Royal Botanic Garden picture
dun_deagh/Flickr

Key Info

20a Inverleith Row

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Parks and Gardens, Sightseeing, Free Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.5scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

If you're looking for some peace and serenity after a long day on the Royal Mile, the Royal Botanic Garden is the perfect place to rest your feet. This garden, which covers 70 acres, brims with so much beautiful foliage you're likely to forget that you're in one of Scotland's biggest cities. The Royal Botanic Garden houses 3,000 exotic plants from around the world, spread out among its 10 glasshouses, each with a different climatic zone. The garden is also very famous for its rhododendron flowers. The Royal Botanic Garden's collection of the flower is considered the world's richest assemblage of species rhododendrons, and the Edinburgh location has been seen as a major center for study since the late 19th century. After you've visited these famous flowers, take a stroll through the giant redwood trees in the Woodland Garden, or view the contemporary art gallery in the adjacent Inverleith House. 

Recent visitors strongly recommended this attraction simply for its beauty and the serenity it brings. Travelers say no matter what time of year you visit, there is always something in bloom, and that the extra fee for entry to the Glasshouse is worth every penny. And don't forget to take your camera; the garden is as photogenic as you can imagine.

Admission to the Royal Botanic Garden is free, but access to The Glasshouse is 5.50 pounds for adults (about $8) and 4.50 pounds for children 15 years and younger (about $6.60). Hours vary by season. To get to the Royal Botanic Gardens, take the No. 8 bus from the Edinburgh Waverly Train station, located less than a half-mile from the Royal Mile, and get off at Inverleith Row. For more information on the Royal Botanic Garden, visit its website

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#1 Calton Hill

If you're like the writer Robert Louis Stevenson, you might enjoy the view from Calton Hill; this spot was a favorite of his. One of the most popular vantage points for photo ops (and included in the city's UNESCO World Heritage site distinction), Calton Hill affords a majestic panorama of the city below – so don't forget to bring your camera, or make sure your phone is charged. Located east of New Town, Calton Hill is one of the country's first public parks, founded in 1724. Today, the hill supports several iconic buildings and monuments, so much so that it has been nicknamed the Athens of the North. Some of these structures include the Burns Monument, erected in honor of Scottish writer Robert Burns, the Nelson Monument, designed by Robert Burns, and the National Monument, modeled after the Parthenon but given the name "Edinburgh's Disgrace" for never having been completed. 

Recent travelers loved Calton Hill for its beautiful views, peaceful surroundings and relatively easy hike to the top. With Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh Castle and the sea in sight, some visitors say the best time to go is during sunset or sunrise. Calton Hill is less than a mile from the Royal Mile and less than a half-mile from Edinburgh Waverly train station.

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