Edinburgh is a spectacular destination for a romantic retreat. The capital city not only has beautiful accommodation options and world-class restaurants, but you can also experience a range of must-see attractions that inspire love and romance.

Take a look at the best romantic things to do in Edinburgh for couples and plan your next retreat.

Palace of Holyroodhouse

Built in 1128, the Palace of Holyroodhouse has been the primary residence for the kings and queens of Scotland since the 15th century. When the Queen visits Edinburgh, the Palace of Holyroodhouse is her official residence, but public tours are available when the palace isn't occupied.

In addition to the history of Mary Queen of Scots, the palace holds a collection of portraits of Scottish monarchs, a wide collection of 16th- and 17th-century relics showcasing Scotland's history and other unique artefacts. To make the experience more romantic, enjoy champagne afternoon tea in the courtyard of the palace.

Portobello Beach

Portobello Beach is a beach resort on the outskirts of the city with a long promenade hosting cafes, amusements and ice cream shops. The beach has gorgeous golden sand and calm waters for sunbathing and swimming, and it's a very popular spot for scenic picnicking.

The Portobello Kayaking and Sailing Club is nearby, so you can hire boats or kayaks to enjoy a day of cruising around on the water.


Camera Obscura

Edinburgh's Camera Obscura is a lovely attraction that offers stunning views of the city from Castle Hill. Located near Edinburgh Castle, Camera Obscura is within a Victorian rooftop chamber at the top of the Outlook Tower. Within, you'll see moving images of Edinburgh's skyline projected on the walls by a giant periscope.

The attraction is also home to the World of Illusions, a gallery with whimsical displays of optical illusions and light tricks for an enchanting evening.

Rosslyn Chapel

The Rosslyn Chapel is a gorgeous 15th-century church just south of Edinburgh. Founded in 1456 by William Sinclair, the chapel has many intriguing design features, such as the Apprentice Pillar, the intricately carved 'music box' cubes and references to Celtic mythology. The chapel also features designs that conjure up theories on its connection to the Knights Templar and Freemasonry.

St Bernard's Well

Located between the Dean Bridge on the Water of Leith and Deanhaug Street, St Bernard's Well is a natural spring with purported mystical and medicinal properties. During the 18th century, Lord Garenstone commissioned a classical temple to house the pump room, which features Doric columns and a beautiful statue of Hygieia, the Greek goddess of good health. The pump room has a stunning domed roof with an ornate mosaic inlay.


By Andycatlincom - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=62731258

The Cadies and Witchery Tours

If you're looking for more thrills, the macabre side of Edinburgh comes alive with the Cadies and Witchery Tours. During the tour, you'll explore Old Town with a ghostly guide, encountering phantoms and historic tales along the way. If you like street theatre, drama and the macabre with a touch of humour, the tours are a great way to spend a romantic evening.

Royal Observatory

The Royal Observatory is a working observatory at Blackford Hill. Comprised of the UK Astronomy Technology Centre, the Royal Observatory Visitor Centre and the Royal Observatory Library, the observatory is a central component to astronomy at the University of Edinburgh.

The observatory hosts Astronomy Evenings, which are public workshops with lectures, demonstrations and stargazing for all ages. You could also find unique gifts at the Visitor Centre Shop.

Craigmillar Castle

The Craigmillar Castle is a ruined medieval castle that was the recovery home for Mary Queen of Scots following the birth of her son, James VI. Despite its disrepair, the structure is a stellar example of mediaeval architecture, and many of its notable features are still standing, such as the fortification walls and tower house. It's a beautiful location to explore, especially with its picturesque garden areas.


By Ad Meskens - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=29152108 Whether you like history and culture or prefer a couple's retreat with a mix of fun experiences, Edinburgh is the ideal destination for a romantic holiday. If you're planning a trip to Scotland with your loved one, have a look at these Edinburgh holiday options to prepare for your romantic Edinburgh retreat.