Top Tours & Activities 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!
- CurrencyBritish Pound (£)
- Time ZoneUTC (+00:00)
- Country Code+44
- Best time to visitSpring for the mild weather, summer for the cultural events!
Things to Do in Edinburgh
Top Attractions in Edinburgh
- 1Edinburgh Castle
- 2Royal Mile
- 3Stirling Castle
- 4Loch Lomond
- 5Edinburgh Old Town
- 6Edinburgh Vaults
- 7Holyrood Palace
- 8HMY Britannia
- 9Royal Yacht Britannia
- 10National Monument of Scotland
- 11New Town Neighborhood
- 12The Edinburgh Dungeon
- 13Isle of Skye
- 14Rosslyn Chapel
- 15Museum of Edinburgh
- 16Canongate District
- 17Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
- 20Princes Street
Other Sightseeing Options in Edinburgh
Want to discover all there is to do in Edinburgh? Click here for a full list.
What People Are Saying About Edinburgh
Frankly I was expecting a much more lavish display of wealth and opulence. It therefore came as a breath of fresh air to see the down to earth simplicity of the Royal family. A good and wise decision by Her Majesty the Queen. Happy that I took the time to visit.
Very happy with trip and how many sites saw. No need to research sites want to see since it is all preplanned (will end up annoyed or unhappy didn't see what you may have selected). Great spots selected by tour that touch on history, landscapes and local lore. Cover a lot of area in a short time.
Excellant way to get around and see different areas you would not reach on foot.
We really enjoyed the tour. Plenty of history and stops so you could walk around and see the sights. Whiskey tour was quick but thorough.
We took the 48hr three tour option which was money well spent. The drivers were vey helpful and informative and the live And audio commentary were excellent. Would highly recommend this to any tourist as well as people who live in Edinburgh.