Things to Know
Edinburgh is a city as diverse as it is beautiful, steeped in history and home to a plethora of interesting cultural attractions. Undeniably a great city to explore by foot, Edinburgh impresses its visitors in many ways. It has a spectacular skyline that spans across seven hills and is crowned with the dramatic Edinburgh Castle – the city’s most important landmark. The Royal Mile – the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town – invites you to get lost in its maze of alleyways before reaching the imposing Holyrood Palace. The city also boasts an important art scene and is home to the Fringe, the world’s largest art festival that takes place every August. Apart from its cultural value and charming locale, Edinburgh offers a wide selection of shopping, nightlife and sophisticated restaurants. Simply put, Edinburgh is one of Europe’s great capital cities!
Things to See
A historic fortress overlooking the city of Edinburgh from atop its position on the Castle Rock. One of Scotland’s most recognizable symbols.
The Palace of Holyroodhouse is the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland. Located at the end of the Royal Mile, it has served as the principal residence of the Kings and Queens of Scots since the 16th century.
National Museum of Scotland
A museum that tells the history of Scotland in a fresh and interesting way. Subjects include geology, archeology, natural history, and science.
National Galleries of Scotland
Scottish National Gallery – houses some of the world’s greatest art in the heart of Edinburgh.
Scottish National Portrait Gallery – houses depictions of Scotland’s most influential personas.
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art – modern and contemporary art spread across two unique venues set in a beautiful sculpture park.
A former orphanage turned into a gallery. Dean Gallery includes a permanent tribute to local sculptor Eduardo Paolozzi and an exceptional collection of Dada and surrealist art.
A science museum that showcases the history and complex puzzle of events that shaped the earth through millions of years.
St Giles’ Cathedral
Edinburgh’s principal church dedicated to the city’s patron saint. An impressive feat? of 14th century architecture.
National Monument on Calton Hill
Erected in remembrance of the dead of the Napoleonic Wars, Henry Playfair who designed the memorial had been inspired by the Parthenon in Athens.
A courtyard that commemorates Scotland’s most important writers with quotations from Scottish literature inscribed onto paving slabs. An ever-changing national literary monument.
Things to Do
Take in the Best Panoramic View in Edinburgh
The Scott Monument is a towering Victorian Gothic structure that was erected in the honor of the famous Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott. It takes 287 steps to make your way to the top, but you’ll be rewarded with the finest view in all of Edinburgh.
Experience the Edinburgh Festival
Held during the summer, the Edinburgh Festival actually encompasses a number of different festivals. It includes book, film and jazz festivals, a TV festival and also the world-famous Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Visit Greyfriars Church
Greyfriars Church is home to the city’s oldest graveyard and the final resting place of many celebrated Scotts. Learn about their accomplishments and discover the story behind one of the city’s more obscure landmarks – the statue of Bobby.
Visit Camera Obscura and World of Illusions
First opened in 1853, Edinburgh’s oldest visitor attraction is a house of never-ending fun. Explore a world of illusions, tricks, puzzles, unbelievable effects and a great view of the city from atop the building’s rooftop.
Explore Mary King’s Close
A series of historic alleyways located under buildings on the Royal Mile in the Old Town of Edinburgh. Sealed off for centuries the area became shrouded in myths and urban legends. Explore this hidden part of Edinburgh and discover the lives of Scotts between the 16th and 19th centuries.
Visit the Royal Botanical Garden
The second oldest botanical garden in Britain covering a total land mass of 70 acres. Discover some truly fascinating vegetation including rare giant trees from the Himalayas, North America, and China.
Walk Around Princes Street
The bustling Princes Street is the New Town’s main road. Lined with colorful gardens and a wealth of interesting shops it’s an ideal place to enjoy some shopping and people watching.
Enjoy the Scotch Whisky Experience
If there is one thing the Scotts are famous for, it’s their love for fine whiskey. The Scotch Whisky Experience is a fun and somewhat educational way to learn about and enjoy the country’s favorite spirit.