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Edinburgh Unveiled : The Ultimate Guide to the Best Places to Visit (2024)

Welcome to the charming city of Edinburgh. This Scottish land is where the atmosphere is harmonious, all thanks to history and culture coming together. Edinburgh, the heart of Scotland, is located in the southeastern part of the country. Known for its stunning geography, culture, and history, Edinburgh is also nicknamed Athens of the North. A visit to this city offers a delightful array of experiences for every kind of traveler. From the world-renowned Edinburgh Palace to the elegant Georgian neighbourhood and the enchanting streets of the Old Town, Edinburgh has a lot to offer.

Wondering about the Best Places to visit in Edinburgh? Join us in this article as we compile all the tourist attractions in Edinburgh. Home to UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 18th-century architecture, cultural landmarks, and centuries of stories, Edinburgh will never send you back disappointed.

Best Places to Visit in Edinburgh

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned local seeking a hidden gem, join us as we uncover the best. Here are the Best Tourist Places To Visit In Edinburgh.

1. Edinburgh Castle

Address: Castle Rock Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NG, United Kingdom

Opening Hours/Best Time To Visit: From 1 April to 30 September: 9:30 am to 6:00 pm (last entry at 5:00 pm)

From 1 October to 31 March: 9:30 am to 5:00 pm (last Entry at 4:00 pm). Ideal to visit throughout opening hours

Admission/Entry: £19.50 to £75.00 (Ticket Prices differ for Kids, Adults, and Online/ Offline Booking).


Visit the Crown Jewels and see sparkling royal treasures, including scepters, crowns, and much more.

Check out the Stone of Destiny, a symbol of Scottish monarchy and history.

Visit the Royal Palace and explore the place where kings and queens once lived. The grand rooms here are admirable.

Discover the castle’s military history through its cannons, war memorials, and exhibits.

Step into the Great Hall, a magnificent medieval banquet hall with impressive architecture.

Enjoy scenic views of the city and its surroundings from the castle’s high perch.

Visit St. Margaret’s Chapel, the oldest surviving building in Edinburgh. Not only does it boast a rich history, but it is equally spiritual.

Witness the One O’Clock Gun fire daily as a tradition dating back to 1861.

Check out the Half-Moon Battery, a powerful artillery fortification with great views.

Check out the National War Museum and learn about the military history of Scotland.

2. Royal Mile

Address: In the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town, running between Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse

Opening Hours/Best Time to Visit: Accessible year-round, though the best time to visit here is during day hours.

Admission/Entry: Free


Check out the St. Giles’ Cathedral for its stunning interiors and magnificent Gothic exteriors.

Take an underground tour of the Real Mary King’s Close and learn about Edinburgh’s hidden history.

Visit the Museum of Edinburgh for exhibitions that take through the city’s history. 

Check out John Knox House, a historic house linked to the Scottish Reformation.

Check out local shops and cafés for Scottish souvenirs, tartans, whisky, and traditional Scottish fare.

Check out Canongate Tolbooth, an iconic historic building that has now turned into a museum. 

For storytelling traditions, interactive exhibits, live performances, and exhibitions, visit the Scottish Storytelling Centre.

Visit the well-preserved 17th-century tenement building, the Gladstone’s Land, and enjoy insights into Edinburgh’s past living conditions.

Visit Tron Kirk, originally a church, though today operates as a venue for various events and festivals and for hosting markets and performances.

3. Arthur’s Seat and the Salisbury Crags

Address: In Holyrood Park

Opening Hours/Best Time to Visit: Open year-round, though the best time to explore is during daylight hours.

Admission/Entry: Free


Hike up the Arthur’s Seat, the highest point of Edinburgh. This dormant volcano offers panoramic views of Edinburgh and the surrounding landscape from its summit.

Hike Salisbury Crags, cliffs adjacent to Arthur’s Seat, and check out its geological wonder. It is extremely popular amongst rock climbers.

Explore Holyrood Park for its range of hiking and walking trails, catering to different fitness levels.

Check out the diverse flora and fauna of the area. Or enjoy a day of relaxing picnic amidst the beauty and serenity of nature.

Check out the nearly St. Anthony’s Chapel, which is a medieval ruin.

Explore Duddingston Loch, a serene freshwater loch.

4. National Museum of Scotland

Address: Chambers St, Edinburgh EH1 1JF, United Kingdom

Opening Hours/Best Time to Visit: 10 am to 5 pm Daily. Morning hours here are generally quieter, thus making the visit easier.

Admission/Entry: Free


Check out the Grand Gallery, which features a variety of exhibits. The Millennium Clock and the impressive Window on the World are some of the highlights here.

View artifacts related to history, natural history specimens, scientific inventions, decorative arts, and more.

Do not miss seeing the world-famous cloned sheep, Dolly the Sheep, on display. It is a symbol of scientific achievement.

Learn about everything from ancient civilizations to more recent events through different Scottish history exhibits.

5. Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Address: Near City Center with the main entrance on Arboretum Place.

Opening Hours/Best Time to Visit: November to January: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm (last entry 3:15 pm)

October and February: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm (last Entry 4:15 pm)

March to September: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm (last Entry 5:15 pm)

Closed on 25 December and 1 January and days with extreme weather. Spring and Summer are the best to visit here.

Admission/Entry: Free

Nice Place to Visit in Edinburgh-Royal Botanic Garden Edinburghd

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Take time to explore an extensive and diverse collection of plants from around the World without the garden. Walk through themed gardens, glasshouses, and outdoor displays for a pleasant experience.

Explore a range of climates within the glasshouses, from tropical rainforests to arid desert environments. Do not dare to miss the Victorian Palm House.

Check out landscapes like meadows, woodland areas, ponds, and more for exploration and relaxation.

Attend educational programs, workshops, and events and learn about botany and conservation.

Visit cafes for refreshments and gift shops for plant-related souvenirs and books.

6. Prince Street

Address: It runs parallel to the northern side of the Edinburgh Castle.

Opening Hours/Best Time to Visit: Any time of the day is perhaps the best time here.

Admission/Entry: Free


When at Princes Street, do not miss the outstanding shopping opportunities. Check out a wide range of high street stores, boutiques, and department stores, including Jenners and more.

Opposite Princes Street are the Princes Street Gardens, ideally for relaxing, picnicking, or grabbing Edinburgh castle views. 

Check out a striking Victorian Gothic monument dedicated to Sir Walter Scott that stands at the east end of Princes Street. Take a chance to climb its spiral staircase and enjoy Edinburgh’s panoramic views.

Visit the Scottish National Gallery at the west end of Princes Street and explore an impressive collection of European paintings and sculptures.

Tyr a variety of dining options along the street, including traditional Scottish fare to international cuisine.

Walk along Princes Street and enjoy fantastic views of Edinburgh Castle perched on Castle Rock.

7. National Galleries of Scotland: Portrait

Address: 1 Queen St, Edinburgh EH2 1JD, United Kingdom

Opening Hours/Best Time to Visit: 10 am to 5 pm. 11 am to 1 pm is ideally the most suitable time to be here.

Admission/Entry: Free


Witness the iconic portrait of Mary, Queen of Scots, painted by François Clouet. This 16th-century portrait shows a significant historical depiction of the Scottish monarch.

Witness Sir Walter Scott was portrayed in a painting by the renowned Scottish portrait artist Sir Henry Raeburn.

Check out Robert Burns, by Alexander Nasmyth, a portrait of the national poet of Scotland. 

Check out the Skating Minister by Sir Henry Raeburn, a portrait renowned for its exquisite detail and composition.

Witness The Hon. Mrs. Graham portrait by Thomas Gainsborough is a captivating example of 18th-century portraiture.

Other popular portraits here include David Hume, by Allan Ramsay, and  Sir David Wilkie, by Sir John Watson Gordon.

8. Giles Cathedral

Address: High St, Edinburgh EH1 1RE, United Kingdom on the Royal Mile

Opening Hours/Best Time to Visit: Monday to Friday 10 am to 6 pm; Saturday 9 am to 5 pm; and Sunday 1 pm to 5 pm.

Admission/Entry: Free, although donations are welcomed.


Witness the stunning example of Gothic architecture at St. Giles’ Cathedral. The pointer arches, soaring spires, and intricate stonework are truly visual masterpieces.

Visit the Thistle Chapel, a small but exquisitely detailed chapel within the cathedral. It is also home to Scotland’s highest chivalric order, the Order of the Thistle.

Check out the Millennium Window, depicting scenes from Scottish history and other remarkable collections of stained-glass windows.

Visit the Thistle Do Nicely Café for a chance to relax and for refreshments.

So do not miss the impressive organ and also attend regular musical performances organized here.

Check out the historic spot within the cathedral, John Knox Pulpit, where the famous Scottish Reformer John Knox preached during the Reformation.

Do visit the visitor center to learn about history, architecture, and the various aspects of its significance.

9. Edinburgh Zoo

Address: 134 Corstorphine Rd, Corstorphine, Edinburgh EH12 6TS, United Kingdom

Opening Hours/Best Time to Visit: April to September: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

October and March: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

November to February: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Christmas Day: Closed

Admission/Entry: £14.25 to £26.70 (For kids and adults). The ticket prices when you book online and offline also differ.


Explore the Panda Exhibit, which is home to two giant pandas, Tian Tian and Yang Guang. Witness these captivating pandas in their specially designed enclosure.

Witness as Penguins waddle around their enclosure. This act of these adorable birds is also known as the Penguin Parade.

Check out a diverse range of animal habitats, including the Budongo Trail (home to chimpanzees), the Koala Territory, the Tiger Tracks, and the Rainforest Riches (featuring a variety of tropical species).

Attend educational programs, talks, and information, a part of conservation efforts by the zoo.

Attend the seasonal winter event, the Giant Lanterns of China. This event is all about stunning illuminated lantern displays inspired by Chinese culture and wildlife.

When here with kids, explore the children’s zoo, adventure playground, and interactive exhibits suitable for kids.

Check out the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, right adjacent to the zoo, for its beautifully landscaped gardens and plant collections.

Relax and rejuvenate at cafes and picnic areas.

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