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Edinburgh's City Guide

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Known locally as the 'Botanics' and established way back in 1670, Scotland's Premier Garden is one of the UK's favourite attractions welcoming over 660,000 visitors each year. Originally founded as a physic garden in Holyrood, the Garden moved to Leith and finally, settled and expanded in Inverleith in 1820.

Home to over 6% of all known plants, the Garden is acknowledged to be one of the finest in the world where unusual and beautiful plants can be found. Tender plants have always been an important part of the Living Collections and the Glasshouses featuring Britain’s tallest Palm House, is a haven for botanical wonders in ten climate zones. Discover some of the world's oldest plants in the Orchid & Cycad House. Edinburgh's most famous tropical rainforest, the Plants & People House, displays well-known and economically important plants, including bananas and rubber, as well as some familiar houseplants. The world's largest collection of vireya rhododendrons, originally from the mountains of New Guinea and Borneo, are on display in the Montane Tropics House and Wet Tropics House. These beautiful species share their house with plants that feed on insects!

A popular area since its opening in 1997 is the Chinese Hillside providing a showcase to RBGE's historic and contemporary Chinese plant collections. With the largest collection of Chinese-origin plants in cultivation, familiar garden plants alongside more unusual specimens can be seen, many of which were collected in China during the early 20th Century by the intrepid plant-hunters. With a beautiful setting and a tranquil pool of water, it is a favourite with those who want to escape the stresses of life for a while.

Other feature highlights include, the world-famous Rock Garden which displays some beautiful and rare alpine gems, native wonders can be discovered in the Scottish Heath Garden and an impressive arboretum of colourful trees can be found in the Woodland Garden.

Just 1 mile from the City Centre, this beautiful oasis has spectacular views of the Edinburgh skyline. There are events, exhibitions and activities all year round.

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