Top things to do in Edinburgh

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Compact, hilly and filled with innumerable attractions, Edinburgh delights visitors with its medieval old town and vibrant personality. Dominating the skyline is Edinburgh Castle, where Scotland’s crown jewels are displayed and centuries of national history unravel. Take a free guided tour of this mighty citadel to hear stories of its fascinating past, and pause at the Argyle Battery for sweeping city views.

From the castle, the legendary Royal Mile leads down to Holyrood Palace in a jumble of museums and gift shops selling everything from kilts to vintage whisky. Some of the city’s best eats can be found here too – if the salty smell of fish and chips doesn’t tempt you, then perhaps a pub lunch of ‘haggis, neeps and tatties’ will.

Burn it all off with a walk to the top of Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano that overlooks the city in nearby Holyrood Park, and admire the natural landscape that stretches for miles around.

A wonderful time is guaranteed in Edinburgh, no matter the time of year. In winter there’s Hogmanay, a three-day festival of spectacular events and street parties to celebrate the new year. Summer brings balmier weather, before rounding up with the world’s biggest arts festival: The Fringe. Lasting an entire month, this all-out celebration packs stand-up comedy, magic shows and dramatic theatre into its busy schedule, creating a buzz that draws bigger crowds to the Scottish capital year after year.

Tonight

From £32 per night

This weekend

From £63 per night

Next weekend

From £63 per night

Most popular time to visit August–October
Cheapest time to visit May–July
Local currency GBP
Language English
Average weekend price £103 per night
Average weekday price £94 per night
Typical stay 2 nights

Points of interest in Edinburgh

Stay near the top sightseeing spots in Edinburgh

Latest articles featuring Edinburgh

Inspiration and insider tips for what to do in Edinburgh

Destination inspiration: Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Take a scenic walk through Edinburgh’s legend-laden history.

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What to read and watch before visiting Edinburgh

Lose yourself in cult classics and historic tales inspired by the Scottish capital.

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Edinburgh reviews

What other travellers say about Edinburgh

10

Pearl of the North

26 January 2016

The New Town is a beautiful place to stay. Lots of little cafés and restaurants to pop into - try Urban Angel or Jules. Just walking through the wide, grave streets and seeing the light change on the Firth of Forth as dusk falls is a pleasure. Walk over the bridge to the Old Town and, avoiding the Royal Mile, drop down to Grassmarket and its quirky shops. Try Walker Slater for wonderful traditional mens' clothes or the extraordinary vintage clothes shop in Grassmarket. Have a pulled pork sandwich on the way...delicious on a cold day! George St has a few independent shops but increasingly more chain stores but all in large airy locations. Walk east to Dean Gardens and the Modern Art gallery. Great landscape art in the grounds. Definitely visit the National Gallery and the amazing Scottish National Museum - esp the top floor where generations of outstanding Scots men and women explorers, soldiers, inventors, writers and doctors are celebrated. Finally, no trip to Edinboro' is complete without a stomp up Arthur's Seat - but choose a bright breezy day!

HappyHants
HappyHants United Kingdom
10

Great Scot!

26 January 2016

Our favorite part of our trip was definitely our City of the Dead tour, to the underground vaults, and graveyard. So much history to be had.. My husband and I loved the small town feel of this city. Public transportation was fabulous. We found the team to be the easiest and most convenient way to get around. We spent around 4-5 hours at the castle, alone. We also went to the whiskey experience right near the enterence of the castle. We sampled some scotch and ate a delicious lunch. We followed up with a stroll down the royal mile. We also went to the edinburgh dungeon. We fell in love with this attraction in London. The Edinburgh one was almost as good. All and all, if you enjoy dark history, and breathtaking views, and architecture, make your way to edinbugh.

Jennifer
Jennifer United States
8.0

A Great Place to visit.

1 February 2016

I booked The Whiskey Heritage Centre gold tour for my husbands birthday treat followed by dinner in their Amber restaurant. Both were excellent he really enjoyed it. We also had dinner at The Witchery, a couple of doors down from The Whiskey Centre, wonderful atmosphere, all wood panelling and candles, it reminded me of a Harry Potter set! Food and drink were very expensive and a little disappointing but there were lots of customers! We visited Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace and explored the Royal Mile. All the little alleyways and steps were interesting, loved the high class kilt makers shops with all the different tartans and Harris tweeds plus the paraphanalia that goes with kilts i.e.sporrans, kilt pins, daggers to stick down socks! Lovely historic buildings to see, the weather wasn't brilliant, take waterproofs, warm light layers and comfy walking shoes/ boots. The Scottish people were lovely, helpful, courteous and full of fun. We walked everywhere so cannot comment on public transport but I did download a bus timetable app which allowed you yo plan a trip just in case.

Susan
Susan United Kingdom
8.0

❤️ Edinburgh

28 January 2016

It's a fantastic city with something for everyone. If your a student and looking for deal that won't stretch the budget you get just that around the Uni. Around the castle there is a real old worldy feel as if you have just gone back in time and The Witchery by the Castle offers a really fantastic fine dining experience for the more sophisticated traveller whereas the new town offers modern views and styles with restaurants and pubs are offering a huge range of cuisine from traditional to European, Asian or Mexican. You're spoilt for choice!! A city with something for everyone! 👌🏼

Erica
Erica Ireland
8.0

Relaxed, Friendly City

31 January 2016

Edinburgh is an easy city to walk around, despite all the hills, very quiet and relaxed atmosphere. The Hop-On Hop-Off bus tour is a great way to get around, passing all the main spots. Calton Hill is a great viewpoint, overlooking the whole city, and providing great photo opportunities. Edinburgh Castle provides a great overview of Scotland's history, and the Scottish crown jewels are on display. For those interested in history the Scottish National Museum is also worth a visit. The National Gallery has some great displays of European and Scottish works, the Scottish Gallery is definitely worth viewing. Excellent Indian restaurant in Haymarket, Omar Khayyam, staff created the perfect atmosphere to enjoy really delicious food.

Amanda
Amanda Ireland
6.0

A costly Christmas Break In expensive Edinburgh

26 January 2016

The Castle, the Scottish National Museum, The Big Wheel, St Giles Cathedral, The Zoo and Omar Khayyam were the highlights of the stay. Camera Obscura and The Vaults were extremely over priced and didn't accommodate well for disabled people. Overall Edinburgh is extremely expensive to eat and drink out. The taxis were a rip off and some of them conned you (were the meter reading was a lot less than what was charged), all journeys were at least £15 or over just into the town centre.

Cheryl
Cheryl United Kingdom

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