Edinburgh
Enter your dates to find available activities

Top attractions in Edinburgh

See all tours & things to do in Edinburgh

Top 10 things to do in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is an effortlessly cohesive reflection of Scotland's breathtaking rural landscape, flaunting cultural vibrancy, historic charm, and scenic wonder. Even its New Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. So, what are its top attractions?

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

The Edinburgh Castle was built at least as early as the 12th century. Looking over the city from Castle Rock, it's been at the heart of some of Scotland's bloodiest conflicts.

Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle

Having withstood multiple sieges, Stirling is one of Scotland's most important castles. Even if you're not a history buff, the scenery alone warrants a day trip from the capital!

Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond

What's a holiday to Scotland without visiting one of its picturesque lochs? Luckily, the largest and most breathtaking one in the country, the Loch Lomond, is just a short journey away!

Holyrood Palace

Holyrood Palace

The Holyrood Abbey next to the Holyrood Palace is still in ruins after the Glorious Revolution of 1688. Fun fact: Holyrood is Old English for "holy cross."

Royal Mile

Royal Mile

The historic thoroughfare, called The Royal Mile, runs through Edinburgh's Old Town from the Castle to Holyrood for one Scots mile. That's longer than a regular mile, in case you were wondering!

Greyfriars Church

Greyfriars Church

The birthplace of 17th-century Scottish Presbyterianism, this church is a landmark of the country's religious history. It still holds Sunday services in English and Scottish Gaelic.

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Dating back to 1670, when it was used to grow medicinal plants, this conservation project has bloomed into a leading tourist attraction. Today it houses over 13,000 plant species!

HMY Britannia
Photo: Hugh Llewelyn @flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

HMY Britannia

Built in 1953, this royal yacht is considered one of the UK's top attractions. You can even enjoy lunch or afternoon tea on the Royal Deck!

Rosslyn Chapel

Just south of Edinburgh lies the village of Roslin, where the spectacular Rosslyn Chapel was built 600 years ago as an object of curiosity and splendor. A truly unique example of religious architecture!

Our Dynamic Earth

The Holyrood area sits beneath a dormant volcano. The information center Our Dynamic Earth is the perfect place to learn about the natural processes that shaped our planet from the Big Bang to the present!

Planning Your Edinburgh Visit

Best time to visit?

Edinburgh is heaving with visitors throughout the summer, but for good reason – it's festival season! If you'd rather see the city significantly less hectic then you'll have to brave the Scottish winter. The good news is that few landscapes lend themselves so beautifully to cloud and drizzle as that of Scotland!

When is the Edinburgh Festival?

Edinburgh has several large festivals occupying its streets throughout summer, including their film, jazz, and book festivals. However, it's common to mistake the Edinburgh Fringe – the world's largest performing arts festival – as THE festival. It spans 25 days of August. This year's exact dates, and those for the other events too, can be found here.

How long to stay?

Book at least a week in Edinburgh if you can. Many of the city's most popular attractions require more time than you'll realise and there's already more than enough to do, especially during festival season. Plus, if you haven't ventured into Scotland's awe-inspiring countryside before, you should consider at least one day trip out of the city too!

Good to know

  • Language
    English
  • Currency
    British Pound (£)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+00:00)
  • Country Code
    +44
  • Best time to visit
    Spring for the mild weather, summer for the cultural events!

Things to Do in Edinburgh

Top Attractions in Edinburgh

Cities in United Kingdom

Other Sightseeing Options in Edinburgh

Want to discover all there is to do in Edinburgh? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Edinburgh

Fantastic way to some of Scotland in 1 day

The guide, driver, story teller Neil was just fantastic. Had a fantastic humor and great knowledge about Scotland he was sharing in a very interesting way.

Need a simple colour guide giving back up information to all places

Back up guide should be included or at a reasonable cost giving the customer back up information for later reference, act as a souvenir, advertise the tour to potential customers - Outlander items could be sold as a reminder eg all the ladies love Jamie - a picture of Jamie, copy of music from seriies (my wife had a wine glass mat with Jamie on it & loved it)

Outlander Adventure: Day-Tour from Edinburgh Reviewed by Christopher, 04/15/2019

Great tour to Rosslyn Chapel and Hadrians Wall

We were only 7 on this tour and we had an absolut great driver and tourguide Graham. We had lots of time to view the sites and Graham was excellent telling the history of the places we visited.

Kirsty is an excellent, knowledgeable and engaging guide. Recommended.

Kirsty showed us the sights and took an interest in us and ensured we were kept safe from the traffic. She referenced many interesting stories that made me want to find out more about the city. It is difficult to try and pack in so much history in a short time but Kirsty did a great job and was happy to answer questions about items discussed and the city in general. Please pass on my appreciation.

From the people who visited North for the first time

Fantastic tour! Laura was very professional and made the whole experience great from start to finish. We are already considering booking new tours. Thank you for letting us know the song on the bus from Last of the Mohicans. For all passengers, try to sit on the left side as the views are spectacular.

Loch Ness, Glencoe & the Highlands Tour from Edinburgh Reviewed by a GetYourGuide customer, 04/12/2019