The best of Edinburgh
These are the absolute ‘must see’ things in Edinburgh
Planning your Edinburgh visit
English and Gaelic
Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
Getting around Edinburgh
Walking is the best way to tackle Edinburgh, as navigating the one-way roads in the center is no fun in a car. Google Maps works a treat, but you’ll know where you are simply by looking for the huge, imposing castle. It’s pretty much always visible. The Royal Mile separates the Old Town from the New Town and hosts all the shops, bars, and restaurants you could ever desire. If you’re sightseeing, swap the heels for sensible shoes, there’s just too many cobblestones.
Eat and drink
If sheep's guts and oatmeal stuffed into stomach lining sounds delicious, haggis might be your thing! If not, you’ll be pleased to know there’s plenty more on offer in the Scottish capital. Fine restaurants abound, but you can try classics like porridge and oatcakes, neeps and tatties, and Cranachan (a whipped cream dessert with whiskey and raspberries) almost anywhere. The Royal Mile is a great place to start your edible journey. For drinks, it’s whisky of course!
You can’t miss Edinburgh Castle, the world famous Scottish icon that towers over the city from all angles. This majestic complex dates back to the 12th century, though the Scottish National War Memorial was added after the First World War. It’s the city’s number one paid-for tourist attraction. All for a good reason. There’s plenty of history, cannons, and jewels to explore here. And unbeatable views from the walls! Often with a delightful bagpipe soundtrack.
What to do in Edinburgh for 3 days
Scotland Discover Pass
This money-saving pass puts 5,000 years of history literally in the palm of your hand. With this pass on your smartphone, you can visit over 60 of Scotland's top attractions whenever you like. Highlights include Culloden Battlefield, Crathes Castle, Culzean Castle, Glencoe, and Inverewe Garden, plus loads of top attractions in Edinburgh. You even get restaurant discounts - so the next round of whisky shots is on you.
Ghost Bus Tour
Hop aboard this ex-funeral bus and your witty conductor, dressed in suitably macabre attire, will zip you around the city’s sights, past the likes of like Edinburgh Castle, Grassmarket, Greyfriars Kirk, The Old Town, Holyrood Palace and the Royal Mile, explaining all the grisly and gruesome facts along the way. Learn about the hangings, acts of torture, witch hunts and the plague… just don’t say we didn’t warn you.
John Knox House
As the very last medieval building left on the Royal Mile the John Knox House is an exciting window into the 16th century. As you walk around the parlour, the dining room, the kitchen and the rest, you’ll see the way its past inhabitants (including Mary, Queen of Scots) used to live. Soak up the opulence and the drama of Scotland's turbulent past, before walking straight back into the bustling present on Edinburgh’s main drag.
If the hustle of Auld Reekie gets to be too much, sneak off and head up to look down on it all. Arthur’s Seat is the big imposing mound of rock that towers over the city, and is the core of Holyrood Park. Admire the striking fauna and head up to its highest point, Arthur’s Seat. This ancient volcano looms 251m above sea level. It will seem imposing - even up close - and also offers incredible views over Edinburgh.