Edinburgh is the place to go if you’re wanting lots to do, it’s a beautiful city filled with medieval architecture, gorgeous cobbled streets and much more fantastic things to offer for you and the rest of your family! Edinburgh is defiantly a must on your bucket list even if you just want to sit in cafes, take visits to Whisky bars, visit Edinburgh’s famous castle or even go on nice romantic strolls, anything you want to do name it and Edinburgh will have it! the city will never leave you feeling bored.
If you love medieval towns and cities then you’ve come to the right place, Edinburgh has many gorgeous medieval architecture and there’s lots of cathedrals, Edinburgh castle, houses and shops. Even strolls around the royal mile will make you imagine what life in Edinburgh was like many years ago. Edinburgh is full of history, which is one of the many reasons why it’s such a beautiful, fascinating city, if you want to see the medieval part of Edinburgh then you must take a trip to the old town.
At the old town you will be introduced to preserved historical buildings and streets. The old town is a bustling area filled with gorgeous old buildings and narrow alleys. Here in Edinburgh old town you will be able to discover some of the town’s oldest attractions as well as being able to make use of a wide section of shops, bars, cafes and restaurants.
Places to Visit in Edinburgh
1. Old Town Edinburgh
Step back into history by exploring Edinburgh’s first settlement, the Old Town district. Home to other famous attractions such as Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile, and Holyrood House, this pedestrian-friendly area is teeming with lovely medieval buildings, churches, and historic monuments. Narrow, cobbled streets, steep stairways, and hidden tunnels offer plenty of sightseeing surprises, souvenir shops, quaint taverns, and cafes.
2. The Grassmarket
Also found within the Old Town is the Grassmarket. During medieval times, this market square was occasionally the scene of public executions. Today, it’s a picturesque area bursting with some of Edinburgh’s most vibrant shops, pubs, and restaurants where visitors can experience traditional Scottish food, drink, and music. Still in operation, the historic White Hart Inn was often frequented by the famous poet, Robert Burns.
3. Edinburgh Castle
No visit to Edinburgh is complete without a tour of its famous castle. Perched on a rocky crag high above the city, this mighty fortress is home to the Royal Palace where Scottish kings and queens were born and lived. Highlights include the Honors of Scotland (crown jewels), the Stone of Destiny, Mons Meg, prisons of war, and the Scottish National War Museum. Every day (except Sunday), the One O’Clock Gun is fired from the castle’s Half Moon Battery.
Edinburgh Castle brings its history to life for visitors by providing various public performances where costumed performers reenact historical events.
Every August, the castle plays host to the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, a showcase gathering of international military bands and other musical performances.
4. Palace of Holyroodhouse
Located at the bottom of the Royal Mile behind Arthur’s Seat, this grand 17th-century palace was the royal residence of Scotland’s kings and queens and is currently the official Scotland home of the British monarch, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. When the Queen is not in town, Holyrood Palace offers public access to the former chambers of Mary Queen of Scots, the State Apartments, the Great Gallery, and the Queen’s Gallery. Visitors will admire fine furnishings, artworks, and portraits of former Scottish royalty. An on-site cafe offers a lovely setting to enjoy afternoon tea following the tour.
5. The Royal Mile
Stretching from Edinburgh Castle to Holyroodhouse Palace, the Royal Mile is a bustling thoroughfare, lined with tall, stoned tenement buildings and hidden closes. Several of the city’s popular attractions and historic landmarks are found along this strip such as St. Giles Cathedral, the Camera Obscura, Gladstone’s Land, and the Canongate Tolbooth. A diversity of shops, taverns, museums, and restaurants enhance the pleasure of exploring the Royal Mile.
6. Holyrood Park
For those in need of outdoor recreation whilst visiting Edinburgh, Holyrood Park provides just the remedy. Just 1.6 kilometres from Edinburgh Castle, this 260-hectare park offers hiking and breathtaking views from the city’s highest point, a dormant volcano called Arthur’s Seat. Other features of the park include the dramatic Salisbury Crags, ancient farming terraces, lochs, glens, and patches of gorse, presenting an example of the wild highland landscape within the city.
7. Camera Obscura and World of Illusions
Located on the Royal Mile is Edinburgh’s oldest tourist attraction, Camera Obscura and World of Illusions. Opened in 1835, this five-floor house features more than 100 visual illusions that include a maze of mirrors, a vortex tunnel, a magic gallery, a large hologram exhibition, and a morph machine. The star of the show is the 360-degree view of Edinburgh from the rooftop telescopes.
8. National Museum of Scotland
Receiving nearly two million visitors per year, the National Museum of Scotland houses impressive collections that include natural history, archaeology, medieval artefacts, fashion, world cultures, science, and technology as well as the history, culture, and antiquities of Scotland. Popular highlights include Dolly the sheep (the first cloned mammal), Ancient Egypt, Elton John’s flamboyant stage costumes, and the Maiden, one of the earliest guillotine devices. Best of all, admission to the museum is free.
9. Royal Botanic Garden
Covering 28 hectares (70 acres), Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Garden presents a delightful place to stroll among a variety of plants, flowers, and artistic features. Among the garden complex are exotic orchids, a heather garden, Britain’s largest palm house, a giant lily pond, a cryptogamic garden, an alpine house, a rock garden, glasshouses, and an 18th-century mansion that houses an art gallery.
10. St. Giles Cathedral
A dominating feature of Edinburgh’s city’s skyline, St. Giles Cathedral is a beautiful 14th-century gothic church sporting a splendid crown spire. Stepping into the church for a look around offers a peaceful respite from the hustle an bustle of the city. It’s a beautiful place to learn about the city’s history and culture. Special features include its original 15th-century bells, stunning glass stained windows, vast ceilings, memorials to the deceased of WWI, the Thistle Chapel with its intricate carvings, and the King’s Pillar which showcases the medieval shields and coats of arms of former kings of Britain.
11. The Museum of Childhood
Adults and children alike will find the Museum of Children to be of interest. Not only does it showcase an excellent collection of toys from around the world from bygone years, but the museum also covers the history of childhood, detailing trends, fashion, and school. Visitors can even dress up in period costumes and play with antique toys like trains, games, dolls, and tin soldiers.
12. Edinburgh Zoo
Another ideal place for everyone in the family, the Edinburgh Zoo is home to nearly 200 species of more than 1,000 animals from around the world. In addition to being the first zoo in the world to shelter penguins, Edinburgh Zoo is also the only zoo in the UK that boards polar bears, giant pandas, and koalas. The zoo also presents daily and weekly feeding shows, events and workshops so that visitors can get up close to animals whilst learning a variety of topics like how to be a zookeeper.
13. Usher Hall
Those wishing to enjoy a live performance during their Edinburgh visit should check out Usher Hall, the city’s acclaimed venue for musical concerts, comedy, and other entertainment shows. Built in 1914 with a recently restored auditorium, Usher Hall can accommodate 2,200 people and features impressive architecture and interior design.
14. Water of Leith Walkway
After a day of harried sightseeing, escape to the Water of Leith Walkway. This scenic footpath and cycling route follows along a river, offering a peaceful and picturesque setting with views of birds, trees, waterways, and colourful boats. The path connects to quaint villages where visitors can explore historic sites, markets, shops, and restaurants.
Campervan and Motorhome Hire from Edinburgh
Easicampers provides Campervan and Motorhome Hire in Edinburgh. We have a large selection of rental vehicles including the iconic VW campervan and state of the art modern Motorhomes that are perfect for exploring Edinburgh and Scotland.