Important: This destination may have COVID-19 travel restrictions in place, including specific restrictions for lodging. Check any national, local, and health advisories for this destination before you book.

EdinburghUnited Kingdom

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!(164 area reviews)

Gourmet restaurants interesting history and top sights from Royal Mile to Grassmarket – discover Old Town, a destination also famous for its shopping.

Old Town
Edinburgh showing heritage architecture and night scenes

New Town

4.5/5Wonderful!(120 area reviews)

A noteworthy feature of New Town is its popular shops. While you're in town, be sure to stop and check out Princes Street and George Street.

New Town

Top hotels in Edinburgh

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
The Balmoral Hotel
The Balmoral Hotel
5 out of 5
1 Princes Street, Edinburgh, Scotland

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! (996 reviews)

"Liked old style 1st class service. Only stayed 2 nights. Would have liked longer."…"

Reviewed on 20 Mar. 2020

The Balmoral Hotel
Novotel Edinburgh Centre
Novotel Edinburgh Centre
4 out of 5
80 Lauriston Place, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is NZ$158 per night

Located in Old Town, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of The Meadows, Grassmarket and Royal Mile. University of Edinburgh and Usher Hall are also within ...

4.3/5Excellent! (1,996 reviews)

"Good location, great breakfast, room was nice and from the 6th floor the view was great."…"

Reviewed on 23 Mar. 2020

Novotel Edinburgh Centre
Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club
Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club
4 out of 5
The price is NZ$224 per night

This family-friendly Kirknewton hotel is located near the airport, within 3 mi (5 km) of Edinburgh International Climbing Arena Ratho and Heriot Watt University. ...

4.4/5Excellent! (2,085 reviews)

"I enjoyed the pond on the golf course. Took a stroll and the swan and ducks came by to investigate me, although I assumed they’ve had people feed them."…"

Reviewed on 16 Mar. 2020

Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club

Popular places to visit in Edinburgh

Edinburgh Castle
Image for Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

4.5/5(189 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(64 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

Hard Rock Cafe Edinburgh Dining with Priority Seating
Image for Hard Rock Cafe Edinburgh Dining with Priority Seating

Hard Rock Cafe Edinburgh Dining with Priority Seating

86% of travellers recommend
NZ$38
Per adult
Secrets of the Royal Mile Walking Tour with Edinburgh Castle Admission
Image for Secrets of the Royal Mile Walking Tour with Edinburgh Castle Admission

Secrets of the Royal Mile Walking Tour with Edinburgh Castle Admission

96% of travellers recommend
NZ$66
Per adult
Doomed Dead & Buried: Underground Vaults & Canongate Graveyard Walking Tour
Image for Doomed Dead & Buried: Underground Vaults & Canongate Graveyard Walking Tour

Doomed Dead & Buried: Underground Vaults & Canongate Graveyard Walking Tour

88% of travellers recommend
NZ$36
Per adult
Edinburgh Day Trip with Bus Tour & Edinburgh Castle Entry
Image for Edinburgh Day Trip with Bus Tour & Edinburgh Castle Entry

Edinburgh Day Trip with Bus Tour & Edinburgh Castle Entry

84% of travellers recommend
NZ$396
Per adult
The Edinburgh Dungeon Tour
Image for The Edinburgh Dungeon Tour

The Edinburgh Dungeon Tour

92% of travellers recommend
NZ$30
Per adult
Aspire Lounge by Servisair at Edinburgh Airport (EDI)
Image for Aspire Lounge by Servisair at Edinburgh Airport (EDI)

Aspire Lounge by Servisair at Edinburgh Airport (EDI)

NZ$54
Per adult

Reviews of Edinburgh

4.7

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
218
5 - Excellent 74.40273037542661%
4 - Good
66
4 - Good 22.525597269624573%
3 - Okay
8
3 - Okay 2.7303754266211606%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
1
1 - Terrible 0.3412969283276451%

5/5 - Excellent

Forbes

1 Feb. 2020

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

5/5 - Excellent

AntonyHolden

8 Jan. 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

8 Jan. 2020

Great place to visit with amazing buildings and sights

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

3 Jan. 2020

Best city I have visited

4/5 - Good

LKazda

1 Jan. 2020

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

5/5 - Excellent

MB

15 Dec. 2019

Love Edinburgh. Such a beautiful city.

Cities near Edinburgh

Other places like Edinburgh