After my visit in Chinese Garden in Frankfurt last spring I was very inspired by the combination of the oriental architecture and subtlety of early spring nature. This year I was looking for similar places close to Rhine-Main area I found that Mannheim has the Chinese Tea Garden, so I was really excited to see it.
On a map it looks like it is just a part of a huge park. It is true, however it is not a regular city park opened to everyone, but a whole entertainment complex – Luisenpark. You need a ticket to enter and it is a bit pricy, but definitely worth the money.
The very first moment after I entered I was just overwhelmed with all the beauty around me. There were plenty of gorgeous flowers – yellow daffodiles and pink flowering cherry trees. There were also tulips of all colours and many other flowers, which names I just don’t know. I could stay and stare at all those beauties much longer, but first I wanted to reach the Tea Garden.
Chinese Tea Garden was built in 2001. It was designed according to feng shui laws. The main attraction is the tea house – the biggest of its type in Europe – 220 m2. The buildings are really impressive. Visitors can choose from other 30 tea types and have a relaxing cup of tea on the terrace. Each table has some interesting decorative painted elements. Even if a bit crowded, the place remains quiet and peaceful.
The building is surrounded by a garden with typical flora: magnolias, peonies, bamboo or cane. Everyone can walk around and pass through the cave on water. It might be a bit dangerous for very small kids, but it is so much fun, jumping on wet, slippery stones. I really liked all the decoration details, dragon sculptures and paper lamps. For the moment you can imagine you are on a different continent.
Since it might be a bit far to walk from the main entrance to this part of a park, there is the Duojing train that can take you there. You can also use it to just have a tour around the whole park. Obviously it is not for free – max. 5 euros.
For enthusiasts of Chinese culture there is a summer festival every year, during which you can enjoy concerts, exhibitions and workshops. Interestingly the place can be rented for family events or private tours with a guide. You can also take part in the traditional tea ceremony or even get married!
Since I didn’t know beforehand what to expect from Luisenpark, I was absolutely overwhelmed with number of attractions. One day is not enough to experience all of it. That’s why if you don’t have much time to spend there, it is better to get prepared and choose what interests you the most.
In further parts of this post I would like to show what I found the most interesting and inspiring in Luisenpark. Let’s just start with the fact that it is a really huge botanic garden. The focus of displays changes according to the season. For example in very early spring it was full of daffodiles and in May you can watch tulips.
Walking around you meet some streams or ponds and you can cross them by several bridges, also suspension ones. In some places the level of water is so low that kids can enter with bare feet. All the ponds and streams are full of fish and frogs. Ducks and gooses are also common. And if you are lucky, you can meet pelicans.
Apart from trees and flowers planted outside, there is also a green house with more tropical species, also animals. You can get to know many plants which parts we use in everyday life, but they don’t grow in Europe. The most interesting collections include cactus and butterfly garden. Additionaly, there are plenty of animals, mainly birds everywhere in the park, also flamingos and penguins! So partially it is also a zoo.
On a warm and sunny days most people just enjoy the time by making a picknic, since there is plenty of green space to spread a picknic blanket. Kids can play and run around or have fun at one of many playgrounds. One of them looks like a real castle, just a smaller version.
It is still not all! What else should be included in a perfect park? Fontains and sculptures. Whenever you need some refreshment or you got inspired to create or aprreciate some beautiful objects, just have a look around. Many people were just sitting on the grass and reading books while beeing surrounded by the sea of blue flowers. Perfect conditions for warm spring afternoon.
Once you get tired of walking small Gondoletta can take you around the park. Take one of those little boats and enjoy the company of fish that swim around you.
After all those adventures you got hungry? No problem – you can have some food and drinks in any of the shops, bars and restaurants. It makes it way easier to stay within the park for whole day long, cause you don’t need to leave the place to find any food.
I am pretty sure that Luisenpark has much more to offer and I leave it for my next visit there.
All the details about the entrance fee and opening hours can be found on the official website of Luisenpark.