Things to do in Edinburgh

Things to do in Edinburgh

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Discover the best attractions and things to do in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a city steeped in history, culture, and beauty. With its stunning architecture, bustling streets, and breathtaking landscapes, Edinburgh is a city that truly has something for everyone. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or an adventurer, there are countless things to do in Edinburgh.

Things to do in Edinburgh

For those who love history, there are few cities in the world that can compare to Edinburgh. From the iconic Edinburgh Castle to the Royal Mile, the city is filled with historic landmarks and attractions.

Edinburgh Castle is one of the most iconic landmarks in Scotland and is a must-visit for anyone coming to the city. The castle in Edinburgh is perched on top of a hill, giving visitors stunning views of the city below. Inside, you’ll find exhibits on Scottish history and culture, including the crown jewels and the Stone of Destiny. Make sure to catch the daily firing of the one o’clock gun.

If you’re looking for something a little more off the beaten path, there are a number of fascinating museums in Edinburgh to explore. The National Museum of Scotland is a must-see, with its collection of art, design, fashion, and natural history exhibits. The Scottish National Gallery is another popular destination, featuring works by some of the world’s greatest artists, including Botticelli, Van Gogh, and Monet.

For things to do in Edinburgh with kids, visit the Edinburgh Dungeon. The dungeon is a live-action experience that takes visitors on a journey through Scotland’s past, from the dark days of the plague to the notorious Burke and Hare. While the romantics will find plenty of things to do in Edinburgh for couples, such as strolling through the picturesque streets of the Old Town or exploring the Royal Botanic Garden hand in hand.

One of the best free things to do in Edinburgh is visit Arthur’s Seat, which is an extinct volcano that is situated in the heart of the city. It offers some of the best views of the city and is a popular spot for walkers and hikers. The walk to the top is free, and visitors can take their time to enjoy the stunning views.

A cool thing to do in Edinburgh is to attend one of the city’s many festivals. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which takes place every August, is the largest arts festival in the world, featuring thousands of performances across the city.

Discover the best things to do in Edinburgh below…

  • The Palace of Holyroodhouse Exterior
    Image Credits: Saffron Blaze - CC BY-SA 3.0

    Palace of Holyroodhouse

    EH8 8DX

    0303 123 7306

    The Palace of Holyroodhouse is a 16th-century palace resting on the edge of Edinburgh’s Holyrood Park. Officially Her Royal Highness’ Scottish residence, the palace is perfect for history lovers; offering tours of its gallery, reception rooms, and abbey.

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  • Portobello Beach Edinburgh

    Portobello Beach

    1 Promenade
    United Kingdom
    EH15 1DT

    Edinburgh’s Portobello Beach rests to the northwest of the city centre. Offering families a traditional seaside outing, the beach backs onto a lengthy promenade and offers panoramic views of the North Sea.

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  • Princes Street

    Princes Street
    United Kingdom
    EH2 2AN

    Princes Street, Edinburgh is a large thoroughfare resting in the city centre, enjoying unobstructed views of Edinburgh Castle. A fantastic day out, this street is home to a range of high street shops as well as access to the city’s attractions.

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  • Princes Street Gardens Edinburgh

    Princes Street Gardens

    Princes St
    United Kingdom
    EH2 2HG

    0131 529 7921

    Detour off Edinburgh’s main street and into the delightful Princes Street Gardens. Described as one of the ‘most beautiful gardens in Edinburgh’, this is a great area to discover monuments and panoramic views.

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  • Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh Palm House
    Image Credits: Ham - CC BY-SA 3.0

    Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

    Arboretum Place
    EH3 5NZ

    0131 248 2909

    The renowned Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is a 70-acre estate sitting near the heart of Edinburgh. If you love plants of any kind; this needs to be on your itinerary!

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  • Royal Yacht Britannia
    Image credits: Ben Salter - (CC BY 2.0)

    Royal Yacht Britannia

    Ocean Dr
    EH6 6JJ

    0131 555 5566

    One of Scotland’s most popular attractions, have a look around this tremendous ocean liner that has sailed the Royal Family more than one million miles across the globe.  

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  • Scotch Whisky Experience

    Scotch Whisky Experience

    The Royal Mile
    EH1 2NE

    0131 220 0441

    From ‘virtual’ distillery tours to expert tasting secrets, the Scotch Whisky Experience showcases Scotland’s historic whisky culture with fascinating, five-star tour packages designed for experts and casual fans alike. 

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  • Scott Monument

    Scott Monument

    E. Prince St gardens
    United Kingdom
    EH2 2EJ

    0131 529 4068

    This iconic piece of Gothic Victorian architecture rests in the heart of Princes Street Park. A fantastic stop for history and literature lovers, Scott Monument has ties to Scottish author Sir Walter Scott!

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  • Scottish National Gallery
    Image Credits: Enric - CC BY-SA 4.0

    Scottish National Gallery

    The Mound
    EH2 2EL


    Sitting on top of The Mound in Edinburgh is the renowned Scottish National Gallery. A fantastic outing for all ages, the gallery hosts a large collection of masterpieces dating back to the 12th-century.

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  • Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art Modern One
    Image Credits: Grousebeater2 - CC BY-SA 4.0

    Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

    73 Belford Rd
    EH4 3DS

    0131 624 6200

    You can find the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art just off the scenic Dean Village. Consisting of two buildings, Modern One and Modern Two, this magnificent gallery is free for all to visit.

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