We’ve already talked about beautiful places in England, such as Brighton or Liverpool. Today we travel to Scotland and discover the beautiful Edinburgh, capital of the country since the 15th century. You will find there’s so much to see in this beautiful city, which is one of the best cultural and financial centres in the UK. Here are the top 10 places to see and things to do when you visit Edinburgh!
1. Visit Edinburgh Castle
To begin with, you should check out the historical Edinburgh Castle. It’s an iconic symbol of the city. The Castle Rock has been the site of the royal castle since at least the 12th century. It’s always been a strategic military base and also home to some important monarchs such as King James IV. There also lived the famous Mary Queen of Scots with her second husband, Lord Darnley, and their son, King James VI.
The castle is today open to the public, and you can usually visit it from 9.30 in the morning until early evening. You’ll be able to see many of the castle’s rooms and exhibitions, as well as St Margaret’s Chapel, the National War Museum, and some cafes and restaurants. You can reach it on foot, by car, bus and tram or even by bike. The address is Edinburgh Castle, Castlehill, Edinburgh.
2. National War Museum
We really think you should check out this beautiful museum that we just mentioned above. You will find the National War museum at the Edinburgh Castle and here you’ll discover about more than 400 years of war history of Scotland. In the exhibitions you can read more about the country and its relationship with the neighbouring England. Lots of art, relics and multimedia content awaits you everyday from 9:45 AM until 16:45 PM. What’s more, admission is FREE!
3. Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art
Another museum that we recommend you is the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. It holds works of modern and contemporary art and it’s divided in two buildings, Modern One and Modern Two. There are many permanent collections with works from the 19th and early 20th century, from Dada and Surrealism, Cubism and more. But you will also find appealing temporary collections that are definitely worth to see if you visit the city while they’re still on. Always check the museum’s website (link at the bottom of the article) to discover which exhibitions you’ll find during your trip! Both buildings are open daily from 10 AM to 5 PM and entrance is also free.
4. Writers’ Museum
One last museum that you should visit is the fascinating Writers’ Museum. It’s dedicated to three major Scottish writers – Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson. There you will find portraits of the authors, information about their life, objects from their home, pictures and more. The admission is free and you will find it at Lawnmarket, Lady Stair’s Cl, Edinburgh.
5. St Giles’ Cathedral
Let’s move on to the beautiful St Giles’ Cathedral. Founded by King David I in 1124, it’s one of the most ancient sites of Edinburgh’s Old Town and an unmissable stop during your visit of the city. The Cathedral has outlived centuries of history and dominations and monarchies, and its beautiful architecture, both on the outside and on the inside, will definitely charm you. You can visit it freely everyday during opening hours.
6. Holyrood Park and Arthur’s Seat
Holyrood is a stunning Royal Park on Queens Drive. Here you’ll get to experience a hill walk without the need to go out of the city. It will take you about 2-2.5 hours to get to the top of Arthur’s Seat, the park’s little mountain from where you’ll be able to enjoy stunning views of Edinburgh right from its very heart. An unmissable opportunity to take postcard-like pictures and give a sporty twist to your trip!
7. Scott Monument
Moving on, the famous Sir Walter Scott monument in Princes Street Gardens is a Victorian Gothic monument dedicated to the author. It consists in a high tower on a platform, and in the middle of it stands a statue portraying the writer made by John Steell. This is definitely one of the symbols of the city that you don’t want to miss during your tour!
8. Visit Edinburgh ‘s Scottish Parliament
Another recommended stop is the Scottish Parliament building, which is part of the World Heritage List along with the Edinburgh Castle and Edinburgh’s city centre. At the moment, the COVID-19 restrictions prevent the visitors to book free guided tours of the building’s architecture and rooms, and it’s still uncertain when it will open to the public again. However, you can still book virtual tours which will show you the inside of the building and also will provide you information about the Scottish Parliament’s history and functions.
9. Visit Edinburgh ‘s Royal Botanic Garden
To add some more green to you Scottish trip, check out Edinburgh’s stunning Royal Botanic Garden. Fantastic views, almost 350 years of history and beautiful plant species await you daily on Arboretum Place, where you will find the access to the Garden which is currently free as well. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit this lovely place and to enjoy the company of nature for a little while, away from the city’s bustle.
10. Nightlife: The Edinburgh Pub Crawl
And finally, if you want to make the best of your stay in the Scottish capital, you should also enjoy some of its nightlife. After a day of walking around the city and a nice dinner in the early evening, one of the best ways to proceed with your night is join Edinburgh’s Pub Crawl, which starts evert night at 8 PM at The Tron pub. It’s located on Hunter Square and will only be the starting point of a night through the evocative Old Town streets and fancy pubs. Book your participation online, enjoy yourself while having a good drink and maybe take the chance to meet new people there!
This and much more awaits you in the beautiful Edinburgh. You only need to grab your tickets and bags and hit the road towards this magical destination!