Top Things to Do in Edinburgh

Overview of the Top Things to do in Edinburgh 

You will feel a magic in the air like you’ve never felt in a city before when you visit Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh. Filled with stunning gothic architecture, and a history that goes back centuries, you will enjoy every second of walking the cobblestone streets and up every hill to see a new vantage point below.

There is so much to do in Edinburgh that you may not know where to start if you only have a couple days in the city. Here are the top things to put on your travel plans!

Edinburgh Castle 

On top of an ancient volcano, overlooking the city is Edinburgh Castle. Walk around the castle grounds and tour the oldest building in Scotland, the 12th century St. Margaret’s Chapel. See Scottish artifacts and learn about the royal history before you see the Scottish Crown Jewels. You can also visit the National War Museum on-site. Be sure to take tons of photos from the terraces before heading back down!

Palace of Holyrood House

Known more commonly as Holyrood Palace, this is the official residence of the British monarchy and where the Queen stays when she is in the city. The palace has had this function since the 16th century, and is named for the 12th century Augustinian Holyrood Abbey, who’s ruins you can also visit. When not being used for state functions, guests can visit the palace and grounds and visit where the legendary Mary, Queen of Scots once walked.

Royal Mile

The walk from the castle to Holyrood House is known as the Royal Mile. The popular trail for residents and tourists is actually five streets full of shops, cafes, and museums. You will feel like you’re in a Harry Potter book or back in Medieval times as you see the historical architecture on both sides of you.

Arthur’s Seat 

Named after the legendary King Arthur, this extinct volcano is now a lush green hiking trail for all those that want to get outside while in Edinburgh. You can see for miles if the weather is clear. This is a moderate climb and well worth it when you get to the top!

Calton Hill

If you’re an earlier riser, or just want magnificent views of Edinburgh, a walk up Calton Hill is a must. This is a paved trail and at the top you can meander around many monument such as the famous and well known National Monument, modeled after the Greek Parthenon. You will also find the City Observatory, the Nelson Mandela Monument, and others. Walking around the hill is free and well worth it!

Scottish National Gallery

If you’re looking for something free to do in Edinburgh, or you need to get out of the rain for a minute, definitely go to the Scottish National Gallery. Here you will see art from the Renaissance through the 20th century, both by Scottish and international painters.

No matter how your time in Edinburgh shakes out, you will have a fantastic trip learning about this beautiful city and the history of Scotland!

For travel inquiries, please feel free to call Amy Jones Travel at 803-493-3431 or email us at

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