What to do in edinburgh?

HotbotBy HotBotUpdated: June 24, 2024

Explore Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle is a historic fortress that dominates the skyline of Edinburgh from its position atop the volcanic Castle Rock. Visitors can explore the castle’s rich history, including the Crown Jewels, the Stone of Destiny, and the National War Museum of Scotland. The castle offers stunning panoramic views of the city and is home to the famous One O'Clock Gun, fired daily (except Sundays).

Stroll Along the Royal Mile

The Royal Mile is a succession of streets that form the main thoroughfare of the Old Town. It stretches from Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Along the way, visitors can explore narrow alleyways known as "closes", historical landmarks such as St Giles’ Cathedral, and a variety of shops, pubs, and restaurants. Don't miss the fascinating Museum of Edinburgh, which showcases the city’s history.

Visit Holyrood Palace

The Palace of Holyroodhouse, commonly referred to as Holyrood Palace, is the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland. Visitors can tour the State Apartments, which are renowned for their beautiful furnishings and tapestries. The palace also contains the ruins of Holyrood Abbey and the Queen's Gallery, which hosts changing exhibitions from the Royal Collection.

Climb Arthur’s Seat

Arthur’s Seat is an ancient volcano and the main peak in the group of hills in Edinburgh. It is situated in Holyrood Park, a vast green space in the heart of the city. A hike to the summit offers incredible views of Edinburgh and the surrounding area. The climb is relatively easy and accessible, making it a popular activity for both locals and tourists.

Discover the National Museum of Scotland

The National Museum of Scotland is a treasure trove of Scottish history, culture, and science. The museum's exhibitions cover a wide range of topics, from natural history and world cultures to Scottish antiquities and decorative arts. Highlights include the Lewis Chessmen, Dolly the sheep, and the Millennium Clock. Admission to the museum is free, making it a must-visit for budget-conscious travelers.

Wander Through Princes Street Gardens

Princes Street Gardens is a public park in the center of Edinburgh, nestled between the Old and New Towns. The gardens offer a peaceful retreat from the bustling city streets, with beautifully landscaped areas, statues, and monuments. Key attractions include the Ross Fountain, the Scott Monument, and seasonal floral displays. During the winter months, the gardens are transformed into a festive wonderland with a Christmas market and ice rink.

Explore the Edinburgh Vaults

The Edinburgh Vaults, also known as the South Bridge Vaults, are a series of chambers formed in the 19 archways of the South Bridge. These vaults have a dark and mysterious history, having been used for storage, workshops, and even illicit activities. Today, guided tours offer a glimpse into the eerie past of the vaults, often including tales of hauntings and ghost sightings.

Experience the Royal Botanic Garden

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is a world-renowned scientific center for the study of plants, their diversity, and conservation. Spanning over 70 acres, the garden features a stunning array of plants, from towering trees to delicate flowers. Key areas include the Rock Garden, the Chinese Hillside, and the Glasshouses, which house tropical and desert plants. The garden also offers spectacular views of the city skyline.

Visit the Scottish National Gallery

The Scottish National Gallery houses an impressive collection of fine art, including works by famous artists such as Titian, Rembrandt, and Turner. Located on Princes Street, the gallery is housed in a neoclassical building designed by William Henry Playfair. Admission is free, and visitors can enjoy a range of temporary exhibitions and events throughout the year.

Uncover the Secrets of Mary King’s Close

Mary King’s Close is a historic close located under buildings on the Royal Mile. Once a bustling street, it is now a popular tourist attraction offering guided tours that explore the myths and legends of Edinburgh’s underground past. Visitors can learn about the lives of the people who lived and worked in the close, as well as the impact of the plague and other historical events.

Attend the Edinburgh Festival

Every August, Edinburgh hosts the world-renowned Edinburgh Festival, a series of simultaneous arts and cultural festivals. The most famous of these is the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the largest arts festival in the world, featuring thousands of performances across various genres. Other notable festivals include the Edinburgh International Festival, the Edinburgh International Book Festival, and the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. The city comes alive with street performances, concerts, and events, making it an unforgettable experience for visitors.

Discover Dean Village

Dean Village is a picturesque former milling village located just a short walk from the city center. Nestled along the Water of Leith, it offers a tranquil escape with its charming cottages, historic buildings, and cobblestone streets. Visitors can explore the area on foot, following the Water of Leith Walkway, which passes by several notable landmarks such as the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and the Dean Bridge.

Indulge in Scottish Cuisine

Edinburgh boasts a vibrant food scene, with a wide variety of dining options to suit all tastes and budgets. Traditional Scottish dishes to try include haggis, neeps, and tatties, Cullen skink, and Scotch pie. For a more contemporary take on Scottish cuisine, many restaurants offer modern dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. Be sure to sample some Scottish whisky or visit a whisky bar to experience the national drink.

Take a Ghost Tour

Edinburgh is often referred to as one of the most haunted cities in the world, and there are numerous ghost tours available for those brave enough to explore its spooky side. These tours often take place after dark and visit some of the city’s most haunted locations, such as Greyfriars Kirkyard, the Edinburgh Vaults, and the Canongate Kirkyard. Guides share chilling tales of ghosts, witches, and other supernatural occurrences.

Shop on George Street

George Street, located in the New Town, is one of Edinburgh’s premier shopping destinations. It is home to a mix of high-end boutiques, designer stores, and well-known brands. In addition to shopping, George Street offers a variety of cafes, bars, and restaurants, making it an ideal spot to relax and enjoy the city’s vibrant atmosphere.

Visit Calton Hill

Calton Hill is one of Edinburgh’s most famous landmarks, offering panoramic views of the city. It is home to several iconic monuments, including the National Monument, the Nelson Monument, and the Dugald Stewart Monument. The hill is a popular spot for photography, especially at sunrise and sunset. It is also the location of the annual Beltane Fire Festival, a modern revival of the ancient Celtic celebration.

With its rich history, stunning architecture, vibrant cultural scene, and breathtaking natural beauty, Edinburgh offers a wealth of experiences for visitors. Whether you're exploring its ancient streets, delving into its mysterious past, or simply soaking in the atmosphere, the city has something to captivate every traveler. Let the charm of Edinburgh unfold before you, and discover its many layers at your own pace.

Related Questions

Where to stay in edinburgh?

Edinburgh, Scotland's capital, is a city that seamlessly blends historical charm with modern amenities. Whether you're visiting for the Edinburgh Festival, New Year’s Hogmanay, or simply a weekend getaway, finding the perfect place to stay is essential for an unforgettable experience. From luxurious hotels to budget-friendly hostels, Edinburgh offers a wide range of accommodations to suit every traveler’s needs.

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Where is edinburgh?

Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland, is a city that seamlessly blends history, culture, and modernity. Located in the southeastern part of Scotland, it is a hub of political, cultural, and educational significance not just within Scotland, but globally. Its rich heritage and stunning architectural landscape make it one of the most visited cities in the United Kingdom.

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