1. Edinburgh Castle: Skip-the-Line Guided Tour
Standing on Castle Rock, an extinct volcano cut to its hard basalt core in the Ice Age, Edinburgh Castle overlooks the Old Town that nestles in its shadow. Skip the long lines to enter Scotland’s most popular tourist attraction and learn about one of the world’s most heroic and bloody national histories. Your guide will tell you stories of the kings, queens, lovers and soldiers that lived, for better or worse, behind the fortress walls. Despite its seemingly impenetrable defenses, the castle’s past is riddled with dramatic conquests, captures and tales of destruction. By contrast, today it is one of the quietest places in Edinburgh, far above the city’s busy streets. In addition to panoramic city views, see the Crown Jewels of Scotland, including the legendary Stone of Destiny, the Great Hall, the infamous dungeons, and the enormous Mons Meg cannon. Discover why it’s the only place in the world to host a graveyard for dogs, and be mesmerized by the smallest shrine you’ve ever seen.