Tips to visit Edinburgh


Choosing which attractions to visit in Edinburgh won’t be too difficult since you’re bound to find beauty and history everywhere.

But which tickets to book, what is the best time to visit and what is the weather-appropriate clothing are questions that may come up.

Refer to this free guide with the best tips to visit Edinburgh and answer all your questions!

Book tickets in advance

Book tickets in advance

Edinburgh is a popular city with millions of visitors each year. This means it’s a wise decision to book your tickets beforehand.

By booking tickets online in advance you get affordable prices and discounts with the satisfaction of skipping lines and last-minute disappointments.

Not only this, you can also cancel your bookings upto 24 hours prior for most tickets.

Here are our top picks of Edinburgh tickets to explore the city as a whole (with adult ticket prices):

Know the best time/season to visit

Even though Edinburgh is gorgeous throughout the year, there are a few best times when it is especially perfect to visit for tourists.

May to August is the best time to visit Edinburgh. This is because of the pleasant weather and numerous festivals.

You will find a mild summer season during this time of year with awesome festivals like the Edinburgh International Film Festival and Edinburgh Jazz Festival.

However, August is the busiest month for Edinburgh so be prepared for some crowds!

You can also visit during the shoulder season of September to October or April to May if you love sightseeing and greenery.

The shoulder season of Edinburgh is calmer in comparison to the peak season and is even more stunning due to the fall weather.

During the off-season of November to March, you will find the streets frozen to silence. Its that cold!

But if you find winter especially enthralling, book your tickets during this season!

Book your hotel in the city center

Book your hotel in the city center

It only makes sense to stay in the center of activity when staying in Edinburgh. This is why we recommend booking a hotel in the center of Edinburgh.

Now you may think hotels will be expensive in such a lively location. But not to worry, we have suggestions for some convenient budget-friendly hotels for you:

Walk, walk, walk!

Edinburgh is a small city and walking is the best way to get to know it in depth.

You can walk from one attraction to another within 15 to 45 minutes and the city’s beauty will make you want to skip taking a taxi or bus.

With a walking tour of Edinburgh, you get to soak in the scenery and also learn a lot of history.

Here are some unique and affordable walking tours of Edinburgh (with adult ticket prices):

Edinburgh Old Town tour: €14
Edinburgh Harry Potter guided walking tour: €16
Edinburgh Outlander walking tour: €27
Edinburgh three-hour walking tour: €35
Edinburgh walking tour with food tasting: €90

Try out local delicacies

There is a range of savory specialties of Edinburgh along with different types of alcohols. 

You absolutely need to try the flavorful delicacies of Edinburgh!

Edinburgh’s traditional dish is haggis or a meat pudding which is served with mashed potatoes.

Some other tasteful delicacies are Scottish Shortbread, porridge, black pudding and meat-filled dishes.

Edinburgh is also globally famous for its whiskey and gin distilleries. The flavors are different from any whisky you have ever tasted before.

Book your Edinburgh whiskey tour which takes you through a 3,500-bottle collection and allows you to compare four types of single-malt whisky.

This is the complete Edinburgh whisky experience!

Avoid festival season

avoid festival season

While festivals can be full of fun, adventure and lively activities, the festival season in Edinburgh is also very crowded.

Most of the events in Edinburgh are held during August.

You will find a lot of events like the Edinburgh International Film Festival, Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, Edinburgh Art Festival etc.

Only visit during these times if you want to attend the festivals.

Be aware of cultural differences

aware of cultural differences

When visiting a new country, cultural shock is always part of your trip.

For example, some men wear kilts in Edinburgh! Also, the Scottish accent can be a little hard to understand at times.

On the flip side, you will find endless scenery, so if you’re from a busy city, Edinburgh will be a treat for your eyes. 

Thus, it is important to read up on Scottish culture so you don’t feel out of place.

Avail the free things to do in Edinburgh

Edinburgh has many free history-filled attractions that you can explore.

The best free things to do in Edinburgh are Arthur’s Seat, the National Museum of Scotland and the Royal Botanical Garden.

If you’re looking for free galleries to explore, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery are our top picks.

You will also find museums like the Writers Museum, People’s Story Museum, Museum on the Mound and Museum of Edinburgh with free entry.

All out of free things to do in Edinburgh? We have some superb ticketed attractions for you to explore at affordable prices.

Make sure to visit these top three paid attractions in Edinburgh:

Edinburgh Castle: is a history-filled castle where visitors marvel at the Crown Jewels, the Stone of Destiny, the Scottish National War Memorial and more.
Edinburgh Old Town: is the oldest part of town and houses popular attractions like Edinburgh Castle, St Giles Cathedral, Parliament Square etc.
Holyrood Palace: is the former residence of Scotland’s British monarchs like Bonnie Prince Charlie and Mary, Queen of Scots.

Wear appropriate footwear

appropriate footwear

Since exploring Edinburgh requires a lot of walking, it is best that you wear your most comfortable yet stylish pair of footwear.

Here is a list of the types of shoes you need to carry on your trip to Edinburgh:

  • Walking shoes or running shoes
  • Hiking shoes
  • Boots with strong ankle support
  • Shoes appropriate for nightlife activities

It is also advisable to wear waterproof footwear that remains durable during rainy seasons.

Look out for unexpected weather

Look out for unexpected weather

Edinburgh will surprise you with cold weather one day and rainy weather the next.

In this case, it is best to carry clothing that is suitable for all weather conditions.

Carry a lot of warm sweaters and overcoats because you might experience snow, hailstorms and frost if you visit in winter.

The everchanging weather might present you with heavy rains next so make sure to carry waterproof clothing like raincoats as well.

Make sure to layer your clothes because the weather might change on the same day and you might need a changeover at a short notice.

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