Things to do in

Edinburgh

You'll discover everything from whisky to Harry Potter, or even some bodysnatchers, in Scotland's captivating capital.

Enter your dates to find available activities

Top 10 things to do 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?

  • Edinburgh Castle

    1. Edinburgh Castle

    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.

  • Stirling Castle

    2. Stirling Castle

    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!

  • Loch Lomond

    3. Loch Lomond

    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!

  • Holyrood Palace

    4. Holyrood Palace

    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."

  • Royal Mile

    5. Royal Mile

    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!

  • Greyfriars Church

    6. Greyfriars Church

    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.

  • Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

    7. Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

    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!

  • HMY Britannia

    8. HMY Britannia

    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!

  • 9. Rosslyn Chapel

    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!

  • 10. Our Dynamic Earth

    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!

Planning Your Visit

  • Best time to visit?

    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!

  • When is the Edinburgh Festival?

    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.

  • How long to stay?

    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!

Good to know

  • Language
    English
  • Currency
    British Pound (£)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+00:00)
  • Country Code
    +44
  • Best time to visit
    Spring for the mild weather, summer for the cultural events!

Edinburgh: Nähtävää ja koettavaa

Haluatko löytää kaikki aktiviteetit paikassa Edinburgh? Paina tästä nähdäksesi täyden listan.

What people are saying about Edinburgh

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 47,027 reviews

I went on this tour with two teens and everything was just great. Getting g to see and feed the coos, the breath taking views and being able to see the peak of Ben Nevis was just spectacular. Would highly recommend this. We opted to go on the Loch ness tour as well but that sneaky old Nessie was playing hide and seek with us, but I'm sure we'll catch a glimpse next time.

Neil was brilliant! He comfortably filled the day with great information, funny facts and a faultless playlist that accompanied the journey! You really get loads for the money and we would definitely recommend the boat trip. We were extremely lucky with the weather but would still recommend to take layers. Enjoy!

Unforgettable experience, well organised and Jamie (our guide) was amazing and made every moment memorable thank to his interesting stories who accompanied us on the journey!

Really enjoyed this experience, the tour guide was enthusiastic and funny. Very informative would definitely recommend this to visitors in Edinburgh.

The Highlands is magnificent! You must see it! And the guide was very funny and knowledgeable! Loved the whole experience! Definitely recommended!