Edinburgh is Scotland’s capital, but it is famous for so many more reasons, including its rich history and culture, which it is still known for today. This means a trip to Edinburgh can be overwhelming as there is just so much to do and see, so to save you some time, here are the best things to do in Edinburgh.

1. Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle
Credit: Lonely Planet

The castle overlooks the city from the top of the Royal Mile and is a must-see location for any trip to Edinburgh. Entry costs £17.50 for an adult, although prices can be reduced when you buy online in advance, and there are also cheaper family and concession tickets available. You can explore the castle and its grounds during your visit, including the famous Great Hall and national war museum and memorial. To ensure you see everything, you can also listen to an audio guide during your visit or follow a pre-planned itinerary.

2. Royal Yacht Britannia

The Royal Yacht Britannia
Credit: The Royal Yacht Britannia

Although the Royal Yacht Britannia is located on the edge of Edinburgh, you can quickly get there by taking a short bus journey. Admission times vary depending on the time of year, but adult tickets cost £17, whereas student tickets are just £15. You will also have the option of a complimentary audio handset to listen to during your visit. You will get to look all over the yacht and learn lots about the history of the boat and the royal family.

3. The Royal Mile

The royal mile
Credit: VisitScotland

Edinburgh is also known for The Royal Mile, which runs through the city, and connects the castle and Holyroodhouse Palace. The mile is full of shops, cafes and historic buildings, including St Giles Cathedral and the Adam Smith monument.

4. National Museum of Scotland

Scotland National Musuem
Credit: National Musuems Scotland

Another place you will want to visit during your time in Edinburgh is the National Museum of Scotland. The building itself is impressive, but it also has 20,000 objects on display through its various exhibitions. Plus, admission to the museum is free, so you can learn about Scotland’s history without having to spend a penny. However, even though you don’t have to pay for entry, you must still book tickets online in advance to make sure that too many people don’t enter at once.

5. Scott Monument

Scotts Monument
Credit: The Edinburgh City Pass

The Scott Monument is one of Edinburgh’s most iconic landmarks and stands proudly in the city’s centre. Not only can you go and look at the monument, but you can actually go up it as well. Although the 287 steps to the top can be quite steep, the view is certainly worth it. Plus, you don’t have to go all the way to the top as there are different viewing areas. It costs £8 for an adult to go up, but just £6 for a student.

6. Camera Obscura and World of Illusions

Camera Obscura Edinburgh
Credit: Trip Advisor

Camera Obscura is also located on the Royal Mile, and it costs £17.50 for an adult or £15.50 for students. If you book your tickets online in advance, you can get an additional 10% off. The building has five floors with dozens of exhibits for you to look at, and from the top of the building, you will have a 360-degree view of the city. Your visit will also leave you with plenty of cool photos, thanks to the buildings illusions.

7. Scottish National Gallery

National galleries of Scotland
Credit: Art UK

Scotlands National Gallery is also located in Edinburgh and is full of historical art and world-renowned exhibitions for visitors to see. Entry is also free, so you can see and learn all about Scotlands culture without having to spend any money. But if you don’t have time to visit the National Gallery on your trip don’t worry, as they also have virtual online tours of some of the exhibitions.

Last Updated on September 2, 2022