Lesser Known Edinburgh Attractions
Updated: Jun 12
For the third part of my Edinburgh series I'm focusing on things to do in the city that are off the beaten path, so to speak. They're not the typical tourist attractions that you can find from a quick Google search. They're great for those who have a bit more time to spend in the city and want to explore more than the most popular areas. If you'd like to see the other parts of my Edinburgh series, check out the Glasgow vs. Edinburgh blog post, and the best tourist attractions post, as well as the best food spots post.
The National Portrait Gallery
Looking at art isn't always for everyone, but this gallery is worth visiting for the building alone. Built in the Victoria era, its facade is incredibly intimidating and impressive, and the inside is just as spectacular. It also has a pretty great gift shop and cafe if you're so inclined.
The Modern Art Gallery
Keeping with the art theme, the Modern Art Gallery is a little further out of the city, but it's totally worth the trip. Split across two buildings on either side of the road, the exteriors are incredibly beautiful. They're not afraid to have some seriously weird artwork either, making it an interesting trip to say the least!
Stockbridge is an area of Edinburgh that's a short but beautiful walk from Prince's Street (the main hub of Edinburgh). As a place to live, it's pretty expensive due to the beautiful architecture you can find in the area. Stockbridge has some fantastic restaurants and one-off shops, as well as a market every Sunday for you to peruse. It's also got easy access to the Water of Leith, a beautiful walk with wonderful views along the river.
Edinburgh is often said to be the most haunted city in the world. It's gory and creepy history makes for some excellent ghost stories that many ghost tour companies take full advantage of. The city comes alive at night with hooded figures taking groups of tourists around the city, pointing out the places where ghosts are often spotted. There are many companies to choose from, however I personally enjoy Mercat Tours, as they have access to the underground vaults, making for an extra spooky experience. If you're looking for something a little bit different, the Edinburgh Ghost Bus Tour provides a scary experience while sitting in the comfort of a bus taking you around the city. Give it a go if you want a more unique experience!
It feels like a bit of a cheat to put this attraction on the list, as it's definitely more of a tourist attraction location, however whenever I look up things to do in Edinburgh it rarely pops up, and I never hear of visitors going to see it. Dynamic Earth focuses on educating guests on the geography of the earth; how it came to be, and the many different climates that exist in it. This is done through many interactive exhibits, including a massive block of ice, moving floors, and tropical storms. It is aimed at a younger audience, but I still enjoy it every time I go.
Picnic in the Meadows
Despite its reputation, in the summer Edinburgh can have some really beautiful weather, and this is when the city really comes alive. On sunny days I always recommend putting together a picnic and walking to the Meadows, a large park area where locals tend to congregate when the weather is nice. Located in the shadow of the University of Edinburgh, you can often find students having barbecues in the park, giving it a fun and relaxed atmosphere.
And that is my list for Edinburgh attractions off the beaten path. I honestly could have made this list twice as long, so let me know if you want to know of any more! If you've been to Edinburgh before, what's your favourite place to visit?
Until next time,
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