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Visit the Conservatory

Photo of concrete flytower surrounded by trees and plants in the Barbican Conservatory

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

The Conservatory is open on selected days every week, from 12pm.

So all visitors can enjoy the unique atmosphere of our Conservatory safely, we've removed seating and ask that you avoid activities like sketching, picnicking and photoshoots, and follow the one way system. We recommend you allow 20 minutes for your visit.

Admission is free. Tickets for the Conservatory are released one week in advance online on Thursdays at 10am. A limited number of day tickets are released for online booking from 9.30am each day that the Conservatory is open.

If you're unable to attend, please contact [email protected] to return your free tickets. 

Please not the conservatory is closed from Monday 30 May until Sunday 5 June.

With the exception of guide dogs, dogs are not permitted inside the Conservatory. 

Please contact the Box Office at [email protected] with any access related enquiries.

Donate today

Admission to our Conservatory is free. Please help us keep our programme and public spaces accessible to everyone by making a donation today.

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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.
  • Planted between 1980 and 1981, and opened in 1984, the Conservatory now houses around 1,500 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