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5 Best Things To Do in Edinburgh

5 Best Things To Do in Edinburgh

Home to Scotland’s precious crown jewels and several must-see hilltops, Edinburgh is one of the country’s most visited cities.

Whether you’re in the mood for a family outing with the wee yins or appreciate the historic architecture of century-old castles, the city has a tonne in store for you.

So, without further ado, here are the best things to do in Edinburgh that you definitely shouldn’t miss! 

1. Have a royally good time at the Edinburgh Castle

Have a royally good time at the Edinburgh Castle
Photograph: Planetware


Operating Hours: Daily: 9:30 AM – 6 PM

Contact Details: +44 131 225 9846

Dating back to the 12th century, Edinburgh Castle has housed several generations of important figures in Scottish history. These include the likes of Queen Margaret, King Charles I, and Mary Queen of Scots. 

Having been used as a military base from the 17th century onwards, the Castle still retains its ritual of firing a canon every day (except for Sundays). 

Called the “One o’clock Gun”, the tradition dated back to the 19th century and was used to help maritime captains reset their clocks. Now, many gather to see the spectacle first-hand.

Did you know that it was built atop a dormant volcano? Aside from many other noteworthy features, it’s quite comedic that the Castle acts as a plug for the 350-year-old volcano.

Even so, we do have to warn you that there’s no gas heating, such as boilers, on-site. Instead, they use wool as insulation, so ensure to dress warmly to avoid freezing fingers.

2. Hike Arthur’s Seat

Hike Arthur’s Seat
Photograph: Forrest Mallard on Tramposaurus

Operating Hours: Daily: 24 hours

  • For vehicles: Tuesday – Thursday: 9:30 AM – 3 PM
  • Saturday – Sunday: Closures: 8:15 – 9 AM; Reopening: 5 PM – 5:45 PM

Contact Details: +44 131 652 8150

Another world-famous hotspot is Arthur’s Seat. A dormant volcano with a peak of about 251m above sea level, it provides a breathtaking panoramic view of the lively city below. 

It’s a popular hiking spot that will take roughly 30-45 minutes from the base at Hollyrood Park. Though, we think it’s easier to start from the east side at Dunsapie Loch on Queen’s Drive.

As one of the highest points in Edinburgh, you’ll be able to spot the Nelson Monument and Edinburgh Castle, among other glorious sights. 

Aside from that, it’s also where many couples take their wedding photos. So, don’t forget to mention this spot to your wedding planner if you plan on getting married there.

3. Enjoy a peaceful stroll at the Royal Botanic Garden

Enjoy a peaceful stroll at the Royal Botanic Garden
Photograph: Annie Fairfax


Operating Hours: Daily: 10 AM – 5:15 PM 

Contact Details: +44 131 248 2909

The Royal Botanic Garden was originally established as a scientific research institution, particularly for botany students. Impressively, the Garden houses over 34,000 living plants. 

It boasts several greenhouses and laboratories, a library, herbarium, and terrace cafe. Given its size, it has many benches and kiosks for visitors to enjoy.

A well-loved public space, the Garden is in perfect condition all year round. So, you can visit at any time to admire the beautiful foliage.

Though, keep in mind that you can only admire the flowers here. Suppose you’re looking to have flowers delivered to your special someone, we also have a list of of the best flower delivery shops in Edinburgh worth checking out.

4. Scotch Whisky Experience

Scotch Whisky Experience
Photograph: Scottish Whisky


Operating Hours: Daily: 10 AM – 6 PM

Contact Details: +44 131 220 0441

What better way to dive into Scottish heritage than with the Scotch Whisky Experience?

Situated at the top of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, they offer a 5-star experience providing a few guided tour options to immerse you in the whiskey-making process.

This educational sensory experience will give you the lowdown on whiskey’s rich history and flavours from Scotland’s various regions. 

Whether you’re a casual drinker or a whisky connoisseur, their experts will help you pick out the best dram to cap off the tour. You’ll get to choose from over 440 cocktails, scotch whisky liqueurs, single malts, and blends.

Just make sure to bring a friend along to ensure that you return to your hotel safely. We wouldn’t want any accidents happening after a couple of drinks, now, do we?

5.  Have tea at the Royal Yacht Britannia

Have tea at the Royal Yacht Britannia
Photograph: befreetour


Operating Hours: Daily: 9:30 AM – 4 PM

Contact Details: +44 131 555 5566 

Also referred to as Her Majesty’s Britannia and the Floating Queen’s Court, the Royal Family owned this luxurious vessel for over 40 years.

It has served many royal honeymooners such as Princess Margaret and Princess Diana, taking them on a post-wedding holiday away from the prying eyes of the paparazzi. 

Today, this attraction welcomes nearly 400,000 visitors yearly. Tourists can live like a royal, touring the vessel’s stunning interiors and even have tea at the Royal Deck Tea Room.

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