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EdinburghUnited Kingdom

Scotland’s capital is filled with attractive landmarks, parks and gardens, and hosts cultural festivals that draw millions of visitors each year.

Nestled beside long extinct volcanoes and built on seven hills, Edinburgh offers spectacular scenery in a rugged setting. The city itself is visually impressive with the medieval buildings of the Old Town and the wide Georgian roads and spacious homes of the New Town. Edinburgh was declared a World Heritage Site in 1995.

The city’s crowning glory and the reason for its existence is Edinburgh Castle. For hundreds of years, this fortress perched on an ancient volcano defended the city from attack.

Start your exploration of Scotland’s capital city at The Royal Mile. This series of cobblestone streets links the castle with the Palace of Holyroodhouse, an official royal residence. Along the route you’ll come across some of the city’s most famous landmarks, including St. Giles’ Cathedral and Parliament House.

Just a short walk away is Princes Street Gardens, which runs the length of Princes Street, the city’s main shopping area. While you are enjoying this pretty green space, visit some of its memorials and monuments including the Scott Monument. This Gothic structure was built to honor the novelist Sir Walter Scott. Its viewing galleries offer good views of the city.

Enjoy even more beautiful views from the hills that rise over the city. Hike to the summits of Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano, and Calton Hill, which is home to a number of impressive monuments.

Veer off the beaten track and explore some of Edinburgh’s lesser-known sites. Dean Village is surrounded by countryside and is just five minutes from the city center. The port district has a wealth of bars, cafes and restaurants and is also the final resting place of the Royal Yacht Britannia. This magnificent vessel sailed the British royal family around the world for more than 40 years.

Two of the most popular months to visit Edinburgh are December and August. Overlapping arts festivals running through August include the Edinburgh Fringe and the Edinburgh Art Festival. December is packed with Yuletide attractions and markets, and is rounded off with one of the world’s most famous street parties: Edinburgh’s Hogmanay.

Edinburgh Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in Edinburgh

Old Town which includes street scenes and heritage elements

Old Town

4.5/5Wonderful!(288 area reviews)

Old Town is known for its popular shops, and you can see some sights in the area like Royal Mile and Grassmarket.

Old Town
Edinburgh which includes night scenes and heritage architecture

New Town

4.5/5Wonderful!(233 area reviews)

New Town is known for its popular shops, and you can see some sights in the area like Princes Street and George Street.

New Town

Top Hotels in Edinburgh

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
The Balmoral Hotel
The Balmoral Hotel
5 out of 5
1 Princes Street, Edinburgh, Scotland

Located in New Town, this luxury hotel is steps away from Waterloo Place and Princes Street. George Street and Edinburgh Dungeon are also within 5 minutes. Edinburgh ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (996 reviews)

"Liked old style 1st class service. Only stayed 2 nights. Would have liked longer."…"

Reviewed on Mar. 20, 2020

The Balmoral Hotel
Novotel Edinburgh Centre
Novotel Edinburgh Centre
4 out of 5
80 Lauriston Place, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is CA $115 per night

Located in Old Town, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of The Meadows, Grassmarket and Royal Mile. University of Edinburgh and Usher Hall are also within ...

4.3/5Excellent! (995 reviews)

"Good location, great breakfast, room was nice and from the 6th floor the view was great."…"

Reviewed on Mar. 23, 2020

Novotel Edinburgh Centre
Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club
Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club
4 out of 5
The price is CA $142 per night

This family-friendly Kirknewton hotel is located near the airport, within 3 mi (5 km) of Edinburgh International Climbing Arena Ratho and Heriot Watt University. ...

4.4/5Excellent! (2,087 reviews)

"I enjoyed the pond on the golf course. Took a stroll and the swan and ducks came by to investigate me, although I assumed they’ve had people feed them."…"

Reviewed on Mar. 16, 2020

Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club

Popular places to visit in Edinburgh

Edinburgh Castle
Image for Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

4.5/5(388 reviews)

Fortress, palace and repository of the crown jewels, this landmark overlooking the city has played a crucial role in Scottish history.

Royal Mile
Image for Royal Mile

Royal Mile

4.5/5(108 reviews)

Explore this area in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town to find ancient buildings, historic relics, shops, museums and range of dining options.

Edinburgh Zoo
Image for Edinburgh Zoo

Edinburgh Zoo

4/5(5 reviews)

See rare and endangered species and learn about the efforts to conserve them at Edinburgh’s largest wildlife attraction.

Top things to do in Edinburgh

Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
Image for Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

96% of travellers recommend
CA $27
Per adult
Loch Ness & the Highlands with Hotel Pickup from Edinburgh
Image for Loch Ness & the Highlands with Hotel Pickup from Edinburgh

Loch Ness & the Highlands with Hotel Pickup from Edinburgh

88% of travellers recommend
CA $85
Per adult
Doomed Dead & Buried: Underground Vaults & Canongate Graveyard Walking Tour
Image for Doomed Dead & Buried: Underground Vaults & Canongate Graveyard Walking Tour

Doomed Dead & Buried: Underground Vaults & Canongate Graveyard Walking Tour

88% of travellers recommend
CA $31
Per adult
Hard Rock Cafe Edinburgh Dining with Priority Seating
Image for Hard Rock Cafe Edinburgh Dining with Priority Seating

Hard Rock Cafe Edinburgh Dining with Priority Seating

86% of travellers recommend
CA $32
Per adult
Historic Vaults Walking Tour
Image for Historic Vaults Walking Tour

Historic Vaults Walking Tour

94% of travellers recommend
CA $26
Per adult
Aspire Lounge by Servisair at Edinburgh Airport (EDI)
Image for Aspire Lounge by Servisair at Edinburgh Airport (EDI)

Aspire Lounge by Servisair at Edinburgh Airport (EDI)

CA $46
Per adult

Reviews of Edinburgh

4.7

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
387
5 - Excellent 77.09163346613546%
4 - Good
104
4 - Good 20.717131474103585%
3 - Okay
10
3 - Okay 1.9920318725099602%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
1
1 - Terrible 0.199203187250996%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Mar 24, 2020

Beautiful city with so much history and things to do. The National Art Gallery of Scotland was amazing. Do a Ghost and Ghouls tour. Steve the tour guide was awesome. Take the tour to Rosslyn Chapel. It was wonderful and Eric was a great guide.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Mar 1, 2020

Lovely city. Parking isn’t great but if you are staying in or near the town centre, it’s all walkable.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Jan 18, 2020

Beautiful place..so much to see snd do..recommend the Royal Edinburgh pass as it is cheaper than buying tickets separately. Eat at local pubs and restaurants..food was excellent..check out offerings on Cockburn and venture down the closes. Free walk

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Jan 16, 2020

Edinburgh is such a beautiful city. My brother is very lucky to call it home for his University year. Amazing place! You gotta go! ;)

5/5 - Excellent

Connie

Jan 16, 2020

Glad there was lots to see plus lots of shopping so my husband could walk and tour on his own from Ibis Hotel while I was in the hospital. Royal Infirmary of Scotland was 10 out of 10. Even the hospital food was wonderful!

5/5 - Excellent

Jan

Dec 27, 2019

This is our fourth time visiting Edinburgh within two years. It is historically interesting, totally walkable and has a safe, approachable and welcoming atmosphere. The transportation system within the city, its environs and country-wide is excellent

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Edinburgh

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Image for Hogmanay: A guide to ringing in the New Year in Edinburgh

Hogmanay: A guide to ringing in the New Year in Edinburgh

Hogmanay: A guide to ringing in the New Year in Edinburgh
Hogmanay: A guide to ringing in the New Year in Edinburgh
Image for Exploring the Royal Mile in Edinburgh

Exploring the Royal Mile in Edinburgh

Exploring the Royal Mile in Edinburgh
Exploring the Royal Mile in Edinburgh
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