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Things to do in Edinburgh: A Guide to Scotland's Capital

Things to do in Edinburgh: A Guide to Scotland’s Capital

Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, is a city steeped in history and culture. From its stunning architecture to its vibrant arts scene, there’s no shortage of things to do in Edinburgh. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or a foodie, Edinburgh has something for everyone. In this guide, we’ll explore the top attractions and activities that make Edinburgh a must-visit destination.

Exploring the Historic Edinburgh Castle

One of the most iconic landmarks in Scotland, Edinburgh Castle sits atop Castle Rock, offering panoramic views of the city. Explore its historic buildings, including the Crown Jewels and the Stone of Destiny. Don’t miss the daily firing of the One O’Clock Gun.

Strolling Along the Royal Mile

The Royal Mile is a historic street that runs through the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town. It’s lined with charming shops, restaurants, and pubs. Take a leisurely stroll and soak in the medieval atmosphere. Be sure to visit St. Giles’ Cathedral and the Museum of Edinburgh along the way.

Haggis and Whisky Tasting

No trip to Scotland is complete without trying traditional Scottish cuisine. Head to a local restaurant to savor haggis, neeps, and tatties, washed down with a glass of Scotch whisky. It’s a culinary experience you won’t forget. It is one of the best things to do in Edinburgh. 

Immerse Yourself in Art and History at the National Museum

The National Museum of Scotland is a treasure trove of history, science, and art. Explore diverse exhibits, including the world-renowned Dolly the sheep, ancient artifacts, and interactive displays for all ages.

Dynamic Earth – Unveiling Earth’s Mysteries

Dynamic Earth takes you on an exciting journey through our planet’s history. It’s an interactive and educational experience for both adults and children, featuring stunning visuals and immersive exhibits.

A Walk in Princes Street Gardens

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city by taking a peaceful walk in Princes Street Gardens. These lush green gardens are located in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle and are perfect for a relaxing afternoon picnic. 

If you are looking to spend time with your family, it’s all the more reason why you should add this destination to your things to do in Edinburgh list. 

Discovering Holyrood Palace

Holyrood Palace, the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland, is a fascinating historical site. Explore the opulent rooms and learn about the palace’s rich history. Don’t forget to take a stroll in the adjacent Holyrood Park.

Hiking Arthur’s Seat

For outdoor enthusiasts, a hike up Arthur’s Seat is a must. This extinct volcano offers stunning views of Edinburgh and the surrounding countryside. It’s a relatively easy hike, suitable for all fitness levels.

things to do in Edinburgh

The Royal Yacht Britannia

Step aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia and explore the former royal residence of Her Majesty The Queen. Learn about the yacht’s history and its role in royal life. The onboard tea room is a delightful place to enjoy a cup of tea and cake.

Edinburgh’s Festivals and Events

Throughout the year, Edinburgh hosts a variety of festivals and events. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, and the Edinburgh International Festival are just a few examples. Check the calendar to see what’s happening during your visit.

The Ghost Tours

Edinburgh is known for its eerie history and haunted sites. You must add these ghost tours to your things to do in Edinburgh list. Join a guided ghost tour to explore the city’s dark and mysterious side. You might even encounter a ghostly presence along the way.

Savory Delights in Edinburgh

Edinburgh’s culinary scene is thriving. Try some traditional Scottish dishes at local eateries, or explore international flavors at the city’s diverse restaurants. The Grassmarket area is a hotspot for dining and nightlife.

Shopping on Victoria Street

Victoria Street is famous for its colorful shops and boutiques. It’s a great place to pick up souvenirs, unique gifts, and stylish clothing. The curved, cobblestone street adds to its charm.

A Scenic Drive to the Highlands

If you have extra time, consider taking a scenic drive to the Scottish Highlands from Edinburgh. The breathtaking landscapes, serene lochs, and charming villages make for a memorable day trip.

Visiting the Scotch Whisky Experience

Learn about the art of whisky-making at the Scotch Whisky Experience. Discover the different whisky regions of Scotland and enjoy a guided tasting session.


Edinburgh is a city that seamlessly blends history, culture, and natural beauty. Whether you’re exploring its ancient streets, enjoying a dram of Scotch whisky, or hiking in the surrounding hills, there’s always something captivating to do in Scotland’s capital.

FAQs about Edinburgh

  1. When is the best time to visit Edinburgh?

    The best time to visit Edinburgh is during the summer months (June to August) when the weather is pleasant and many festivals take place.

  2. Is Edinburgh a safe city for tourists?

    Yes, Edinburgh is generally considered a safe city for tourists. Like any other city, it’s essential to take standard precautions and be aware of your surroundings.

  3. What is the currency in Edinburgh?

    The currency used in Edinburgh and throughout Scotland is the British Pound Sterling (GBP).

  4. Are there guided tours available in Edinburgh?

    Yes, there are numerous guided tours available in Edinburgh, covering various aspects of the city’s history, culture, and attractions.

  5. Do I need to book tickets in advance for Edinburgh Castle?

    It’s advisable to book your tickets in advance, especially during the peak tourist season, to avoid long queues at Edinburgh Castle.

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