With tourist guides billing it as one of the most popular places to visit in the UK, Edinburgh is certainly a city with a reputation. Built on or around 7 hills, Edinburgh offers visitors culture, history, and outdoor activity in equal measure.
One thing you’ll soon notice Edinburgh isn’t short of, is museums, which proudly stand as testament to local and national history, Scottish contributions to industry and invention, and links with global cultures. Browse through the pages on this site, and you can find out more about museums dedicated to science, flying, renowned Scottish writers, and there’s even a museum run by the Royal College of Surgeons.
If you don’t want to spend all your time in Edinburgh looking at exhibits, then there are also plenty of other activities, events, and attractions to educate and entertain you, including the world famous Edinburgh International Festival. Venues across the city will celebrate culture in grand style with just over 3 weeks of classical music, opera, and the best of dance and the visual arts, featuring shows and artists from around the world. Scheduled around the same time, is the equally varied Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which attracts thousands of big name and up-and-coming performers in the fields of theatre, comedy, dance, musicals, music, and other entertainment fields. Every imaginable venue across the city will be used, and the entertainment often takes to the streets too. August is well and truly festival season in the city, as the line-up is completed with the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
The Military Tattoo is held against the backdrop of Edinburgh Castle, another tourist attraction in the city, and one with a host of interesting features. Visit outside of festival season and you can admire the 18th and 19th century buildings, the Norman chapel, and the Crown Jewels of Scotland. These are some of the key events and attractions that are associated with this Scottish city, but there’s plenty more to see and do, so let’s take a look at some other highlights:
Edinburgh is surrounded by the Pentland Hills in the South, and the Firth of Forth, an area of water littered with islands in the Nouth. The Pentland Hills in particular are popular with active fell runners, mountain bikers, and cyclists. You’ll also find the Mid-Lothian Snow Sports Centre in the same area, if you want to experience skiing and snowboarding on the longest artificial slope in Europe.
Although it might not be quite the same as holidaying on an exotic island, Edinburgh and the Lothians, also have their fair share of spectacular coastal scenery and good quality beaches. You could surf, picnic, or walk along Belhaven Beach in the John Muir Country Park, or explore the sandy beach and seaside town of North Berwick. There’s also Yellowcraigs beach, which is great for dog walkers, and Portobello, the beach in an unusual urban location, where visitors and locals can buy ice cream, and old fashioned sweets.
The Royal Connection
Along with Edinburgh Castle, there are a few other places you can visit in the city with a Royal connection, the first being the Palace of Holyrood House and Holyrood Park. The official Royal residence in Scotland is used by Her Majesty The Queen and other members of the Royal Family, particularly during the Holyrood Week celebrations. Visitors can view some of the Royal Apartments, and the rooms that were used by the unlucky Mary Queen of Scots. There are free audio tours available, and guided tours in the summer months of adjacent Holyrood Abbey.
Another very special Royal Residence can also be found in the city, and that is the former Royal Yacht, Britannia, which has been preserved as a visitor attraction, and provides a fascinating insight into royal life. You can check out the exhibits in the visitor centre, and then step aboard for a self-guided tour, which even features the Queen’s bedroom. There’s also a tea room on-board with great waterfront views, and freshly baked cakes.
There is so much to see and do in the city; you really will be spoilt for choice. You could choose from a scary visit to Edinburgh Dungeons or a trip to Ocean Terminal Shopping Centre. You could also pay a visit to the Scottish Parliament Visitor Centre, or find out about Scotland’s most famous drink, at the Scottish Whisky Experience. Families will love seeing the Pandas and Monkeys at Edinburgh Zoo, which also houses the largest penguin enclosure in the world, and is the only place in the UK where you will see Koalas.
Once you’ve taken a trip on the wild side, you could then take to the streets, and pay a visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens, the old town medieval shopping streets, or some of the villages that extend out from Edinburgh, such as 800 year old Dean Village, or Duddingston Loch, where there’s a bird sanctuary, and a house once used by Bonnie Prince Charlie. There’s something for all the family to see and do in Edinburgh, so why not find out more about all it has to offer.
If you are thinking about visiting Edinburgh then there are also plenty of accommodation options. Book the perfect hotel in Edinburgh by comparing them on trivago.com! Click here for more information.
The city offers a wide range of options, from the famous Scotsman perched high above the train station and trendy boutiques such as Missoni to more affordable options wherever you prefer to be based.