EdinburghUnited Kingdom

Image for Royal Yacht Britannia which includes boating and general coastal views

Scotland’s capital is filled with attractive landmarks, parks and gardens, and hosts cultural festivals that draw millions of visitors each year.

Nestled beside long extinct volcanoes and built on seven hills, Edinburgh offers spectacular scenery in a rugged setting. The city itself is visually impressive with the medieval buildings of the Old Town and the wide Georgian roads and spacious homes of the New Town. Edinburgh was declared a World Heritage Site in 1995.

The city’s crowning glory and the reason for its existence is Edinburgh Castle. For hundreds of years, this fortress perched on an ancient volcano defended the city from attack.

Start your exploration of Scotland’s capital city at The Royal Mile. This series of cobblestone streets links the castle with the Palace of Holyroodhouse, an official royal residence. Along the route you’ll come across some of the city’s most famous landmarks, including St. Giles’ Cathedral and Parliament House.

Just a short walk away is Princes Street Gardens, which runs the length of Princes Street, the city’s main shopping area. While you are enjoying this pretty green space, visit some of its memorials and monuments including the Scott Monument. This Gothic structure was built to honor the novelist Sir Walter Scott. Its viewing galleries offer good views of the city.

Enjoy even more beautiful views from the hills that rise over the city. Hike to the summits of Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano, and Calton Hill, which is home to a number of impressive monuments.

Veer off the beaten track and explore some of Edinburgh’s lesser-known sites. Dean Village is surrounded by countryside and is just five minutes from the city center. The port district has a wealth of bars, cafes and restaurants and is also the final resting place of the Royal Yacht Britannia. This magnificent vessel sailed the British royal family around the world for more than 40 years.

Two of the most popular months to visit Edinburgh are December and August. Overlapping arts festivals running through August include the Edinburgh Fringe and the Edinburgh Art Festival. December is packed with Yuletide attractions and markets, and is rounded off with one of the world’s most famous street parties: Edinburgh’s Hogmanay.

Edinburgh Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in Edinburgh

Old Town which includes street scenes and heritage elements

Old Town

Old Town is known for its popular shops, and you can see some sights in the area like Royal Mile and Grassmarket.

Old Town
Edinburgh which includes night scenes and heritage architecture

New Town

New Town is known for its popular shops, and you can see some sights in the area like Princes Street and George Street.

New Town
Heads & Tales is a cool gin bar located in the same building that produces Edinburgh Gin. You can watch gin be distilled in the stills named Flora and Caledonia, or if you visit with a group of friends, you can hang out in these cave-like booths. Also, don't leave this place without trying the Elderflower gin liqueur! 

#gin #bar #foodie #nightlife #edinburgh
trover photo by Audrey Bergner

West End

West End is known for its popular shops, and with sights like Princes Street and Edinburgh Gin Distillery, you won't get bored spending a day wandering around this part of Edinburgh.

West End
Tight rope walker at the Fringe
trover photo by Angela Newlands

Haymarket

Haymarket is well-liked for many features, particularly its museums, restaurants, and shopping. Though there might not be top sights in Haymarket, consider a stop by Murrayfield Stadium or Edinburgh Castle, located nearby.

Haymarket
Newington

Newington

Historic sites, museums, and cafés are just a few things travelers enjoy about Newington. Check out Queen's Hall or National Library of Scotland while you're exploring the area.

Newington
Portobello, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

Portobello

Visitors to Portobello enjoy its beaches, and if you want to do some exploring, Portobello Beach is worth a stop.

Portobello

Top Hotels in Edinburgh

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Edinburgh Grosvenor Hotel
Edinburgh Grosvenor Hotel
4 out of 5
Grosvenor Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
¥3,832
per night
Mar 11 - Mar 12

Located in Haymarket, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC), Princes Street Gardens, and Greyfriars Kirk. Edinburgh ...

3.6/5Good! (1,467 reviews)

"It was on a nice quiet street but only minutes from all the transport services available in Edinburgh."…"

Reviewed on Feb 26, 2020

Edinburgh Grosvenor Hotel
Moxy Edinburgh Airport
Moxy Edinburgh Airport
3 out of 5
1 Fairview Road, Edinburgh, Scotland
¥7,067
per night
Mar 3 - Mar 4

Situated in Edinburgh, this hotel is 0.8 mi (1.3 km) from Royal Highland Centre and 2.9 mi (4.6 km) from Gyle Shopping Centre. Edinburgh Zoo and Edinburgh Park ...

4.1/5Very Good! (772 reviews)

"Comfortable and convienient, but the room could have been cleaner."…"

Reviewed on Feb 14, 2020

Moxy Edinburgh Airport
Hampton by Hilton Edinburgh Airport
Hampton by Hilton Edinburgh Airport
3.5 out of 5
Almond Avenue, Ingliston, Newbridge, Scotland
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
¥7,508
per night
Mar 13 - Mar 14

Located in Ingliston, this hotel is within 9 mi (15 km) of Edinburgh Zoo, Murrayfield Stadium, and Princes Street. George Street and Royal Mile are also within ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (824 reviews)

"Friendly modern hotel Excellent beds Breakfast quality isnt great and is a bit disorganised"…"

Reviewed on Feb 25, 2020

Hampton by Hilton Edinburgh Airport

Popular things to do in Edinburgh

Edinburgh Castle
Image for Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

4.5/5(1,400 reviews)

Fortress, palace and repository of the crown jewels, this landmark overlooking the city has played a crucial role in Scottish history.

Princes Street
Image for Princes Street

Princes Street

4.5/5(339 reviews)

You can enjoy some retail therapy when you visit Princes Street, a favorite shopping spot in Edinburgh. Experience the entertainment choices and fascinating museums in this walkable area.

Royal Mile
Image for Royal Mile

Royal Mile

4.5/5(392 reviews)

Explore this area in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town to find ancient buildings, historic relics, shops, museums and range of dining options.

Edinburgh Zoo
Image for Edinburgh Zoo

Edinburgh Zoo

4/5(47 reviews)

See rare and endangered species and learn about the efforts to conserve them at Edinburgh’s largest wildlife attraction.

University of Edinburgh
Image for University of Edinburgh

University of Edinburgh

4.5/5(276 reviews)

The campus of Edinburgh's venerable educational institution is spread seamlessly around the architecture of the city and opens to the public during year-round events.

George Street
Image for George Street

George Street

4.5/5(158 reviews)

You can search for that perfect souvenir when you visit George Street, a favorite shopping spot in Edinburgh. Check out the lively bars or top-notch restaurants in this walkable area.

Top activities in Edinburgh

Loch Ness & the Highlands with Hotel Pickup from Edinburgh
Image for Loch Ness & the Highlands with Hotel Pickup from Edinburgh

Loch Ness & the Highlands with Hotel Pickup from Edinburgh

88% of travellers recommend
¥7,147
Per adult
Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Tour
Image for Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Tour

Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Tour

92% of travellers recommend
¥2,293
Per adult
Skip-the-Line Edinburgh Castle Tour
Image for Skip-the-Line Edinburgh Castle Tour

Skip-the-Line Edinburgh Castle Tour

88% of travellers recommend
¥4,586
Per adult
Glen Coe, Loch Ness & the Scottish Highlands Full-Day Tour
Image for Glen Coe, Loch Ness & the Scottish Highlands Full-Day Tour

Glen Coe, Loch Ness & the Scottish Highlands Full-Day Tour

92% of travellers recommend
¥6,449
Per adult
Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
Image for Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

96% of travellers recommend
¥2,293
Per adult
Malt Whisky Tasting in Edinburgh
Image for Malt Whisky Tasting in Edinburgh

Malt Whisky Tasting in Edinburgh

¥2,588
Per adult

Reviews of Edinburgh

4.8

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
1615
5 - Excellent 80.95238095238095%
4 - Good
346
4 - Good 17.343358395989974%
3 - Okay
31
3 - Okay 1.5538847117794485%
2 - Disappointing
2
2 - Disappointing 0.10025062656641603%
1 - Terrible
1
1 - Terrible 0.05012531328320802%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Feb 27, 2020

Absolutely loved Edinburgh! Incredible architecture, shops, dining, places to see. Friendly people. Only wish we would have had more time there. We will be back!

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Feb 21, 2020

Edinburgh has to be one of my favorite cities in the world; and it only took me 2 days to fall in love.

4/5 - Good

Annie

Feb 20, 2020

We were there in terrible weather (rain, windy and cold) and still loved the city

5/5 - Excellent

HS

Feb 20, 2020

One of the finest cities in the world.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Feb 19, 2020

Great destination

5/5 - Excellent

Lai

Feb 19, 2020

You have to visit the Museum of Scotland!

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Edinburgh

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