Edinburgh

edinburgh

Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a city that effortlessly combines ancient history with a vibrant, cosmopolitan atmosphere. Nestled on the southeast coast of Scotland, it’s a city of remarkable contrasts and stunning beauty.

The city borders the shores of the Firth of Forth to the north and the Pentland Hills to the south in a landscape that’s peppered with rugged hills and crags that are dominated by Castle Rock, a hill in the middle of the city that is the location of the world-famous Edinburgh Castle. Nearby is Arthur’s Seat, an 823-foot volcanic plug that is the focal point of Holyrood Park, and just a few minutes walk in the opposite direction is Calton Hill, home to many of the city’s most famous landmarks.

Edinburgh boasts a long history dating back to the earliest people who settled in Scotland. It was once home to the powerful Votadini tribe before it became an outpost of Northumbria, transitioning over the years to become the powerbase of Scottish royalty and eventually the capital city of Scotland. Today, it’s best known as a tourist destination, but it’s also a centre of excellence for learning, particularly in the field of medicine, in addition to being a hub for many of the UK’s largest financial institutions.

The Old Town and New Town, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites, are a testament to the city’s architectural splendour, with the Old Town’s sprawling collection of medieval closes contrasting starkly with the neoclassical grace of the New Town’s wide, orderly streets.

Calton Hill

As for tourist attractions, Edinburgh is a treasure trove. The most iconic is undoubtedly Edinburgh Castle, perched atop Castle Rock and dominating the city skyline. The Royal Mile stretches away from the castle towards Holyrood Park and is lined with museums, a cathedral, and dozens of historic buildings like John Knox House and Canongate Kirk.

The Palace of Holyroodhouse (the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland) lies at the bottom of the Royal Mile and is a must-visit for history buffs, while those interested in literature and the arts can take their pick from the Scottish National Gallery, the Museum of Edinburgh, and the Writers’ Museum, all of which are just a short walk from the castle.

The city is also home to a number of festivals that are staged throughout the year including the world’s largest arts festival, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the International Book Festival, the Royal Military Tattoo, and the Edinburgh International Festival, amongst many others

Nature and wildlife lovers, meanwhile, can enjoy the beautiful Water of Leith, cycle along miles of footpaths next to the Union Canal, have fun at the superb Edinburgh Zoo, or visit the stunning Royal Botanic Garden.

The Royal Mile

Subcategories


Find places to visit and things to do in Edinburgh with these visitor guides.

  • 21 Free Things to Do in Edinburgh

    21 Free Things to Do in Edinburgh

    Visiting Scotland’s tourist attractions can be an expensive business, especially for those visitors travelling with a family. In this article you will discover a list of completely free-to-visit attractions in Edinburgh that are suitable for all ages, including historic buildings, art galleries, museums and public parks.

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  • A Guide to Historic Attractions in Edinburgh

    A Guide to Historic Attractions in Edinburgh

    Edinburgh is one of the world’s top-rated tourist destinations and each year over 4 million people flood into the city to explore historic attractions like Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace and St. Giles Cathedral. Discover the stories behind the top historic attractions in Edinburgh with this article which delves into the beginnings of the city as…

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  • A Guide to the Best Landmarks in Edinburgh

    A Guide to the Best Landmarks in Edinburgh

    Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh, has long been a favourite destination for travellers from all over the world thanks to its remarkable landmarks that cover every corner of the city from the Pentlands Hills in the south to the Firth of Forth in the north. In this article, we’ll delve deeper into the captivating landmarks that make…

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  • A Guide to the Best Museums in Edinburgh

    A Guide to the Best Museums in Edinburgh

    Edinburgh is a treasure trove of art and culture. With a history that spans more than 1,000 years, it’s no surprise the city is home to a wide variety of museums that cover everything from ancient history to medical science. In this article, we’ll go on a journey through the best museums in Edinburgh where…

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  • A Guide to the Best Religious Sites in Edinburgh

    A Guide to the Best Religious Sites in Edinburgh

    Edinburgh, the enchanting capital of Scotland, is a city steeped in history, culture, and breathtaking architecture. In this article, you’ll discover the city’s most fascinating religious landmarks from the imposing St. Giles’ Cathedral, also known as the ‘High Kirk’, to the peaceful St. Mary’s Cathedral (the city’s biggest religious structure) and Greyfriars Kirk – a…

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  • Calton Hill

    Calton Hill

    Calton Hill, located close to Princes Street, features a collection of Edinburgh’s most famous landmarks situated within a few hundred feet of each other. A visit to the site allows visitors to explore the city observatory (now an exhibition, art gallery and restaurant), the National Monument, the Dugald Stewart Monument and Nelson’s Monument.

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  • Camera Obscura & World of Illusions

    Camera Obscura & World of Illusions

    Camera Obscura and World of Illusions – located near Edinburgh Castle – is one of the oldest purpose-built attractions in Scotland. Visitors can experience six floors of interactive displays with exhibits that showcase optical illusions including holograms, a mirror maze and a spinning vortex tunnel.

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  • Craigmillar Castle

    Craigmillar Castle

    Craigmillar Castle is located a mile from Edinburgh’s original city walls where it provided a secure retreat for Scotland’s royalty from the 1400s. Today, it is a popular tourist attraction that offers an interesting glimpse into Scottish history along with a few countryside walking trails on the city outskirts. Discover Craigmillar Castle with this complete…

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  • Cramond Island

    Cramond Island

    Cramond Island is a tidal island in the Firth of Forth near Edinburgh that is reached via a long walkway that is, in fact, the remains of a WWII anti-tank barricade. The island is mostly covered in grassland, although there are a couple of small beach areas on the side facing Cramond village. Discover why…

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  • Customised Edinburgh Trip Planner for Tourists

    Customised Edinburgh Trip Planner for Tourists

    Welcome to Scotland’s ancient capital – Edinburgh. This page is your ultimate tour guide, loaded with a collection of essential tools and resources that every tourist should have at their fingertips. Whether you’re fascinated by the historic landmarks, looking to travel outside the city for the day, or wondering what you can expect from the…

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  • Dean Village

    Dean Village

    Dean Village in Edinburgh is a historic city suburb that was once the home of mills and industries that used the nearby Water of Leith. Although the water-powered mills are long gone many of the original mill buildings remain, most of which are protected and therefore unaltered from the time they were built over 100…

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  • Edinburgh Castle

    Edinburgh Castle

    Edinburgh Castle is Scotland’s most-visited attraction, drawing over 2 million tourists annually. The castle is located on Castle Rock at the upper end of The Royal Mile, approximately one mile from Holyrood Palace. The castle boasts cafés, a restaurant, museums, exhibitions, and displays including the Honours of Scotland (the nation’s crown jewels). Discover this incredible…

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  • Edinburgh Festival Fringe

    Edinburgh Festival Fringe

    The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is the largest multi-arts festival in the world. The event is held at various venues throughout the city for three weeks in August every year. Discover exactly what it’s like to visit Scotland’s biggest event in this complete guide which includes an overview and handy visiting advice.

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  • Edinburgh Zoo

    Edinburgh Zoo

    Edinburgh Zoo is set in 82 acres of beautiful parkland on Corstorphine Hill in Edinburgh. The zoo was the first in the world to house and breed penguins but it is best known today as the only zoo in Britain that keeps pandas. The zoo features children’s play parks, cafés, and gift shops in addition…

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  • Edinburgh’s Christmas

    Edinburgh’s Christmas

    Edinburgh’s Christmas is a winter festival held in the centre of Scotland’s capital city from late November to early January each year. The event features a German market, theatre shows, and a funfair that includes a variety of theme park rides. The main areas of the event are staged in Princes Street Gardens and George…

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  • EICA, Clip ‘n Climb

    EICA, Clip ‘n Climb

    Edinburgh International Climbing Arena offers a unique experience for both adults and children thanks to its exciting Clip ‘n Climb courses. With a variety of challenging climbing walls and obstacles that come in a range of different shapes and sizes, you’re sure to have a memorable time at the EICA. In this article, we’ll take…

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  • Fascinating Facts About Attractions Around Edinburgh

    Fascinating Facts About Attractions Around Edinburgh

    Nestled on the southeast coast of Scotland, Edinburgh is one of the world’s top tourist destinations thanks to a plethora of exciting attractions that range from enigmatic castles to golden sand beaches. In this article, we’ll explore a collection of facts about attractions around Edinburgh from the soaring peaks of Holyrood Park to the shimmering…

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  • Fascinating Facts About Edinburgh

    Fascinating Facts About Edinburgh

    As one of the most-visited cities in Europe, Edinburgh is renowned for its atmospheric medieval streets, its beautiful historic buildings and its exciting festivals. In this article, you’ll discover a collection of fascinating facts about Edinburgh’s 1,000 years of history and the events that transformed it from ‘Auld Reekie’ into ‘The Athens of The North’.

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  • Gilmerton Cove

    Gilmerton Cove

    Underneath the streets of Gilmerton in Edinburgh lies Gilmerton Cove, a secret underground series of passageways and chambers that were carved into the sandstone by hand. To date, no one knows who built them. Or why. Discover this fascinating historic tourist attraction with this guide which includes an overview and visiting advice.

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  • Greyfriars Bobby

    Greyfriars Bobby

    Greyfriars Bobby has long been a part of Edinburgh folklore and is famous the world over, but what’s the real story behind the tale of the faithful Skye Terrier? Discover the history behind Scotland’s most faithful canine companion with this complete guide to Greyfriars Bobby, Edinburgh’s famous Skye Terrier who lived in Greyfriars Kirk graveyard…

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  • Greyfriars Kirk

    Greyfriars Kirk

    Greyfriars Kirk is located opposite The National Museum of Scotland in the centre of Edinburgh’s Old Town. The kirk features a large graveyard, a museum, and the grave of Bobby, the faithful Skye terrier. Discover this popular historic attraction with this guide which includes an overview, useful visiting advice, and 360° photos.

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  • Hogmanay Torchlight Procession

    Hogmanay Torchlight Procession

    Edinburgh’s Hogmanay torchlight procession is a fiery spectacle in Edinburgh where over 20,000 torch-bearers carry burning candles through the city centre to celebrate the coming new year. The procession ends in Holyrood Park where music is staged alongside a fireworks display. Discover this popular Edinburgh event with this complete visitor guide.

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  • Holyrood Palace

    Holyrood Palace

    Holyrood Palace, located at the bottom of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, is the official Scottish residence of the British Monarchy. The palace was built in the 12th century and is located next to Holyrood Abbey and Holyrood Park. Discover everything you need to know about Holyrood Palace in this complete visitor guide.

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  • Holyrood Park

    Holyrood Park

    Arthur’s Seat in the middle of Holyrood Park is one of the highlights of any visit to Edinburgh, mainly because the top of this ancient volcanic plug offers unrivalled views of the city. Discover Holyrood Park in this complete guide which includes an overview, useful visiting advice, and immersive 360° photos.

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