The best things to do in Edinburgh

Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland, is a beautiful and historic destination that offers a wide range of activities for visitors. From exploring its medieval Old Town to climbing to the top of an extinct volcano, there’s something for everyone in Edinburgh. Here are some of the top things to do in the city:

Explore the Old Town

The Old Town of Edinburgh is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and for good reason. The winding streets and alleys are lined with centuries-old buildings, including the famous Edinburgh Castle. Take a stroll through the Royal Mile, the main street of the Old Town, and stop at St Giles’ Cathedral, the Heart of Midlothian, and the Scottish Parliament.

Climb Arthur’s Seat

Arthur’s Seat is the highest point in Edinburgh, and offers stunning views of the city. The extinct volcano is a popular spot for hiking and picnicking. It’s also home to several ancient sites, such as St Anthony’s Chapel and the Salisbury Crags.

Visit the Royal Palace of Holyroodhouse

The Royal Palace of Holyroodhouse is the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland. The palace has a rich history and has been home to many notable figures, including Mary, Queen of Scots. Visitors can take a tour of the palace and see the State Apartments, the Great Gallery, and the ruins of the 12th-century Holyrood Abbey.

See the Edinburgh Military Tattoo

The Edinburgh Military Tattoo is an annual event that takes place during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The tattoo features military bands and dancers from around the world, and takes place on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle. The event is extremely popular and tickets sell out quickly, so be sure to book well in advance.

Visit the National Museum of Scotland

The National Museum of Scotland is a must-see for history and culture buffs. The museum has a wide range of exhibits, including artifacts from ancient Egypt and Greece, as well as Scottish and international artifacts. The museum also has a special exhibit on the history of Scotland, including its geology, flora and fauna, and cultural heritage.

Take a day trip to Stirling

Stirling is a beautiful city located just outside of Edinburgh. Visitors can take a train or bus to Stirling and explore the city’s rich history and culture. Highlights include Stirling Castle, the National Wallace Monument, and the Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre.

Experience the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the largest arts festival in the world and takes place every August. The festival features a wide range of performances, including comedy, theater, music, and dance. Visitors can see performances at venues around the city, and tickets can be purchased in advance or on the day of the show.

Take a Ghost Tour

Edinburgh is known for its ghostly history, and a ghost tour is a great way to experience it. Visitors can take a guided tour of the city’s most haunted spots, including the vaults under the South Bridge and the Edinburgh Castle. The tours are led by expert guides who will share the history and legends of the city’s spooky past.

These are just a few of the many things to do in Edinburgh. The city is a rich tapestry of history, culture, and natural beauty that offers something for everyone.

Visit the Royal Botanic Garden

The Royal Botanic Garden is a 70-acre oasis in the heart of Edinburgh. The garden features a wide variety of plants and flowers from around the world, as well as several greenhouses and a Victorian Palm House. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll through the garden, or take a guided tour to learn more about the plants and their history.

See a Show at the Festival Theatre

The Festival Theatre is a beautiful, historic theater located in the heart of Edinburgh. The theater hosts a wide range of performances, including plays, musicals, and concerts. Visitors can check the schedule in advance and book tickets to see a show during their visit.

Visit the Camera Obscura and World of Illusions

The Camera Obscura and World of Illusions is a unique attraction located on the Royal Mile. The attraction features a camera obscura, which is a device that projects an image of the surrounding area onto a flat surface. Visitors can also explore the World of Illusions, which features a variety of interactive exhibits that demonstrate the science of light and optics.

Take a Whisky Tour

Scotland is famous for its whisky, and Edinburgh is home to several distilleries that offer tours and tastings. Visitors can take a tour of one of the distilleries, learn about the history and production of whisky, and sample a variety of different whiskies. Some of the most popular distilleries in Edinburgh include The Scotch Whisky Experience, Glenkinchie Distillery, and The Royal Mile Whiskies.

Visit the Surgeons’ Hall Museums

The Surgeons’ Hall Museums are located in the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and are home to a wide range of medical artifacts and specimens. Visitors can explore the museum’s collection of human and animal specimens, as well as historical medical instruments and equipment. The museum is a great place to learn about the history of medicine and the human body.

Take a Walk Along the Water of Leith

The Water of Leith is a beautiful river that runs through Edinburgh. Visitors can take a walk along the river and enjoy the natural beauty of the area. The walk is about 12 miles long and passes through several parks and nature reserves. Along the way, visitors can see a variety of wildlife, including birds, fish, and otters.

Visit the Royal Yacht Britannia

The Royal Yacht Britannia is a retired royal yacht that is now open to the public. Visitors can take a tour of the yacht and see the State Apartments, the crew’s quarters, and the engine room. The yacht is a fascinating glimpse into the lifestyle of the British royal family and offers a unique perspective on British history.

These are just a few of the many things to do in Edinburgh. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or nature, there’s something for everyone in this beautiful and historic city. With so much to see and do, it’s easy to see why Edinburgh is a popular destination for visitors from around the world.