Top Things To Do In Edinburgh Scotland
Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland and one of the most iconic cities in the United Kingdom. It has an incredibly rich history, having been a bustling port town in the 16th century and then the seat of the Scottish Parliament in the 19th century. Edinburgh is also known for its stunning architecture, lively culture, and passionate locals. It is a city with a lot to offer its visitors, and it’s no wonder that people flock to Edinburgh year after year.
Introduction to Edinburgh
Nestled in the heart of Scotland, Edinburgh is a vibrant and exciting city that is filled with a rich history, culture, and scenery. With a population of around 470,000 people, Edinburgh is Scotland’s second-most populous city after Glasgow. This bustling capital is known for its centuries-old monuments, such as the iconic Edinburgh Castle, and its impressive Georgian and Victorian architecture.
Edinburgh is one of the most visited cities in the UK, with millions of tourists visiting each year to experience the city’s many attractions. The city’s unique atmosphere, friendly locals, and breathtakingly beautiful landscape make it an ideal destination for both international and domestic travelers. Edinburgh is also home to some of the most prestigious universities in the world, including the University of Edinburgh, and it has a thriving art and music scene.
Exploring Old Town and New Town
The city of Edinburgh is divided into two distinct areas: Old Town and New Town. Old Town is the oldest and most historic part of the city, with most of its buildings dating back to the 16th century. Here you will find some of the city’s most iconic landmarks, such as the Royal Mile, Edinburgh Castle, and St. Giles’ Cathedral. The Royal Mile runs from Edinburgh Castle down to Holyrood Palace, and it is lined with shops, cafes, and historical buildings.
New Town is a more modern part of the city, with many elegant buildings that were constructed in the 19th century. Here you will find some of Edinburgh’s most elegant streets and squares, such as Princes Street and George Square. New Town also houses some of the city’s best museums, galleries, and shopping districts.
No matter which part of the city you visit, you are sure to be captivated by its charm. Exploring both Old Town and New Town is one of the best things to do in Edinburgh and is a great way to soak up the city’s culture and history.
Visit Edinburgh Castle
The iconic Edinburgh Castle has been a symbol of Scotland’s history for centuries. It has been home to many famous figures throughout history, including Mary Queen of Scots and Bonnie Prince Charlie. The castle is one of Edinburgh’s most popular attractions and can be found atop an extinct volcano at the top of the Royal Mile.
Visiting Edinburgh Castle is one of the top things to do in Edinburgh. Here visitors can explore centuries-old ruins and ramparts, view ancient weapons and artefacts in the War Museum, or take in a stunning view from the castle’s battlements. There are also guided tours available that will take visitors through the castle’s many chambers, dungeons, and secret passageways.
Explore Holyrood Palace
Holyrood Palace is another iconic landmark that must be visited when exploring Edinburgh. It has been home to the British monarchy since 1603 and is now the official residence of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II when she visits Scotland.
Visitors can explore the stunning grounds of Holyrood Palace and take in its impressive collection of artworks and furniture. There are guided tours available that will take visitors on a journey through the palace’s many chambers, as well as its gardens. In addition to this, visitors can also explore Mary Queen of Scots’ chambers and learn about her turbulent reign at this historic palace.
Take A Tour Of Arthur’s Seat
Arthur’s Seat is an extinct volcano that towers over the city of Edinburgh at 822 feet (250 meters). It offers some of the best views of Edinburgh and its surroundings, making it one of the top things to do in the city. Visitors can take a guided tour up Arthur’s Seat to explore its unique geology and learn about its fascinating history.
The tour will start at Holyrood Palace before ascending Arthur’s Seat via a cobbled pathway. Along the way visitors can take in breathtaking views of the city below before reaching the summit where they can enjoy spectacular panoramic views across Scotland’s capital.
Explore Edinburgh’s Museums
Edinburgh is home to some of Scotland’s best museums and galleries which are a must-see when visiting this historic city. From world-class art galleries such as National Gallery of Scotland to fascinating science museums such as the National Museum of Scotland, there is something for everyone here.
The National Museum of Scotland houses an impressive collection of artefacts from around the world, from ancient Egyptian mummies to modern-day technology. The National Gallery of Scotland houses some of Europe’s best collections of art from around the world, including works by Rembrandt, Monet, Renoir and Picasso. Other notable museums include the Museum of Childhood which explores childhood through playthings from past eras and The Real Mary King’s Close which takes visitors back in time to explore 17th-century Edinburgh through an underground network of streets and rooms that were hidden for over 200 years.
Enjoy The Local Cuisine
Edinburgh is renowned for its local cuisine and there are plenty of restaurants serving traditional Scottish dishes that are sure to tantalize your taste buds. From hearty dishes such as haggis and neeps to more contemporary dishes such as Cullen skink (a smoked haddock chowder), there is something for everyone here.
For something truly unique head to The Witchery by The Castle where you can enjoy delicious Scottish fare in an enchanting candlelit setting. Or why not sample some traditional pub grub at one of Edinburgh’s many pubs such as The Sheep Heid Inn or The Royal Oak?
Visit The Royal Yacht Britannia
The Royal Yacht Britannia was once home to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II during her travels around the world as part of her official duties. Visitors can explore this unique vessel which was decommissioned in 1997 and now serves as a museum in Edinburgh Harbour. Here you can learn about life on board this majestic ship as well as view some fascinating artefacts that have been preserved from her time at sea.
Take A Ghost Tour
Edinburgh has a long and dark history which makes it an ideal destination for those seeking a spine-tingling adventure. Visitors can take part in a number of ghost tours which will take them on a journey through some of Edinburgh’s most haunted sites such as Greyfriars Kirkyard or South Bridge Vaults. These tours are sure to get your heart racing!
Sample Scotch Whisky
No trip to Scotland would be complete without sampling some Scotch whisky! Scotland has a long history of whisky production dating back hundreds of years and there are plenty of places in Edinburgh where you can sample some fine whisky or even learn how it is made.
Visitors can take a tour at The Scotch Whisky Experience which will take them on an interactive journey through Scotland’s whisky-making history or they can visit The Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre where they can learn more about this iconic spirit. Of course, no visit would be complete without sampling some whisky firsthand at one of Edinburgh’s many whisky bars!
Book A Tour Of Loch Ness
Loch Ness isn’t far from Edinburgh – just under two hours away – so why not take a day trip out to explore this mythical lake? There are plenty of tours available that will take visitors out on a boat across Loch Ness where they can search for Nessie herself! Visitors can also take a tour of Urquhart Castle which overlooks Loch Ness or explore nearby towns such as Inverness or Fort Augustus which offer plenty of attractions for visitors including whisky distilleries, stunning landscapes, and local artwork.
Book A Ghostly Walking Tour Of Edinburgh
One of the best ways to explore Edinburgh is on foot – but why not spice things up with a ghostly walking tour? These guided tours will take visitors on a spooky journey through some of Edinburgh’s most haunted sites such as Greyfriars Kirkyard or South Bridge Vaults where they can learn about some local legends and their terrifying tales!
Book A Tour Of The Highlands
For those looking for an unforgettable adventure they should book a tour of Scotland’s beautiful Highlands! Many companies offer guided tours that will take visitors on a journey through some of Scotland’s most stunning landscapes such as Glencoe or Loch Ness where they can admire breathtaking views before returning to Edinburgh with plenty of memories. Book a Tour Of The Highlands here.
Book A Harry Potter Tour Of Edinburgh
Fans of Harry Potter should book a tour that takes them on an adventure through some familiar sites from JK Rowling’s novels such as Diagon Alley or Harry Potter’s birthplace in Godric’s Hollow! These tours offer visitors an interesting insight into how JK Rowling was inspired by Edinburgh when writing her famous novels.Book A Harry Potter Tour Of Edinburgh here.
Edinburgh is an incredibly diverse and exciting city with something for everyone. From exploring centuries-old monuments to sampling traditional Scottish cuisine or taking part in unique activities such as ghost tours or whisky tours, there are plenty of things to do here for any type of traveler! Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, you’re sure to find something in Edinburgh that suits your tastes!
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