The Best Tourist Locations in Edinburgh
Updated: Jun 7
We've made it to the second part of my ongoing series focusing on the best things to see and do in Edinburgh. Part one came out on Monday, focusing on the differences between Glasgow and Edinburgh so you know which one is best for you. Today, we're focusing on some of the best things to do when you visit Edinburgh. I should say, today we're focusing on the best tourist things to do. As in, the attractions that are famous for a reason. The next post will then focus on things that are off the beaten path, or less well known. So stay tuned to keep yourself informed!
Did you expect anything else? Edinburgh Castle looms over the city and provides a spectacular backdrop for many pictures. The entrance is located at the top of the beautiful Royal Mile, providing amazing views over the entire city once you get to the top. It's a fantastic tourist attraction, especially for those who enjoy their bloody history! There's also a great cafe to enjoy where you can sit overlooking the Edinburgh skyline to reward yourself for your hike up to the castle!
These are a fantastic way to see a lot of the city in an easy and accessible way. There are tons of bus companies operating fantastic tours of Edinburgh, providing you with easy access to the best tourist attractions. I always enjoy the City Sightseeing tours personally, but there are loads to choose from on Waverley Bridge.
Located right next to the entrance to Edinburgh Castle, Camera Obscura is an incredibly unique attraction. A world of illusions, this museum provides guests with the opportunity to experience the world of psychological tricks. It's a great place to get some fantastic photo opportunities. The piece de resistance of this attraction is the Camera Obscura show. I won't spoil it here, but it's an incredible experience!
The Edinburgh Botanical Gardens are insanely beautiful. While the weather doesn't always cooperate, if you can get there on a nice day it can be the perfect place to relax and have a picnic. Entrance to this attraction is completely free, with the exception of the Glasshouses. While they do cost money to visit, personally I think they're completely worth it. The Botanical Gardens make for a fantastic day out on a summer day!
The National Museum of Scotland
This is one of my favourite museums in the world. A mix of old and new, the National Museum houses some of the most fantastic items I've ever seen. Half of the building remains similar to as it was when it was created in the Victorian era, housing animals, clothing, and Mummies. The other half is a new build housing amazing artefacts from Scottish history. It's a great way to spend a morning (I do recommend visiting in the morning as it's a very popular attraction).
The Edinburgh Dungeons Edinburgh certainly isn't the only city to have a branch of the Dungeons franchise, but that's not to say it isn't worth visiting. Edinburgh has an incredibly bloody and gruesome history (it's often said to be the most haunted city in the world), and the Edinburgh Dungeons takes advantage of that in an interactive experience. While not for the faint of heart, it's an incredibly fun and unique experience, while also incredibly informative.
Mary King's Close
Mary King's Close has an unbelievable history. A series of streets that experienced the plague creeping through their homes, the area was bricked up and left below the more modern streets in the hopes that the plague would be trapped. Now, visitors can head down there in small tour groups to see the dark and dingy (and yet spectacular) streets frozen in time. The tours are interactive, funny, and absolutely fascinating. It's definitely worth a visit for anyone who enjoys the macabre.
Prince's Street and George Street
If shopping is your thing, Prince's Street and George Street are the places to go. The two lanes are right next to each other, so there's limited transportation required. Prince's Street is the main hub of Edinburgh, focusing on your typical high street shops such as Primark, Lush, and Next. George Street tends to have the slightly higher end high street stores, such as White Stuff, Anthropologie, and The White Company. You needn't look further for all your shopping needs!
So those are my top tips for what to visit in Edinburgh. What are your top tourist attractions from where you're from? Stay tuned next week for the lesser known places to visit!
Until next time,