5 Things to do in Edinburgh


Edinburgh - Hollyrood Palace

We had an amazing experience in Edinburgh and there were so many different things to see in the city and within a short drive from the city.  We are giving you 5 things we think you should not miss on your visit to Edinburgh.

1. Visit Hollyrood Palace – This is still one of the locations that the royal family spends their time.  As long as the monarchs are not currently using the residence, it is open for tours.  It is an elegantly decorated palace, as you might expect.  Though the building is extremely nice, the grounds are the sights to see at Hollyrood Palace.  There are the remains of a church monastery, which is spectacular.  The grounds themselves are very large and perfectly manicured.  It is a great place to spend the day.  You can also enter the Queens Gallery, which contains some of the queen’s most valuable items.  It costs about £11 and you can combine the palace and the Queens Gallery for £15.50.Edinburgh, Scotland - Hollyrood Palace

2. Visit Edinburgh Castle – Edinburgh Castle is nestled on a hilltop at the top of the Royal Mile in the heart of old town Edinburgh.  It stands iconically over the city and provides some amazing views of Edinburgh from its walls.  The castle itself has a rich history and contains the Scottish crown jewels, including the stone of destiny (Scotland’s coronation stone that was taken from Scotland by England and kept for 600 years until it was returned in 1996!).  You can spend the day exploring the various buildings and learning about Edinburgh and Scotland’s turbulent past.  As an added bonus try to travel to Edinburgh in August and DO NOT MISS the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo that takes place at Edinburgh Castle…this show is amazing!Edinburgh, Scotland - Edinburgh Castle

3. Walk the Royal Mile – Spanning all the way from Edinburgh Castle to Hollyrood Palace, the Royal Mile is one of the most historic roads in all of Britain.  This stretch of road has many historic buildings that you can see as you make your way from one end to the other, as well as being built right on top of a whole historic city (see #4 for more on this).  One word of warning, this is a very hilly road; therefore, it is not an easy stroll.  As an added bonus, travel in August and check out the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.  There are street performances, and shows in shops and restaurants along the Royal Mile (and throughout the city).  Many of the events are free of charge and worth checking out.Edinburgh, Scotland - The Royal Mile

4. Go on the Real Mary Kings Close Experience – Edinburgh has been through many battles through the centuries.  As a result, it has been rebuilt on many occasions.  On one particular rebuild in the 17th century, the existing buildings were cut off and the other buildings were built right on top!  The Real Mary King’s Close Experience is located right on the Royal Mile and the tour takes visitors under the city of Edinburgh and down to the 17th century streets to get a taste of what life was like at that time.  There are other tours that are “ghost tours” that are designed to scare the guests (entertaining in their own way), but the Real Mary Kings Close is a tour that focuses on informing guests about life on Mary King’s Close.  It was a great experience!Edinburgh, Scotland - The Real Mary King's Close

5. Climb Arthur’s Seat – Arthur’s Seat sit at the highest point in Edinburgh.  It is quite the trek up to the top of the Arthur’s Seat, but you are richly rewarded for your efforts!  The view from Arthur’s Seat is magnificent!!!  The long journey up is completely forgotten, as you gaze out over Edinburgh in all its glory.  As a little bit of added romance, why not pack a lunch to have up the hill if the weather is nice.  Hollyrood Park also contains the Salisbury Crags, which are basically hills closer to the old town than Arthur’s Seat.  There is a nice walk right along the ridge of the Crags that gives some great scenic views and is well worth a visit.  The climb up Arthur’s Seat and the walk along Salisbury Crags can all be done in half a day, so check it out! 

Edinburgh, Scotland - Arthur's Seat

Edinburgh, Scotland - Arthur's Seat View

Great View from Arthur’s Seat!

So, there is our must not miss list for a trip to Edinburgh.  Obviously, there are many other things to do, but these were tops on our travels!  For more ideas on good things to do with your time in Edinburgh, check out our Edinburgh travel guide.

What are your favourite activities to do in Edinburgh?  What amazing activities did we miss?


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