Trip time! Discover the castle, history and museums in Edinburgh.

Scotland’s cultured capital has it all. It is an ancient and modern city with an array of great festivals, museums, galleries, parks, gardens, pubs, restaurants and a very famous castle.

Edinburgh Castle is the city’s most famous and most-visited landmark. Sitting high on volcanic Castle Rock, it can be seen from the Old Town and New Town. It dates back to the 12th-century and is still in use today. Walk up to the esplanade via the cobbled streets of the Royal Mile for an appreciation of old Edinburgh. If tartan tourism appeals this is also the place to indulge.

While in the neighbourhood, make a booking at the enchanting Witchery by the Castle restaurant, set in a 16th-century underground building. It takes its name from the many women burned at the stake on Castlehill. These days, the steak tartare is better known.

Downhill from the Castle you’ll find the lively Grassmarket area. Walk down colourful Victoria Street to experience city’s unique structure. Here you’ll find independent shops, bars and restaurants. One thing you’ll notice about this city is the versatile range of drinking and dining options. There is something for all tastes in Edinburgh.

Winding away from the Old Town, via the city Mound, head towards Prince’s Street for a stunning view across to the New Town. Below the Mound sits the National Gallery of Scotland and the Royal Scottish Academy, which attracts some internationally esteemed exhibitions throughout the year.

From the Mound you can see the gothic Scott Monument, which pays tribute to Scottish author Sir Walter Scott. Ascend the 200 feet (61 metres) tall tower for panoramic views of the city centre.

The Monument is a good reference point. It sits on Princes Street, along from the tourist office, Balmoral Hotel, Waverley Train Station and by Princes Street Gardens. The Gardens date back to the 18th-century and were created after the draining of former Nor Loch, located here. In summer, it is a great place to relax.

On the other side of Princes Street, sits the New Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, dating back to the mid-17th century. Here you’ll find Edinburgh’s elegant Georgian architecture, art galleries, independent shops, bars and cafes. If you take a closer look you might spot former homes of Edinburgh’s literary heroes, JM Barrie and Robert-Louis Stevenson, who once lived here.

Edinburgh has much to offer in and around the city, which extends to the bohemian Shore area, where the Royal Yacht Britannia rests. Take a bus tour before settling on your favourite area to relax and sample a whisky.

Don’t forget to check out the festival calendar before you visit. August is Edinburgh’s biggest festival season.

Known for

Historical Buildings, Museums and Castles

Explore map

Where to stay in Edinburgh

Old Town
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Old Town

Castles, Historical Buildings, Museums

Wander the narrow alleys of Edinburgh's historic center to discover the hidden delights of an area that also encompasses some of the city's top attractions.

New Town
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New Town

Castles, Historical Buildings, Festivals

Stroll around the refined Georgian quarter of Edinburgh to encounter iconic monuments, stunning art galleries and an array of stores.

Newington
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Newington

Castles, Historical Buildings, Tours

Historical sites, museums and cafes are just a few things travellers enjoy about Newington. Check out Royal Commonwealth Pool or Queen's Hall while you're exploring the area.

Portobello
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Portobello

Beaches, Walking, Sea

Visitors to Portobello enjoy its beaches, and if you want to do some exploring, Portobello Beach is worth a stop.

Stockbridge
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Stockbridge

Castles, Friendly People, Historical Buildings

Historical sites, museums and art galleries highlight some of the notable features of Stockbridge. Make a stop by Inverleith while you're exploring.

Newhaven
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Newhaven

Sea, Family-friendly, Friendly People

Newhaven is popular for its seaside views, and if you're looking for more to see and do, you might think about a trip to Royal Yacht Britannia or Ocean Terminal Shopping Centre.

Top hotels in Edinburgh

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Image for Point A Hotel Edinburgh Haymarket
Point A Hotel Edinburgh Haymarket
3.5 out of 5
152 Morrison Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
£65/night
1 Sep-2 Sep
3.8/5Good! (24 reviews)

"The stay at Point A Hotel Edinburgh Haymarket was excellent. The staff was incredibly attentive and helpful. The hotel was spotless."…"

Reviewed on 16 Aug 2019

Point A Hotel Edinburgh Haymarket
Image for Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club
Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club
4 out of 5
£99/night
1 Sep-2 Sep
4.4/5Excellent! (1,795 reviews)

"Good place for family. Very quiet place to relax and play golf"…"

Reviewed on 17 Aug 2019

Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club
Image for Hampton by Hilton Edinburgh Airport
Hampton by Hilton Edinburgh Airport
3.5 out of 5
Almond Avenue, Ingliston, Newbridge, Scotland
£98/night
8 Sep-9 Sep
4.4/5Wonderful! (324 reviews)

"Closest to the Terminal among airport hotels. Clean, comfortable, well managed. Good breakfast. No full service restaurant but Double Tree across the street has one. Perfect airport hotel. Parking 12 pounds per night and it is just across the rental car return area. Better check in without a ..."…"

Reviewed on 16 Aug 2019

Hampton by Hilton Edinburgh Airport

Popular things to do in Edinburgh

Edinburgh Castle
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Edinburgh Castle

Fortress, palace and repository of the crown jewels, this landmark overlooking the city has played a crucial role in Scottish history.

Royal Yacht Britannia
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Royal Yacht Britannia

Glimpse the life of royalty in the elegant rooms of what was once the Queen of England's personal cruise liner and Britain's ambassadorial ship overseas.

Palace of Holyroodhouse
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Palace of Holyroodhouse

Learn more about the local history when you visit Palace of Holyroodhouse, a well-known historical site in Edinburgh. Experience the area's acclaimed art galleries and fascinating museums.

Arthur's Seat
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Arthur's Seat

Hike up a former active volcano that’s only a few minutes from the city center and enjoy impressive views of Edinburgh.

Princes Street Gardens
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Princes Street Gardens

Spend time in this attractive green space that separates Edinburgh’s Old Town from its 18th-century New Town.

Edinburgh International Conference Centre
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Edinburgh International Conference Centre

Find out what's happening in Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) during your trip – a top convention centre in Edinburgh. Discover the area's acclaimed art galleries and notable monuments.

Top activities in Edinburgh

Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
Image for Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

£16

Get to know Edinburgh on a hop-on hop-off tour of the Scottish capital's finest attractions. Cruise the city streets in a double-decker bus, riding along multiple routes that allow you to set your own pace and craft your own itinerary.

Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
Image for Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

£16

Discover the sights of the historic Edinburgh, Scotland's capital since the 15th century, aboard this hop-on hop-off bus tour. At your own pace, you can delve into the rich culture of this hilltop city as you explore its castles, museums, and architecturally significant neighbourhoods.

Skip-the-Line Edinburgh Castle Tour
Image for Skip-the-Line Edinburgh Castle Tour

Skip-the-Line Edinburgh Castle Tour

£32

Venture to the summit of Castle Rock and visit Edinburgh Castle, the historic fortress that dominates the city's horizon. On this guided tour, you can enjoy skip-the-line entrance, learn about the castle's crucial role in Scottish history, and enjoy free time to explore at your own pace.

Glen Coe, Loch Ness & the Scottish Highlands Full-Day Tour
Image for Glen Coe, Loch Ness & the Scottish Highlands Full-Day Tour

Glen Coe, Loch Ness & the Scottish Highlands Full-Day Tour

£52

Learn about the mysteries and myths of Loch Ness, visit Scottish estuaries, and gaze at some of the most breathtaking scenery of the Scottish Highlands. Scotland is famed for its monstrous lake inhabitant and outstanding natural beauty; uncover both on this tour.

Loch Ness & the Highlands with Hotel Pickup from Edinburgh
Image for Loch Ness & the Highlands with Hotel Pickup from Edinburgh

Loch Ness & the Highlands with Hotel Pickup from Edinburgh

£50

Find rolling hills shrouded in mist, listen to stories of Scottish legends and heroes, and uncover the secrets tucked away in the the Scottish Highlands. On this full-day guided tour, explore the region's acclaimed National Parks, pass by massive historic castles, and scan the waters of Loch Ness for its famed and elusive sea monster.

Aspire Lounge by Servisair at Edinburgh Airport (EDI)
Image for Aspire Lounge by Servisair at Edinburgh Airport (EDI)

Aspire Lounge by Servisair at Edinburgh Airport (EDI)

£26

Kick up your travel-weary feet with a first-class relaxation experience in the Aspire Lounge. This peaceful oasis offers a convenient escape from the airport bustle, complete with access to amenities such as Wi-Fi, TV, magazines, and delicious snacks.

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