Skip to main content

Conservatory

Free entry
Photo of pathway with bridge surrounded by greenery and plants in the Barbican Conservatory

Visit the second biggest Conservatory in London and explore our hidden tropical oasis.

Home to exotic fish and over 2,000 species of tropical plants and trees, a visit to our Conservatory is a perfect way to enjoy a lazy day out with friends and family. 

Admission is free, no booking required.
 

Entry is on a first come first served basis. With the exception of guide dogs, dogs are not permitted inside the Conservatory. 

Please contact the Box Office on 0845 120 7500 with any access related enquiries.

Free entry

Opening times

The Conservatory is open on selected Sundays from 12–5pm.

November
Sunday 10 November – closes at 4pm
Sunday 17 November
Sunday 24 November

December
Sunday 1 December 
Sunday 8 December
Sunday 15 December 
Sunday 22 December
Sunday 29 December

January
Wednesday 1 January

 

 

Donate today

Help people of all ages and backgrounds to discover their creative voice by supporting the Barbican Fund

Watch

photo of marta lowcewicz laughing in the conservatory

Watch: Marta Lowcewicz, Head Gardener at the Barbican Conservatory

Head Gardener Marta reveals the secrets of this tropical oasis.

Photo of man playing piano

Watch: Barbican Sessions- Felicita

In this Barbican Session, London-based electronic musician felicita performs Track 6 from the 2016 'a new family' EP in our Conservatory.

Shop

Conservatory facts

  • The Conservatory was designed by the Barbican’s architects Chamberlin, Powell and Bon, and surrounds the Barbican Theatre’s fly tower, from which scenery for productions taking place on the stage six stories below is lowered into place.
  • The roof is constructed of steel and glass and covers 23,000 square feet, providing cover for over 1600 cubic metres of soil, all of which was hand mixed to a specific requirement.
  • Two of the three pools accommodate koi, ghost, and grass carp from Japan and America, as well as other cold water fish such as roach, rudd, and tench, whilst the other smaller pool (located outside the Arid House) provides a safe haven for terrapins.
  • Visitors can also take in a unique afternoon tea during their visit, with a selection of handmade cakes and savouries each inspired by a fruit, flower or herb grown in the Conservatory. Book your place here.
  • Planted between 1980 and 1981, and opened in 1984, the Conservatory now houses around 2,000 species of plants and trees, some of which are rare and endangered in their native habitat. The species are a vibrant mix of temperate and arid types ranging from areas as diverse as the rocky deserts and bushland of South Africa to the coastline of Brazil.
  • A varied assortment of the extraordinary flora from around the world includes the iconic tree fern, date palm, the Swiss cheese plant, and coffee and ginger plants all under one roof.
  • There is also an Arid House attached to the east side of the Conservatory with a large collection of cacti and succulents and an overwintering collection of cymbidiums (cool house orchids).
  • For those wanting to learn more about the history and hidden secrets of the Conservatory, a tour takes place on selected Sundays led by the Barbican’s resident gardeners. Book your place here.

Conservatory

Saved events