Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh

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The Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh is undoubtedly one of the world's most beautiful botanical gardens. Visitors can learn about the site's 350-year history, explore its plantings, and stroll around its 28 hectares / 70 acres of stunning natural beauty.

I enjoy visiting botanical gardens because I'm fascinated by the healing properties of plants and always use them for disease prevention and treatment when I'm sick. The botanical garden in Edinburgh has left a lasting impression, and you could easily spend an entire day there. I particularly enjoyed exploring its themed areas inside the glasshouses, such as Arid Lands and Rainforest Riches. Located just a mile from the city center, it provides stunning views of Edinburgh's skyline, including the castle – one of the most impressive Scottish landmarks.

Every year, over half a million people visit the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh, making it one of Scotland's most popular attractions. The garden is beautiful at any time of year, especially in spring and hot summer days when the city's residents come here to relax. It is home to a few friendly grey squirrels, so bring them something to nibble on, preferably a variety of nuts in shells.

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Edinburgh Map

The Garden's Brief History

The Edinburgh botanic garden began in 1670 as a physic garden to grow medicinal plants near Holyrood Palace. It is thus the second oldest botanical garden in the United Kingdom (after the University of Oxford Botanic Garden).

The garden later relocated to Inverleith and has been flourishing there since 1820. Its oldest tree is a palmetto planted in 1922. The Temperate Palm House, which is still the country's largest of its kind, was built in 1858.

Located on the west coast of Argyll and Bute, Benmore Botanic Garden, which is part of the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh, was the first branch, opening in 1929. Logan Botanic Garden followed in 1969, and Dawyck Botanic Garden in 1978.


The Herbarium, Living Collection, and Library and Archives are the three main collections of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

The Herbarium specimens number approximately three million, representing half to two-thirds of the world's flora. The specimens span over 300 years of biodiversity, with the earliest dating back to 1697.

The Living Collection consists of approximately 66,500 plants from 13,500 species making it one of the world's largest and most diverse plant collections.

The Library and Archives house over a million items, including books, journals, original artworks, maps, plant collectors' letters, diaries, and photographs.

Edinburgh's Royal Botanic Garden in Pictures

The Temperate Palm House

Inside the Palm House

Exotic plants
Inside the Arid Lands House

Crimson River lily

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
A happy grey squirrel

The fossil from the Carboniferous Period

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
Thick-leaved speedwell

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
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Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
Mountain strawflower

How to Get There

If you want to get some exercise, stroll from Princes Street. It takes about 20 minutes and has a good view of New Town along the way.

Address: 20a Inverleith Row, Edinburgh EH3 5LR, United Kingdom

By Public Transportation

Several city-center buses serve the botanic garden's east entrance. You can reach the west entrance by taking several Lothian buses via Stockbridge.

⇒ The East Gate on Inverleith Row
Bus (lines 8, 23, 27): Royal Botanic Garden

⇒ The West Gate on Arboretum Place
Bus (lines 24, 29, 42): Dean Park Street

Opening Hours & Ticket Prices

If you plan to visit the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, please check its official website for details such as operating hours and admission rates.

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