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Travel Guides: Edinburgh City Guide

Edinburgh is well-known for it’s culture, heritage and renownded festivals. It’s Old and New towns are both World Heritage Sites. Explore stunning gardens and a Castle perched on-top of a dormant volcano.

The city’s historic Old Town is where you will find many of the top landmarks and attractions, such as the Royal Mile, the imposing Edinburgh Castle and the National Museum of Scotland. Explore the narrow cobbled streets to find boutique shops and artisan cafes along with al fresco dining; a perfect place to unwind and take in the city.

For some of the city’s best restaurants and bars, head to the New Town, where you can admire the neo-classical and Georgian architecture. Here you will also find some great independent shops, artisan cafes, and big name fashion brands.

Arthur’s Seat is one of four hill forts that dates back to around 2,000 years ago. Located within Holyrood Park, it boasts 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 is Scotland’s Best Attraction for 12 years running.

Popular Attractions and Landmarks

The Town Centre in Edinburgh

Located at the top of Castle Rock, Edinburgh Castle is a big draw for visitors and voted a top UK Heritage Attraction. Offering scenic views, it also home to historic artefacts including the Honours of Scotland and The Stone of Destiny. The best way to explore the Castle is with a guided tour, which is available in 8 languages.

Arthur’s Seat is one of the most popular attractions, offering unrivalled panoramic views of the city. There are many different pathways and trails for all abilities to reach the top and enjoy the stunning views.

Towering over 200 feet high (61 meters), the Scott Monument, dedicated to the works of Scotland’s beloved writer; Sir Walter Scot. Located on the Princess Street Gardens, this gothic structure features carvings with characters from Scott’s novels and inside you can learn more about this fascinating landmark in the Museum Room. You can also climb to the top of the monument for stunning views of the city. 

Scott Monument towers over 200 feet tall

Art and Culture

A visit to the National Museum of Scotland should also be on your itinerary. Boasting over 20,000 unique artefacts, its a great place to visit in Edinburgh and entry is free. You can also head up to the rooftop terrace for stunning views of the city.

The Scottish National Gallery housed in two stunning buildings, boasts works from the 1900’s to modern day, where you can admire masterpieces from the likes of Picasso and Matisse. The surrounding garden also boasts some impressive sculptures. 

The Old Town in Edinburgh

Food & Drink

Edinburgh is home to thriving dining scene boasting some top restaurants, bars, artisan cafes, and local cuisine using the best local produce. Most of these can be found in the Old and New Town.

For great breakfast options and al-fresco seating, you can find Scran Bistro in the Old Town offering tasty breakfast and lunch options.

The Old Town in Edinburgh

For delightful local comfort food featuring classic dishes such as Scotch eggs, leg of lamb and delicious mashed potatoes among others, head to Makars Gourmet Mash Bar located in the Old Town near the Princess Street Gardens.

If you prefer a quick and tasty bite, Tempting Tattie offers some of the best mashed potatoes we have tried, with plenty of toppings to choose from.

For delicious and authentic local Fish & Chips, head to Bertie’s located on Victoria Street in the Old Town. The produce is fresh and offers large portions for a great price. There is also a large selection of beers and soft drinks. 

If you would like a guided tour and to sample the best local food stops and learn more about the history of the areas you visit, then we recommend the Eat Walk tour.

Parks

Holyrood Park is one of Edinburgh’s top attractions, boasting stunning scenery, green hills and lakes. A perfect setting for a relaxing stroll, here you can also hike to Arthur’s Seat, the highest point in the city for unbeatable views.

 Located just a one mile walk from the central areas, the Royal Botanic Garden boasts 72 acres of beautiful landscape. This stunning area dates back 350 years, where you can learn about the history of the garden and explore the Rock Garden and the Woodland Garden. There is also artworks to discover in the Inverleith House and The Botanics Shop in the visitor centre.

Princes Street Gardens is located opposite to Princes Street close to Edinburgh Castle. Boasting stunning gardens right in the middle of the city centre, perfect for a stroll and to take in the sights and offering great views of the Old Town skyline. This is also the place which holds Britain’s biggest New Year’s street party if you are visiting during the festive period.


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