Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh, hosts cobbled street, a number of museums and a rich history ready to explore. A popular weekend getaway for many, the below guide highlights the main attractions on a first-time or subsequent visit.
By train – most train services to Edinburgh end at Edinburgh Waverley rail station, which is close to Edinburgh Castle.
By car – parking can be difficult and expensive, so a park-and-ride option may prove more practical.
A great way to get your bearings is to take a hop-on and hop-off bus tour, allowing you to see all the sights and attractions within this city. City Sightseeing* operate an open-top bus tour where you can hop-on and hop-off as much as you like at any of the bus stops on the route.
Things to do
Ideal to spend a good portion of your day in, Edinburgh Castle has guided tours available, along with spectacular views across the city and beyond. It hosts the Scottish Crown Jewels, and holds a deep sense of history.
Scottish National Gallery
A few minutes’ walk from Edinburgh Castle, the Scottish National Gallery houses examples of Edinburgh’s past and present, with paintings, sculptures and photographs.
Princes Street Gardens
Always full of flowers and plants, these gardens are situated directly under the Castle and are free to access.
Royal Yacht Britannia
Offering a unique chance to visit a yacht used by the royal family. Learn about the history associated with it here.
Hike to the top of Arthur’s Seat to gain a spectacular view of all of Edinburgh. There are a variety of different trails in terms of difficulty, from gentle strolls to climbs. Around a 10-15-minute hike will grant you the views, but you can spend much longer exploring the area if you desire.
National Museum of Scotland
Featuring artefacts from across Scottish history, along with exhibits on history from across the world, the National Museum of Scotland is a great place to spend an afternoon.
The most famous street in Edinburgh, this road has many pubs, restaurants and shops lining it. It leads from the royal castle to the royal palace. You will also find a number of historical monuments along the way.
Where to Stay
When visiting a city, booking a short hotel stay can allow you to have a good base to go on and explore the city centre and its attractions. There are a number of hotel options available in and around Edinburgh, including Radisson Blu*, Hotel Indigo*, Crowne Plaza*, Holiday Inn*, Holiday Inn Express*, and Premier Inn*.
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