The Royal Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh

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.

Cory Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

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.

Glasshouse Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh

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.

Pond Botanic Gardens Edinburgh

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.

The Royal Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh

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.

Purple Orchid Botanic Gardens Edinburgh

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.

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Cory from You Could Travel entering Senso-ji in Tokyo, Japan

Cory Varga – Cory is a published travel writer and award-winning photographer. She travels full time with her husband and is passionate about creating in-depth travel guides. Cory published her first book on Japanese customs and manners because she’s obsessed with everything Japan. She has visited hundreds of destinations and has lived in 7 different countries. Cory is multilingual and an alumna from The University of Manchester.


One response to “The Royal Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh”

  1. Gillian McKenzie Avatar
    Gillian McKenzie

    The glasshouses at Royal Botanics Edinburgh are currently closed due to the Edinburgh Biomes project however the gardens are still worth a visit. Always check the RBGE website before visiting for opening times and other information to avoid disappointment.
    LRT buses 8, 23 and 27 stop outside the Botanics. It is a 12 minute bus journey from Hanover Street.

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