Known as a leading festival city of the world, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, an architectural brilliance, and so on, Edinburgh is so much more than just being a hilly capital of Scotland. Packed with medieval dwellings and the sweeping elegance of the Georgian New Town, Edinburgh is one of the most stunning cities in the world. Wherever you look, the city buzzes with a sense of excitement all year round.
With an unparalleled range of events, fantastic shopping, fine dining, a remarkable bar and café culture, lively nightlife, and diverse art scenes, these exciting things to do in Edinburgh makes unwinding in this gorgeous city a visual treat for all the travelers.
Top 10 Things To Do In Edinburgh
1. Enjoy Unmatched Views Of The Skyline From Arthur’s Seat
One of the famous things to do in Edinburgh is to visit the Arthur’s Seat that is situated in the luxuriant Holyrood Park. Standing at a height of 800 feet above the sea level, it boasts of offering one of the best views of the city. Being the highest point in the park, Arthur’s Seat provides breathtaking views of the sea and nearby attractions like Edinburghh Castle, and the Scott Monument.
2. Relish A Classy Dinner At Restaurant Martin Wishart
For when you are in this hilly city and are in search for things to do in Edinburgh at night, a classy dinner date with your loved ones at the Martin Wishart Restaurant is something you shouldn’t miss. Located in Leith, Martin Wishart opened his flagship venue in 1999 wherein travelers can enjoy elegant dining at its best with Scottish ingredients laying a delicious foundation for both traditional and modern French cuisine.
Location: 54 Shore, Edinburgh EH6 6RA, UK
- Tuesday To Thursday: 12 Noon to 1:30 PM, and 7 PM to 9 PM
- Fridays & Saturdays – 12 Noon to 1:30 PM and 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM
- Closed on Sundays & Mondays
3. Adore The Edinburgh Castle
Among the many things to do in Edinburgh, visiting the Edinburgh Castle is a must. It is the one of the most definitive landmarks in the United Kingdom. Built on the Castle Rock, which is a dormant volcanic cliff facing the heart of the city, the Castle features multiple smaller attractions within the premises. It includes the twelfth century St Margaret’s Chapel which happens to be the oldest building in Edinburgh, and the ‘Crown Square’ of Royal palaces and halls.
Location: Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NG, UK
Timings: Monday to Sunday – 9:30 AM to 6 PM
4. Go On A Shopping Spree At Victoria Street
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Shopping at Victoria Street is one of the best things to do in Edinburgh, Scotland. Home to Edinburgh’s finest selection of independent boutiques, this street has everything to offer you at the best prices. Find the hep and happening fashion at Swish, formal and tweed-based couture at Walker Slater, designer homewares in the Red Door Gallery and Context, and so on. While one can buy best party tricks at the Aha Ha Ha joke shop, do not forget to pick your favorite while shopping in the city.
Location: Old Town, Edinburgh
5. Explore Edinburgh Virtually At Camera Obscura
One of the most interesting things to do near Edinburgh is to visit the famous Camera Obscura which is a gothic tourist attraction to mirror the feel of Edinburgh’s Old Town. It houses a visual live tour of the city using the famous Camera Obscura optical illusion. While it allows the visitors to witness panoramic views of the surrounding area, the views of the city from the turret atop the building are also worth cherishing on your trip.
Location: Castlehill, Royal Mile, Edinburgh EH1 2ND, UK
Timings: Friday to Monday – 9 AM to 9 PM; Tuesday to Thursday – 9:30 AM to 7 PM
6. Be A Part Of The Finest Gig At The Sneaky Pete’s
If you enjoy clubbing then one of the best things to do in Edinburgh at night is to step into the Sneaky Pete’s. With a capacity of about 150 people, this club venue is one of the finest in the city. Automated by the experts, and in support of the local nightlife scenes, Sneaky Pete’s delivers everything one could expect from a gig venue in Edinburgh.
Location: 73 Cowgate, Edinburgh EH1 1JW, UK
Timings: Monday to Sunday – 11 PM to 3 AM
7. Discover The Charm Of The Georgian House
Restored and furnished by the National Trust for Scotland, The Georgian House is an 18th-century townhouse situated in the heart of the historic New Town in Edinburgh. Among the many things and places to visit in Edinburgh, visiting the architectural masterpiece of Georgian House is one of the top things to do in Edinburgh.
Location: 7 Charlotte Square, Edinburgh EH2 4DR, UK
- 2nd Jan to 28th Feb – Closed
- 1st Mar to 22nd Mar, – Daily: 11 AM to 4 PM
- 23rd Mar to 31st Oct – Daily: 10 AM to 5 PM
- 1st Nov to 30th Nov – Daily,: 11 AM to 4 PM
- 1st Dec to 16th Dec – Thursdays to Sundays – 11 AM to 4 PM
- 17th Dec to 31st Mar 2019 – Closed
8. Take A Stroll Through The Meadows
Wondering what to do in Edinburgh that can provide you a refreshing experience? Go for a stroll through the lush green Meadows located in the heart of the city. A grassy, wide-open space for joggers, and sunbathers in the center of town, it is accessorized with facilities on almost all sides. From tennis courts to parks for children, and from a cricket pitch to the pavilion cafés, the Meadows is indeed a peaceful experience for all.
Location: Melville Dr, Edinburgh EH9 1ND, UK
Timings: Daily – 24 Hours
9. See A Show At Edinburgh Festival Theatre
Considered to be one of Edinburgh’s best and biggest theatrical spaces, the Festival Theatre is famous for hosting some of the city’s most historical performances by the Scottish Opera, Scottish Ballet, and touring rock acts. Being one of the fascinating things to do in Edinburgh on weekends, the theatre also happens to feature the largest stage in Scotland. An extremely versatile space, the Festival Theatre hosts tours of musical productions, Edinburghh International Festival, and low-key rock concerts.
Location: 13-29 Nicolson St, Edinburgh EH8 9FT, UK
10. Wonder At The Scott Monument
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Built in the memory of the famous writer Sir Walter Scott, the Scott Monument is the world’s biggest monument that has been dedicated to a writer. Considered to be a heart-touching reminder of how proud the city is of its roots, the monument dominates the skyline of Edinburgh with its gothic design. Being one of the top things to do in Edinburgh, enjoy climbing 287 steps to reach atop the monument.
Location: E. Princes St Gardens, Edinburgh EH2 2EJ, UK
Exciting enough? With so much to do, and everywhere to be, make sure you include these best things to do in Edinburgh in your itinerary to relish the best of Scottish culture!
Frequently Asked Questions About Things To Do In Edinburgh
A. There is a long list of things to do in Edinburgh, which includes Edinburgh castle, walking down the Royal Mile, experience the Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, explore Holyrood palace and also don’t miss the National Museum of Scotland.
A. People who are on a budget can go and do these things for free in Edinburgh which includes visiting the Botanical Gardens, Hike to the Arthur’s seat, explore the Scottish National Gallery or walk down the Royal Mile.
A. People who are planning to visit Edinburgh can explore the entire city in around 2 days. During this time, people can take a glimpse of the amazing architectural beauty and also some of the other amazing spots.
A. In a day a traveler must cover places like Edinburgh Castle, go whiskey tasting, drop in at the St. Giles Cathedral, walk down the Royal Mile, or go watch the famous Scottish show.
A. On a 2 day trip to Edinburgh people can visit the Arthur’s seat and take a glimpse of the panoramic view. Alongside that one can take a stroll over the Palace of Holyroodhouse. And in addition to that also enjoy a dinner at World’s End.
A. Edinburgh is quite a safe city and has a very low crime rate, but still its very important to ensure that the personal safety should be a major concern.
A. These are some of the things to do in Edinburgh at a very economical budget which includes visiting the stunning St Giles Cathedral, Mary’s Milk Bar, Visit the Royal Botanic Gardens, take a trip to the Cramond Island, or see the improv at the Stand.