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

Awasome Tour and guide Amy was making that extra 5 star!

Wonderfull Tour. Enjoyed the Castle and places and commenta during the bus trip. Never a dull moment with Amy!

Outlander Adventure: Day-Tour from Edinburgh Reviewed by Pieter, 02/18/2019

Easy to book but unfortunately was unable to down load tickets.

Unable to get tickets via app so had to get paper ticket Attendent also unable to download tickets Thankfully there was no line

Edinburgh Castle Ticket Reviewed by Christena, 02/07/2019

It was an excellent way to experience Edinburgh

My husband and I were staying for a few days in Edinburgh and booked the tour before we travelled. The meeting point was easy to find. Staff were very friendly. Our guide Artimas was extremely knowledgable about the area and made the experience fun. It was an excellent way to experience Edinburgh’s history and old town.

Edinburgh: Ghostly Underground Vaults Tour Reviewed by Maria, 02/02/2019

Magnificent experience in Highland and Skye isle!!!

It was one of autstanding and magnificent experiences to travel through Highlands and isle of Skye! It was beyond expectation and also beyond description! All the way and every spot we stopped have fantastic nature. It is very unique, only encounter in Scotland esp. in Highland. The travel course is good! Safe and comfy bus! Moreover I was lucky to have wonderful driver! He was inherently happy and joyful person, enjoyed his job, so very nice and cheerful to all of us! He made us laugh, feel delightful and comfy during the whole journey! Thanks for that!

The tour guide was very knowledgeable and very considerate.

The ninety minute tour was wonderful. We enjoyed Emma’s knowledge, expertise, stories and insider facts about Edinburgh. We would recommend this tour to everyone.

Edinburgh: Old Town Historical Walking Tour Reviewed by Karen, 02/01/2019