Difference Between Gazebo and Pergola

Gazebo vs Pergola

There are many different types of garden and other open space structures that people love to build for their outdoor retreat. Two such structures are the Gazebos and the Pergolas. There are similarities in these two types of structures that make a garden or patio looks extraordinary, confusing a lot of people. Knowing the differences between a gazebo and a pergola becomes necessary to have an outdoor structure that is not just good looking but also functional. This article attempts to make clear the differences between a gazebo and a pergola by highlighting their characteristic features.


Gazebo is a freestanding structure that is octagonal in shape and has a solid roof. All eight sides of the structure remain open providing full view to those sitting inside the structure. Gazebos are made as a stand out structures inside pavilions, parks, gardens, and even in public spaces where VIP’s are made to sit and get a view of the activities outside.

Gazebos look ornamental from a distance and are used for not just shelter but also as a place to have some rest in the open. The tiered towered structure called pagoda, which is found in many Asian countries, is a type of gazebo. One thing that is common with all countries where gazebos have been a part of tradition is that they have warm and sunny climates, perhaps reflecting the fact that gazebos were made to provide shelter in such conditions.


Pergola is a freestanding structure that is seen as an attractive garden feature in homes with large outdoor areas. It has an open roof and is used in passages, to provide a walkway with filtered shade that is achieved through a pattern of slats, beams, and columns.

Plants are made to grow and climb up the pillars to provide a leafy shade that is green and beautiful to look. In fact, pergolas are famous for this leafy shade and used by homeowners having a large open space in their gardens.

What is the difference between Gazebo and Pergola?

• While both gazebos and pergolas are outdoor structures, pergolas are open, whereas gazebos have a solid roof.

• Gazebos often have an octagonal shape with full shade inside for those resting. On the other hand, pergolas are more for a passage or a walkway to provide filtered shade through a series of columns and pillars.

• Pergolas are used to provide support to vines and make for a beautiful retreat with enough shade in outdoor areas.

• Gazebos are freestanding outdoor structures that are used to provide shelter from the sun. In many Asian countries, pavilions for VIP’s in public places were made in the shape of gazebos.