Edinburgh
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Top attractions in Edinburgh

Top Tours & Activities in Edinburgh

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Top 10 things to do in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is an effortlessly cohesive reflection of Scotland's breathtaking rural landscape, flaunting cultural vibrancy, historic charm, and scenic wonder. Even its New Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. So, what are its top attractions?

Edinburgh Castle

The Edinburgh Castle was built at least as early as the 12th century. Looking over the city from Castle Rock, it's been at the heart of some of Scotland's bloodiest conflicts.

Stirling Castle

Having withstood multiple sieges, Stirling is one of Scotland's most important castles. Even if you're not a history buff, the scenery alone warrants a day trip from the capital!

Loch Lomond

What's a holiday to Scotland without visiting one of its picturesque lochs? Luckily, the largest and most breathtaking one in the country, the Loch Lomond, is just a short journey away!

Holyrood Palace

The Holyrood Abbey next to the Holyrood Palace is still in ruins after the Glorious Revolution of 1688. Fun fact: Holyrood is Old English for "holy cross."

Royal Mile

The historic thoroughfare, called The Royal Mile, runs through Edinburgh's Old Town from the Castle to Holyrood for one Scots mile. That's longer than a regular mile, in case you were wondering!

Greyfriars Church

The birthplace of 17th-century Scottish Presbyterianism, this church is a landmark of the country's religious history. It still holds Sunday services in English and Scottish Gaelic.

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Dating back to 1670, when it was used to grow medicinal plants, this conservation project has bloomed into a leading tourist attraction. Today it houses over 13,000 plant species!

Photo: Hugh Llewelyn @flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

HMY Britannia

Built in 1953, this royal yacht is considered one of the UK's top attractions. You can even enjoy lunch or afternoon tea on the Royal Deck!

Rosslyn Chapel

Just south of Edinburgh lies the village of Roslin, where the spectacular Rosslyn Chapel was built 600 years ago as an object of curiosity and splendor. A truly unique example of religious architecture!

Our Dynamic Earth

The Holyrood area sits beneath a dormant volcano. The information center Our Dynamic Earth is the perfect place to learn about the natural processes that shaped our planet from the Big Bang to the present!

Planning Your Edinburgh Visit

Best time to visit?

Edinburgh is heaving with visitors throughout the summer, but for good reason – it's festival season! If you'd rather see the city significantly less hectic then you'll have to brave the Scottish winter. The good news is that few landscapes lend themselves so beautifully to cloud and drizzle as that of Scotland!

When is the Edinburgh Festival?

Edinburgh has several large festivals occupying its streets throughout summer, including their film, jazz, and book festivals. However, it's common to mistake the Edinburgh Fringe – the world's largest performing arts festival – as THE festival. It spans 25 days of August. This year's exact dates, and those for the other events too, can be found here.

How long to stay?

Book at least a week in Edinburgh if you can. Many of the city's most popular attractions require more time than you'll realise and there's already more than enough to do, especially during festival season. Plus, if you haven't ventured into Scotland's awe-inspiring countryside before, you should consider at least one day trip out of the city too!

Good to know

  • Language
    English
  • Currency
    British Pound (£)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+00:00)
  • Country Code
    +44
  • Best time to visit
    Spring for the mild weather, summer for the cultural events!

Things to Do in Edinburgh

Top Attractions in Edinburgh

Cities in United Kingdom

Other Sightseeing Options in Edinburgh

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What people are saying about Edinburgh

A beautiful tour, the guide was excellent

We really enjoyed the tour. The coach was very comfortable and our guide was a very good driver, knew a lot about Scottish history as well as contemporary culture. He's a great storyteller and played a lovely selection of music on the way back.

Loch Ness & the Highlands Reviewed by Niharika, 06/11/2018

Nice way to explore Edinburgh and Harry Potter

Jenny, our guide, was very good and fantastic at telling anecdotes about Rowling and Harry Potter in the old town of Edinburgh!

Excellent service with the bus literally outside of the terminal

Having not used this service before i was a little apprehensive but the bus stand was literally outside of the airport terminal. We missed the first bus by seconds but as it drove away a second bus arrived and parked. We only waited about five minutes and we then travelled for just over half an hour directly into Edinburgh City and no more than 100 yards from our hotel.

Edinburgh Airport City Airlink Bus Transfer Reviewed by Leslie, 06/07/2018

Really great tour, Long but have seen a lot

Really nice tour, busdriver was talken from first minut to last but as he was really interesting to listen to and he also now what he talked about it nerver got boring or tiering the Swedes

Loch Ness, Glencoe, Highlands & Whisky Distillery Day Tour Reviewed by a GetYourGuide Customer, 06/06/2018

The tour was okay but not at all what it said on the website.

The tour was reverse from what was written on the website. The bed and breakfast on Skye was for two nights and was confusing as the breakfast was provided in a cafe but we were not told that, had to learn from someone else in the tour. Not a good representation of Scotland's hospitality.

Skye Experience 3 Day Tour from Edinburgh Reviewed by Joyce, 06/06/2018