The Top 10 Things to do in Edinburgh


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The capital of Scotland is undoubtedly one of the top destinations to visit anywhere in Europe, with millions of tourists flocking to see the city’s sights every year. But if you’re fortunate enough to live in Edinburgh or plan to in the future, you really can enjoy the best of this exciting and historic city day after day. So whether you’re just passing through town or already call places like the city centre, Fairmilehead or Kirkliston home, we’ve put together a list of our 10 favourite things to do in Edinburgh.

Edinburgh Castle

Starting with the city’s most famous landmark, no trip to Edinburgh is complete without a visit to the iconic castle. Proudly gazing down upon the city from its lofty perch on Castle Rock, Edinburgh Castle lies within the World Heritage Old Town area and is one of Scotland’s most popular attractions.

Scottish National Gallery

If you’re looking for free things to do in Edinburgh, this excellent gallery is one of the very best attractions you can visit. Home to Scotland’s national fine art collection dating back to the early Renaissance period, you can cast your eye over inspirational masterpieces from the likes of Van Gogh, Rembrandt and Botticelli.

Edinburgh International Festival

Speaking of inspiration, the Edinburgh International Festival is an absolute must if you love the performing arts. Taking place over three weeks in August and attracting as many as 150,000 visitors, you can catch a range of enigmatic performances at venues such as the Edinburgh Playhouse, Usher Hall, the King’s Theatre and the Queen’s Hall.

Edinburgh Fringe Festival

If you thought the International Festival seemed a big deal, wait until you see the Fringe. This is the world’s largest arts festival, running for the best part of a month around August. Established as an alternative to the International Festival in 1947, Edinburgh Fringe sees tens of thousands of performances encompassing everything from music, opera and spoken word to theatre, dance, comedy and cabaret, as well as children’s shows, exhibitions and events.

National Museum of Scotland

One of the top attractions in Edinburgh, the National Museum of Scotland resides in the Old Town and is home to everything from dinosaur skeletons and meteorites to artistic galleries, scientific exhibitions and historical Scottish artefacts. Wherever your interests lie, you could easily get lost for days exploring the exhibits and displays here.

Camera Obscura and World of Illusions

Just a few hundred metres away from the National Museum, you can witness more than 100 interesting illusions at this fascinating and one-of-a-kind visitor attraction. Set over five floors, Camera Obscura and World of Illusions offers a wide range of interactive, hands-on optical illusions, tricks and hoodwinking activities, while you can soak up breathtaking 360-degree views from the rooftop terrace.

Palace of Holyroodhouse

The official residence of Queen Elizabeth when she visits Scotland, this historic palace resides at the end of Edinburgh’s famous Royal Mile. Exploring the Palace of Holyroodhouse reveals the secrets of renowned figures including Bonnie Prince Charlie and Mary, Queen of Scots. With Portobello just the other side of Holyrood Park from the city centre, you can go for a lovely stroll to the beach and relax in the sands in no time at all.

St Giles’ Cathedral

Another Old Town highlight and one of the best free attractions in Edinburgh, St Giles’ Cathedral was founded back in the 12th century. Both the cathedral and its surroundings may have changed rather a lot since then, but a visit here remains a dramatic insight into Edinburgh of an era long since gone by. What’s more, you can also see the Thistle Chapela and see the Robert Burns Memorial Window when you pay this historic structure a visit.

Royal Yacht Britannia

Berthed in Leith along the Firth of Forth, this impressive vessel was the Queen’s floating palace for more than 40 years. Ranked as one of Scotland’s top attractions, you can climb aboard a ship which sailed over a million miles on almost 1,000 official trips, before dropping in on Her Majesty’s favourite room, the Sun Lounge.

Arthur’s Seat

If you have a little bit of energy to burn, climbing Arthur’s Seat is one of the best things to do in Edinburgh. This extinct volcano rises up out of Holyrood Park, providing spectacular panoramic views over the local area. Gaze out across the city below one way, and out towards the sea and beachside suburbs such as Prestonpans the other.

Whether you’ve lived in Edinburgh your whole life or you’re planning to make the move to this captivating city, don’t miss our selection of new build homes in the area. Take your pick from developments such as our Cammo Meadows and Heritage Grange sites, and give us a call to discuss your new home in Edinburgh anytime you like.