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Princes Street Gardens

Spend time in this attractive green space that separates Edinburgh’s Old Town from its 18th-century New Town.

Enjoy a leisurely stroll through the grounds of Princes Street Gardens, the city’s most famous open space. For hundreds of years the area was known as Nor’ Loch, but after a long draining process, the gardens were created in the 1820s.

The large green space runs the length of Princes Street, Edinburgh’s main shopping street, and is divided in two by the Mound, an artificial hill. The two parts are East Princes Street Gardens, which is the smaller of the two, and West Princes Street Gardens.

One of the main attractions in West Princes Street Gardens is the floral clock, an attractive display made from thousands of plants. The fully functioning timepiece was first planted in 1903 and is believed to be the oldest floral clock in the world. Even the clock hands and numbers are made from flowers.   

Visit the Ross Fountain, a gold-colored cast-iron structure featuring sculptures of mermaids and four female figures representing the arts, science, poetry and industry. Take your children to the large play area that has lots of amusements including slides, carousels, tunnels and climbing ropes.

Princes Street Gardens is also well known for its collection of monuments and memorials. Climb up the 287 steps of the Scott Monument in East Princes Street Garden. This tribute to the writer Sir Walter Scott charges a small admission fee. While you are in this part of the gardens look for the David Livingstone monument that honors one of Scotland’s most famous explorers.

The gardens are a lovely place to visit year-round. One of the best times is in December when they are transformed into the annual “Winter Wonderland.” There are attractions and activities for all ages including an ice rink, Ferris wheel and sleigh rides.

Due to its central location the gardens are easily accessed by public transportation. Princes Street Gardens are open daily from dawn until dusk and have public restrooms.


Guide to Exploring around Princes Street Gardens


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Lodging Near Princes Street Gardens

See all 2,649 Properties near Princes Street Gardens
Apex Grassmarket Hotel $115
Reviewed on Jun 22, 2019
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Apex Grassmarket Hotel

Apex Grassmarket Hotel

31-35 Grassmarket, Edinburgh, Scotland
     
    4.3 of 5
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    The location was close to everything in old town including the castle.

    Principal Edinburgh George Street $163
    Reviewed on Jun 23, 2019
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    Principal Edinburgh George Street

    Principal Edinburgh George Street

    19-21 George Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
       
      4.5 of 5
      5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Excellent location. Easy access to everything - shopping, dining, parks, public transportation. Would definitely return to this hotel in beautiful Edinburgh.

      Apex City of Edinburgh Hotel $100
      Reviewed on Jun 20, 2019
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      Apex City of Edinburgh Hotel

      Apex City of Edinburgh Hotel

      61 Grassmarket, Edinburgh, Scotland
         
        4.4 of 5
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Staff were very helpful and accommodating, my husband had some medication that needed to be kept in a fridge so i had contracted them beforehand just to check, we had booked a standard room as we were not expecting to be taking his medication, upon arrival we were advised that they had upgraded us ...

        Jurys Inn Edinburgh $114
        Reviewed on Jun 21, 2019
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        Jurys Inn Edinburgh

        Jurys Inn Edinburgh

        43 Jeffrey Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
           
          3.9 of 5
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Good location just a block off the Royal Mile. Expect to traverse a steep close or go around the block to walk there. Rooms is okay - no A/C but had a portable fan. No computer/printer in lobby. Breakfast is an extra 11 pounds. Good value.

          Motel One Edinburgh-Royal $132
          Reviewed on Jun 20, 2019
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          Motel One Edinburgh-Royal

          Motel One Edinburgh-Royal

          18-21 Market Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
             
            4.4 of 5
            0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            I felt motel one was excellent value for money and had no complaints

            Radisson Blu Hotel, Edinburgh City Centre $170
            Reviewed on Jun 8, 2019
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            Radisson Blu Hotel, Edinburgh City Centre

            Radisson Blu Hotel, Edinburgh City Centre

            80 High Street The Royal Mile, Edinburgh, Scotland
               
              4.5 of 5
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Location, room with a fabulous view, very spacious and a comfy bed.

              Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel $170
              Reviewed on Jun 22, 2019
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              Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel

              Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel

              38 Charlotte Square, Edinburgh, Scotland
                 
                4.5 of 5
                5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Cleaning staff way too noisy in the morning. Our room was right next to a staff elevator and doors were slammed every 5 minutes from 7am on. Very unpleasant and unexpected in such an elegant hotel who profess to provide excellent customer service.

                Hilton Edinburgh Carlton $144
                Reviewed on Jun 19, 2019
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                Hilton Edinburgh Carlton

                Hilton Edinburgh Carlton

                19 North Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland
                   
                  4.2 of 5
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  very nice hotel, near everything, it is in the middle of Old town a New Town. Many restauarants and shops.