Edinburgh is one of Scotland’s most beautiful cities, known for the Edinburgh Castle, National Gallery, St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh Zoo and National Museum of Scotland but this incredible metropolis is more than that. It is one of the most popular destinations in Europe for conventions. In the past 2 years Edinburgh hosted more than 151 conferences. The city is as well a major tourism destination and receives over 4 million visitors annually. The city is prepared with amazing hotels and excellent restaurants, Edinburgh has more Michelin star restaurants than any other city outside London.
We have put together a nice list of places to visit and things to do in Edinburgh, arguably the most beautiful city in the United Kingdom, so we hope you will find them both interesting and useful when considering Edinburgh as your next vacation.
Camera Obscura Edinburgh gives tourists that unique photo opportunity that they’re looking for. Visitors have been visiting the site of this attraction since 1853! Entry to this unusual venue includes the Camera Obscura show as well as the chance to check out a bird’s eye view of Edinburgh at the top of the watch tour.
With over 1,000 animals from every corner of the globe, including giant pandas, a visit to Edinburgh Zoo is a fantastic family day out. Meet the penguins at the famous Penguin Parade and get closer than ever before to chimpanzees at the new state-of-the-art Budongo Trail.
Majestic Edinburgh castle sits on the top of the Royal Mile, built on an extinct volcano. The castle is one of the most iconic structures of the city. Wander around the Great Wall, Crown Jewels and Margaret’s Chapel, there’s a large amount of historic culture to learn.
An 80 minute tour through 1000 years of Scottish history via 2 underground rides and 11 live shows. Deep beneath the pavement at locations across Europe, chilling tales and petrifying aspects of their history are re-enacted, providing eerie, spine-chilling fun for anyone who dares enter the world of the Dungeons.
The parliament’s striking design is somewhat incongruous to its surroundings – a complex of contoured buildings and landscaped parks, punctuated by futuristic embellishments. The home of Scottish democracy enjoys a huge amount of visitors, largely thanks to its free guided tours.
Royal Botanic Garden
The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) was founded in the 17th century as a physic garden. Now it extends over four gardens boasting a rich living collection of plants, and is a world-renowned center for plant science and education.
Take a short walk up one of Edinburgh’s best sightseeing locations to appreciate the panoramic view of Edinburgh’s city center skyline. The top of Calton hill is usually a quiet place to come on any day and is unmistakable with its Athenian acropolis poking above the skyline.
Just So You Know…
- Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone, was actually born in Edinburgh.
- Over 100,000 people cram in to Princes Street for the Hogmanay street party every year.
- Edinburgh’s nickname, Auld Reekie (Old Smoky), marks an era when the city’s buildings and homes burnt a lot of coal and wood for heat and chimneys would emit columns of smoke into the air.
- St Margaret’s Chapel, found within the walls of Edinburgh Castle, is the oldest building in the city. It was built in memory of Queen Margaret, who is said to have died from a broken heart after the death of her husband King Malcolm III. It was the only building not destroyed during wars against the English in the 14th century.
- If you enjoy music the Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh is arguably the best venue in the city.
- Climb at Europe’s largest indoor climbing arena at Edinburgh International Climbing Arena.
- Visit the new Scotch Whisky Experience for a sensational journey! Take a swirling, bubbling barrel ride through a replica distillery as you become part of the whisky making process.
- Edinburgh is a gay friendly city. Check out our list of Top 11 gay friendly hotels in Edinburgh. Some are also among the 11 Best Hotels in Edinburgh!
Get Some Culture:
- National Museum of Scotland – From the age of dinosaurs to the technology of the future, the galleries in the National Museum of Scotland contain treasures from around the world. It is one of the country’s top visitor attractions.
- Museum on the Mound – Tracing the design and history of money, with exhibits including Scotland’s oldest banknote.
- The People’s Story Museum – Explore the lives of ordinary people in Edinburgh from the late 18th century to present day.
Grab A Bite:
- Castle Terrace Restaurant – Introduce a new dining experience to the city of Edinburgh. Combining the culinary expertise and flair of the team behind award-winning Michelin star restaurant.
- Origano – Pasta and gourmet pizzas made with hand-stretched dough in a cosy rustic-chic cafe-style restaurant.
- Anfora – Has an exceptional selection of organic wines from small, independent suppliers, along with a perfectly paired menu.