Do you desire to explore the splendid capital of Scotland? Edinburgh offers a plethora of enjoyable activities that are unique to this place, such as stunning architecture, numerous winding streets, and an impressive castle located on a dormant volcano.
Edinburgh has an abundance of cultural attractions, which are easily accessible. During the day, you can climb a monument dedicated to a poet, admire artwork in galleries and treasures in museums, or wander around the grounds of Holyrood Palace. At night, you can go on excursions, attend musical and theatrical performances, or try out different whiskeys in cozy bars. Here are the top 10 things to do in details:
1. Visit Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle is a medieval fortification and former royal house in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh. It is located atop Castle Rock, one of the city’s most recognizable features. The castle has a long history extending back to the 12th century, and it has been involved in many critical events in Scottish history.
Over its history, the castle has served as a royal home, a military fortress, and a jail. Visitors can explore its many historical exhibits, including the Scottish Crown Jewels, the Stone of Destiny (a symbol of Scottish sovereignty), and the National War Museum of Scotland, which has become one of Scotland’s most popular tourist attractions.
Edinburgh Castle is also well-known for its yearly military tattoo, which takes place on the castle’s esplanade during the Edinburgh Festival. The tattoo is a military band and other performing performance that draws thousands of tourists each year.
Edinburgh Castle is a must-see for anyone visiting Scotland, as it provides an intriguing glimpse into the country’s rich history and cultural heritage.
2. Take a stroll down the Royal Mile
The Royal Mile is a well-known route in Edinburgh, Scotland, that runs through the ancient Old Town. The roadway runs for about a mile, from Edinburgh Castle at the top of Castle Hill to the Palace of Holyroodhouse at the bottom.
The Royal Mile is dotted with ancient buildings, shops, restaurants, and tourist attractions, making it one of Edinburgh’s most famous tourist sites. Saint Giles’ Cathedral, the Scottish Parliament, and the Museum of Edinburgh are among the street’s most noteworthy landmarks.
The Royal Mile is recognized for its vibrant atmosphere, especially during the summer months, when it is crowded with street performers, musicians, and other entertainment, in addition to its historic and cultural value.
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which takes place every August and comprises hundreds of performers from all over the globe, is one of the most popular events on the Royal Mile. During the festival, the street transforms into a hive of activity, with a plethora of concerts, events, and activities taking place both inside and outside.
Ultimately, the Royal Mile is a must-see for anybody visiting Edinburgh, as it provides a unique combination of history, culture, and entertainment in one of the world’s most beautiful and exciting towns.
3. Explore the National Museum of Scotland
Certainly! The National Museum of Scotland is a fascinating institution that includes a broad collection of artifacts, specimens, and interactive displays that illustrate Scotland’s and the world’s natural and cultural heritage.
As visitors enter the museum, they are met with the Great Gallery, a beautiful room with a towering glass canopy and several exhibitions highlighting Scotland’s scientific and industrial accomplishments. A model of Dolly the Sheep, the first animal to be cloned from an adult cell, and a 19th-century lighthouse lens that formerly led ships into the Firth of Forth are among the features of this location.
There are other galleries devoted to specialized themes like as Scottish history, natural history, international cultures, and science and technology inside the museum. These galleries include a remarkable collection of artefacts and interactive exhibitions, ranging from a full Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton to a Bronze Age town recreation.
The Millennium Clock, a 16-foot-tall clock with a succession of sophisticated moving pieces that portrays the passage of time and the history of Scotland, is one of the museum’s most popular exhibitions. The Discoveries exhibit, which covers the scientific achievements and innovations that have created the contemporary world, is also open to visitors.
Apart from permanent displays, the National Museum of Scotland organizes a variety of temporary exhibitions and activities throughout the year, ranging from art and design to archaeology and anthropology.
The National Museum of Scotland is a must-see site for anybody curious in Scotland’s rich history and culture, as well as the natural world and the scientific advances that have molded our knowledge of it.
4. Hike up Arthur’s Seat
Certainly! Climbing up Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh, Scotland, is a popular pastime. Arthur’s Seat is an old volcano that rises 251 meters (823 feet) above the city and provides breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. The trek will consist of the following activities:
The starting point
The climb starts in Holyrood Park, which is situated at the end of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh’s Old Town. There are various routes to Arthur’s Seat’s peak, but the most popular one begins near the foot of the Salisbury Crags.
The trek to Arthur’s Seat’s peak is a reasonably difficult walk with some steep portions and uneven terrain. Yet, the route is well-kept and provides several breathtaking vistas along the way. You’ll pass by various rock formations and grassy slopes on your journey, and you’re likely to see some animals, such as sheep and birds.
The Summit: At the top of Arthur’s Seat, you’ll be rewarded with stunning panoramic views of Edinburgh, including the Old Town, New Town, and the Firth of Forth. On a clear day, the Pentland Hills and the North Sea may be seen. There’s plenty of room to relax and enjoy the view, and you can even explore the remnants of an old fort that once stood on the hill’s crest.
The descent is usually easier than the climb, but take your time and keep an eye on your footing, particularly on the steeper areas. You’ll have additional opportunity to soak in the spectacular vistas of the city and countryside as you make your way back down to Holyrood Park.
Trekking up Arthur’s Seat is a fantastic opportunity to see the natural beauty of Edinburgh while also getting some exercise. Wear comfortable shoes, pack lots of drink, and check the weather forecast before heading out.
5. Tour the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) is a stunning and historic garden located in the centre of Edinburgh, Scotland. A tour of the RBGE will include the following:
The RBGE has numerous beautiful glasshouses that hold plants from all over the globe. The Victorian Palm House, which boasts towering palms and exotic plants, and the Tropical Palm House, which houses orchids, cactus, and other tropical flora, are two examples. There’s also a Temperate Palm House, a Fern House, and an Alpine Plant and Wildflower Rock Garden.
The Outdoor Gardens:
The RBGE features various outdoor gardens that are accessible all year and offer a varied selection of plants and settings. The Scottish Heath Garden, which incorporates native Scottish flora, and the Chinese Hillside, which includes a traditional Chinese garden and a pagoda, are two examples. There’s also the Queen Mother Memorial Garden, a peaceful haven devoted to Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.
With over 3 million preserved plant specimens, the RBGE’s Herbarium is one of the biggest in the world. Visitors may take a tour of the facility and hear about the RBGE’s continuing work to catalog and study plant biodiversity across the globe.
Events and Activities:
During the year, the RBGE conducts a variety of events and activities, including guided tours, seminars, and family-friendly activities. For the most up-to-date information about forthcoming events and activities, visit the RBGE’s website.
A visit to the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is an excellent opportunity to appreciate the beauty and variety of the world’s plant life. The RBGE is well worth a visit, whether you’re a botany enthusiast or simply seeking for a calm respite from the rush and bustle of the city.
6. Visit the Scottish Parliament
The Scottish Parliament is the seat of the Scottish Government and is situated in Edinburgh, Scotland. A visit to the Scottish Parliament will consist of the following:
Designed by Catalan architect Enric Miralles, the Scottish Parliament building is a contemporary and eye-catching piece of architecture. The structure is located at the foot of Edinburgh’s iconic Royal Mile and has a succession of curving and sloping roofs that resemble the surrounding hills and landscapes.
The Debating Chamber:
Visitors may take a tour inside the Scottish Parliament’s Debating Chamber, where MSPs convene to discuss and vote on legislation. Visitors may witness debates and committee sessions from the public gallery, which is open and accessible to the public.
The Scottish Parliament also contains a permanent display that covers the narrative of Scotland’s democratic past as well as the activities of the Scottish Parliament. The exhibition contains interactive displays, movies, and artifacts and covers themes such as the Scottish Parliament’s role in lawmaking, MSP work, and the Scottish election system.
Tours and Events:
The Scottish Parliament provides guided tours that give an in-depth look at the building and its history, as well as the Scottish Parliament’s operations. The trips take around 60 minutes and are guided by certified guides. During the year, the Scottish Parliament also holds a variety of events and exhibits, such as concerts, debates, and cultural events.
A tour to the Scottish Parliament is an excellent chance to learn about Scotland’s democratic heritage and how the Scottish Government operates. Whether you’re interested in politics or just want to see a contemporary and famous piece of architecture, the Scottish Parliament is a must-see.
7. Experience the Edinburgh Fringe Festival
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, sometimes known simply as the Edinburgh Fringe, is the world’s biggest arts festival, held each August in Edinburgh, Scotland. With hundreds of acts and activities taking place around the city, the festival is a celebration of all types of art and performance. Here’s what you can anticipate from an Edinburgh Fringe Festival experience:
Shows and Performances:
The Edinburgh Fringe offers a huge variety of events and performances, including theater, comedy, music, dance, cabaret, spoken word, and much more. There are concerts for people of all ages and preferences, with performers from all over the globe displaying their skills.
The various street performances that take place across the city are one of the attractions of the Edinburgh Fringe. These free performances feature anything from acrobatics and juggling to music and dancing.
The festival takes over the whole city of Edinburgh, with performances and activities held in hundreds of locations ranging from conventional theaters and music halls to pubs, churches, and even public parks. The Assembly Rooms, the Pleasance, and the Underbelly are among the most popular venues.
The Edinburgh Fringe is a real festival experience, with a bustling and dynamic atmosphere permeating the whole city. There are food and drink booths, street merchants offering various items, and an overall air of joy and celebration that is contagious.
Planning and Logistics:
With so much going on during the Edinburgh Fringe, it’s essential to properly organize your stay. Tickets for popular concerts tend to sell out fast, so it’s best to reserve ahead of time. You should also wear suitable walking shoes since several locations are scattered around the city.
The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is an amazing event that showcases the greatest of international art and entertainment. This wonderful festival has something for everyone, whether you’re a seasoned Fringe-goer or a first-time visitor.
8. Sample some Scottish whisky
Edinburgh is an excellent spot to try Scotch whiskey since the city has numerous bars, pubs, and whisky stores with a broad range of whiskies. Here are some tips for sampling Scotch whiskey in Edinburgh:
Pick a Whisky Bar or Pub:
Edinburgh is home to a plethora of excellent whiskey bars and pubs that provide a diverse variety of whiskies from all around Scotland. The Bow Bar, The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, and The Devil’s Advocate are all popular choices.
Choose Your Whisky:
After you’ve decided on a bar or pub, peruse the menu for a whiskey that piques your attention. If you’re new to whiskey, start with something lighter and more accessible, such a Lowland or Speyside whisky.
Take a minute to savour the color, fragrance, and taste of your whiskey before taking your first sip. Let the flavors to emerge on your tongue by sipping the whiskey slowly. If you wish, you may add a drop of water or a cube of ice to the whiskey, although many whisky enthusiasts prefer to drink their whisky straight.
Discover More About the Whisky:
If you want to learn more about the whiskey you’re tasting, ask the bartender or server. They may be able to tell you more about the distillery where the whiskey was made, the kind of barrel it was matured in, and the whisky’s distinct taste nuances.
If you wish to take a bottle of Scottish whiskey home with you, Edinburgh has a plethora of whisky stores that provide a diverse range of whiskies from all across Scotland. Cadenhead’s Whisky Store and The Whiski Rooms are two popular choices.
Sipping Scotch whiskey in Edinburgh is an excellent opportunity to learn about Scotland’s rich history and heritage of whisky production. Whether you’re a whiskey connoisseur or a beginner, there’s a whisky for everyone.
9. Visit the Palace of Holyroodhouse
The Palace of Holyroodhouse, usually known as Holyrood Palace, is the British monarch’s royal home in Scotland. It is located at the bottom of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, next to the site of the former Holyrood Abbey, which was built in 1128.
The palace has a long history, having served as Mary, Queen of Scots’ home in the 16th century and as the venue of various royal rituals and festivities throughout the years. It also holds many significant pieces of art, including works by Canaletto and Sir David Wilkie.
Nowadays, the Palace of Holyroodhouse is accessible for excursions, and visitors may explore the different state chambers, such as the Throne Room, the Great Gallery, and the Royal Dining Room. The palace also has a souvenir store and a café, as well as exhibitions about the royal family’s history and legacy in Scotland.
10. Take a ghost tour
Edinburgh is famed for its rich history and eerie stories, and joining a ghost tour is a popular way to see the city’s darker side. There are several firms in Edinburgh that provide ghost tours, each with its own set of tales and sites. Here’s an example agenda for an Edinburgh ghost tour:
Begin your journey around the Royal Mile in the Old Town. This region is rich in history and is reputed to be one of the city’s most haunted. Your tour guide will most certainly tell you about the famed bodysnatchers Burke and Hare, as well as witches and executions.
Make your way to Greyfriars Kirkyard, an ancient graveyard claimed to be haunted by the spirit of Greyfriars Bobby, a dog. The dog is reported to have spent 14 years protecting his owner’s tomb, and his soul is said to still prowl the cemetery to this day.
Explore Edinburgh Castle, which has a rich and illustrious history. Your tour guide may tell you about the castle’s numerous wars and sieges, as well as its resident ghosts, such as a piper who went missing while investigating the castle’s subterranean passages.
Finish your trip in the South Bridge Vaults, a complex of subterranean rooms that were previously utilized as merchant storage. The vaults are supposed to be haunted today by the souls of persons who used to live and work in the vicinity. Your tour guide will most likely tell you tales about ghosts and inexplicable happenings.
Of course, the agenda of a ghost tour in Edinburgh may vary based on the business and the trip you choose. Be sure to conduct your homework and choose a trip that suits your interests and degree of comfort. Remember that, although ghost tours might be eerie, they’re also a great opportunity to learn about the city’s history and tales.