With rocky hills overlooking the sea, Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital, is without a doubt one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. From the Old Town’s medieval streets to Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Palace, there will always be things to do to keep you busy. Check out our top picks for Scotland’s capital.
A place full of Scottish history and one of the country’s most popular tourist attractions. The castle on the hill can be seen from almost everywhere in Edinburgh, which makes it the perfect spot for enjoying a panoramic view of the city.
Spend a few hours exploring the museums and other buildings as well as open spaces. Make sure your visit coincides with one of the castle’s many actor-led historical event interpretations.
2. Arthur’s Seat
Located in Holyrood Park, the large green area is the remains of an extinct volcano that erupted 350 million years ago. Arthur’s Seat is the highest point of this fascinating hill from where you will get 360º views of the city. If you look a mile away, you will find Edinburgh Castle sitting on the dormant volcanic cliff of Castle Rock. Don’t forget to take a few pictures.
Discover what life was like on board Her Majesty’s floating Royal residence. Walk in the footsteps of world leaders, such as Nelson Mandela, Sir Winston Churchill, and Rajiv, when you step on board one of the UK’s top attractions. Explore the luxurious drawing room, the queen’s bedroom, the crew’s quarters, the engine room, as well as the sun lounge, supposedly the queen’s favourite room.
The home of Scottish democracy, the Scottish Parliament Building is known as one of the most innovative designs in Britain. You will understand why as you come across the oddly shaped windows on the western wall and the asymmetrical panels on the main façade representing a curtain being drawn aside (symbolizing an open government). Enjoy the free tour featuring a visit to the Debating Chamber, a committee room, the Garden Lobby, and the office of a member of the parliament.
This palace is currently the royal family’s official residence in Scotland but is famous for being the 16th-century home of the ill-fated Mary, Queen of Scots. Visit the Palace of Holyrood House and contemplate the beautiful ruins of the 12th century Holyrood Abbey and stroll through the royal gardens.
Its location makes it a fantastic choice for a day visit. Walk around the grounds, enjoy the exhibitions in the gallery, or learn all about the monarchy in Scotland.
Real Mary King’s Close takes you through the mysterious subterranean labyrinth located beneath Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. These hidden streets are the city’s deepest secret and have remained frozen in time since the 17th century. Go on this award-winning historical tour and learn more about the myths and mysteries that this incredible street has witnessed over the ages.
7. Princes Street
Prince Street is without any doubt the busiest street in Edinburgh. Much more than just a shopping destination, it features many entertaining attractions for you to explore. From the Christmas market to summer festivals, there is always something happening in Princes Street Gardens. Among the popular sights of the gardens, you will find the famous Floral Clock and the impressive Ross Fountain. You can’t miss the Scott Monument, a fascinating gothic tower at the east end of the street. Last but not least, the Scottish National Gallery, which is a must-see for art lovers.
Have we convinced you to visit Edinburgh on your next getaway? Pack your things, get your Hop-on Hop-off Edinburgh bus tour ticket, and get ready to explore the magnificent Scottish capital!