things to do edinburgh scotland

Last Updated on: 7th June 2024, 07:35 am

As someone who has spent considerable time exploring Edinburgh, I can attest to its charm and wonder. Home to picturesque cobblestone streets, stunning historic landmarks, and a vibrant cultural scene, Edinburgh has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in Scotland’s rich history or enjoy some retail therapy, there is no shortage of things to do in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Best things to do in Edinburgh, Scotland

1. Visit Edinburgh Castle

During my recent trip to Edinburgh, one of the highlights was exploring the iconic Edinburgh Castle. This stunning fortress sits atop Castle Rock and provides breathtaking views of the city and beyond.

With a history spanning back over 1000 years, Edinburgh Castle has served as a royal residence, military stronghold and even a prison. Visitors can discover fascinating tales of Scotland’s past as they explore the castle’s many exhibits, including the stunning Crown Jewels and the Stone of Destiny.

A must-see attraction within the castle is St. Margaret’s Chapel, the oldest building in Edinburgh. With its quaint charm and historic significance, it’s easy to see why this chapel is so popular.

If stunning views are what you’re after, there’s no better place than Edinburgh Castle. From the castle walls, you can take in the breathtaking views of the city skyline and the surrounding countryside.

Visiting Edinburgh Castle is undoubtedly one of the great things to do in the United Kingdom, and with so much to explore, it’s no wonder it’s so popular.

Tips for visiting Edinburgh Castle

  • Arrive early to avoid the crowds and long queues.
  • Wear comfortable shoes as there are many steps and uneven surfaces to navigate.
  • Be sure to check the weather forecast before you visit – the castle can be quite exposed and windy at times.
  • Don’t miss the daily firing of the one o’clock gun – a tradition that dates back to 1861.

“Edinburgh Castle is an iconic part of the city’s skyline and offers visitors a fascinating glimpse into Scotland’s past. Make sure you add it to your itinerary when visiting Edinburgh.” – Trip Advisor review

2. Explore the Royal Mile

As I walked down the Royal Mile, I was struck by the vibrant energy of this bustling street. Extending from the magnificent Edinburgh Castle to the grand Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Royal Mile is a hub of activity with something for everyone.

One of the main attractions of the Royal Mile is the wealth of historic landmarks that can be found here. Visitors can explore the St Giles’ Cathedral, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, and the Scottish Parliament Building, all within walking distance.

However, the Royal Mile is more than just a history lesson. Visitors can indulge in some retail therapy by visiting the many shops and boutiques that line the street. From souvenirs to luxury items, there is something to suit every taste and budget.

Royal Mile

Additionally, the Royal Mile has a thriving restaurant and bar scene. Visitors can sample traditional Scottish cuisine, enjoy a pint of local beer, or relax with a cup of coffee in one of the many cozy cafes.

Overall, the Royal Mile is a must-visit destination in Edinburgh. Visitors can immerse themselves in the city’s rich history, enjoy some retail therapy, and sample the local dining scene, all in one walkable, historic street.

3. Experience the Edinburgh Festival

If there’s one event that showcases the vibrant culture of Edinburgh, it’s the Edinburgh Festival. With a rich history dating back to 1947, the festival attracts visitors from all over the world.

During this exciting event, the streets of Edinburgh come alive with music, theatre, dance, and comedy events. Whether you’re a fan of classical music, rock, or jazz, you’ll find something to suit your taste.

“The Edinburgh Festival is an unmissable event that captures the true spirit of Scotland’s vibrant culture.”

In addition to the main festival, there are also several smaller events held throughout the year, such as the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, and the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

One of the best things about the festival is that it caters to all ages, with plenty of family-friendly events on tap. From puppet shows to interactive workshops, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Top Tips for Enjoying the Edinburgh Festival

  • Book tickets in advance to avoid disappointment
  • Arrive early to secure a good spot at popular events
  • Take advantage of the free events on offer
  • Don’t forget to sample some of the delicious food and drink available at the festival
  • Enjoy the atmosphere and soak up the culture of this amazing event!

With so much to see and do, the Edinburgh Festival is the perfect way to experience the vibrant energy of Scotland’s capital city. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned festival-goer, this event is not to be missed.

Edinburgh Festival

4. Discover Arthur’s Seat and Holyrood Park

One of my favourite places in Edinburgh is Arthur’s Seat and Holyrood Park. This beautiful natural wonder is a must-visit for any nature lover. The towering ancient volcano, Arthur’s Seat, offers stunning panoramic views that are simply breathtaking. I highly recommend taking a leisurely hike to the summit, where you can marvel at the city’s beauty and snap some fantastic photos.

Holyrood Park is another gem that is a part of the Queen’s Park in Edinburgh. It is a vast green space that extends to around 650 acres. The park offers picturesque walking trails, stunning lochs, and plenty of wildlife to spot. It is the ideal location for a peaceful picnic or a relaxing afternoon stroll. Spending some quality time in this park is one of the best things to do in Holyrood Park.

If you are looking for some adventure, you can also go mountain biking, rock climbing, or horse riding in this incredible park. There is so much to do here, and I guarantee you will have an incredible time exploring Arthur’s Seat and Holyrood Park.

Overall, Arthur’s Seat and Holyrood Park are two of the top things to do in Edinburgh. The natural beauty and tranquillity are worth the visit, and it is a fantastic way to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. So, if you’re planning a trip to Edinburgh, make sure that Arthur’s Seat and Holyrood Park are on your list of things to do in Holyrood Park.


What are the top 10 things to do in Edinburgh, Scotland?

Some of the best things to do in Edinburgh include visiting Edinburgh Castle, exploring the Royal Mile, experiencing the Edinburgh Festival, discovering Arthur’s Seat and Holyrood Park, and more. Let’s dive into the details!

Why should I visit Edinburgh Castle?

Edinburgh Castle is a must-visit attraction in Edinburgh. It offers stunning views of the city and provides a fascinating glimpse into Scotland’s history through its architecture and exhibitions.

What can I do on the Royal Mile?

The Royal Mile is a vibrant street filled with shops, restaurants, and historic landmarks. You can explore the famous St. Giles’ Cathedral, indulge in some traditional Scottish whisky tasting, and browse through unique boutiques.

What is the Edinburgh Festival?

The Edinburgh Festival is a world-renowned cultural event that takes place annually. It features a variety of performances, from theater and comedy shows to music and dance events, attracting artists and spectators from around the globe.

What can I expect at Arthur’s Seat and Holyrood Park?

Arthur’s Seat and Holyrood Park offer stunning natural beauty and breathtaking views of Edinburgh. You can go for a leisurely hike, have a picnic surrounded by nature, or simply enjoy the tranquility of this ancient volcano and its surrounding park.