Attractions in Edinburgh

Why sightseeing in Edinburgh is easier than anywhere else

Edinburgh has more attractions on City Centre square foot than any other European capital, which is what makes it easy to visit. Sightseeing the centre of Edinburgh in detail, however, can take a 2-3 days at least which is why many visitors go away saying 'there is too much to do and see in Edinburgh and too little time'.

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Edinburgh City Centre's is an attractions goodie bag. There are so many sights, monuments and things to see at its heart that you don't know where to look and go first. This guide to Edinburgh attractions I've prepared might help relieve some of the confusion.

Historic attractions in Edinburgh

Most of the attractions in Edinburgh are located in the Old Town, a medieval town in the heart of a modern Scottish city. Most places and things of interest in the Old Town of Edinburgh are historical in nature. They explore the city's turbulent past, its legends and mystery.

First off, there's Edinburgh Castle, Scotland's number one visitor attraction, a must see for anyone sightseeing Edinburgh. Then there's the Royal Mile, Edinburgh's mile-long street linking the Castle with Holyrood Palace, the Queen's residence in the City.

The Royal Mile acts as the backbone of the Old Town and some of the most popular attractions in Edinburgh can be found here. Sightseeing the Royal Mile should be done at a leisurely pace mainly because there are many sights to take pictures of and stories to learn about at every step but also because it's going uphill.

One of Edinburgh's most famous attractions is the Scott Monument right on Princes Street, Scotland's Capital main street. This neogothic monument dedicated to Sir Walter Scott is one of the most recognisable tall spires in the city.

Museums and galleries

Most museums and galleries are located in or close to the City Centre. The two central galleries in Edinburgh, the Royal Scottish Academy and the National Gallery of Scotland are located halfway along Princes Street so you can easily include them in your sightseeing tour.

Other attractions include the Museum of Scotland and the Royal Museum that are located in the Old Town as are the Museum of Childhood and the Writers' Museum on the Royal Mile. Another Edinburgh gallery is located a short walking distance from the City Centre in the New Town -- The Dean Gallery of Modern Art.

Natural attractions and sights

Edinburgh has two extinct volcanoes. One is the Castle Rock onto which Edinburgh Castle is built and the other one is Arthur's Seat in Holyrood Park. Then there's Calton Hill in the heart of the city with stunning views over Princes Street, the Old Town and Edinburgh Castle.

Visiting Edinburgh would not be the same without the unique perspective these vantage points give over the city.

For detailed information about attractions in Edinburgh and how to make sightseeing the city as pleasant as possible, see the links on the left hand side of the page.

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