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…

  • Scottish National Portrait Gallery exterior
    Image Credits: dun_deagh - CC BY-SA 2.0

    Scottish National Portrait Gallery

    1 Queen St
    EH2 1JD

    0131 624 6200

    Nestled on Edinburgh’s Queen Street is the fantastic Scottish National Portrait Gallery. The museum boasts show-stopping masterpieces and offers accessibility for all with free admission and handy facilities.

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  • Scottish Parliament Building Exterior

    Scottish Parliament Building

    United Kingdom
    EH99 1SP

    0131 348 5000

    The Scottish Parliament Building sits by Holyrood Park and is a must-see landmark for anyone interested in politics. You can enjoy a range of activities here, including guided tours, sitting in on parliamentary business and attending exhibitions.

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  • Family of five at the beach

    Silverknowes Beach

    Silverknowes Beach
    EH4 5ES

    Silverknowes Beach rests within easy reach of Edinburgh airport as well as the city centre. This attractive beach is dog-friendly and features three-mile sands containing a promenade, coffee shop and outdoor gym.

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  • St Giles Cathedral

    St Giles’ Cathedral

    High St
    Old Town
    EH1 1RE


    St Giles’ Cathedral, also known as the High Kirk of Edinburgh rests in the city’s Old Town. Founded in 1124, this notable cathedral showcases plenty of history and is well worth visiting!

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  • St Mary's Cathedral Edinburgh Aerial View

    St Mary’s Cathedral Edinburgh

    Palmerston Place
    EH12 5AW

    0131 225 6293

    St Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh is perched in the West End area of the city. Discover the Episcopal church through its music events, exhibitions and services.

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  • Underground tunnel

    The Edinburgh Dungeon

    31 Market Street
    EH1 1DF


    Learn about Edinburgh’s sinister history with an immersive tour of The Edinburgh Dungeon. Suitable for children 8 years and above, this unique and eerie experience makes for a memorable activity for all!

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  • 1-11 Charlotte Square including Georgian House
    Image Credits: Mike Shaw - CC BY-SA 4.0

    The Georgian House

    7 Charlotte Square
    EH2 4DR


    The Georgian House is a National Trust for Scotland property resting in New Town’s centre. Children under the age of five can visit for free, making it a great attraction for history-loving families!

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  • Ghost Bus Tours
    Image Credits: Ian Wright - CC BY-SA 2.0

    The Ghost Bus Tours Edinburgh

    Deacon Brodies Tavern
    Lawnmarket, outside Heritage of Scotland
    EH1 2PH

    0844 567 8666

    There is no better Edinburgh Ghost Bus Tour than the one on offer at this sightseeing company! Prepare for a frightening ride past the city’s major attractions, all the while learning about its haunted past.

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  • Shadowed figure walking up spooky alleyway at night

    The Real Mary King’s Close

    The Real King Mary's Close
    2 Warriston's Close
    High Street
    EH1 1PG

    Resting in Old Town is the immersive and haunted attraction of The Real Mary King’s Close. This engaging experience is suitable for ages five and above, making it great for families wanting to unveil the close’s past.

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  • Royal Mile Edinburgh

    The Royal Mile

    109 The Royal Mile
    Royal Mile
    EH1 1SG

    Known as the ‘backbone of the city’s Old Town’, The Royal Mile is one for your Edinburgh itinerary! A royal procession route, the area hosts many historic buildings and landmarks along with a unique array of shops and eateries.

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