Edinburgh is a year-round destination with a lot of fun activities and attractions, but autumn is a lovely time to enjoy the beauty of the city.

Some of the best things to do in Edinburgh in autumn are seeing the leaves change throughout the city's parks and outdoor spaces or taking the time to visit some of the most fascinating historic and cultural sites. Here are the top things to do in Edinburgh in autumn.

See the vibrant foliage

The Georgian architecture of New Town is particularly beautiful when surrounded by the changing foliage of autumn. You can take a stroll through the enchanting passageways in the crisp, cool air to see the stunning architecture set against the vibrant orange, yellow, red and green leaves.

The Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh is another great place to visit during autumn. You can spend some time exploring the gardens to see all the rich hues of autumn set against the colourful flowers and greenery.

You should also visit the Princes Street Gardens, a lovely parkland with tree-lined walkways that pass the dramatic monuments of Edinburgh. The Scottish National Gallery is within the park as well, so you can stand on the platform to get aerial views and photographs of the monuments and foliage in the park.


Shop a local market

The autumn harvest brings delicious seasonal produce that finds its way onto many Scottish menus. If you want to try an authentic local recipe, you can visit a farmers' market to take part in the culture and the seasonal harvest. Farmers' markets take place each weekend, and you can sample some of the produce and artisanal goods before taking them home.

Enjoy delicious comfort food

As the weather gets colder and the evenings come earlier, most of Edinburgh enjoys hearty comfort foods with fresh, seasonal produce. You can visit places like the Chocolate Tree to try a steaming cup of hot cocoa or sample delicious, unique soup recipes at Union of Genius.


Visit the Edinburgh Castle

The Edinburgh Castle is one of the city's most-visited attractions at any time of year, but autumn brings some of the most beautiful scenery on the grounds. You can explore the castle grounds on your own or on an official tour, but nothing beats the panoramic views of the foliage from the castle's high vantage point.

See a theatre show

Edinburgh is Scotland's hub of comedy and culture. It's home to the popular Fringe Festival, which is the largest open arts festival in the world. Though the Fringe season is over in autumn, the city's theatres still have a long list of events and performances that range from classic plays to Tony-award-winning shows and stand-up comedy. With the weather turning colder, it's a great time to head into the warmth of the theatre for a lively night out.

Go shopping for warmer clothes

Autumn brings beauty and crisp temperatures, so there's no better time to prepare for the cooler weather and the oncoming winter. You can find an array of winter hats, coats, scarves, gloves and other seasonal accessories in fashionable tweed and tartan in shops and boutiques throughout the city, ranging from luxury fashion to high-street brands. Take a stroll through the streets to discover unique shops and stock up for winter.


Hike Calton Hill

Calton Hill is known for its rigorous hikes where you can see gorgeous panoramic city views and a stunning golden sunset. You will enjoy a hike up Calton Hill, a central overlook point with views that travel from the North Sea to Holyrood Palace. Several landmarks are on the hill as well, such as the pillars of the National Monument and the Dugald Stewart Monument.

Have a glass of whisky at the Scotch Whisky Experience

The Scotch Whisky Experience is a popular attraction near Edinburgh Castle. During the activity, you learn about how Scotch is produced and the unique flavours that infuse whisky from each region in an immersive, sensory experience. During the tour, you can sample different Scotch whiskies and try single malts and blends in the spectacular whisky bar.


Take a ghost tour

Edinburgh has a storied past that's celebrated with fascinating and spooky ghost tours through the city. The cool air and autumn spirit create an eerie atmosphere as you tour places like the Blair Street underground vaults in hopes of seeing the ghosts that are rumoured to haunt the visitors.

If you're planning a trip to Edinburgh, consider taking your holiday in autumn to experience the stunning beauty of the city. To help with your preparation, Expedia has great rates and deals on Edinburgh hotels!