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Barbican Conservatory

Attractions, Parks and gardens Barbican Free
5 out of 5 stars
(21user reviews)
barbican conservatory

Time Out says

The sprawling Barbican complex in the City of London definitely isn’t the place you’d expect to find one of the capital’s greatest green spaces. But wander for long enough among its concrete angles and you’ll stumble into a gasp-inducing tropical paradise. The Barbican Conservatory opened in 1984 and is one of the biggest greenhouses in London, second only to Kew Gardens. It houses 2,000 plant species, including towering palms and ferns, across an extensive series of concrete terraces and beds. There are even koi carp and terrapins. The atmosphere is almost post-apocalyptically peaceful.

The Conservatory is open on Sunday and bank holiday Monday afternoons, as well as selected Saturdays until 10pm (with a pop-up café and bar!) and for occasional special events. Entrance is free. Alternatively, you can take a guided tour or – if you’d like to linger a little longer among the foliage – book in for a civilised afternoon tea.



Address: Barbican Centre
Silk St
Opening hours: Sun only, 12pm-5pm (last entry 4.30pm)
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Users say (21)

5 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:13
  • 4 star:8
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
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1 of 1 found helpful

This is one of those secret London places that I love to bring friends from out of town. A literal urban jungle with lots of different types of flowers and other plants. A warm (and free!) place to spend an afternoon especially when it is rainy and dark outside. You can easily spend a few hours admiring, photographing and drawing there; and check out the other cultural things on offer at Barbican Centre. We had a bubbly afternoon tea there recently and it was really lovely too!

1 of 1 found helpful

The Barbican conservatory is huge and has lovely walkways at different levels making this a great place to while away an hour or so.

It’s got some really interesting tropical plants and a great cactus area also. There are water features with koi and some turtles to keep the little ones entertained.

Best of’s free! And on a cold London day it’s a lovely warm space to enjoy.

1 of 1 found helpful

Woah, this really is one of London's greatest gems. Based on the third floor of the Barbican this conservatory is full of life and color. From banana plants to cacti this place has it all.

I ended up going as it was recommended by a fellow tastemaker and I must say this is one of the loveliest days I've had in London. The staff at the Barbican were exceptionally helpful and told me what to look out for and what route to take around the conservatory which I really appreciated as it reflected how much they care for the plants and the space as they want you to enjoy it as much as possible. 

I followed the suggested route round and found myself immersed in a land of palm trees and lavender; it was all so vibrant and beautiful that it took me a fair while to get all the way around as I had to stand and stare at so many of the interesting plants along the way. My highlight was the cactus house- there were all kinds of cacti in there, some which i'd never seen before and it was just a really fascinating thing to see. 

Afterwards I wondered down to the Barbican's terrace and read by the river. This was an idyllic way to spend a day and it definitely puts my conservatory at home to shame.


This is such a hidden gem. Great place to go to start a date. It's small but unique. It's as if Kew Gardens collided with a 70's warehouse. The Barbican doesn't hide it's fire escapes, structures or even tools. There are hoses and ladders everywhere but it seems to go with the Banana plants and Birds of Paradise. It's a super cool venue and free. It's a fantastic place to feed your Instagram appetite.


The Barbican Conservatory is an amazing little oasis in the middle of London! They're only open on Sundays, but you can just turn up and its completely free! There were so many tropical plants, plus a terrapin home, koi carp and A CACTUS HOUSE. All in all, it's one of London's amazing hidden places – perfect for a couple of hours to wander around, and if you've always wondered what it's like to be in the Jungle Book. 

 A wonderful green space in the heart of the city, it is a stark contrast to it's surroundings. The Conservatory provides a lush area to enjoy afternoon tea or simply a beautiful walk to appreciate the efforts undertaken to cultivate a natural world indoors.

There is a great pond with some humongous koi carp as well as another little pond with fish in it and a delicate footbridge. Some stunning flowers of mega proportions, it was a lovely afternoon adventure with the family.


The Barbican Conservatory is a little known oasis that is only accessible to the public on sundays and bank holidays. Apparently it is the second large conservatory in London hidden away on the third floor of the barbican centre and a great little spot to get up close to some nature and to see some unusual plants right in the heart of London. There are turtles, koi fish and apparently over 2000 tropical plants and trees to see here. It is a lovely place to explore if you are at a loss of something to do on a Sunday afternoon. There are little bridges and some benches where you can sit and simply relax and enjoy the surroundings. I even saw some photo shoots and sketchers here on my last visit here. You can also book afternoon tea here which is something different for a special occasion and their menu looks interesting and is themed to consider some of the herbs, spices and fruits that may be found within the conservatory or nearby. They also offer tours that need to be booked in advance that provide further information regarding the background of the conservatory. The Arid House is probably my favourite part here which is very cool, full of wonderful cacti and succulents. The size some of these can grow to is simply quite astounding. Free to visit, wonderful little discovery and worthwhile popping into if you happen to be at the Barbican centre or nearby. 


I cannot express how much I love the Conservatory! It's one of those special must-see places in London, especially if you're a little plant mad. Be warned - as it's only open on Sundays and Bank Holidays it gets pretty busy.  Don't miss the hot house on the upper level, where cacti, succulents and sedum are artfully cultivated. If you get a chance, do check out the history of how the architects and gardeners brought in the plants when the Conservatory was first built - it gave me an additional appreciation of how this stunning tropical hot house came to be. For something a little special, do book an afternoon tea where you get to savour dainty cakes and sip prosecco in the shadow of massive rubber and fiddle fig trees.


I went last weekend once again to the Barbican Conservatory. It’s an awesome place to escape from the hustle and bustle of London. It a little bit tricky to find though. The staff is very friendly and welcoming.

The Conservatory is a huge greenhouse, which has a bit of a post-apocalyptic feel. The plants are basically growing all over facadeIt’s really beautiful and you can actually find every plant you’re looking for.They also have a small cactus- room. Calm and relaxing place. 


I can honestly say this is my favourite part of London. The beautiful conservatory with tropical plants and flowers - in contrast to the brutalist contract is a real treat.

The conservatory was built to cover the fly tower of the theatre and is a piece of art on its own.

It's only open on a Sunday or Bank holiday Monday - but make some time and get down there.

Whilst your ther have an explore and see all there is to offer.


The Barbican Conservatory is something amazing to see, who could have imaged you could have found an exotic jungle into the centre of London? It really reminded me of the Amazonian rainforest. It is free to wander around it, but remember, it only opens on Sunday (for the public) and is located on the third floor of the Barbican. It is a quiet place, a little oasis for you to escape to and beyond hosting 2000 species circa of plants, it is also the home of koi fish and two Mexican-American sea turtles, which are quite difficult to spot, but if you pay attention and carefully wander around the conservatory, you might be able to meet them. 

As a member of the young Barbican scheme I've been to the Barbican a few times, enjoying music and exhibitions (do google Young Barbican's as its free to join with lots of discounted ticket offers), but have never found the elusive Conservatory! I was surprised to find the Barbican open on a recent bank holiday and used the opportunity to find the second biggest conservatory in London. I was with my Dad (a keen horticulturalist) and we were both really taken aback by the variety of tropical plants and the vastness of the glass-roofed area. The displays of the history of the conservatory were also really interesting- particularly the lengths it took to establish everything back in the 1970s! I thoroughly enjoyed my visit and will 100% be back again, a wonderful tranquil spot in London that I would recommend again and again.


The architects Chamberlin, Powell and Bon imagined the Barbican, this unmissable place of the City of London, as an urban oasis. Particularly the Conservatory, a place of greenery designed on top of the skyscrapers. Every Sunday, the place opens its doors to city-dwellers eager to take a breath of air while remaining at the heart of the City.

Go to the third floor, where a glass pyramid hosts thousands of species of tropical plants. With these luxuriant plants, the place is a paradise for photographers and drawers. The temperature is a delight, to welcome at best these beautiful plants from far away. Which also means the ideal place to take a break from a rainy afternoon.

To relax, you can meditate near the pool where majestic Japanese fishes thoughtfully swim. If you know a little in botany, this place is full of tropical and rare plants. Take a look at the greenhouse that dominates the space to discover astonishing creeping and spiky creatures, flowers with peacock heads and stems with a mechanical look.

Now that you are at the Barbican, why not enjoying a bit more the area? This jewel of Brutalist architecture hosts temporary exhibitions for free.

So see you next Sunday? 

AWESOME! I sort of stumbled across this whilst waiting for some mates. What a beautiful piece of beauty, encapsulated in a heart of stone.


The maze of Barbican very often confuses me but I've found myself in the Barbican Conservatory for a Lipton event  and I was so delighted to be there. The whole place is filled with plants and looks like a rainforest, of course without the wild animals; and makes you forget you're actually in a concrete jungle city. Great place to bond with nature if you can't get out of the city very often.


What a delightful surprise this was once I discovered it!

Its located at the barbican centre on level 3! I was invited to a private event which they held within the conservatory and man was it nice!

They had exotic birds and plants so it was humid and smelt like an Amazonian rainforest!

We were treated to a beautiful 6 course tasting menu and with the surroundings it was just wonderful!


I had the amazing opportunity to see the Conservatory on a quiet evening for a private view. Allowing my friend and I to get that Instagram worthy shot. 

We happily sipped our wine and walked around the whole space taking in the names of all the plants and checking out the Koi fish. This space this so soothing and relaxing we were laughing about how the air in the Barbican Conservatory is probably cleaner than the air right outside the Barbican. 

Sadly the space isn't open to the public often, and when it is it gets crowded with children but if going to Kew Gardens is a bit of a trek then it's a great substitute. I wish I could start every networking event I go to with a little R&R in here. 


The Barbican Conservatory is a fun place to explore and relax in. It’s open to the public on Sundays and is free to enter. They offer an afternoon tea, which when I went was fully booked up in advance. The conservatory is a huge multilevel greenhouse which represents plants from many different climates. I particularly enjoyed the arid climate room with lots of orchids and succulents. The enormous palm trees were also very impressive. It’s definitely worth checking out it you’re in the area on a Sunday.


Yet another hidden gem of this great city. In complete contrast to the mammoth concrete - love it or hate it - structure that is the Barbican; this delightful conservatory sits at the very top, a proud oasis of tranquillity complete with Japanese garden and coy carp.

With plants and vegetation growing almost unkempt, (though I'm no gardener so I'm sure it's actually all well planned out), this place as has an wild, post-apocalyptic feel to it. My friend looked around with wander at some shrubbery winding it's way around parts of the Barbican structure and said "this feels like Armegeden and nature has started taking over". Perfectly put.

A delightful little space, well worth visiting as part of a trip to the Barbican itself (as it'll only take fifteen minutes to wander around) and don't forget to check out the room with the cacti and pre-check opening times on the website.


The Barbican Conservatory is a great place to spend a chilled sunday afternoon. It can be a little tricky to find, but once in you'll find a hidden tropical oasis right in the heart of the city.

Located on the third floor, it is the second biggest conservatory in London and home to different species of fishes and over 2,000 species of plants. It's much larger than I thought it was, has 2 levels to explore and I particularly enjoyed the greenhouse which showcases different species of cactuses.

It's open on Sundays mainly but sometimes is closed to the public on specific days so it's worth checking the website to see the next opening:

If you're into botany, then check this out.

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