Things to do in Edinburgh

Now you've got your cheap tickets to Edinburgh, explore what the Scottish capital has to offer...


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Climb a dormant volcano to Arthur's Seat

At 251m above sea level, it’s a bit of a climb. But there’s no doubt about it, the summit of Arthur’s Seat is well worth the slog. You'll get a stunning view over the city – in fact in all directions. It feels like a wild place in the middle of urban sprawl. The Salisbury Crags with their 150ft cliff faces dominate the city. There's also a well-preserved hill fort dating from around 2000 years ago.

Where is it? East of Holyrood Palace and Abbey

How much? FREE!

More info: Holyrood Park 

Feed the birds at Duddingston Loch

As well as ducks and geese you might spot a kestrel, lapwing or reed bunting at this designated bird sanctuary. The Reverend Robert Walker Skating was pictured skating on the loch in a painting that is now a Christmas card favourite, but can be seen in the Scottish National Gallery. Enjoy a pint at the nearby Sheep Heid Inn, thought by many to be the oldest pub in Scotland.

Where is it? Duddingston, EH15

How much? FREE!

More info: Scottish Wildlife Trust  Bird feeding guide 

Gaze at masterpieces at the Scottish National Gallery

Take in some world-famous paintings at one of Scotland's top free visitor attractions. Raphael rubs shoulders with Poussin and other old masters. And Impressionists like Monet and Cezanne certainly make an impression. But most importantly the best of Scottish painting is hung here, including works by Ramsay, Raeburn and McTaggart.

Where is it? The Mound, EH2 2EL

How much? FREE! Charge for special exhibitions

More info and opening hours: Scottish National Gallery 

Visit T-rex and the chessmen at National Museum of Scotland

From prehistory to the present day, uncover the history of Scotland and the role it has played in the world. From the Lewis Chessmen, ivory-carved chess pieces from the Middle Ages, to Mary, Queen of Scots. You can find other gems too, like the giant T Rex in the Natural World Galleries.

Where is it? Chambers Street, EH1 1JF

How much? FREE!

More info and opening hours: National Museum of Scotland 

Admire the devotion of Greyfriars Bobby

It's not just dog lovers who want to stop by the statue to Greyfriars Bobby - the Skye Terrier who goes down as the most devoted dog of all time. The pooch couldn't bear to be parted from his master after he died, and sat at his grave for 14 years. A statue was put up to mark this display of devotion. Disney even made a film about it! Aww. Pop along and give him a pat.

Where is it? Candlemaker Row/George IV Bridge

How much? FREE!

More info: Greyfriars Bobby

Relive your youth at the Museum of Childhood

Both big kids and little kids will be spellbound by this brill museum. The adults will be declaring 'I had one of those' all misty-eyed with nostalgia, while the kids are saying 'I wish I had one of those' at the cool old-fashioned toys. Teddies, trains, dolls and cars and even a recreated Victorian street with outdoor games will enchant everyone.

Where is it? 42 High Street, Royal Mile, High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1TG

How much? FREE! (donations welcomed)

More info: Museum of Childhood 

Climb the Scott Monument

Climb the 287 steps to the 4th level for spectacular views from this gothic monument dedicated to the writer Sir Walter Scott. It carries 64 statues to characters from the Edinburgh-born writer's books. It's an imposing 62 metres high.

Where is it? East Princes Street Gardens, EH2 2EJ

How much? Adult £4 for both adults and children

More info: The Scott Monument

Dream up a bestseller in the JK Rowling cafe

Visit the café where JK Rowling often wrote when starting off on the Harry Potter series as a broke single-parent. Detective story writers Ian Rankin and Alexander McCall Smith have also frequented the place. See what's special about the coffee to prompt all this creativity. You can also find other places to eat and drink in Edinburgh 

Where is it? 32 Marshall Street

How much? The price of a cup of coffee

More info: The Elephant House