EdinburghUnited Kingdom

Image for Royal Yacht Britannia featuring boating and general coastal views

The capital of Scotland combines ancient architecture and fascinating history with a vibrant cultural scene and world-famous festivals.

Walking through Edinburgh is a very pleasant experience, with visitors to the city quickly understanding why the Scottish capital has achieved the status of a World Heritage Site. Stroll past the medieval buildings of the Old Town and on to the wide and elegant boulevards and Georgian architecture of the New Town. Take your time and enjoy the many impressive landmarks, as well as the picturesque parks and gardens that abound.

The city is built on seven hills, adding to its natural charm, and is framed by a number of long-extinct volcanoes. Built on one of these rises is the famous Edinburgh Castle; an imposing fortress which overlooks the city, and has long defended it from attack.

The Royal Mile is a cobblestoned link between the castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse, one of the British Crown's monarchical residences in Edinburgh. The route also takes in St Giles' Cathedral and Parliament House, some of the primary buildings of historic interest for visitors to the city.

Princes Street is the city's principal shopping thoroughfare and is always a hub of activity. Princes Street Gardens run alongside, and offer a green respite from the hustle and bustle. The striking Gothic-designed Scott Monument was built in memory of the celebrated writer, Sir Walter Scott. Its viewing galleries offer excellent vistas over the Edinburgh rooftops.

If you'd like to get off the beaten track, try nearby Dean Village, situated in an oasis of countryside but only a few minutes away from the heart of Edinburgh. Head for the port area during the day for its range of charming cafés, and come back in the evening for its excellent restaurants and bars.

The best vantages over the city can be accessed via a short walk up Arthur's Seat, a volcano which is now dormant, or Calton Hill. The latter also has a range of monuments which will give you an even greater insight into the city's past.

Edinburgh is justly famous for its festivals – the locals really know how to throw a party! The Edinburgh Fringe and the Edinburgh Arts Festival, in particular, bring a riot of cultural activity to the city in August. Christmastime brings plenty of celebration too, with festive markets and attractions, all leading up to the famous Hogmanay street party which celebrates the opening of the New Year.

Edinburgh Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in Edinburgh

Old Town featuring heritage elements and street scenes

Old Town

4.5/5Wonderful!(163 area reviews)

Old Town
Edinburgh showing heritage architecture and night scenes

New Town

4.5/5Wonderful!(120 area reviews)

New Town

Top hotels in Edinburgh

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Edinburgh Grosvenor Hotel
Edinburgh Grosvenor Hotel
4 out of 5
Grosvenor Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
Free Cancellation
NZ$85
per night
Feb 23 - Feb 24

Located in Haymarket, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC), Princes Street Gardens and Greyfriars Kirk. Edinburgh ...

3.6/5Good! (1,451 reviews)

"Needs updating. Bedding poor. Very helpful staff.Good food. Expensive wine"…"

Reviewed on 12 Feb. 2020

Edinburgh Grosvenor Hotel
Moxy Edinburgh Airport
Moxy Edinburgh Airport
3 out of 5
1 Fairview Road, Edinburgh, Scotland
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
NZ$122
per night
Feb 23 - Feb 24

Situated in Edinburgh, this hotel is 0.8 mi (1.3 km) from Royal Highland Centre and 2.9 mi (4.6 km) from Gyle Shopping Centre. Edinburgh Zoo and Edinburgh Park ...

4.1/5Very Good! (764 reviews)

"Comfortable and convienient, but the room could have been cleaner."…"

Reviewed on 14 Feb. 2020

Moxy Edinburgh Airport
The Balmoral Hotel
The Balmoral Hotel
5 out of 5
1 Princes Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
NZ$332
per night
Mar 16 - Mar 17

Located in New Town, this luxury hotel is steps away from Waterloo Place and Princes Street. George Street and Edinburgh Dungeon are also within 5 minutes. Edinburgh ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (1,034 reviews)

"Amazing hotel, great location, all staff provided a first class service from check in to having coffee or a drink. The upgraded room made our stay even more special. This was our first time staying at the Balmoral and we will definitely be back."…"

Reviewed on 21 Feb. 2020

The Balmoral Hotel

Popular activities in Edinburgh

Edinburgh Castle
Image for Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

4.5/5(187 reviews)

This storied fortification has been at the heart of Scottish history for almost a thousand years, and remains the home of the glittering crown jewels.

Royal Mile
Image for Royal Mile

Royal Mile

4.5/5(62 reviews)

Stretching through the middle of the Old Town, this ancient thoroughfare brings you on a walk through the heart of Edinburgh history and tradition.

Edinburgh Zoo
Image for Edinburgh Zoo

Edinburgh Zoo

4/5(7 reviews)

Home to over 1,000 animals and 200 different species, this zoo works hard to maintain its many unusual and rare inhabitants.

Top activities in Edinburgh

Loch Ness & the Highlands with Hotel Pickup from Edinburgh
Image for Loch Ness & the Highlands with Hotel Pickup from Edinburgh

Loch Ness & the Highlands with Hotel Pickup from Edinburgh

88% of travellers recommend
NZ$100
Per adult
Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Tour
Image for Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Tour

Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Tour

92% of travellers recommend
NZ$32
Per adult
Skip-the-Line Edinburgh Castle Tour
Image for Skip-the-Line Edinburgh Castle Tour

Skip-the-Line Edinburgh Castle Tour

88% of travellers recommend
NZ$65
Per adult
Glen Coe, Loch Ness & the Scottish Highlands Full-Day Tour
Image for Glen Coe, Loch Ness & the Scottish Highlands Full-Day Tour

Glen Coe, Loch Ness & the Scottish Highlands Full-Day Tour

92% of travellers recommend
NZ$90
Per adult
Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
Image for Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

96% of travellers recommend
NZ$32
Per adult
Speyside Delight - Scottish Whisky Tour - Private Full Day
Image for Speyside Delight - Scottish Whisky Tour - Private Full Day

Speyside Delight - Scottish Whisky Tour - Private Full Day

NZ$412
Per adult

Reviews of Edinburgh

4.7

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
217
5 - Excellent 74.5704467353952%
4 - Good
65
4 - Good 22.33676975945017%
3 - Okay
8
3 - Okay 2.7491408934707904%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
1
1 - Terrible 0.3436426116838488%

5/5 - Excellent

Forbes

Feb 1, 2020

Beautiful Old Town, & Royal Mile, amazing history & architecture

5/5 - Excellent

AntonyHolden

Jan 8, 2020

A beaurtiful city and i highly recommend one of the guided bust tours. I sdid leave Edinburgh with a sense of 'having seen all there was of interest to see' though, but i would return and happily be guided to places i didn't go

5/5 - Excellent

Alex

Jan 8, 2020

Great place to visit with amazing buildings and sights

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Jan 3, 2020

Best city I have visited

4/5 - Good

LKazda

Jan 1, 2020

A vibrant, attractive city with great food. Easy to get around and friendly Scotsmen!

5/5 - Excellent

MB

Dec 15, 2019

Love Edinburgh. Such a beautiful city.

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