Edinburgh is one of my favourite cities in Europe and this is because it was in the Scottish capital that I discovered the beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh. Having told you stories about the Eden Project and the Kew Gardens, you would have probably guessed by now that I am a nature and botanic garden lover.
It's not easy to find the right accommodation in Edinburgh. For the best neighbourhoods and areas, check out our guide on where to stay in Edinburgh.
What I loved about the Royal Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh was my endless trip around the glass houses. Very well organised, incredibly cheap and beautifully maintained, the gardens in Edinburgh deserve a medal. If I were to pick what to visit next, there is no place I would rather recommend, than the glass houses in the botanic gardens of Edinburgh.
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Why visit the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
I love Edinburgh, I think is a magnificent city, filled with green spaces, fantastic restaurants and magnificent museums. There are lots of free things to do in Edinburgh too, which makes the city even more appealing. This cosmopolitan city is an art lover’s dream and if you also like photographic Gothic and Georgian architecture, then Edinburgh is a must-see destination which should make it on your bucket list. On my last day in Edinburgh, I decided to visit the botanic gardens.
What stuck with me was the size of the glass houses in the Royal Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh. They were well defined as each room had its own climate zone, making it into a once in a lifetime experience of visiting all areas around the globe in the space of a few hours. From the depths of the humid rainforest, filled with a beautiful sweet smell of exotic plants, through colourful Mediterranean flowers, to alpine climate and desert cacti. A walk around the Royal Botanic Garden of Edinburgh feels like a never adventure of natural discovery.
Getting to the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
The gardens are located relatively close to the Edinburgh city centre. It took me about half an hour to walk from the train station to the entrance of the gardens. I visited during the weekend, in late September. It was quiet and peaceful and well worth the visit.
If you're visiting the Royal Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh by car, know that there are plenty of adjacent streets with available parking. Parking is relatively cheap or even FREE if you arrive during certain hours of the weekend.
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Opening Times and Prices
The botanic gardens are open daily from 10 am till 6 pm. It’s free to access the gardens, but it costs a decent £5 per person to visit the glass houses. I’ve paid far more to visit the Eden Project and the Kew Gardens, and I can safely say nothing beats the value you get from the Edinburgh Botanic Gardens. I recommend visiting in the afternoon, during weekdays, during term. This way you will enjoy the solitude you deserve. I visited at the end of September, on a Sunday and I barely bumped into another soul. It was a blissful and quiet walk.
What you need
Don’t miss bringing your camera gear with you as there are so many photo opportunities in the glass houses. Bring a nice picnic, and, weather permitting, have a nice late lunch on the grass, and enjoy a relaxing afternoon under century-old trees dotted all around the gardens. Make sure you are wearing layers as it will get really hot during your walk through the rainforest glass rooms and quite cold in the alpine chambers.
After seeing countless botanic gardens all around the world, including several ones in New Zealand and Japan, the Royal Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh remains by far my favourite. I am planning on returning to Edinburgh later on this year, as I would love to see this beautiful city covered in snow.
Do you love botanic gardens? What is your favourite garden in the world? Tell me all about it in the comments section below.