Edinburgh Sites & Attractions
The best way to see Edinburgh is to let your feet take you…
We would recommend starting with one of the most prominent landmarks in central Edinburgh, Arthurs Seat, a beautiful green volcano with the most spectacular view of the city and the sea. Stroll back into town and you can wave at The Queen (if she is in residence) at Holyrood Palace or admire the wild architecture of The Scottish Parliament and find yourself at the bottom of The Royal Mile, an incredible high street peppered with blackened sandstone shops and pubs, closes and wynds. A walk up the ‘mile’ takes you past St Giles Cathedral and The Camera Obscura, right to the front door of Edinburgh Castle, our ancient historic monument perched upon a craggy rock in the city centre.
From here, there is something for every taste:
Arthur’s Seat, The Botanics, The Water of Leith, Crammond Island, Calton Hill and Portobello beach are just some of the great walks recommended in this article by Edinburgh Spotlight.
History and stories
It’s hard not to run into history in Edinburgh but two places to go and find it are, the brilliant National Museum of Scotland and the Museum of The Royal College of Surgeons Hall – a historical and large collection of surgical pathology material (including a pocket book made from the skin of William Burke – not for the faint-hearted).
The statue of Greyfriars Bobby, a dog who held a 14 year vigil on his master’s grave can be found outside the graveyard of Greyfriars Kirk (Harry Potter fans might be interested to check out the gravestones in the kirkyard!). If you like a ghost tale or two and a look into the past and the fascinating hidden streets underneath the city then book in to see Mary Kings Close.
The large galleries in the heart of town are, featuring art from the greats: The Scottish National Gallery; Scotland past and present, at The Scottish National Portrait Gallery; and slightly out of the centre of the city, modern and contemporary art (including Paolozzi’s studio), at The National Gallery of Modern Art. For something smaller and contemporary, Fruitmarket Gallery, and Collective Gallery that sits atop Calton Hill in an old observatory (and has a lovely cafe). That gives you two reasons to go to that one! And lastly, a small photography gallery, Stills.