Edinburgh
Enter your dates to find available activities
to

Top Tours & Activities in Edinburgh

See all tours & things to do in Edinburgh

Top 10 things to do in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is an effortlessly cohesive reflection of Scotland's breathtaking rural landscape, flaunting cultural vibrancy, historic charm, and scenic wonder. Even its New Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. So, what are its top attractions?

Edinburgh Castle

The Edinburgh Castle was built at least as early as the 12th century. Looking over the city from Castle Rock, it's been at the heart of some of Scotland's bloodiest conflicts.

Stirling Castle

Having withstood multiple sieges, Stirling is one of Scotland's most important castles. Even if you're not a history buff, the scenery alone warrants a day trip from the capital!

Loch Lomond

What's a holiday to Scotland without visiting one of its picturesque lochs? Luckily, the largest and most breathtaking one in the country, the Loch Lomond, is just a short journey away!

Holyrood Palace

The Holyrood Abbey next to the Holyrood Palace is still in ruins after the Glorious Revolution of 1688. Fun fact: Holyrood is Old English for "holy cross."

Royal Mile

The historic thoroughfare, called The Royal Mile, runs through Edinburgh's Old Town from the Castle to Holyrood for one Scots mile. That's longer than a regular mile, in case you were wondering!

Greyfriars Church

The birthplace of 17th-century Scottish Presbyterianism, this church is a landmark of the country's religious history. It still holds Sunday services in English and Scottish Gaelic.

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Dating back to 1670, when it was used to grow medicinal plants, this conservation project has bloomed into a leading tourist attraction. Today it houses over 13,000 plant species!

Photo: Hugh Llewelyn @flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

HMY Britannia

Built for the Prince of Wales in 1893, this royal yacht is considered one of the UK's top attractions. You can even enjoy lunch or afternoon tea on the Royal Deck!

Rosslyn Chapel

Just south of Edinburgh lies the village of Roslin, where the spectacular Rosslyn Chapel was built 600 years ago as an object of curiosity and splendor. A truly unique example of religious architecture!

Our Dynamic Earth

The Holyrood area sits beneath a dormant volcano. The information center Our Dynamic Earth is the perfect place to learn about the natural processes that shaped our planet from the Big Bang to the present!

Planning Your Edinburgh Visit

Best time to visit?

Edinburgh is heaving with visitors throughout the summer, but for good reason – it's festival season! If you'd rather see the city significantly less hectic then you'll have to brave the Scottish winter. The good news is that few landscapes lend themselves so beautifully to cloud and drizzle as that of Scotland!

When is the Edinburgh Festival?

Edinburgh has several large festivals occupying its streets throughout summer, including their film, jazz, and book festivals. However, it's common to mistake the Edinburgh Fringe – the world's largest performing arts festival – as THE festival. It spans 25 days of August. This year's exact dates, and those for the other events too, can be found here.

How long to stay?

Book at least a week in Edinburgh if you can. Many of the city's most popular attractions require more time than you'll realise and there's already more than enough to do, especially during festival season. Plus, if you haven't ventured into Scotland's awe-inspiring countryside before, you should consider at least one day trip out of the city too!

Good to Know

  • Language
    English
  • Currency
    British Pound (£)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+00:00)
  • Country Code
    +44
  • Best time to visit
    Spring for the mild weather, summer for the cultural events!

Things to Do in Edinburgh

Top Attractions in Edinburgh

Other Sightseeing Options in Edinburgh

Want to discover all there is to do in Edinburgh?  Click here for a full list.

What People Are Saying About Edinburgh

Excellent way to get into the city center, easy to find at the airport

I recommend this as a way to get in to the city center at Edinburgh, it was fairly easy to find at the airport, and a painless ride into Waverly station. We had our voucher in hand and needed to exchange for a ticket. the queue was scary long , but the buses seem to come and go one right after the other.
Edinburgh Airport City Airlink Bus Transfer Reviewed by Susan, 09/26/2016

Skip the line is really skip the line, wonderfull day, exciting castle

We could walk direktly into the castle, we didn't hae to stand in the line. It wasn't that much crowdy on this Friday, and we had a lot of exciting things to look at. It's really a "Must have" visit, this castle.
Edinburgh Castle Full-Day Skip-The-Line Ticket Reviewed by Stefanie, 09/25/2016

Interesting and fun way to spend an evening in Edinburgh!

Easy to find the tour! Just head for St. Giles - a lot of fun and introductory history takes place here! Be prepared to interact - myself and another willing victim received the lash - cheered on by the tour party! Great fun in the vaults. Fantastic story telling by our young guide Heather and a satisfying "dram" at the end listening to the tales of Burke & Hare.

Time well spent. But Skipping the line did not work.

In a previous life I worked in the stables of this castle. It felt like home... But smelled better.
Edinburgh Castle Full-Day Skip-The-Line Ticket Reviewed by John, 09/15/2016

I am definitely coming back. Thanks Stephanie :)

The place was amazing; dark, cold, spooky and with a feeling of being haunted. Our guide added so much to the tour - I still remember all the ghost stories she told us - I hope I sleep tonight :)
Edinburgh: Ghostly Underground Vaults Daytime Tour Reviewed by Abdulrahman, 09/12/2016

Edinburgh
4.4
Based on 2,610 reviews by GetYourGuide customers