Top attractions 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?
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.
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!
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!
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."
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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- Best time to visit
- Spring for the mild weather, summer for the cultural events!
Things to Do in Edinburgh
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What people are saying about Edinburgh
Apart from a little hitch finding the entrance, escalator not working and no extra signage, the whole experience was excellent. The routing of visitors works really well and the access to the various sections within the ship works well giving, it a very inclusive feel. The various photos and artefacts add immensely to the overall impression of a family home, how sad the Queen and her family were denied the use of it in her later years.
Marred by a very loud American girl who felt it was OK to bawl out someone who had moved in front of her in the line. It should be made clear at the beginning that you do not have to move round with the line of people you entered with, and that everyone is entitled to move ahead should they so wish. Would check the less busy times for a more relaxed walk round
The Tour was very interesting and well organised, our Guide Muriel knew the theme and was very friendly, the Quiz was fun with good chosen questions, i only was sorry that you could Not choose the house you wanted but took a Card, what was also fine. Muriel also gave us some more tips for stores to visit etc. so the Tour was entirely really great.
The tour is well planned and. Dry interesting. Our guide David made it a memorable day with his stories, jokes and some wonderful pieces of music. Many thanks to David for being extremely knowledgeable and very client oriented!
John has given us a lot of knowledge about Scottland, with his unbeatable sense of humor and willingness to share with us valuable time & info. We appreciate a lot The Highlands, the history lesson on and the flexibility