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Things to Do In Edinburgh

15 Best Things to Do In Edinburgh | Activities List With Location

Cinematically romanticised on socials, Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, United Kingdom, famous for its streets embedded with History, divine literary heritage and eye-grabbing architecture. And how can the description of this splendid city be complete without mention of the globally famous whiskey walks? Among the must-see attractions is the iconic Edinburgh Castle, symbolising the city's rich History. Join us on a journey through the vibrant tapestry of things to do in Edinburgh, where every step reveals a new chapter in this extraordinary city. Enjoy everything that soothes your soul here, from hiking to highly adorable picnics. So, pack your energy and get ready!

List Of 15 Famous Things To Do In Edinburgh 

Experience the enchantment of things to do in Edinburgh as we delve into the cinematic allure of Scotland's capital.

  • Edinburgh Castle | Explore Historic Majesty
  • Arthur's Seat | Hike to Panoramic Views
  • Royal Mile | Stroll Through Old Town
  • Holyrood Palace | Discover Royal Residency
  • National Museum | Dive into Scottish History
  • Scotch Whisky Experience | Enjoy Tastings
  • Calton Hill | Sunset Spectacle Viewing
  • Greyfriars Kirkyard | Visit Haunted History
  • The Royal Yacht Britannia | Maritime Elegance
  • Dynamic Earth | Journey Through Earth's Story
  • Dean Village | Wander Charming Waterfront
  • Edinburgh Zoo | Encounter Wildlife Wonders
  • Camera Obscura | Optical Illusion Fun
  • National Gallery | Art Appreciation Adventure
  • Mary King's Close | Explore Hidden Passages

1. Edinburgh Castle | Explore Historic Majesty

Immerse yourself in the rich heritage of one of Edinburgh's most iconic historical sites, the Edinburgh Castle. Perched atop Castle Rock, this fortress offers guided tours that unveil centuries of Scottish History. It's a top family-friendly attraction, engaging visitors of all ages with tales of battles and royalty. After the tour, venture to the nearby best restaurants near Edinburgh Waverley Station for a delightful meal.

  • Nearby Attractions: The Royal Mile, St. Giles' Cathedral, Princes Street Gardens.
  • Activities: Guided tours of Edinburgh Castle, explored Crown Jewels, and enjoyed panoramic views.
  • Best Time to Visit: Spring for milder weather and fewer crowds.

2. Arthur's Seat | Hike to Panoramic Views

For breathtaking city views, embark on a hike up Arthur's Seat. This extinct volcano in Holyrood Park provides a memorable adventure, with its winding trails leading to a summit offering panoramic vistas of Edinburgh. A perfect spot for families, the climb is both refreshing and rewarding. And for those seeking more weekend getaways, consider day trips from Edinburgh to the Scottish Highlands.

  • Nearby Attractions: Holyrood Palace, Dynamic Earth, Royal Mile.
  • Activities: Hiking to the summit, enjoying picnics, capturing panoramic city views.
  • Best Time to Visit: Summer is good for clear skies and pleasant temperatures.

3. Royal Mile | Stroll Through Old Town

The Royal Mile, the heart of Old Town, is a bustling street brimming with History and charm. Lined with shops, street performers, and historic landmarks, it's an ideal destination for a stroll. Visit the Edinburgh festivals and events calendar to experience the street comes alive with cultural celebrations and lively performances.

  • Nearby Attractions: Edinburgh Castle, St. Giles' Cathedral, The Real Mary King's Close.
  • Activities: Strolling through historic streets, shopping, street performances.
  • Best Time to Visit: Festival season is the best time for lively events and cultural celebrations.

4. Holyrood Palace | Discover Royal Residency

Delve into the regal History of Holyrood Palace, the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland. This historic site offers guided tours that take you through opulent state apartments, grand galleries, and beautiful gardens. A must-visit for those intrigued by haunted places to visit in Edinburgh, as the palace holds tales of royal ghosts.

  • Nearby Attractions: Arthur's Seat, Scottish Parliament Building, Our Dynamic Earth.
  • Activities: Guided tours of the palace, explored the gardens and attended royal events.
  • Best Time to Visit: Late spring for blooming gardens and mild weather.

5. National Museum | Dive into Scottish History

The National Museum of Scotland is a treasure trove of artefacts showcasing Scotland's rich cultural and scientific heritage. Engage in interactive exhibits suitable for all ages, making it a top family-friendly attraction. Uncover centuries of History, from prehistoric times to modern innovations, all under one roof.

  • Nearby Attractions: Greyfriars Kirkyard, The Meadows, University of Edinburgh.
  • Activities: Exploring diverse exhibits, interactive displays, and family-friendly programs.
  • Best Time to Visit: Anytime, as indoor activities are available year-round.

6. Scotch Whisky Experience | Enjoy Tastings

Every visit to Edinburgh is complete with indulging in the Scotch Whisky Experience. Take a guided tour to learn about Scotland's national drink, followed by whisky tastings. It's a sensory journey through the country's distilling traditions, offering a delightful experience for connoisseurs and newcomers alike.

  • Nearby Attractions: Edinburgh Castle, Grassmarket, Camera Obscura.
  • Activities: Whisky tastings, guided tours, learning about Scotland's heritage.
  • Best Time to Visit: Winter for a cosy whisky experience.

7. Calton Hill | Sunset Spectacle Viewing

For a picturesque sunset experience, head to Calton Hill. This elevated spot provides stunning views of Edinburgh's skyline, including the iconic Athens-inspired National Monument. An ideal location for a relaxed family outing or a romantic evening, it offers a serene escape from the urban buzz.

  • Nearby Attractions: Nelson Monument, National Monument, City Observatory.
  • Activities: Watching sunsets, photography, and enjoying a peaceful atmosphere.
  • Best Time to Visit: Early evening for sunset views.

8. Greyfriars Kirkyard | Visit Haunted History

Step into the eerie ambience of Greyfriars Kirkyard, a graveyard with a haunting history. Join guided tours that narrate tales of restless spirits, including the famous Greyfriars Bobby. A fascinating stop for those intrigued by haunted places, it provides a unique perspective on Edinburgh's darker past.

  • Nearby Attractions: The Real Mary King's Close, National Museum, St. Giles' Cathedral.
  • Activities: Ghost tours, exploring historic gravestones, discovering Greyfriars Bobby's story.
  • Best Time to Visit: Evening for a spooky atmosphere.

9. The Royal Yacht Britannia | Maritime Elegance

Explore maritime elegance aboard The Royal Yacht Britannia, the former royal yacht of Queen Elizabeth II. This floating museum offers a glimpse into royal life at sea. An engaging attraction for families, it provides an immersive experience of royalty and naval History.

  • Nearby Attractions: Ocean Terminal Shopping Centre, Leith Walk, Newhaven Harbour.
  • Activities: Tour the royal yacht, learn about maritime history, and enjoy waterfront views.
  • Best Time to Visit: Summer for pleasant weather and outdoor exploration.

10. Dynamic Earth | Journey Through Earth's Story

Dynamic Earth is an interactive science centre that takes visitors on a captivating journey through Earth's History. With engaging exhibits and simulations, it's a top family-friendly attraction that educates and entertains. Discover the planet's evolution, from its fiery beginnings to the present.

  • Nearby Attractions: Arthur's Seat, Holyrood Palace, Scottish Parliament Building.
  • Activities: Interactive exhibits, educational programs, family-friendly science exploration.
  • Best Time to Visit: Weekdays to avoid weekend crowds.

11. Dean Village | Wander Charming Waterfront

Dean Village, nestled along the Water of Leith, is a picturesque escape from the city's hustle. Wander through cobbled streets and admire historic buildings. It's a serene spot for families seeking a leisurely day out or exploring charming waterfront settings.

  • Nearby Attractions: Water of Leith, Stockbridge, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.
  • Activities: Strolling along the Water of Leith, exploring charming streets, and enjoying riverside views.
  • Best Time to Visit: Autumn for colourful foliage.

12. Edinburgh Zoo | Encounter Wildlife Wonders

A visit to Edinburgh Zoo promises a day filled with wildlife wonders. Home to diverse animal species, the zoo offers educational and entertaining experiences for families. Engage in guided tours, watch captivating animal shows, and contribute to conservation efforts.

  • Nearby Attractions: Corstorphine Hill, Murrayfield Stadium, Gyle Shopping Centre.
  • Activities: Wildlife encounters, zoo exhibits, attending animal shows.
  • Best Time to Visit: Spring is best for baby animals and milder weather.

13. Camera Obscura | Optical Illusion Fun