Things to do in Edinburgh | Popular Sights

Things to do in Edinburgh | Popular Sights

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.

things to do in Edinburgh

Edinburgh Castle

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?)

things to do in Edinburgh | Edinburgh Castle

Holyrood Palace

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.

Arthur’s Seat

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!

things to do in Edinburgh | Arthur's Seat


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.

things to do in Edinburgh | Botanic Gardens

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,
~ Beka


Check out all of my Edinburgh blog series posts here.




  1. July 22, 2018 / 12:11 pm

    I’ve never visited Edinburgh (or Scotland in general, for that matter), but it’s probably one of the top 10 places I’d love to visit if I ever become a globe trotter. Those botanical gardens look especially dreamy. I mean, those lily pads! I feel like I could hop along on them!

    • Beka
      August 7, 2018 / 6:21 pm

      I’d really recommend it! All the tourists that are visiting that I end up chatting to are always telling me that Edinburgh is such a beautiful city, and obviously I have to agree but I’m bias, they’re not 😂 if you do visit, August is definitely the time with the Fringe festival on!

  2. July 22, 2018 / 1:09 pm

    I have been everywhere in this post bar Aurthor’s Seat and Holyrood Palace but i hope I can visit them at some point. I have to admit Edinburgh Castle is my favourite castle in Scotland x

    Rachael –

    • Beka
      August 7, 2018 / 6:23 pm

      I’ve never been to Holyrood Palace as I think, personally, it’s just to expensive for me. Maybe one day I’ll go if I’m with someone who wants to, and have a bit more money to spend, but it’s not anywhere in the foreseeable future for me! I’ve been up Arthur’s Seat once and like I said in the post, I was huffing and puffing the entire way up 😂 it’s definitely worth a trip though, it’s beautiful up there, but try not pick a really sunny day like I did!

      I need to do a tour of Scotland and look at some other castle, but it’s definitely the one that I think look the most grand considering it looks over the whole city!

  3. July 22, 2018 / 1:11 pm

    First comment, first everything! Hey girl, honestly didn’t need to read the entire post to know that you had picked some beautiful places to visit in Edinburgh! I’ve been once before and saw the Castle and absolutely loved the Scottish culture and all that it had to offer, although I did stay in a hostel which…well wasn’t the best haha – I’ll send you the link to my blog post on Edinburgh soon! xx

    • Beka
      August 7, 2018 / 7:19 pm

      Awww, thank you! The castle is pretty beautiful, and just walking through the streets is great. You get such a feel for the place ☺️ awwww, I’m sorry that the hostel was rubbish! I hope it’s better now than it was when you visited – I had a read of your post and the pics are gorgeous!

  4. July 22, 2018 / 1:18 pm

    I love Edinburgh… my favourite place to visit 💕 great ideas of things to do

    • Beka
      August 7, 2018 / 7:22 pm

      Thank you – it is such a pretty city ☺️

  5. July 22, 2018 / 5:42 pm

    This post is great! I’m a sucker for going places and planning every second of the trip to ensure I see EVERYTHING! So Thankyou for saving me a bunch of time, haha! Love he sound of Arthur’s seat, definitely going to put this at the top of my list! 💓
    Georgia x //

    • Beka
      August 7, 2018 / 7:25 pm

      Please do! Arthur’s Seat gives you such a spectacular view of the city, all the way out to the water! Just remember to pack yourself some water or juice and snacks, it’s a good hike on the way up but an easier way down 😂 glad I could help!

  6. eviebraithwaite
    July 22, 2018 / 6:27 pm

    Ah I really want to go back to Edinburgh! Such a beautiful city. I visited the castle last time and loved it! Need to visit the gardens next time I go, I love more relaxed days like that. Look forward to reading more of this series! Can’t wait to visit again 🙌

    Evie x |

    • Beka
      August 7, 2018 / 7:39 pm

      I’m glad you enjoyed yourself, and thank you! I’m excited to write some more Edinburgh blog posts ☺️ definitely visit the gardens, it is one of the most beautiful places in the city! Especially if you love nature, it’s so pretty 💗

  7. July 22, 2018 / 6:54 pm

    Oh my goodness! Beautiful! The castle and botanical gardens would be on my list to see.

    • Beka
      August 7, 2018 / 8:35 pm

      Thank you, and definitely! If you decide to go, those two places are a must!

  8. July 22, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    Edinburgh is a beautiful city. I can recommend World of Illusions and The Whiskey Experience.

    • Beka
      August 7, 2018 / 9:32 pm

      Thank you, I will look into those!

  9. July 23, 2018 / 4:49 am

    Edinburgh is such a beautiful place to visit! The castle looks amazing – especially with it still being up and having so much history behind it. Oh man, volcanoes scare me and it’s good that it’s extinct at this point. The botanic gardens look amazing – those pads are super cool!! This is nature at work?! Glad you enjoyed your time out there :).

    Nancy ♥

    • Beka
      August 7, 2018 / 9:34 pm

      It really is, I’m very lucky to live here! Haha yes, I’m glad it is as well 😂 that picture from the botanics was actually taken on mine and my boyfriend’s first date last year, it’s very beautiful and I’d really recommend going there if you ever visit Edinburgh!

  10. July 23, 2018 / 11:52 am

    Edinbourgh looks amazing. When I go there, I’ll see castles first. Great post 🙂

    • Beka
      August 7, 2018 / 9:36 pm

      Thank you! Definitely go and see the castle, or anything else on this list. They’re all wonderful sights!

  11. July 23, 2018 / 12:07 pm

    This post has made me want to go to Edinburgh even more now. I really, really, really would love to go to Edinburgh. I have actually said I want to live there for a year in my life. Great post, I want to do all these things.

    • Beka
      August 7, 2018 / 9:46 pm

      I hope you get to visit soon, or even live here! It’s such a lovely place – I think if you did live here, you’d never want to leave in the end 😂 thank you!

      • August 8, 2018 / 12:42 pm

        I hope so too!! That’s true but I would be
        very happy to live there, I might even pick up the accent 😂 you’re welcome 😊

        • Beka
          August 15, 2018 / 9:11 pm

          I’m sure you’d at least end up with a strange Edinburgh slur in your words 😂

  12. July 23, 2018 / 4:40 pm

    Wow your home town sounds incredible! The Castle and the Museum of Scotland would be my first choice, I think. History fuels me, especially rich in Scotland, Germany and Ireland. My father’s blood line runs deep through those lands, and it would be a dream come true for my family and I to visit someday. Now I know where to go when we visit! Great post Beka!!

    • Beka
      August 7, 2018 / 9:48 pm

      Thank you! I do hope you and your family get to visit, and experience all the history we have to offer. There’s so many ghost tours, and places to visit that can give you a real insight to all of this! Thank you, Kayla ☺️

  13. July 24, 2018 / 12:02 am

    What a great idea for a series! Edinburgh looks like such a lovely place to visit. The Royal Botanics sounds amazing! It looks so beautiful and magical, like right out of a story book! Thanks for sharing! If I ever end up planning a trip to Edinburgh, I’ll definitely be referring to your posts!

    • Beka
      August 7, 2018 / 10:32 pm

      Thank you! The Botanics are definitely one of the most gorgeous places to visit in Edinburgh ☺️ thank you, I hope you can visit soon!

    • Beka
      January 4, 2019 / 10:21 am

      It is pretty beautiful! The Botanics are amazing, I’d definitely recommend them ☺️

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