EdinburghUnited Kingdom

Image for Royal Yacht Britannia featuring boating and general coastal views

Visit Edinburgh

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
Old Town featuring heritage elements and street scenes

Old Town

Known for Castles, Historical Buildings, Museums

4.5/5(151 reviews)

Wander the narrow alleys of Edinburgh's historic center to discover the hidden delights of an area that also encompasses some of the city's top attractions.

New Town
Edinburgh showing heritage architecture and night scenes

New Town

Known for Castles, Historical Buildings, Festivals

4.5/5(114 reviews)

Stroll around the refined Georgian quarter of Edinburgh to encounter iconic monuments, stunning art galleries and an array of stores.

Top hotels in Edinburgh

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Hampton by Hilton Edinburgh Airport
Hampton by Hilton Edinburgh Airport
3.5 out of 5
Almond Avenue, Ingliston, Newbridge, Scotland
NZ$101
per night
16 Dec. - 17 Dec.

Located in Ingliston, this hotel is within 9 mi (15 km) of Edinburgh Zoo, Murrayfield Stadium and George Street. Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle are also within ...

4.4/5Excellent! (666 reviews)

"Great location. The front desk staff was super nice."…"

Reviewed on 3 Dec. 2019

Hampton by Hilton Edinburgh Airport
Hilton Edinburgh Carlton
Hilton Edinburgh Carlton
4 out of 5
19 North Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland
NZ$175
per night
3 Jan. - 4 Jan.

Located in Old Town, this eco-friendly hotel is steps away from City Art Centre, Princes Street and Royal Mile. Real Mary King's Close and St. Giles' Cathedral ...

4.2/5Excellent! (981 reviews)

"The staff were friendly and helpful with anything."…"

Reviewed on 8 Dec. 2019

Hilton Edinburgh Carlton
Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian
Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian
5 out of 5
Princes Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
NZ$269
per night
18 Dec. - 19 Dec.

Located in West End, this luxury hotel is steps away from Edinburgh Gin Distillery and Princes Street. George Street and Usher Hall are also within 5 minutes. ...

4.4/5Excellent! (1,396 reviews)

"Great location wonderful staff spectacular view of the castle."…"

Reviewed on 7 Dec. 2019

Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian

Popular activities in Edinburgh

Edinburgh Castle
Image for Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

4.5/5(177 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 Yacht Britannia
Image for Royal Yacht Britannia

Royal Yacht Britannia

4.5/5(50 reviews)

Glimpse the life of royalty in the elegant rooms of what was once the Queen of England's personal cruise liner and Britain's ambassadorial ship overseas.

Arthur's Seat
Image for Arthur's Seat

Arthur's Seat

4.5/5(50 reviews)

Shaped like a crouching lion, this city centre hill offers a panorama over Edinburgh and the surrounding area.

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

NZ$50

Find rolling hills shrouded in mist, listen to stories of Scottish legends and heroes, and uncover the secrets tucked away in the the Scottish Highlands. On this full-day guided tour, explore the region's acclaimed National Parks, pass by massive historic castles, and scan the waters of Loch Ness for its famed and elusive sea monster.

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

NZ$32

Discover the very best of Edinburgh on an unlimited hop-on hop-off bus tour.

Skip-the-Line Edinburgh Castle Tour
Image for Skip-the-Line Edinburgh Castle Tour

Skip-the-Line Edinburgh Castle Tour

NZ$64

Venture to the summit of Castle Rock and visit Edinburgh Castle, the historic fortress that dominates the city's horizon. On this guided tour, you can enjoy skip-the-line entrance, learn about the castle's crucial role in Scottish history, and enjoy free time to explore at your own pace.

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

NZ$90

Learn about the mysteries and myths of Loch Ness, visit Scottish estuaries, and gaze at some of the most breathtaking scenery of the Scottish Highlands. Scotland is famed for its monstrous lake inhabitant and outstanding natural beauty; uncover both on this tour.

Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
Image for Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

NZ$32

Get to know Edinburgh on a hop-on hop-off tour of the Scottish capital's finest attractions. Cruise the city streets in a double-decker bus, riding along multiple routes that allow you to set your own pace and craft your own itinerary.

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$408

Itinerary This is a typical itinerary for this product Stop At: Aberlour Distillery High Street Aberlour, Banffshire, Aberlour AB38 9PJ Scotland Aberlour distillery - a world renowned, iconic Speyside whisky distillery.

Reviews of Edinburgh

4.7

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
203
5 - Excellent 74.08759124087591%
4 - Good
62
4 - Good 22.62773722627737%
3 - Okay
8
3 - Okay 2.9197080291970803%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
1
1 - Terrible 0.36496350364963503%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

10 Dec. 2019

It is an amazingly beautiful city

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

5 Dec. 2019

Christmas is a great time to visit Edinburgh - actually not very cold during the day at all, but still a vibrant place, with pantomimes, Christmas markets and light displays to enjoy.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

8 Nov. 2019

Edinburgh is an incredibly beautiful city. You can get completely lost in the history and architecture of this amazing place.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

29 Oct. 2019

We absolutely loved Edinburgh!!

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

26 Oct. 2019

A beautiful city, steeped in history. Easy to get around, excellent shopping and availability of food and restaurants to choose from.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

23 Oct. 2019

Although very tourist focused, Edinburgh has enough quiet places to enable some escapes from the crowds and there are certainly places to look at that aren't as crowded as say the castle.

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Edinburgh

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