I've listed the main attractions here in order,
starting from Edinburgh Castle
running down the Royal Mile to Holyroodhouse
and the Scottish Parliament. I've also included
opening times and prices.
This is Scotland's
most famous tourist attraction and was awarded Best
Heritage attraction at the 2011 British Travel Awards.
This award has been won again in 2012, beating off
competition from the likes of St. Pauls Cathedral and
the Tower of London.
The birthplace of
James VI of Scotland
(who became James I of England
in 1603), who was born to Mary Queen of Scots in the
Royal Residence in 1566.It became the main castle of Scotland's
monarchs in the Middle Ages. The buildings within the
fortress include a 12th century chapel - Edinburgh's
oldest building- and the Great Hall, completed in
1511.The castle has had a rich and colourful history,
withstanding numerous attacks from Oliver Cromwell's
Roundheads in 1650, and William and Mary's army in
EdinburghCastle is home to the National War
Museum of Scotland (It is still an active army base),
hosts the Edinburgh Military Tattoo every August, and
is used in the summer as an outdoor concert venue
In 1996, the Stone of
Destiny (the coronation stone of Scottish monarchs)
was returned to EdinburghCastle. It
and the Honours of Scotland (the Scottish Crown
Jewels) are on display there, as is Mons Meg, a giant
siege gun given to James II in 1457.
If the Royal Mile springs to mind when you
think about Edinburgh, then what springs to mind when
you think about Scotland, -Whisky. Tourists come from
far and wide to experience the broad variety of Scotland’s
drink. The Scotch Whisky Experience
tour takes visitors through the whole whisky-making
process and guides them round the different
whisky-producing regions, before concluding with a
tutored whisky nosing and tasting.
Address: 354 Castlehill, Edinburgh,
Opening Times: Daily 1000-1800 (Sep-May);
daily 0930-1830 (Jun-Aug); last tour departs one hour
before closing time.
Admission Fees: £21.00 tour and
tasting. No Children.
The Camera Obscura
oldest purpose built tourist attraction. It is a
unique way to view the city and it’s whitewashed tower
is easily spotted. The Camera Obscura
is a chamber with a mirror which reflects light
downwards through three lenses and projects a
life-size image of the city onto a white concave
surface. The mirror can be tilted and turned to give a
360 degree panorama of the city.
Rated 4th out of 155 Edinburgh
attractions by Trip Advisors popularity index
Edinburgh was the first city to be
recognised by UNESCO as a City of Literature
and so it is not surprising that it should have its
own Writers' Museum, dedicated to the lives and works
literary figures. The rich collection of manuscripts,
first editions and portraits is complemented by a
series of personal exhibits, which include Robert
Burns' writing desk, Robert Louis Stevenson’s riding
boots and a plaster cast of Robert Burns’ skull. – one
of only three ever made.
Lady Stair's House, Lawnmarket, United Kingdom
Opening Times: Mon-Sat 1000-1700; Sun
1200-1700 (during the Edinburgh
Before the New Town was built, in the late
18th century, almost everyone in Edinburgh lived
in "closes" - steep, narrow streets built on the
slopes either side of the Royal Mile. A block of four
of these closes has been opened up and can be visited
by the public. Guided tours of Mary King's Close are
conducted by actors playing people who really lived
there in the 16th and 17th centuries: a merchant, a
street-cleaner, a serving-maid and the youngest
daughter of Mary King herself. They give a fascinating
insight into life and work in the medieval OldTown.
2 Warriston's Close, Edinburgh, United Kingdom (next to the City
It is disputed for exactly
how long a church has stood on this site, but the first
reference to it is in 835. The Cathedral as we know it
was built in the early 12th Century
although it has since been extensively altered.. John
Knox served as Minister here from 1559, when he led
the Reformation into Edinburgh, until
also has a notable collection of stained-glass
windows, dating from the 1870s onwards. The stunning
Thistle Chapel, completed in 1911, is noted for its
ornate wooden carving, much of it peculiarly Scottish,
including angels playing bagpipes.
Opening Times: Mon-Fri 0900-1900, Sat
0900-1700, Sun 1300-1700 (May-Sep); Mon-Sat 0900-1700,
Sun 1300-1700 (Oct-Apr).
The Museum of Childhood is
a fun day out for the whole family. Young people can
learn about the children of the past and see a
fantastic range of toys and games, while adults enjoy
a trip down memory lane.
Young people and adults can
enjoy finding out about growing up through the ages,
from toys and games to health and school days.
Hands-on activities, including a puppet theatre and
dressing up area.
John Knox was the leader of
the Protestant reformation in the 16th
Century, but this is not actually the house where he
lived. It has been known as John Knox’s house since
Victorian times simply because it dated from the right
period and the name stuck. The house has been restored
and incorporated into the recently developed
Next door to John Knox’s
House lies Moubray house which is the oldest building
in the Royal Mile and indeed the oldest occupied
building in Edinburgh.
Although it was originally built around 1477, the
current frontage dates from the 17th
Daniel Defoe edited the
Edinburgh Courant from the building in the early 18th
Address: 43-45 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1SR
Opening Times: Monday- Saturday 10am-6pm
open on Sundays from 12pm -6pm in July and August.
The People’s Story explores the lives
ordinary people. The people of the past are brought to
life through re-created settings, displays and
costumed figures. Real people's own memories are used
throughout the Museum.
The People’s Story is housed in the Canongate
Tolbooth, a category ‘A’ listed building built in 1591
on the site of an earlier tolbooth. It was the
courthouse, prison and centre of burgh affairs when
the Burgh of Canongate was independent from Edinburgh.
Canongate, Edinburgh EH8 8BN
Opening Hours: Monday - Saturday 10am
- 5pm, Sunday 12 noon - 5pm (during the Festival
The Museum of Edinburgh chronicles the
development of Edinburgh
through the ages and displays a wide range of
artefacts ranging from silverware and glassware
originally made in Canongate, models of the OldTown
and the original plans for the New Town. You can even
see Greyfriars Bobby’s collar and bowl.
Canongate, Edinburgh EH8 8DD
Opening Times: Monday to Saturday 10am
- 5pm, Sunday 12pm - 5pm (During August only.)
The Palace of Holyroodhouse, the
official residence in Scotland
of The Queen, stands at the foot of the Royal Mile
against the spectacular backdrop of Holyrood park and
The Palace is closely associated with Scotland's rich
history and is perhaps best known as the home of Mary,
Queen of Scots, and as the setting for many
of the dramatic episodes in her turbulent reign. Mary
was married at Holyroodhouse and witnessed the brutal
killing of her secretary Rizzio by Lord Darnley, in
her private apartments. The Palace briefly served as
the headquarters of Bonnie Prince Charlie
during the 1745 uprising.
The State Apartments are still used regularly by
The Queen and other members of the Royal Family for
State ceremonies and official entertaining.
Address: Palace of Holyroodhouse, Canongate,
The Royal Mile,
The Scottish Parliament
meets in a purpose-designed building at the foot of
the Royal Mile opposite the Palace of Holyrood.
Infamous throughout its design and construction, the
building has subsequently won several prestigious
architectural awards. This Iconic building was
designed using a mix of steel, oak and granite.
Sustainability and minimal impact were key factors in
the design, and the building is famed as one of the
most progressive and innovative buildings in Britain
Much of it is open to the public and one-hour
guided tours are offered every morning. The tours give
access to the floor of the Chamber (when Parliament is
not in session) and a Committee Room, as well as views
of the parliamentarians' office block and the historic
Wynd, Holyrood, Edinburgh, EH8
Times: Business days (normally
Tuesday-Thursday) 0900-1830; non-business days
1000-1730 (Apr-Sep); 1000-1600 (Oct-Mar); Sat