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 Arthur's Seat

Arthur's Seat, located in the verdant Holyrood Park, affords one of the best views of the city. Standing 800 feet above sea level, Arthur's Seat is the highest point in the park, providing panoramic views of the sea and nearby sites, including attractions like Edinburgh Castle and the Scott Monument. If you're wondering how Arthur's Seat got its name, chances are you may never get a clear answer. Legend has it that it was the site for Camelot while others claim William Maitland, a Scottish politician, believed the name was derived from Ard-na-Said, a Gallic phrase meaning "height of narrows." The attraction was also a former volcano. Trails are accessible off of Queen's Drive near Holyroodhouse Palace, which is located at the base of Arthur's Seat. 

Some recent travelers mention the hike was a bit more strenuous than they thought it would be. Visitors not prone to regular walking might find it difficult. Keep in mind that the journey to Arthur's Seat is all uphill, so make sure to wear comfortable walking or hiking shoes and bring water. Once you reach the top, many travelers say you'll find the 360-degree views worth any sweat you might've worked up. Arthur's Seat is free to access.

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