Having lived in Edinburgh all my life, it isn’t shocking that I feel the town is unbelievable. With a large quantity of historical past, thrilling nightlife, and epic locations to see, you may simply change into overwhelmed with all of the issues to do in Edinburgh. It’s not solely an incredible place to go to however to reside as effectively.
From the imposing Edinburgh Citadel that appears over the town to the well-known Royal Mile, Edinburgh is a kind of locations that may hold you coming again. Edinburgh is a metropolis of tales. Historic tales, royal tales, gory tales, and ghost tales. It’s a potent mix of previous and new at each flip.
Over time I’ve been capable of discover each nook and cranny. That has given me the experience to share with you the entire greatest issues to do in Edinburgh whether or not this can be a first-time go to or your fifth time you can find one thing that piques your curiosity.
The Prime Issues to do in Edinburgh, Scotland
In case you are visiting Edinburgh for the primary time it may be a bit intimidating. We wished to make issues a bit simpler for you by offering you with up-to-date details about the most effective Edinburgh points of interest in addition to our suggestions for planning the right journey to this unbelievable metropolis. Surprisingly, numerous Edinburgh points of interest are free! Under you can find, in no specific order, what we think about the issues you shouldn’t miss if you’re visiting Edinburgh for the primary time.
1. Edinburgh Citadel
Visiting Edinburgh Citadel might be the primary factor to do in Edinburgh. It has been a significant fortification concerned in army and strategic endeavors for the reason that twelfth century and has been constantly occupied in some type since then.
It proudly sits atop one of many metropolis’s extinct volcanos, Citadel Rock, and homes many treasures like The Stone of Future and the oldest crown jewels within the UK. In case you are into Scottish historical past a go to to Edinburgh Citadel is a should. Don’t overlook to walk the grounds and be impressed by the large cannons, The Nice corridor, and naturally the Chapel that dates again to the twelfth Century.
The Edinburgh Citadel has been house to royalty, the chief seat of energy, and a army base all through the years. The one o’clock gun goes off from the entrance of the fort daily besides Sunday. It’s one thing you don’t wish to miss. The gun was applied to assist with transport and to maintain time.
**Insider Tip** Edinburgh Citadel is without doubt one of the hottest points of interest within the metropolis and might get very busy, so attempt to go to within the morning if you happen to can. I like to recommend that you just e book your Edinburgh Citadel ticket upfront and get one with quick observe entry which can assist you to skip the ticket traces, particularly if you’re visiting in the course of the busy summer time season.
- Edinburgh Citadel Hours: Summer time (April 1-Sept 30) 9.30am-6pm (final entry at 5pm). Winter (Oct 1-Mar 31) 9.30am-5pm (final entry 4pm).
- Value to Enter Edinburgh Citadel: Proper now you could e book a ticket upfront on-line for entry. Grownup £15.50 on-line, Concessions £12.40 on-line, Kids 5-15 £9.30 on-line. Beneath 5s are free.
2. The Royal Mile
The Royal Mile is the oldest a part of the town and is considered one of my favourite issues to do in Edinburgh. Briefly, The Royal Mile runs from Edinburgh Citadel all the way in which down the volcanic path that takes you to Holyrood Palace – a mile down.
That is Edinburgh’s Outdated City and Outdated Excessive Road. It’s chock stuffed with historical past and tales worthy of its personal information.
I’d suggest spending just a few hours right here (though the stroll itself will solely take you quarter-hour instantly), starting on the fort and dealing your manner down – it’s simpler strolling downhill! For those who plan to go to in the summertime make certain to plan across the Fringe Pageant as you received’t be capable of transfer within the streets.
Is that this your first time in Edinburgh? In that case, try our 3 Day Edinburgh Itinerary
3. Holyrood Palace
Holyrood Palace, which is positioned at one finish of the Royal Mile and proper throughout the road from the Scottish Parliament, is without doubt one of the most vital palaces in Scotland. It’s used as a museum for many of the yr and is the official house to the Queen and the Royal household once they come to go to.
The Abbey was constructed earlier than the palace relationship again to 1128, by order of King David 1st of Scotland. Within the fifteenth century, the abbey’s guesthouse was made right into a royal residence and has been utilized by British royalty ever since. It is a crucial a part of Scottish historical past.
Make sure that to not miss the Mary Queen of Scots chambers. They’re fairly spectacular. One fast word. Pictures is just not allowed inside however you may take pictures of the gardens, exterior, and the Abbey. In case you are in any respect within the Royal Household then it would be best to add this to your listing.
Admission to Holyrood Palace: They’re solely taking timed entries in the intervening time in order that they should be booked upfront. This tour gives a free audio information as effectively.
4. Nationwide Museum of Scotland
In case you are a museum lover then this will probably be on the high of your listing when in search of issues to do in Edinburgh. The Nationwide Museum of Scotland is located in Chamber’s Road within the previous city and is a effective Victorian constructing that opened in 1866.
The Nationwide Museum is free and may be very in depth and the vary of subjects coated is improbable. Whether or not you’re taken with Scottish historical past, know-how, innovations, world cultures, music, pure historical past, royalty, gory historical past, historical civilizations, pure disasters, it would have one thing for you. You may undoubtedly spend numerous time within the Nationwide Museum, which welcomes over 2 million guests a yr, so make certain to plan accordingly.
If the climate is sweet, make certain to go as much as the rooftop terrace the place you may absorb some unbelievable views of Edinburgh Citadel and the encircling space.
5. Scottish Nationwide Gallery
When visiting Edinburgh you could make certain to make a journey to The Scottish Nationwide Gallery. This can be a improbable Greek-columned complicated that’s artwork located proper in the midst of Princes Road within the very heart of Edinburgh.
It consists of two buildings; the principle Nationwide Gallery is the constructing on the again, with the one on the entrance being a part of the Royal Scottish Academy. The principle gallery holds everlasting collections and is at all times free to go to.
In case you are an artwork lover the Scottish Nationwide Gallery has you coated. With artwork from Van Gogh, Cezanne, and Gauguin to works from Scottish artists like Reverent Robert Strolling and Henry Raeburn, the Scottish Nationwide Gallery has one of many premier collections within the UK. In case you are an artwork lover, like I’m, this will probably be among the finest issues in Edinburgh that you’ll do.
- At present you could e book a timed entry ticket on their web site.
- Scottish Nationwide Gallery Hours: 10am-5pm every day (Thursdays prolonged till 7 pm).
- Price to Enter the Scottish Nationwide Gallery: Free for everlasting exhibitions, some at RSA have a charge.
6. Climb Arthur’s Seat and stroll in Holyrood Park
In case you are in search of the most effective views of the town then it would be best to climb as much as the highest of Arthur’s Seat for positive. Arthur’s Seat and Salisbury Crags are the hills in Edinburgh’s metropolis heart and will be seen from virtually wherever within the metropolis.
It’s the website of a 350 million-year-old extinct volcano. The final eruption was greater than 100 million years in the past. Arthur’s Seat was a royal park (you may see from noting the crowns on the lamps on the way in which in), however was gifted by the Queen to the folks, so is now a public park (Holyrood Park).
The best route as much as Arthur’s Seat is to take the grassy slope on the east facet from Dunsapie Loch on Queen’s Drive. It takes about half-hour to achieve the highest and is a comparatively simple hike (however a bit steep). Make sure that to decorate for the climate as it will possibly fairly windy on the high. We advise heading as much as Artur’s Seat for Sundown. The views are magnificent and you’re solely quarter-hour from the town heart. In case you are in search of another for sundown Calton Hill is a good various.
7. Princes Road Gardens
Princes Road Gardens is positioned in the midst of Edinburgh, proper beneath Edinburgh Citadel. They was the positioning of the Nor Loch – the North Loch which was drained when the New City was constructed within the 1760s. The gardens have an exquisite view of the fort, and it’s a great spot to walk or cease for a picnic.
They’re additionally house to the Edinburgh Christmas market. In case you are visiting within the winter you wish to make certain to take this in.
8. Go to or Climb the Scott Monument
The Scott Monument, positioned on the jap finish of Princes Road Gardens, is just not solely one of the spectacular monuments within the metropolis, nevertheless it additionally gives some distinctive views of Edinburgh Citadel.
Climbing up the slim staircase (287 steps) of the Scott Monument could also be one of many extra adventurous issues to do in Edinburgh however make certain to cease on the primary degree and be taught a bit extra concerning the revered Scottish author Sir Walter Scott.
In-built 1832 to commemorate the demise of Sir Walter Scott, this gothic spire stands 200 ft excessive and is intricately adorned with beloved characters from his books. In case you are taken with literature and the writings of Sir Walter Scott in addition to Robert Burns and different Scottish writers we suggest visiting the Writers Museum close to the Royal Mile.
9. Climb Calton Hill
The highest of Calton Hill is without doubt one of the greatest spots for a spectacular view of Edinburgh, particularly at sundown. It’s a a lot simpler climb than Arthur’s Seat, taking lower than ten minutes to achieve the highest from Regent Highway.
The highest of Calton hill is house to the Nelson Monument (that appears like a form of upside-down telescope), the Nationwide Monument, which is designed just like the Parthenon in Athens in Greece, and the Metropolis Observatory. Calton Hill can also be an incredible place to benefit from the fireworks above the fort throughout Hogmanay.
10. Royal Botanic Backyard
The Royal Botanic Backyard is located by the stunning village of Stockbridge and has been there for the reason that Victorian period. It’s one other great spot to get away from the crowds and luxuriate in nature, however right here it’s cultivated nature, with many stunning flowerbeds. There are gardens and flora from many alternative nations together with China, Japan, France, Spain, and Australia.
- Royal Botanic Backyard Hours: Each day 10am-6pm.
- Price: Gardens free. Glasshouse £6.
11. Mary King’s Shut
The Actual Mary King’s Shut is without doubt one of the coolest issues to do in Edinburgh, primarily as a result of it’s all beneath the streets of Outdated City and the Royal Mile.
What was as soon as one of many busiest streets within the metropolis was coated by building again within the nineteenth century. However you may get a have a look at what life was like between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries with a tour of the Actual Mary King’s shut. You may solely discover the realm with a delegated information, so we recommend reserving a guided tour to get essentially the most out of this nice Edinburgh attraction. FYI, there aren’t any pictures allowed on the tour.
12. Digicam Obscura & World of Illusions
Digicam Obscura & World of Illusions is by far one of the enjoyable issues to do in Edinburgh, particularly if you’re visiting Edinburgh with children. This attraction is made up of two totally different areas. The primary is the World of Illusions, which is a number of flooring of magic shows, optical illusions, interactive displays, and different enjoyable issues that everybody will get pleasure from. Make sure that to strive the Vortex!
However the principle attraction is on the roof, which is the Digicam Obscura. That is principally an old style projection system, however the demonstration and the story behind are what make this the star attraction. You may learn the critiques and e book your tickets right here. If cameras and magic will not be an excessive amount of of curiosity, the views from the rooftop over Edinburgh are undoubtedly price it as effectively.
13. St Giles Cathedral
There is no such thing as a scarcity of church buildings in Edinburgh and most are fairly spectacular. However if you happen to resolve to go to solely considered one of them you must make it to this one. It’s arduous to overlook the crown-shaped steeple of St Giles Cathedral which dates again to the 14th century and is an icon of the Edinburgh skyline.
Situated near Outdated City and the Royal Mile, it’s spectacular from the skin however I discover the within to be actually stunning. Don’t miss the Thistle Chapel (make certain to take a look at the ceiling) or the rooftop tour to benefit from your time there. Admission is upon donation and you should purchase a images allow for two kilos on the data desk if you wish to take pictures inside, which I like to recommend.
14. Royal Yacht Britannia
You can’t go to Edinburgh and never go to The Royal Yacht Britannia in Leith. It’s undoubtedly one of the standard issues to do in Edinburgh.
This floating museum is Her Majesty the Queen’s ex-Royal Yacht. Constructed again in 1953 it served because the Royal Yacht till it was decommissioned in 1957. A number of decks are open to the general public to view the assorted staterooms and public rooms of the vessel.
You may take the audio tour to get all the within royal particulars or you may have Afternoon Tea on the Royal Deck Tea Room for the total expertise. Since it’s Scotland’s Greatest Attraction based on the tourism website, it would be best to e book your ticket upfront to keep away from the crowds.
- Royal Yacht Britannia Hours: 9.30am-4.30pm.
- Price to go to the Royal Yacht Britannia: £17.00/15.00 concession, £8.75 youngsters 5-17.
15. Georgian Home Museum
The Georgian Home is a museum in Charlotte Sq., which showcases the approach to life of the excessive Georgian society in Edinburgh’s New City (George Road). In-built 1796, and positioned in New City, its first proprietor was John Lamont, who was the 18th clan chief of the clan Lamont.
He moved to the town to search out the most effective training for his sons and the most effective husbands for his daughters. Individuals taken with Georgian instances, structure, and life would get pleasure from visiting the Georgian Home at No. 7 Charlotte Sq..
- Word: They’re closed in the intervening time. Please examine their web site for up-to-date hours.
- Hours: Summer time hours (April-October) 10 am-5 pm every day. Winter hours (November-March) 10 am-4.15 pm every day.
16. Scottish Nationwide Portrait Gallery
The Nationwide Portrait Gallery is considered one of Edinburgh’s greatest artwork galleries. In case you are a fan of portraiture, then this is without doubt one of the issues to do in Edinburgh that you just don’t wish to miss. It holds lots of of work of distinguished Scots from royalty, lords, and girls, to artists, poets and writers.
The gallery has a mixture of mediums, from oil work to watercolors, to images. Additionally, there’s a statue of Robert Burns – Scotland’s bard – welcoming within the lobby.
17. Take a Ghost Tour
Edinburgh is apparently one of the haunted cities on the earth. One of many components that contribute to this consists of the lots of of plague victims who had been walled in, within the previous streets beneath the Royal Mile.
One other issue is all of the hangings that occurred within the Grassmarket, the place among the sad souls, and grieved harmless folks hanged hang-out the town. That is my favourite Ghost tour in Edinburgh. Nice guides and truly fairly scary.
18. Greyfriar’s Bobby
Greyfriar’s Bobby is the story of a wee canine from the Greyfriar’s space of Edinburgh. His is a story of friendship and devotion. A sort native policeman named Jock Gray adopted a bit Skye terrier and named him Bobby when he was simply a few weeks previous. The pair quickly grew to become the most effective of pals, going all over the place, together with the native pub by Greyfriar’s Kirk (church), collectively.
Sadly after solely two years collectively, Jock handed away from tuberculosis, and Bobby was left master-less. The wee canine was broken-hearted, so spent each evening of the remainder of his life – one other 14 years – sleeping on Jock’s grave. He was taken in by the group and given a license by the Lord Provost of Edinburgh and has been a form of folks hero since.
Many individuals have taken to rubbing the statue of Bobby’s nostril for luck and taking a photograph with him, so don’t miss visiting the town’s favourite canine.
19. The Grassmarket Gallows
The Grassmarket is a bustling a part of Edinburgh, which has nice nightlife and locations to eat, in addition to an intriguing previous. Located within the shadow of Edinburgh Citadel to the south, it’s named, because it was the market the place all animals that ate grass –in addition to the grasses to feed them – had been offered.
The bustling sq. hosts a meals and craft market on Sundays and has a plethora of nice previous character-filled pubs to go to and nice eating places to pattern Scottish or worldwide meals. Frequent criminals who had been sentenced to demise had been hanged right here on the spot, which now’s a raised platform with a cross on it. Some notorious Edinburgh criminals resembling mass assassin William Burke and thief Deacon Brodie met their finish right here.
20. Harry Potter in Edinburgh
You can’t say you will have accomplished the most effective issues to do in Edinburgh with out taking in among the Harry Potter points of interest. JK Rowling lived in Edinburgh when she began writing Harry Potter, and through most of her time writing the tomes, so there are many hyperlinks to the tales for these . In case you are a Harry Potter fan you’ll love Edinburgh.
The way in which to get the most effective Harry Potter expertise is to take a tour. This Harry Potter Strolling Tour is without doubt one of the greatest within the metropolis and is actually reasonably priced.
Harry Potter Areas in Edinburgh
The Elephant Café – On George Fourth Bridge. This can be a café the place Rowling did numerous writing throughout her early levels of the books.
Greyfriar’s Kirk – The grave of Scottish poet McGonagall was the inspiration for the character Ms. McGonagall, as Rowling loved the irony of naming a really literate and intelligent character after somebody notorious for his horrible poems.
Hogwarts – The outline of Hogwarts is alleged to be an amalgamation of inspiration from three personal faculties in Edinburgh, Stuarts Melville, Fettes School, and George Heriots. All three faculties aren’t removed from the town heart, with George Heriots located proper behind Greyfriar’s Kirkyard if you happen to go to there, so are simple to go to see.
The Boy Wizard Outlets– Harry Potter outlets referred to as The Boy Wizard are popping up round Edinburgh for all of your Potter merchandise wants. There’s at present one on South Bridge, The Royal Mile, contained in the Tartan Weaving Middle proper subsequent to the Citadel downstairs, and one simply opened in Edinburgh airport!
21. A Scotch Whisky Expertise
You can’t go to Scotland and never expertise Scotch. Nicely, that is what The Scotch Whiskey Expertise is all about. Situated throughout the road from Digicam Obscura and The World of Illusions, this is without doubt one of the most enjoyable grownup issues to do in Edinburgh palms down. Particularly if you happen to love whiskey.
Even if you happen to don’t you’ll have enjoyable studying concerning the course of and why it’s so standard on this a part of the world. For individuals who are in search of only a style I like to recommend the Silver your which is their most reasonably priced and if you’re extra of a connoisseur then try the Platinum tour or the Masterclass. This place can get fairly busy so I recommend grabbing a Skip the Line Ticket particularly if you’re visiting in the course of the summer time.
Edinburgh gives a tone of various whiskey excursions all through the town and I’ve carried out just a few. The one above is my favourite however if you wish to examine some extra of the town do this Historical past of Whiskey Tour.
22. The Edinburgh Dungeon
Edinburgh has a protracted historical past and a tumultuous one. A go to to The Edinburgh Dungeon is a should if you happen to like exploring a bit of the macabre. This expertise is completed very well with reside actors, particular results, and underground rides. Stroll the plagued roads of 1645, keep away from Burke and Hare and you could possibly even face prosecution at trial. The Edinburgh Dungeon holds late-night occasions as effectively which are adults solely. You’re assured to have a very good time.
And that’s my information to the most effective issues to do in Edinburgh, Scotland. This could provide you with an incredible start line when planning your journey to Edinburgh. No matter whether or not you’re visiting for every week or a weekend, I’ve tried to incorporate issues which are free to do in addition to numerous low-cost gadgets. I hope you get pleasure from visiting my metropolis as a lot as I do residing right here.