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

Informative, interesting and great highlights reel of the Highlands!

Tour guide Laura was amazing! Such an engaging, entertaining, well-informed, comprehensive, funny and lovely tour guide. Would highly recommend this tour as a way to see the highlights of the Highlands in one day.

Allan was a wonderful, incredibly knowledgeable tourguide!

We enjoyed this comprehensive look at the Highlands, and our guide/driver Allan was an expert at Scottish history. By the end of the day, I knew much more than I had known before and was extremely happy that we were able to hit each spot I'd always dreamt of going to. Glen Coe was a particular highlight, its mountains beyond what I could have imagined. Photos don't do it justice: these are sights you have to experience yourself.

Loch Ness, Glencoe & the Highlands Tour from Edinburgh Reviewed by a GetYourGuide customer, 08/13/2018

I booked for my friends from Emarat they love

My friend they said the will get another one in london it shows them the city and what they can visit

Guide was friendly and added tons of historical information!

Enjoyed every minute of a very full day's tour. The driver and guide made each stop more interesting by adding a little jaunt with him, and additional information about each site. Did not expect the tour to last well into the evening, pleasantly surprised.

Great ghost tour, informative and very interesting, a proper tour.

Took this tour with 2 other people and it was the best tour I have been on, I think because it was only 3 of us.. the man was informative and told a actual ghost story unlike other guides who only tell you the history, I am on a ghost tour and want to know about ghosts - hence this was brilliant to learn about ghostly sightings and the Wicca witches who still to this day practice Wicca and have there covenan on site.... really good to see all of this.. brilliant would recommend this to everyone......

Edinburgh 60-Minute Vaults Tour Reviewed by Susan, 08/09/2018