20 Amazing Things To Do In Edinburgh

Things to do in edinburgh

Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland. And without a doubt, it is a city full of cultural activities, beautiful landscapes, and many more. Edinburgh is an important city that showcases the culture and history of Scotland. 

If you plan on visiting this great city someday, you get to discover more about Edinburgh and its culture. Most people are often uncertain about things to do in Edinburgh during their stay in the city. However, there are a variety of things to do in Edinburgh, and some will be included in this overview. 

There are many awesome things to do in Edinburgh most of which are suitable for all ages. Whether you wish to learn more about the culture that has been in the city for centuries or you will try some of the best delicacies of the city, we have the perfect list for that. If you plan on visiting Edinburgh, in this overview, we will be listing 20 things to do in Edinburgh.

What is special in Edinburgh?

Edinburgh captivates visitors with its unique blend of history, culture, and surprises. Beyond the iconic sights like Edinburgh Castle and The Royal Mile, here are some hidden gems that make Edinburgh special:

  • Literary Haunts: Edinburgh is a UNESCO City of Literature, a haven for bookworms. J.K. Rowling penned parts of the Harry Potter series in cafes here, and the city even boasts a graveyard where the inspiration for Voldemort can be found. Explore independent bookshops, attend readings by local authors, or lose yourself in the magic of a city that breathes literature.
  • Festival Fever: Edinburgh isn’t just a place to visit, it’s a city that comes alive with vibrant festivals year-round. The world-famous Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the largest arts festival in the world, transforms the city into a stage for every imaginable performance of art. From comedy and theater to music and dance, there’s something for everyone. Even outside of peak festival times, the city often has smaller events and celebrations, ensuring a lively atmosphere.

Why do tourists visit Edinburgh?

Tourists flock to Edinburgh for a delightful mix of history, charm, and cultural experiences:

  • Rich History: Edinburgh boasts a historic core, with Edinburgh Castle perched proudly and The Royal Mile brimming with ancient buildings. Walking tours and museums like the National Museum of Scotland offer a glimpse into Scotland’s fascinating past.
  • Cultural Delights: From the lively Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo (a summer music and marching event) to traditional pubs with live folk music, Edinburgh’s cultural scene caters to diverse interests.
  • Architectural Beauty: The city’s architecture is a visual treat. Wander down Georgian New Town with its elegant townhouses, or marvel at the Gothic spires of St Giles’ Cathedral.

20 Things to do in Edinburgh

Here is a list of 20 things to do in Edinburgh

Camera Obscura and World of Illusions:

One of the things to do in Edinburgh is to visit the Camera Obscura and the world of illusions. 

This is one of the top tourist centers of attractions in Edinburgh. It is situated at the top of the Royal Mile, and it is a museum filled with enhanced illusions. 

This museum is ideal for family and friends. And because of the way images are projected, you will get the panorama of the city, and you will most likely enjoy your stay in Edinburgh.

The National Museum of Scotland:

Edinburgh is home to lots of historical and cultural buildings and the National Museum of Scotland. If you are looking for things to do in Edinburgh, consider visiting the National Museum of Scotland. This museum features lots of history of Scotland and records of some of the past heroes.

The National Museum of Scotland is situated in the old town on Chambers Street. You can visit this beautiful museum with your loved one to learn more about the culture and its history.

Arthur’s Seat:

If you are interested in hiking, you should consider visiting Arthur’s Seat Hill. While you stay in Edinburgh city, you can explore Arthur’s Seat Hill, which is one of the top tourist centers in the city. And it is a unique place to hike.

Arthur’s seat is nestled in front of the palace of Holyrood house. 

Arthur’s seat is a volcano extinct, which is about 250 mt tall. When you get to hike to the top of Arthur’s seat, you will get a premium view of the entire city.

Edinburgh Castle:

If you are looking for exciting things to do in Edinburgh Castle, consider visiting Edinburgh Castle. This castle is one of the major historical buildings in Scotland. It has been built since the 12th century, and it is enclosed by a huge fortress. 

Edinburgh Castle is nestled on a volcano rock, and you can visit with your family to have a view of the cattle. If you stay up until one O’clock at noon, you will get to experience the one O’clock gun that has been around since 1861. 

Portobello Beach:

Are you Looking for a sense of quiet time with a loved one and family? Consider visiting Portobello Beach. Porty Beach is a beautiful arena filled with sea, sun, and sand.

You can expect the best when you make a trip to Portobello Beach because there are restaurants that offer mouthwatering meals and cafes such as Twelve Triangle Bakery, a quirky bottle shop, a beer zoo, and many more. Nonetheless, you can also relax on the sandy beach or go on a picnic in this exciting location.

The Balmoral:

One of the things to do in Edinburgh is look for a suitable place or hotel to lodge during your stay in Edinburgh city. And you can consider the Balmoral Hotel. They offer the best of services, ranging from their luxurious spa to their room services and customer support, so you will most likely enjoy your stay in Edinburgh.

The best part about staying in the Balmoral Hotel is that it is located in the heart of Edinburgh city, making it very easy to get to other exciting buildings in the city.

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Victoria Street:

Victoria Street is home to a variety of restaurants and boutiques. One of the things to do in Edinburgh during your stay is to visit Victoria Street. you can as well take a walk from the Grotge IV bridge to the grass market or make some purchases from the shops and boutiques on Victoria Street. 

During your stay in Edinburgh City, you can take a long stroll or fill your eyes with exciting and beautiful views from Victoria Street.


If you are looking for things to do in Edinburgh, consider visiting Summerhall. 

This is one of the top tourist centers in Edinburgh. Summerhall is a multi-art location, that features exciting theatre performances, clubs, art exhibitions, and many more exciting events. You can also take a stroll through the Summerhall distillery. Summerhall also has a microbrewery that produces a unique and tasty Barley’s beer. You can visit this microbrewery to get a better experience. 

Edinburgh Vaults Ghost Tour:

Visiting the Edinburgh vaults is one of the best things to do in Edinburgh. The Edinburgh Vault is a traveling underground that leads to the insides of the historical building. It is a walking tour of the Blair Street underground vaults. 

The vault was once used for illegitimate figures and tradesmen. However, the vault is said to be hunted, and it is one of the top tourist attraction centers in Edinburgh. To get an exclusive experience of the Edinburgh Vaults ghost tour, you will have to buy a ticket. 

National Galleries of Scottish:

Looking for things to do in Edinburgh? Consider visiting the National Gallery of Scottish. The National Gallery is situated at the center of Edinburgh city. It features a variety of historical images of past heroes of Scotland. During your stay, you can consider adding the national galleries of Scotland to your list of things to do in Edinburgh.

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh:

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is a generally accessible garden that is open to all and it is located in New Town, Edinburgh. If you are looking for things to do, you can visit the Royal Botanic Garden with your friends and family.

This garden features varieties of flowers, trees, and plants that can be found in other parts of the world. The Royal Botanic Garden is a suitable choice if you have an interest in a quiet walk and a keen interest in plants.

The Queen’s Hall:

The Queen’s Hall is a musical building that hosts live music concerts occasionally. And if you are wondering about things you to do in Edinburgh during your stay, then you should consider visiting the Queen’s Hall with your family and friends to enjoy a variety of musical shows. The queen’s hall was once a converted church.

However, it is now referred to as the home Scottish Chamber Orchestra, which is best for producing an eclectic roster of acts and other exciting sounds.

Dean Village:

Dean Village should be on your list of things to do in Edinburgh because it is a village full of activities, histories, and culture. It is situated near the picturesque water of Leith. Dean village is a historical village that is well known for its roles in the milling industry of Edinburgh.

During your stay in Edinburgh, you can visit the Dean village to discover more hidden history of the village. Or you can take a stroll on the Dean Bridge, or explore the St. Bernard’s well.


Leith (also known as the shore) is a developing area in Edinburgh. If you plan on exploring the historical aspect of Edinburgh, then consider visiting the shore. 

Leith features a historical theatre that is suitable for all ages. With restaurants that offer mouthwatering delicacies. Not to mention, there are other exciting bars and varieties of street snacks and food to make your stay memorable. Also, Leith features an independent end-of-week market named Pitt.

Calton Hill:

Calton Hill is another spot you can consider when looking for things to do in Edinburgh. Similarly to Arthur’s seat, Calton Hill will give you a complete view of Edinburgh city. It offers a breathtaking view of the city, including the sea, and all you need to do is sit and watch.

Calton Hill offers much more than the views, you will get to see the Holyrood Palace, Nelson Monument Arthur’s Seat, and many more. It is quite easy to get to the top of the hill.

Georgian House Museum:

There are so many things to do in Edinburgh and without a doubt, visiting the Georgian House Museum is one of them. This historical museum features how wealthy individuals lived in the late 18th and 19th centuries. This unique museum hosts some of the past used home accessories by wealthy individuals.

When you visit this museum, you will find collections of furniture from the past, such as porcelain, tables, chandeliers, and many other house accessories. You can visit with your friends and family to discover more about the history of the museum.

The Meadows:

The meadow is a park for a variety of events. This historical park was the ground for the first Hibs Hearts derby in the year 1875. the meadows are closer to the university, and it is an ideal spot for family picnics, group reading, golfing, and other fun activities. There are free concerts and festivals, that take place in the meadows occasionally. 

Things to do in Edinburgh include visiting the meadows, picnicking, golfing, playing sports, and many others. And the best part about this park is that it is free to use.

The Royal Mile:

There are several things to do in Edinburgh, and one of them is visiting the Royal Mile. This spot is the center of tourist attractions in Edinburgh. It features the Camera Obscura and world of illusions and also the scotch whiskey experience. There are various pub houses, restaurants, bars, and many exciting buildings to explore from the Royal Mile. 

The royal mile is also linked with the 12th-century castle and palace of Holyrood-house. It also features a variety of museums, the tartan, monuments, historical buildings, and many more. You will enjoy exploring the royal mile during your stay in Edinburgh city.

One of the things to do in Edinburgh is visit the National Portrait Gallery. This gallery features European paintings starting from the Renaissance to post-impression. It also features notable heroes who have helped Scotland. 

Also, the statue of James Watt, including the glorious red sandstone Neo-Gothic building on Queen Street houses which is a collection of the paintings of Mary Queen of Scots, Robert Burns, and many others.

In the National Portrait Gallery, there is a monthly Bring Your Baby/bump event that is created for expecting mothers. Also, there are restaurants you can visit when famished.

Greyfriars Kirkyard:

Greyfriars Kirkyard is yet another tourist attraction location you can visit when looking for things to do in Edinburgh. It is a hauntingly Gothic 16th-century graveyard of the infamous poet William McGonagall. This spot is popular for its Greyfriars Bobby was an individual who protected and guarded his graveyard for fourteen years. If you enjoy spooky ghost tours, consider visiting the Greyfriars Kirkyard graveyard.

Things to do in edinburgh


Edinburgh is a city filled with historical buildings, monuments, museums, parks, gardens, restaurants, and many more. It is an ideal place for kids, family, honeymoon, and the recreational experience. We hope this overview serves as a guide to your search for things to do in Edinburgh.


What are the fun things to do in Edinburgh?

You can visit the Camera Obscura or visit one of the museums in Edinburgh.

Are there free museums in Edinburgh?

Yes. There are few museums in Edinburgh that are free. However, you must book them early in other to avoid queuing for a long.

Can I take the kids to Edinburgh?

Yes. Edinburgh is a safe place for kids and families.

Is there a sea in Edinburgh?

Yes. Edinburgh has Portobello beach.

What is the best hotel in Edinburgh?

The best hotel in Edinburgh is balmoral.


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