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Best things to do in Edinburgh

Gift Shop
“Edinburgh Castle is a historic fortress which dominates the skyline of the city of Edinburgh, Scotland from its position on the Castle Rock. Archaeologists have established human occupation of the rock since at least the Iron Age, although the nature of the early settlement is unclear. From the 15th century the castle's residential role declined, and by the 17th century it was principally used as military barracks with a large garrison. Its importance as a part of Scotland's national heritage was recognised increasingly from the early 19th century onwards, and various restoration programmes have been carried out over the past century and a half. As one of the most important strongholds in the Kingdom of Scotland, Edinburgh Castle was involved in many historical conflicts from the Wars of Scottish Independence in the 14th century to the Jacobite rising of 1745. Research undertaken in 2014 identified 26 sieges in its 1100-year-old history, giving it a claim to having been "the most besieged place in Great Britain and one of the most attacked in the world".”
669local recommendations
Museum
“This architectural gem of a place has recently been refurbished and is a great place to go when its raining! The Museum is split into two parts ... The Victorian Building houses a varied collection of antiquities from all over the globe, stuffed animals, early forms of transport ... you name it! It's worth a visit just to enjoy the beautiful main hall which forms an atrium with stairways and balconies at various levels. The adjacent new building houses the Scottish collection. Ancient relics are in the basement and visitors move chronologically through Scotland's history as they ascend the floors until Billy Connolly and Sean Connery are represented at the top level.”
606local recommendations
Mountain
“Great for a bit of fresh air and fantastic views over Edinburgh and beyond.”
872local recommendations
Botanical Garden
“A special place for tree and plant lovers. Great to visit at any time of year, and if it’s cold or raining, step into the tropical glasshouses where it’s always summer.”
548local recommendations
Art Gallery
“The Scottish National Gallery (formerly the National Gallery of Scotland) is the national art gallery of Scotland. It is located on The Mound in central Edinburgh, close to Princes Street. The building was designed in a neoclassical style by William Henry Playfair, and first opened to the public in 1859. The gallery houses Scotland's national collection of fine art, spanning Scottish and international art from the beginning of the Renaissance up to the start of the 20th century.”
347local recommendations
Park
“Just a lovely greenspace in the heart of the city, popular with families and students. Watch out for the cycle paths - bikes and skateboarders move pretty quick. There's a great kids play park down to the far left past the tennis courts. PLenty of space to walk the dogs - there's spare poop bags in the flat if you forget yours :-) ”
329local recommendations
Palace
“Great new (2019) audio guide around the Queen's official residence in Scotland. Highly recommend a visit while in Edinburgh. Nice Restaurant / Cafe too with lovely outside seating. Don't need to pay to visit Cafe / Shop!”
190local recommendations
Park
“Lots of high street shops including M&S, Zara, Frasers, Boots, Superdrug. Also good place to pick up souvenirs at tourist”
230local recommendations
Gastropub
$$$
“Traditional Scottish food (Michelin star) 2 minutes walk from the property. Booking recommended. ”
240local recommendations
Science Museum
“Enjoy unique 360 degree panoramic views over Edinburgh from the fascinating Camera Obscura and rooftop terrace. In World of Illusions, experience five floors of interactive hands-on optical illusions, tricks and fun things to do including vortex tunnel, mirror maze and shrinking room. Get involved, play, touch everything. ”
157local recommendations
Park
“Princes Street Gardens is a public park in the centre of Edinburgh, in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle. The Gardens were created in two phases in the 1770s and 1820s following the long draining of the Nor Loch and building of the New Town, beginning in the 1760s ”
165local recommendations
Park
“The hill itself has amazing views over the city and is home to the Collective contemporary art gallery and the unfinished National Monument. A great short uphill walk to escape the busy city. ”
252local recommendations
Cemetery
“Calton Hill is one of Edinburgh's main hills, set right in the city centre. It is unmistakable with its Athenian acropolis poking above the skyline. ”
215local recommendations
Bar
$$$
“If you're looking for something a bit more upmarket, this place won't disappoint! Great surroundings, great cocktails. ”
147local recommendations
Art Gallery
“Another great free gallery. The Scottish National Portrait Gallery is one of Edinburgh’s most remarkable buildings – a great red sandstone neo-gothic palace which sits proudly on the city’s skyline. The Gallery was designed by Sir Robert Rowand Anderson as a shrine for Scotland’s heroes and heroines. It opened to the public in 1889 as the world’s first purpose-built portrait gallery. An elaborate decorative scheme, both inside and out, with its glittering friezes, evocative murals and extensive sculptural embellishment, make it a very special experience.”
225local recommendations
Garden
“Whether to play or relax, Portobello is ideal. Large beach to walk, swim or paddle in the sea, many cafes to find tea or coffee, a snack or lunch, ice cream, etc.”
189local recommendations