Travel Guides: Edinburgh City Guide
Edinburgh is well known for its culture, heritage and renowned festivals. Its old and new towns are both World Heritage sites. Explore beautiful gardens and a castle perched on top of a dormant volcano.
The city’s historic Old Town is where you’ll find many top sights and attractions, such as the Royal Mile, the imposing Edinburgh Castle and the National Museum of Scotland. Explore the narrow cobbled streets to find artisan shops and cafes as well as alfresco dining; a perfect place to relax and enjoy the city.
For some of the best restaurants and bars in town, head to New Town, where you can admire Neoclassical and Georgian architecture. Here you will also find great independent boutiques, artisan cafes and top fashion brands.
Arthur’s Seat is one of four forts on the hill dating back around 2,000 years. Located in Holyrood Park, it has a rich cultural heritage and the park is a great place for long walks and stunning views. A visit to the Royal Yacht Britannia is a must and has been Scotland’s top attraction for 12 consecutive years.
Popular attractions and monuments
Situated atop Castle Rock, Edinburgh Castle attracts visitors and has been voted one of Britain’s top heritage attractions. Offering panoramic views, it is also home to historic artefacts including the Honors of Scotland and the Stone of Destiny. The best way to explore the castle is to take a guided tour, available in 8 languages.
Arthur’s Seat is one of the most popular attractions, offering unparalleled panoramic views of the city. There are many trails and trails for all skill levels to reach the top and take in the amazing views.
Standing over 200 feet high (61 meters), the Scott Monument, dedicated to the works of Scotland’s beloved writer; Sir Walter Scot. Located in Princess Street Gardens, this Gothic structure features sculptures with characters from Scott’s novels. Inside, you can learn more about this fascinating landmark in the museum hall. You can also climb to the top of the monument for stunning views of the city.
Art and culture
A visit to the National Museum of Scotland should also be part of your itinerary. Boasting over 20,000 unique items, it’s a great place to visit in Edinburgh and admission is free. You can also head to the rooftop terrace for stunning views of the city.
The Scottish National Gallery, housed in two stunning buildings, features works from the 1900s to the present day, where you can admire masterpieces by Picasso and Matisse. The surrounding garden is also home to impressive sculptures.
Edinburgh is home to a thriving food scene with restaurants, bars, artisan cafes and top notch local cuisine using the best local produce. Most of them are in the old and new towns.
For excellent breakfast options and outdoor seating, you can find Scran Bistro in the Old Town offering delicious breakfast and lunch options.
For delicious, comforting local cuisine of classic dishes such as Scottish eggs, leg of lamb and delicious mashed potatoes, among others, head to the Makars Gourmet Mash Bar located in the Old Town, near the gardens. of Princess Street.
If you prefer a quick and tasty bite, Tempting Tattie has some of the best mashed potatoes we’ve tried, with a great choice of toppings.
For delicious and authentic local Fish & Chips, head to Bertie’s located on Victoria Street in the Old Town. The products are fresh and offer large portions for a great price. There is also a large selection of beers and soft drinks.
If you want a guided tour, sample the best local food stops, and learn more about the history of the regions you visit, we recommend the Eat Walk tour.
Holyrood Park is one of Edinburgh’s top attractions, offering stunning scenery, rolling green hills and lakes. A perfect setting for a relaxing stroll, here you can also walk to Arthur’s Seat, the highest point in town for stunning views.
Located just a mile walk from the central areas, the Royal Botanic Garden boasts 72 acres of beautiful landscape. This beautiful area dates back 350 years, where you can learn about the history of the garden and explore the Rock Garden and Woodland Garden. There are also works of art to be discovered in the Inverleith House and The Botanics Shop in the Visitor Center.
Princes Street Gardens is located opposite Princes Street, near Edinburgh Castle. Boasting superb gardens right in the city center, perfect for a stroll and for admiring the sights and offering great views over the rooftops of the old town. It’s also the place that hosts Britain’s biggest New Years street party if you’re visiting during the holiday season.