Things to do and see in Edinburgh

13 June 2021

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Friendly disclaimer! We want to be as accurate as possible, but given these challenging times, we urge you to recheck that the venues are open when you decide to visit.

 Scotland’s enchanting capital of Edinburgh is a city of striking contrasts. Perched dramatically on an extinct volcano, the Edinburgh Castle is visible from almost any point in the city, a constant reminder of Edinburgh’s long and fascinating history. As you explore the city’s striking architecture, tranquil green spaces and exciting attractions, you will soon understand why it has been the inspiration for so many poets.

Old Town


The Old Town is Edinburgh’s oldest neighbourhood and is filled with historic monuments, narrow streets, and lovely shops and pubs with tons of personality. Its charming architecture and its rich history will leave you in awe.


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  • Location: Old Town, Edinburgh

Edinburgh Castle


Towering majestically over the city, this iconic and fascinating castle serves three main roles: royal palace, historic fortress, and war museum. Check out the Scottish Crown Jewels, the Stone of Destiny, and medieval bombard Mons Meg, and end your visit admiring the stunning view over the city.


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Camera Obscura & World of Illusions


Camera Obscura & World of Illusions features five floors of optical illusions that anyone can get immersed in. Get lost in a mirror room or challenge your balance in the vortex tunnel, you can take fun for granted.


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Rosslyn Chapel


For a mysterious journey through Scotland’s myths and legends, head over to Rosslyn Chapel, a magnificient chapel feature in Dan Brown’s “Da Vinci Code”. Hear the intriguing tales behind Rosslyn’s beautiful ornate carvings before taking a peaceful walk along Roslin Glen Country Park.


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National Museum of Scotland


The National Museum of Scotland offers a one-of-a-kind adventure for all history enthusiasts. In their galleries, you will come across ancient Egyptian mummies, the skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, and specimens collected by Charles Darwin. Keep an eye out on the temporary exhibitions as well.


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  • Location: Chambers St, Edinburgh
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  • Timings: Sun to Sat 10am-5pm

Edinburgh Zoo


Explore the lives of over 1,000 animal species from all over the world. Watch giant pandas, big cats, penguins and other birds, or take part in some of interactive activities offered by this non-profit zoological park. Don’t miss out on the Edinburgh Zoo gardens, a lush paradise with countless exotic flowers and plants.


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Scottish Parliament Building


The Scottish Parliament is located within the Holyrood area, overseen by the Royal Mile. The building has won awards for its striking architecture. It’s the place to learn about Scotland’s political history, watch live debates, and admire its unique architecture. If you want to watch the members of the Scottish Parliament in action, you need to book a free of charge ticket beforehand.


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Mountain Biking


Escape the city and watch the beautiful Scottish scenery from a bike. You can start your trip from the Edinburgh city centre, and there are paths for all fitness levels with colour codes which are easy to follow. One of the best areas for off-road cycling is the Pentland Hills Regional Park, just outside Edinburgh. If you don’t have a bike with you, you can rent one in one of the many shops around the city.

Palace of Holyroodhouse


With some parts built on the 16th century, this is truly a magnificent royal building. The official residence of the British monarch Queen Elizabeth II in Scotland, this is definitely a must-visit for any history enthusiast.


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Scottish Seabird Centre


Walk through the Scottish Seabird Centre and have a real wildlife experience. The knowledgeable staff will guide you and offer presentations while you admire the sea birds and mammals around you. Featuring plenty of kids attractions as well, no one will feel left behind.


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  • Location: The Harbour, North Berwick, Edinburgh
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  • Timings: Sun to Sat 10am-6pm

Royal Botanic Garden


There are many beautiful parks and gardens in Edinburgh, but the Royal Botanic Garden stands out among all of them. With 70 acres of beautiful gardens, it is one of the world’s largest living collections of plants. Founded in 1670, it is truly an Edinburgh’s landmark.


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  • Location: Arboretum Pl, Edinburgh
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  • Timings: Sun to Sat 10am-6pm

The Edinburgh Dungeon


Enter the Edinburgh Dungeon and experience 500 years of Scotland’s darkest history, presented with theatrical actors, storytelling, special effects, scenes and stages. The bravest ones can also hop on one of the two scary rides. Tours leave every 10 minutes.


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Festival Theatre


Along with the King’s Theatre, the Festival Theatre is one of the top venues in Edinburgh for performing arts. You can simply admire its modern architecture, but coming in an or opera or a ballet show is well worth it.


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Gilmerton Cove


Gilmerton Cove is Edinburgh’s secret network of underground tunnels. Discover the hand-carved passage ways hidden under the streets of Gilmerton, an ex-mining village in southeastern Edinburgh. This place has remained a mystery to visitors and archaeologists alike for over 300 years.


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  • Location: 16 Drum St, Edinburgh
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  • Timings: Mon to Fri 11am-12pm, Sat to Sun 10am-6pm

Princes Street Gardens


Right in the heart of Edinburgh, you will come across an enormous piece of nature, a spot for relaxation that offers some of the greatest sights over the city- the Princes Street Gardens. Head over to the gardens for a relaxing picnic during the afternoon or simply for a refreshing walk, you certainly won’t regret it.


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  • Location: Princes St, Edinburgh
  • Timings: Sun to Sat 7am-10pm

Arthur’s Seat


Arthur’s seat, is an ancient volcano which forms most of Holyrood Park. With its highest point standing at an elevation of 251 meters, it is a popular hiking spot for both tourists and locals alike, you will understand why as soon as you reach the summit. The panoramic views over the city are simply breathtaking.


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  • Location: Holyrood Park, Edinburgh

Royal Yacht Britannia


Explore this fantastic floating museum docked in Edinburgh’s historic port of Leith. Get a glimpse at the life of the British Royal Family before enjoying a tea in the Royal Deck Tea Room, you will certainly have a royal experience.


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