Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Top Tourist Attractions

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is one of the world's leading botanic gardens. Visitors can discover a history dating back nearly 350 years, learn about its plantings and walk around 70 acres of beautiful landscape. A pleasure for all the family, the Garden also offers a fantastic view of the capital's skyline.

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) is located in Arboretum Pl, Edinburgh EH3 5NZ, the United Kingdom is a scientific center for the study of plants, their diversity, and conservation, as well as a popular tourist attraction.  Robert Sibbald is the founder. It was founded in 1670 as a physic garden to grow medicinal plants, today it occupies four sites across Scotland—Edinburgh, Dawyck, Logan, and Benmore each with its own specialist collection. The RBGE's living collection consists of more than 13,302 plant species (34,422 accessions), whilst the herbarium contains more than 3 million preserved specimens. The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is an executive non-departmental public body of the Scottish Government. The Edinburgh site is the main garden and the headquarters of the public body, which is led by Regius Keeper Simon Milne.


Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, a national treasure of Scotland, this spectacular Living Collection of plants is over 350 years old. The Garden's rich and diverse Living Collection and discover a history dating back to the 17th century. Set in over 70 acres of beautiful landscape and just one mile north of the city center, the Garden offers superb panoramic views of the city skyline featuring Edinburgh Castle. Garden highlights include the Rock Garden, the Alpine Houses, Woodland Garden, Pond, the Arboretum or tree collection, the Chinese Hillside, the Rhododendron Collection, and the Scottish Native Plants Collection in the Heath Garden.

  • Benmore Botanic Garden, renowned for its fine collections of rhododendrons and conifers has grown to immense stature in a mountain landscape. Benmore's 120 acres feature a world-famous collection of plants from the Orient and the Himalayas to North and South America.  Other Garden features include Giants of Benmore, A Riot of Rhododendrons, Spectacular Views, Victorian Fernery, and Wildlife.
  • Dawyck Garden is renowned for its seasonal displays of snowdrops, bluebells, rhododendrons, azaleas, blue poppies, and autumn colors. Located in the hills of the Scottish Borders, 65-acre Dawyck enjoys an almost continental climate comprising warm dry summers followed by cold, snowy winters.  Plants from the mountainous regions of Europe, China, Nepal, Japan, and North America thrive here.  Garden features include Heritage Trees, Azalea Terrace, Blue Poppies, Heron Wood Reserve, and Snowdrops.                    
  • Logan Botanic Garden, Scotland's most exotic garden, and discover plant treasures rarely seen in the United Kingdom. Located on the southwestern tip of Scotland, Logan enjoys an almost subtropical climate.  The Garden's avenues and borders feature a spectacular and colorful array of half-hardy perennials.  The Garden is warmed by the Gulf Stream which enables plants from Australia, New Zealand, South, and Central America, and Southern Africa to thrive.   Garden features include: Palm Trees and Tree Ferns, Eucalyptus and Giant Gunnera, The Walled Garden, Logan Conservatory, and Guided Walks.
  • Glasshouses

One-third of all plant species grown by RBGE can be found in the Research Glasshouses. These behind-the-scenes glasshouses underpin many of RBGE’s core activities by providing facilities to grow, conserve, propagate, quarantine, and actively research the living collection. The key groups grown and worked on in the Research Glasshouses are Streptocarpus, Arabian, Begoniaceae, Conifer, Gesneriaceae, Zingiberaceae, Pteridophyte, and Rhododendron.


The Royal Botanic Garden Nursery comprises 4.03 hectares of south-facing slope to the north of the Botanic Garden. The Nursery is not open to the public. It is one of the areas of ground which named the local area ‘Goldenacre’, due to the areas favorable growing conditions and good soil.  The primary function is the production of plants grown outside in Gardens. Another function that can be seen are Biosecurity, the Nursery operates the highest levels of biosecurity to prevent plant diseases from entering and to ensure material leaving the Nursery is disease-free. Caring for the environment, The Nursery uses peat-free composts derived from sustainable sources


Living plant collections provide a great range of homes, foods, and breeding grounds for a variety of animals. 140 species were added to the Edinburgh Garden’s wildlife list during 2017. Five species of bats have been recorded in the Edinburgh Garden. Wildlife highlights in the Gardens Edinburgh –

  • Badger, Kingfisher & Sparrowhawk,
  • Dawyck - Brown Trout, rare moss Orthotrichum pumilum,
  • Logan - Hummingbird Hawk Moth,
  • Benmore – Red Squirrel

Health and wellbeing

A vital green space and acts as a hub for community projects. Many activities center around building connections between people, plants, and each other, and the physical, emotional, and social benefits this generates. There are two types of projects:

  • On-site Health and Wellbeing projects, has Botanic Cottage, Edible Gardening Project, The Garden of Tranquillity, Silent Space & Short Courses and Schools Programmes.
  • Off-site Health and Wellbeing projects, has Edinburgh Living Landscape, Edinburgh Shoreline, The Good City


The RBGE collection underpins national and international research, education, and conservation programs and is of enoculturalulture value. They make up one of the Scotland national collections and rank amongst the best of their kind in the world.

  • The RBGE collection is Living Collection it has three regional Gardens - Benmore in Argyll, Dawyck in the Scottish Borders, and Logan in Dumfries & Galloway.
  • Herbarium has extensive numbers of approximately three million specimens, representing half to two-thirds of the world’s flora.
  • Library is Scotland's national reference collection for specialist botanical and horticultural resources and is one of this country's largest research libraries.
  • The Archives, looks after our historic records, and those of individuals and organizations related to RBGE, as well as papers relating to the development of botanical science and horticulture.

Science & Conservation:

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is a global leader in botanical science and an international center of education. The Research Departments Include:

  • Tropical Diversity
  • Genetics & Conservation
  • Cryptogamic Plants & Fungi
  • Major Floras

Food and Drink

Looking for a meal, light snack, or simply a coffee to go we have several indoor and outdoor dining spaces to enjoy throughout the Garden.

  • The Gateway, the newly refurbished Gateway café offers an idyllic spot in which to enjoy sumptuous seasonal dishes, prepared on-site with ingredients handpicked from our Kitchen Garden.
  • The Terrace, situated in the heart of the Garden with an outlook over Inverleith House Lawn, The Terrace is an exceptional place in which to relax and unwind.
  • The East Gate Coffee Bar, situated at the East Gate entrance on Inverleith Row, picks up a hot drink or light snack to takeaway.


Discover some uniquely curated products this festive season in the Botanics Shop. From books and toys to homeware and clothing, the Botanics Shop is filled with wonderful gifts for friends, family, and loved ones.

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is a highlight of any visit to the Scottish Capital. A national treasure of Scotland, this spectacular Living Collection of plants is not to be missed and a place to explore for nature lovers.