Tourist attractions in Edinburgh

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Touring through Edinburgh is full of thrill, history, knowledge, and good food.

Each part of the city has something unique to offer. Be it the Old Town or the New town, you will find something exceptional to make your trip enriching.

So why not get affordable tickets to the best attractions?

Insider information: Since Edinburgh is a small city, you can even explore most attractions with a single ticket, the Edinburgh hop-on hop-off bus tour!

Here’s our list of the most popular and most visited attractions in Edinburgh:

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle is a historic fortress situated on top of Castle Rock, an extinct volcano, and has been a prominent feature of the city’s skyline for centuries. 

It is home to the Honours of Scotland, the Scottish Crown Jewels and the Stone of Destiny, among other treasures.

The castle has a long and complex history as a royal residence, a military garrison, a prison and a place of execution. 

It is a popular tourist attraction, attracting millions of visitors annually.

National Museum of Scotland

The National Museum of Scotland is located in central Edinburgh on Chambers Street and is one of the country’s most visited museums.

It is home to a range of collections covering various subjects, including Scottish history and culture, natural history, science and technology and world cultures. 

Some of the highlights of the museum are the Lewis chessmen, an example of medieval chess pieces and the Industrial Gallery, which exhibits Scotland’s industrial past. 

It is part of the National Museums of Scotland group, which also includes the National Museum of Rural Life and the National War Museum. 

Scotland’s National Museum offers free entry and is open every day except for certain holidays.

Arthur’s Seat

 

Arthur’s Seat is Edinburgh’s ancient volcano and the highest peak.

It is located just east of the city center and spans stunning views of the surrounding area. 

Arthur’s Seat is a prominent peak in a group of hills in Holyrood Park, which also includes the hills of Dunsapie, Corstorphine and Braid. 

This popular destination of Edinburgh is a common attraction for hikers and tourists alike.

Palace Of Holyroodhouse

The Palace of Holyroodhouse, or the Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh, is the official home of the British monarchy in Scotland. 

This architectural beauty is located near the Scottish Parliament building, at the bottom of the Royal Mile. 

The Holyrood Palace is associated with many important events in Scottish history, and it has been the setting for many royal ceremonies and state occasions. 

It is also the residence of the Order of the Thistle, Scotland’s highest chivalric order. 

Holyrood Palace is open to the public, and it is a popular tourist attraction in Edinburgh.

Edinburgh Old Town

The Old Town of Edinburgh is the historic heart of the city, located in the central part of Edinburgh. 

It is an area known for its narrow streets and tall, medieval buildings, as well as its historic landmarks and cultural attractions. 

The Old Town is home to Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile, St. Giles’ Cathedral and the Scottish Parliament building, among many other significant buildings and sites. 

Being a popular destination for tourists, it is also home to many shops, restaurants and other businesses.

It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site where the world-famous Edinburgh Festival Fringe, or the world’s largest arts festival, takes place.

The Royal Mile

The Royal Mile is a combination of streets in Edinburgh connecting Edinburgh Castle with the Palace of Holyroodhouse. 

This street is named so for its length, which is approximately one mile long.

The Royal Mile consists of the streets Castlehill, the Lawnmarket, the High Street, the Canongate and the Abbey Strand. 

It is the historic heart of Edinburgh, and it is a popular tourist destination because of its many shops, restaurants and historic buildings. 

The Royal Mile is also home to many important landmarks, such as St. Giles’ Cathedral and the Scottish Parliament building. 

It is a great place to learn about the city’s history and culture. 

Royal Yacht Britannia

The Royal Yacht Britannia is a former royal yacht of the British Royal Family. 

In 1997, the decision was made to decommission her and she was subsequently opened to the public as a museum ship.

Thus, it is now a museum moored at Ocean Terminal in Edinburgh and has been visited by over 60 million people. 

The yacht is decorated with beautiful and luxurious features, including a grand dining room, a state drawing room, and a royal bedroom suite. 

Real Mary King’s Close

Previously a part of the city’s Old Town, The Real Mary King’s Close is a system of underground streets and spaces.

This historical attraction is located beneath the Royal Milenow and is now a museum that offers guided tours.

Mary King’s Close gets its name from Mary King, a merchant who lived and had her shop on the close in the 17th century.

The close was once a bustling center of trade and commerce, but it was later sealed off and forgotten until it’s rediscovery in the 20th century. 

Visitors can explore the close and learn about the people who once lived and worked there.

Royal Botanic Garden

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is a center for the scientific study of plants, their diversity and their conservation. 

It covers an area of 70 acres and contains over 13,000 different plant species. 

The garden also houses a number of historic glasshouses, including the world’s oldest surviving glasshouse, the Old Palm House. 

At the Royal Botanic Garden, visitors get the opportunity to learn about plants and see a wide variety of plant species from around the world.

The Edinburgh Dungeon

The Edinburgh Dungeon offers a unique and interactive experience that brings the city’s dark and gruesome history to life. 

It is located in the heart of the city and offers visitors the opportunity to explore the underground world of the dungeon.

During this 80-minute walk-through tour, you feel the thrill of the 1,000 years of Scottish history.

This spooky and immersive experience includes live actors, special effects and interactive displays.

Edinburgh Zoo

Edinburgh Zoo covers an area of 82 acres and is home to over 1,000 different animals, representing over 160 different species. 

Some of the animals at the zoo include penguins, monkeys, lions and pandas. 

you will also find one of the rarest mammals in the world, the Visayan spotted deer, at this world-famous zoo.

This non-profit zoo is a popular tourist attraction owned by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland.

Seeing all that the Edinburgh Zoo has to offer takes around four hours and kids especially enjoy this experience.

Camera Obscura and World of Illusions

Camera Obscura and World of Illusions offers visitors the opportunity to explore the world of optical illusions and discover the history of the camera obscura. 

The attraction features a number of interactive exhibits and displays, including a Victorian-style camera obscura that offers panoramic views of the city. 

It is a popular destination to experience with your family.

With five floors full of more than 100 illusions, the Camera Obscura and World of Illusions is located in Edinburgh’s Old Town.

Calton Hill

Calton Hill is home to several important landmarks, including the National Monument, the Nelson Monument and the Dugald Stewart Monument. 

The best way to explore Calton Hill is with an Edinburgh hop-on hop-off bus tour which also covers its monuments and attractions.

The National Monument of Scotland is also located on Calton Hill.

It is located east of the city center and is part of the Edinburgh World Heritage Site. 

Calton Hill is a prominent feature of the city’s skyline and is a famous spot for tourists and locals alike.

Formed 340 million years ago, they are one of the most important hills in Edinburgh.

Dynamic Earth

Dynamic Earth is an interactive science center located at the foot of the city’s Holyrood Park and is part of the city’s UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

The center focuses on the science of the Earth, including its climate, geology and life. 

It features a number of hands-on exhibits, multimedia presentations and live shows, allowing visitors to learn about the Earth in a fun and engaging way. 

Dynamic Earth operated by the Royal Society of Edinburgh was opened in 1999 and is a popular attraction for families and school groups visiting Edinburgh.

Lauriston Castle and Gardens

Lauriston Castle is a 16th-century castle located in the Silverknowes area of the city, on the banks of the Firth of Forth. 

The City of Edinburgh Council now owns the castle, which is open to the public as a historic house museum. 

The castle is surrounded by gardens, which were laid out in the early 20th century and feature a range of plants and flowers. 

It is a popular visitor attraction and is open to the public throughout the year. 

Lauriston castle and gardens are also available for private events, such as weddings and corporate functions.

Featured Image: TheTimes.co.uk

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