Edinburgh – Things to Do and Places to Stay


Photo by Moyan_Brenn

Edinburgh is high on my list of cities to visit. This ancient and atmospheric city offers so much to do for visitors over a weekend or an even longer visit. In my planning of a future visit I’ve put together a list of great things to do in this wonderful city.

Edinburgh is well known internationally for a number of festivals and any visit is not really complete without being able to take in one of these. Hogmanay kicks off the Scottish New Year.  This is surely one of the finest New Year Eves you will experience. The International and Fringe festivals are a must for anyone who enjoys comedy or theatre. And in summer the Tattoo is the festival to visit.

Edinburgh Castle

Photo by timo_w2s

Things to do in Edinburgh

  • Edinburgh Castle – This magnificent castle located on one of the highest points of the city is the home to the Edinburgh Tattoo. In excellent condition this castle has been in continuous use for over 1000 years and should definitely be on your list of places to visit.
  • Palace of Holyrood House – This palace of royal residence in the old town of Edinburgh contains the Queen’s Gallery and a fantastic collection of art from the Royal collection.
  • Camera Obscura – This 150 year old camera obscura at Castle Hill in the old town focuses light from the top of the tower onto a large disk in a dark room below. This gives a 360° view of Edinburgh.
  • Royal Yacht Britannia – At the Ocean terminal in Leith, this decommissioned yacht is one of Edinburgh’s best new attractions. Visitors are offered the chance to walk around the royal apartments and see the selection of the many guests offered by dignitaries from around the world.
  • Royal Botanical Garden –  In Stockbridge, this beautiful gardens with a fantastic collection of interesting plants is definitely a great place to visit in summer.
  • Edinburgh Zoo – In the west of the city. This fantastic museum is home to the world famous Penguin Parade, as well as many other great animals.
  • The Museum of Scotland and Royal Museum – In the old town, this museum houses some of the finest architecture and finds in Scotland’s heritage. It is home to the millennium clock which is a must to visit when it’s chiming.
  • The Fruitmarket Gallery – In the old town, this gallery brings together great artists and audiences. It’s a non-profit organisation and a registered charity.
  • Take a walk along the water of Leith – The small river that meanders through Edinburgh provides a peaceful haven from the busy city.
  • Folk music – Be sure to checkout some of the fantastic folk music that plays in the pubs in the old town.
  • Arthur’s Seat – An extinct volcano in the east of the city which offers fantastic views from its summit. Although only 251 m high views are amazing, offering a fantastic panorama over the city.


Photo by Nigel’s Europe 2

Where to stay in Edinburgh

There is a huge choice of accommodation for travellers in Edinburgh. Be sure to plan well ahead if you’re visiting a festival time in August, and  anytime around Christmas and New Year.

There are hotels of all budgets, from backpackers to the finest hotels.  One of the best value places to stay in Edinburgh is the Holiday Inn in Edinburgh. It’s just a short walk to the Haymarket railway station, and within easy access to the city.

Edinburgh is a great place to visit, which lots to do for everyone.  I can’t wait to get there myself.

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