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

The best way to get to know the highlands.

This tour was incredible. We visited amazing places and got to know more about Scotland's history. Our guide, Dave, was very nice. He explained us a lot of things and was always open to suggestions. I stayed hosted with my friends at a B&B in Portree and although it was a 10 minute walk from the centre, it was great. The accomodations were really good and the owners were very nice.

We are pensioners who were disappointed, and sorry we booked advance t

We are pensioners who were disappointed, and sorry we booked tickets in advance. We tried on two touch screens, within the castle, to input the numbers you sent to me but these numbers were not recognised. However, we went into the information office and the staff there suggested they couldn't help me because I had booked through a third party and not through the castle. We decided to join a long queue and pay for admission to the castle. This did spoil our day because we had to pay for admission again...... I would not book tickets in advance again.

Edinburgh Castle Ticket Reviewed by Jean, 02/11/2018

Jenny our guide was great and very entertaining!

Learned a lot about the history of Edinburgh which we both enjoyed, Jenny the tour guide was great and entertaining and would recommend doing if visiting Edinburgh

Spooky Evening Underground Vaults Walking Tour with Whisky Reviewed by a GetYourGuide Customer, 01/31/2018

This is very interested travel and very good job busdriver!!!!

In my opiniom travel is very interested and my Favourite busdriver . He hase hudge expirence and skills. Congratulensions!!! I like getyyourguide.pl See you soon. Tomasz Oswald

Wonderfully funny, supremely intriguing and completely terrifying!

Jenny was a fantastic guide. Brilliantly funny and charismatic. She brought the history to life in describing the events of Edinburgh’s past. She also gave us a good fright on more than one occasion sending the adrenaline coursing, having created a wonderfully atmospheric scene. The vaults were brilliant - sounds were heard almost immediately and even a few orbs captured on the camera. Well worth braving the Scottish weather for the experience. Thouroughly recommend it to others.