To start with I would like to mention that if you look at a map of Munich, tourists often see the old botanic garden on the map just north of the train station and quite often very near their hotel. The old botanic garden is today simply a normal park with a fountain, a children’s playground, and a beer garden. It is an historic park and a wonderful place to take a break near the center of the city, but doesn’t have any exotic species of plants.
The real botanic garden of Munich is located near Nymphenburg palace and is called the New Botanic Garden (Neuer Botanischer Garten). Founded in 1914, this 22 hectare garden has over 14,000 species of plants, is open year round with special exhibits throughout the year. These special exhibits range from when all of the roses are blooming to when they have exotic butterflies.
The botanic garden is perfect for a romantic summer stroll or for a family excursion during one of the special exhibits like the butterflies in the early spring. As it is just at the northern edge of the Nymphenburg palace garden, it is easy to do both in one day.
The New Botanic Garden has its own Tram stop on tram line 17 and takes about 17 minutes from the main train station downtown.