Great Britain

Things to do in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland. With an interesting history and over 4,500 listed buildings we are sure you will enjoy the rich architectural history.

As the capital of Scotland, there are so many things to in Edinburgh. At the heart of the city is the incredible Edinburgh Castle that looks down upon the city from Castle Rock. As well as being able to walk around the castle grounds, we would highly recommend taking some time to visit the Scottish National War Memorial. 

The Royal Mile acts as the main artery of the city, connecting Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Palace and the High Street. If you enjoy following the Royal Family then Holyrood Palace should be at the top of your list, as the Queen’s official residence in Scotland. We would recommend exploring the Queen’s Gallery exhibitions, which change regularly, and the grounds, which feature the ruins of the 12th Century Holyrood Abbey. 

Edinburgh is also surrounded by the stunning Lothian Lowlands. Head to Arthur's Seat to get the best views and Calton Hill is a brilliant place to watch the sunset or rise. 

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Larne Port

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Cairnryan Port

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Calton Hill in Edinburgh Scotland

Things to do in Edinburgh

Things to do in Edinburgh as a Family

Our top things to do in Edinburgh as family include the National Science Museum, Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, and Edinburgh Zoo. The National Science Museum is free to visit, making it a great family activity. From ancient dinosaur remains to engaging displays about genetics, including the famous Dolly the Sheep, there is plenty for you to see and there are engaging exhibits your children can get involved with.

Or why not head to the Camera Obscura and World of Illusions? It provides a fascinating way to view Edinburgh and learn some more about the history of this city. 

Edinburgh Zoo is great for a day out as a family. Home to over 1,000 rare and endangered animals you will have plenty to see, including pandas, which are a part of their successful breeding programme! You can attend feeding talks for the animals and there are restaurants available in the zoo.

Giant Panda from Edinburgh Zoo

Haggis and Mash from Edinburgh Scotland

Edinburgh's Fantastic Food

Scotland is famed for its speciality dishes, which make essential tasting for any visitor. Neeps and tatties (root vegetables and potatoes) and of course Scotland's national dish, haggis (lamb, beef, oats, onions, and spices) can be found at many pubs and fancy dining establishments across the city. 

Much of the local fare revolves around the abundance of fresh seafood. Enjoy and savour the finest scallops, kippers, and Scottish salmon at fish markets, restaurants, and oyster bars dotted throughout Edinburgh. 

No trip to the capital would be complete without sampling a dram of the city's world-famous whisky. Enjoy fine, aged blends at one of the city’s many whisky bars, or take a barrel ride through the distilling process at the interactive Scotch Whisky Experience.

Live Events in Edinburgh

Edinburgh city is a beating heart of activity, and acts as the host to some incredible live performance events. Arguably, the most well-known festival held in the city is the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the most famous and largest arts festival in the world.

The city is no one-trick-pony though, with other huge dates in the calendar being the Edinburgh Jazz Festival and Hogmanay. Hogmany is the Scottish name for New Year, and this hugely popular festival sees the city come alive with torchlight processions, street parties, concerts, and firework shows every 31st December.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society Scotland

Photo: © Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society

Bass Rock in Lothian Scotland

Explore the Lothian Region

Positioned at the heart of Scotland's urban zone, Edinburgh is perfectly located for those looking to explore the surrounding natural beauty of the Lothian region. This area of diverse terrain varies from gorgeous beaches to woodland walks and looming castles. 

You can also enjoy a self-drive adventure by heading to the nearby cities such as Stirling or Scotland's second biggest city of Glasgow, before retreating to the peaceful town of Linlithgow or having some fun in the sun on one of North Berwick's many beautiful beaches.

Head to Arthurs Seat to get the best views of the Lothian Lowlands, or Calton Hill is a brilliant place to watch the sunset or rise