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Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
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Calton Hill

Grab your camera and head for the hill that features monuments, superb views and the seat of the Scottish government.

Visit Calton Hill to see a collection of monuments and magnificent buildings dotted around the summit of this extinct volcano. Calton Hill also has some of the best views of the city.

The hill is 561 feet (171 meters) above sea level. It only takes a few minutes to walk to the summit. There are steps on the south side of the hill to make your trek a little easier.  

Once you are at the top, pause for a moment to enjoy the sights. Immediately to the south are the Salisbury Crags and Arthur’s Seat. Look to the west and follow The Royal Mile all the way up to the castle. To the north you’ll see stretches of Fife’s coast and the Forth Estuary.

For even loftier vistas, stand on the public viewing gallery of Nelson’s Monument. This 100-foot (30-meter) tower is the tallest structure on the hill. It resembles a telescope and commemorates Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson’s famous victory at Trafalgar. Watch the huge time ball drop from the mast at the top of the monument. It falls to coincide with the firing of the One O’Clock Gun at Edinburgh Castle. Ships used to set their chronometers by both signals.

Climb the steps and weave in and out of the Doric columns of the National Monument. This replica of the Parthenon in Athens was commissioned to commemorate Scottish soldiers who died in the Napoleonic Wars. Construction began in 1826, but the project ran out of money and was never restarted.

Have your picture taken by the Burns Monument, dedicated to Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns. Admire the art deco architecture of St. Andrew’s House on the southern slope of the hill. This is the headquarters of the Scottish government.

Calton Hill is about a five-minute walk from the east end of Princes Street, Edinburgh’s main shopping street. There is metered parking near the south and east access to the hill.


Guide to Exploring around Calton Hill


Best Lodging Options Near Calton Hill

See all 3,580 Properties near Calton Hill
Hilton Edinburgh Carlton ¥6,898
Hilton Edinburgh Carlton

Hilton Edinburgh Carlton

19 North Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Old Town, this eco-friendly hotel is steps from City Art Centre, Princes Street, and Royal Mile. Edinburgh Dungeon and Real Mary King's Close are also within 5 minutes. Edinburgh Waverley Station is only a 2-minute walk and Edinburgh Haymarket Station is 27 minutes.

    Eden Locke ¥7,770
    Eden Locke

    Eden Locke

    127 George Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in New Town, this aparthotel is steps from Charlotte Square, Princes Street, and George Street. Princes Street Gardens and Usher Hall are also within 10 minutes. Edinburgh Haymarket Station is 15 minutes by foot and Edinburgh Waverley Station is 16 minutes.

      Aparthotel Adagio Edinburgh Royal Mile ¥6,424
      Aparthotel Adagio Edinburgh Royal Mile

      Aparthotel Adagio Edinburgh Royal Mile

      231 Canongate, Edinburgh, Scotland
         
        3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Old Town, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Royal Mile, St. Giles' Cathedral, and Palace of Holyroodhouse. Edinburgh Playhouse Theatre and Greyfriars Kirk are also within 15 minutes. Edinburgh Waverley Station is 5 minutes by foot.

        The Balmoral Hotel ¥31,529
        The Balmoral Hotel

        The Balmoral Hotel

        1 Princes Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
           
          5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in New Town, this luxury hotel is steps from Multrees Walk and Princes Street. George Street and Edinburgh Dungeon are also within 5 minutes. Edinburgh Waverley Station is only a 4-minute walk and Edinburgh Haymarket Station is 24 minutes.

          YOTEL Edinburgh ¥6,193
          YOTEL Edinburgh

          YOTEL Edinburgh

          Erskine House, Queen Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in New Town, this hotel is steps from Georgian House and Princes Street. George Street and Royal Mile are also within 15 minutes. Edinburgh Haymarket Station is 16 minutes by foot and Edinburgh Waverley Station is 18 minutes.

            Cairn Hotel ¥8,108
            Cairn Hotel

            Cairn Hotel

            10-18 Windsor Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
               
              3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Leith, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Princes Street and Edinburgh Playhouse Theatre. George Street and Palace of Holyroodhouse are also within 15 minutes. Edinburgh Waverley Station is 13 minutes by foot.

              Motel One Edinburgh-Royal ¥12,837
              Motel One Edinburgh-Royal

              Motel One Edinburgh-Royal

              18-21 Market Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
                 
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Old Town, this hotel is steps from City Art Centre, Princes Street, and Royal Mile. Edinburgh Dungeon and St. Giles' Cathedral are also within 5 minutes. Edinburgh Waverley Station is only a 3-minute walk and Edinburgh Haymarket Station is 24 minutes.

                The Scotsman Hotel ¥15,607
                The Scotsman Hotel

                The Scotsman Hotel

                20 North Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Old Town, this boutique hotel is steps from City Art Centre, Princes Street, and Royal Mile. Edinburgh Dungeon and Real Mary King's Close are also within 5 minutes. Edinburgh Waverley Station is only a 2-minute walk and Edinburgh Haymarket Station is 28 minutes.