Victoria Street, Edinburgh

Free Things to do in Edinburgh

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Discover Free Things to do in Edinburgh

Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, is a city with a rich history and culture. With its stunning architecture, charming streets, and scenic landscapes, it’s no surprise that it’s a popular destination for tourists. However, exploring the city doesn’t have to come at a high cost. There are plenty of free things to do in Edinburgh that will keep you entertained without breaking the bank.

One of the best free activities in Edinburgh is to visit the city’s famous landmarks. From the imposing Edinburgh Castle to the historic St Giles’ Cathedral, there are plenty of places to explore. Walking around the Old Town and the New Town, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites is also a great way to take in the city’s stunning architecture.

For art lovers, the National Galleries of Scotland offer free entry to their permanent collections, which feature works by famous artists such as Van Gogh, Monet, and Botticelli. The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art is also worth a visit, with its impressive collection of contemporary art.

Finally, if you’re interested in history, the National Museum of Scotland is a must-visit. The museum covers the country’s history from prehistoric times to the present day, with exhibits on everything from the Roman occupation to the Industrial Revolution.

Find even more free things to do in Edinburgh below…

  • View from Arthur's Seat

    Arthur’s Seat

    1h 35m

    2.4 miles


    Admire the picturesque city of Edinburgh from Arthur’s Seat, an ancient volcano perched at the highest point of the 640-acre Holyrood Park.

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  • Calton Hill

    Calton Hill
    EH7 5AA


    Calton Hill, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, sits in the middle of Edinburgh. The mound offers sweeping views over the city and is home to an array of buildings and monuments, including The Scottish Parliament Building.

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  • Circus Lane

    Circus Lane, Edinburgh

    Circus Lane
    EH3 6SU

    You can reach this gorgeous gem of Edinburgh by taking a short stroll from the centre of Old Town. Dubbed the city’s ‘most charming street’, Circus Lane is a fabulous place for soaking up Edinburgh’s history. Be sure to sample a fresh pastry or two from the nearby coffee shops.

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  • Dean Village river

    Dean Village

    Dean Path
    Edinburgh & The Lothians
    Eh4 3AY

    Dean Village is a scenic sanctuary tucked away in the middle of Edinburgh. With the winding Water of Leith running through its centre, this part of the city is an idyllic outing!

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  • Grassmarket Edinburgh Shopfronts

    Grassmarket, Edinburgh

    EH1 2HY

    This iconic marketplace of Grassmarket, Edinburgh, is nestled amongst the city’s Old Town and is steeped in history. With a selection of shops and eateries available, the area is perfect for those looking to immerse themselves in Edinburgh’s culture.

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  • greyfriars kirkyard entrance gates

    Greyfriars Kirkyard

    26A Candlemaker Row
    EH1 2QE

    0131 225 1900

    You can find this historic gem on the outskirts of Old Town. Greyfriars Kirkyard is a great location to visit if you’re into history, with its graves having links to Harry Potter as well as being home to well-known Scots.

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  • Holyrood Park Edinburgh

    Holyrood Park

    Queen's Drive
    EH8 8HG


    This splendid parkland is the perfect place for families and friends to enjoy hikes and bike rides amidst scenic views. Glens, lochs and cliffs await discovery, as well as a free exhibition.

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  • Eyam Museum

    National Museum of Scotland

    Chambers St
    EH1 1JF

    0300 123 6789

    Spend a day having endless fun whilst learning about the captivating history of Scotland, from dinosaurs to archaeology.

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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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  • 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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