreciate the exotic and the unusual. Some 85% of the plants grown here are protected species! 

The Centre Botanique’s mission is the conservation of “a reference collection of cacti and other succulent plants” and the specialist team of seven staff work all year round to take cuttings and propagate their wards, many of which go on to find a home in the main Jardin Exotique zone or are exhibited at shows.

It is free to visit the greenhouses of the Centre Botanique, which is open from 8.30am to 3.30pm from Tuesday through to Saturday. The last entry time is 3pm. 

Due to ongoing works in the area, access is currently via Level 2 on the stairs between the Engelin building and the Centre Botanique.

Click here for more information on the Centre Botanique and here for more ideas on what to do in Monaco during the school holidays.


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Photo source: Mairie de Monaco, Facebook