Must-see attractions in Edinburgh

  • Looking up the hill at Edinburgh Castle. Edinburgh Castle

    Edinburgh Castle

    Old Town

    Edinburgh Castle has played a pivotal role in Scottish history, both as a royal residence – King Malcolm Canmore (r 1058–93) and Queen Margaret first made…

  • Bell on the Roal Yacht Britannia.

    Royal Yacht Britannia


    Built on Clydeside, the former Royal Yacht Britannia was the British Royal Family's floating holiday home during their foreign travels from the time of…

  • Detail of main facade of Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.

    Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art


    Edinburgh's gallery of modern art is split between two impressive neoclassical buildings surrounded by landscaped grounds some 500m west of Dean Village…

  • Scottish Parliament Building

    Holyrood & Arthur’s Seat

    The Scottish Parliament Building, on the site of a former brewery and designed by Catalan architect Enric Miralles (1955–2000), was opened by the Queen in…

  • Royal Botanic Garden


    Edinburgh's Royal Botanic Garden is the second-oldest institution of its kind in Britain (after Oxford), and one of the most respected in the world…

  • Palace of Holyroodhouse

    Holyrood & Arthur’s Seat

    This palace is the royal family's official residence in Scotland but is more famous as the 16th-century home of the ill-fated Mary, Queen of Scots. The…

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    Arthur's Seat

    Holyrood & Arthur’s Seat

    The rocky peak of Arthur’s Seat (251m), carved by ice sheets from the deeply eroded stump of a long-extinct volcano, is a distinctive feature of Edinburgh…

  • Real Mary King's Close

    Old Town

    Edinburgh's 18th-century City Chambers were built over the sealed-off remains of Mary King's Close, and the lower levels of this medieval Old Town alley…

  • National Museum of Scotland

    Old Town

    Elegant Chambers St is dominated by the long facade of the National Museum of Scotland. Its extensive collections are spread between two buildings: one…

  • Surgeons' Hall Museums


    Housed in a grand Ionic temple designed by William Playfair in 1832, these three fascinating museums were originally established as teaching collections…

  • Scottish National Portrait Gallery

    New Town

    The Venetian Gothic palace of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery is one of the city's top attractions. Its galleries illustrate Scottish history…

  • Princes Street Gardens

    New Town

    These beautiful gardens lie in a valley that was once occupied by the Nor’ Loch (North Loch), a boggy depression that was drained in the early 19th…

  • Looking down across Dr Neil's Garden and Duddingston Loch

    Dr Neil's Garden

    Holyrood & Arthur’s Seat

    Edinburgh’s quintessential secret garden, in the shadow of a 12th-century kirk, is one of the most peaceful green spaces in Scotland. Cultivated in the…

  • Lauriston Castle, parts of which date back to the 15th century

    Lauriston Castle


    Lauriston Castle has one of the most remarkable Edwardian interiors in Scotland, with elements dating back to the 16th century. Gifted to the nation in…

  • Edinburgh Zoo


    Opened in 1913, Edinburgh Zoo is one of the world's leading conservation zoos. Edinburgh's captive breeding program has helped save many endangered…

  • St Gile's Cathedral on the Royal Mile.

    St Giles Cathedral

    Old Town

    The great grey bulk of St Giles Cathedral dates largely from the 15th century, but much of it was restored in the 19th century. One of the most…

  • National Gallery of Scotland, The Mound.

    Scottish National Gallery

    New Town

    Designed by William Playfair, this imposing classical building with its Ionic porticoes dates from 1850. Its octagonal rooms, lit by skylights, have been…

  • Cramond Anti Submarine Defences.



    With its moored yachts, stately swans and whitewashed houses spilling down the hillside at the mouth of the River Almond, Cramond is the most picturesque…

  • Monument to Dugald Stewart on Calton Hill.

    Calton Hill

    New Town

    Calton Hill (100m), which rises dramatically above the eastern end of Princes St, is Edinburgh's acropolis, its summit scattered with grandiose memorials…

  • EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - MARCH 19:  Members of the public view the Diageo Claive Vidiz Collection, the world's largest collection of Scottish Whisky on display at The Scotch Whisky Experience on March 19, 2014 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne announced today in his final budget before the Scottish independence referendum, that duty on Scotch whisky is to be frozen.  (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

    Scotch Whisky Experience

    Old Town

    A former school houses this multimedia centre that takes you through the making of whisky, from barley to bottle, in a series of exhibits, demonstrations…

  • Gorgie City Farm

    Gorgie City Farm


    A working community smallholding with a range of farm animals (including woolly pigs!), a wildlife garden, a play park, a mini farm shop, and a pet lodge…

  • The Tron Kirk on the Royal Mile.

    Tron Kirk

    Old Town

    Built in 1637 and taking its name from the tron (public weighbridge) that once stood on the site, this church is famous for its magnificent oak hammer…

  • Outside the entrance to Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop

    Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop


    This state-of-the-art building located on an old railway siding is the first purpose-built centre dedicated to sculpture in the UK. There are regular…

  • The shop and gallery at Dovecot Studios

    Dovecot Studios

    Old Town

    A world-class tapestry studio and contemporary arts-and-crafts centre housed in what was once Edinburgh’s oldest public baths, Dovecot has a remarkable…

  • 500px Photo ID: 105478949 - Sunrise taken in early spring from Blackford Hill in Edinburgh...You can buy prints or licence images on my website:.<a href="">Philip Cormack Photography</a>

    Blackford Hill


    A patch of countryside enclosed by the city’s southern suburbs, craggy Blackford Hill (164m) offers pleasant walking and splendid views. The panorama to…

  • Grassmarket

    Old Town

    The site of a cattle market from the 15th century until the start of the 20th century, the Grassmarket has always been a focal point of the Old Town. It…

  • Greyfriars Bobby Statue

    Old Town

    Probably the most popular photo opportunity in Edinburgh, the life-size statue of Greyfriars Bobby, a Skye terrier who captured the hearts of the British…

  • Royal Scottish Academy

    New Town

    This Greek Doric temple, with its northern pediment crowned by a seated figure of Queen Victoria, is the home of the Royal Scottish Academy. Designed by…

  • Greyfriars Kirkyard

    Old Town

    Greyfriars Kirkyard is one of Edinburgh's most evocative cemeteries, a peaceful green oasis dotted with elaborate monuments. Many famous Edinburgh names…

  • City Chambers

    Old Town

    The imposing Georgian City Chambers, home to the City of Edinburgh Council, were originally built by John Adam (brother of Robert) between 1753 and 1761…

  • Greyfriars Kirk

    Old Town

    One of Edinburgh's most famous churches, Greyfriars Kirk was built on the site of a Franciscan friary and opened for worship on Christmas Day 1620…

  • Old Calton Burial Ground

    New Town

    One of Edinburgh’s many atmospheric old cemeteries, Old Calton is dominated by the tall black obelisk of the Political Martyrs’ Monument, which…

  • Craigmillar Castle


    If you want to explore a Scottish fortress away from the crowds that throng Edinburgh Castle, try Craigmillar. Dating from the 15th century, the tower…

  • Canongate Kirkyard

    Old Town

    The attractive curved gable of the Canongate Kirk, built in 1688, overlooks a kirkyard that contains the graves of several famous people, including…

  • St Andrew Square

    New Town

    Though not as architecturally distinguished as its sister Charlotte Sq, at the opposite end of George St, St Andrew Sq is dominated by the fluted column…

  • Duddingston Kirk

    Holyrood & Arthur’s Seat

    Poised on a promontory overlooking Duddingston Loch, this church is one of the oldest buildings in Edinburgh, with some interesting medieval relics at the…

  • People's Story

    Old Town

    One of the surviving symbols of the Canongate district's former independence is the Canongate Tolbooth. Built in 1591, it served successively as a…

  • Holyrood Abbey

    Holyrood & Arthur’s Seat

    David I founded this abbey in the shadow of Salisbury Crags in 1128. It was probably named after a fragment of the True Cross (rood is an old Scots word…

  • Our Dynamic Earth

    Holyrood & Arthur’s Seat

    Housed in a modernistic white marquee, Our Dynamic Earth is an interactive, multimedia journey of discovery through Earth's history from the Big Bang to…

  • Museum of Edinburgh

    Old Town

    You can't miss the colourful facade of Huntly House, brightly painted in red and yellow ochre, opposite the Tolbooth clock on the Royal Mile. Built in…

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