Hi friends, and welcome to my first post in my Edinburgh blog series, Things to do in Edinburgh. In particular, the most popular sights in Edinburgh to see.
I’ve lived in Edinburgh all my life and found myself having never actually explored my own city. In order to get me out more I set myself this challenge! Since I’ve also taken up blogging this year, I thought it would be great to use my exploring to help other people looking to visit!
In this post, we will be exploring the most popular tourist sights to see in Edinburgh. However, since this is the first post in the series, if there is something in particular you want some advice on, leave your questions and suggestions for the next post in the comments.
First off, I will recommend just spending a day wandering around the entire city. There are so many beautiful places to experience and see, and corners of the city that are too small to mention, but are so beautiful.
Moving onto sightseeing, the main attraction is Edinburgh Castle. It sits on a hill above the city centre, and is gorgeous just to even look at from afar. Sometimes, this is all you need as the prices to enter the castle are very expensive at around £17 per ticket (price of an adult ticket booked online). But if you would like to experience the Castle, then it will be worth the price! A tour is included in the price of your ticket, however you also pay a couple pound more to hire an audio tour device if you would prefer to go at your own pace.
The Castle is open from 9:30am – 6pm. If you are thinking of going, I would highly recommend booking in advance. Not only is it cheaper for you, but it can get very busy during the summer – especially in August! It would be better to do this in advance to avoid disappointment. (Did I also mention it was cheaper?)
As you can probably tell by the name, or if you’re into British Monarchy, Holyrood Palace is the official Scottish residence of the Queen. You can find it at the bottom of the Royal Mile, and can even go inside and wander around Mary, Queen of Scots’s old 16th century quarters. (Provided that the Royals are not in residence at that time.)
Again, it is a bit pricey, but since it is a Royal residence you would expect this. A normal adult ticket just to visit the Palace is £14, however if you want to see a bit more and go for the Palace, gallery and garden history tour, you would be looking at £23.
For those who don’t know, Arthur’s Seat is an extinct volcano situated beside Holyrood Palace. You’ll be happy to hear that this excursion is free! Except from the blood, sweat and tears it takes to climb the hill. Kidding (slightly), but for someone who is unfit like myself, it did take a bit of effort, but it is worth it – I cannot stress that enough!
The views of the city and the water beyond it are gorgeous! It is definitely a journey you will have to make when in Edinburgh. And, if you’re lucky, you’ll meet a piper at the top of the hill to serenade you with some traditional Scots music.
Another top tip: if you spent the previous night enjoying Edinburgh’s nightlife, and feel a bit delicate but don’t want to waste your day being hungover, climb Arthur’s Seat. I promise you, by the time you reach the bottom again you’ll be cured!
Royal Botanic Gardens
Visiting the Botanics is a must! It is good for a day where you want to take things slow and ground yourself with nature. You can also take a little detour through Stockbridge and visit their food market every Sunday along the way.
It’s free to enter the grounds, but if you want to enter the greenhouses it will cost you around £5, but there are some great plants inside. I would recommend popping into at least one of the greenhouses on your trip!
The Botanics are particularly great for having a chilled picnic. As well as the greenhouses, gorgeous plants and flowers, there are also wide open spaces, and shaded spots to sit and eat. You can go there and spend an entire day reading, writing, drawing or just taking in the serenity of nature.
National Museum of Scotland
Would it even be a holiday without visiting a museum? The National Museum of Scotland is in Edinburgh city centre, just off of the Royal Mile. It’s free, and a great place to visit on a rainy day! The architecture of the interior of the building is breathtaking; even as someone who as been there many times, I have to admit it is still gorgeous to me.
As with every museum, there are many sections, and mini activities for kids as they wander around. There is also a cafe on one of the higher floors, looking over the main foyer of the museum. And on the way out you’ll find a (conveniently placed) gift shop, where you can pick up some cute bits and pieces to remember your visit.
When you visit, I recommend taking the terrace lift to the 7th floor and spending some time on their rooftop terrace. Provided it isn’t raining, of course! You get a beautiful panoramic view of the city, and it’s definitely my favourite hidden gem that the museum has to offer.
Thank you so much for reading my first post in my Edinburgh blog series! I hope you liked it, and got a few ideas for when you next visit the city. Or maybe it inspired you to make Edinburgh your next travel pit stop (I hope so!).
Have you visited Edinburgh before, or do you plan to? What was your favourite place in the city?
Until next time,