While Edinburgh is a city well-known for its timeless festivals, there is plenty to see and do even outside of festival season. This guide will list some of the Scottish capital's top attractions, ranging from food and drink to accommodation, along with some hidden gems and local favourites that might be overlooked by the average visitor.
Edinburgh Castle is famous worldwide as an icon of Scotland. The castle defines the Edinburgh skyline and has a rich and fascinating history. It hosts Scotland’s crown jewels and the intriguing ‘stone of destiny’.
Royal Botanic Gardens
The ‘Botanics’, as they are locally known, are the perfect place to while away the hours on a lazy afternoon. The gardens boast some of the world’s oldest plants, so if you’ve got green fingers you’re in for a real treat. Even if you don't know your flora from your fauna, they are the perfect place for a romantic stroll or if you just need a bit of zen.
The Palace of Holyrood
The official residence of the queen in Scotland, Holyrood Palace is a place of monumental significance. Visit the State Apartments and Mary, Queen of Scots' Chambers and finish up at the cafe for a lovely spot of afternoon tea.
The museum is one of Edinburgh’s top attractions, it provides incredible views of the city and a wonderful, mind-boggling insight into all things ‘illusions’.
In case you weren't familiar with the tale, Bobby is a statue of a very small, very loyal dog in Greyfriars Kirkyard. Legend has it Bobby guarded his masters grave for 14 years after his death in the 19th century. Rub bobby's nose for good luck!
Victoria Street is absolute heaven for shopaholics, it is filled with charming quaint boutiques and is the perfect place to find a one of a kind gift or memoir of your trip.
The Writer's Museum
“The best laid schemes o' mice an' men Gang aft a-gley, An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain For promis'd joy.” - Robert Burns
The Writer's Museum is dedicated to Scotland's greats of literature including Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott. See handwritten manuscripts, first editions and a host of other literary artefacts.
The Museum of Childhood
This fantastic museum is truly one of a kind, it’s the oldest childhood museum in the world. The five galleries are dedicated to all of the wonderful toys and memories you treasured as a child, so you can step back in time and explore the past through wonderful interactive exhibits.
Holyrood Park and Arthur's Seat
Fancy a climb? Head to Arthur's Seat in Holyrood Park, it's a must for anyone visiting Edinburgh for the first time. The park also boasts Duddingston Loch, a scenic spot perfect for birdwatching.
Love being spooked? The old town is the place to go if you fancy a bit of a fright. Ghost Tours are immensely popular in the city, especially around Halloween and Guy Fawkes Night, with everything from Witchery Tours to the Edinburgh Dungeon.
Stockbridge Sunday Market
Stockbridge Sunday Market in Leith is the perfect place to find a delicious Sunday brunch with food produces coming from all over Scotland to show off their artisan goods.
MUMS Great Comfort Food
The go-to place for bangers and mash, MUMS is a hit with everyone who visits. Gourmet versions of old classics without skimping on the portions, this small independent eatery is an absolute must for foodies visiting Edinburgh. MUMS caters for meat lovers and vegetarians.
Mary's Milk Bar
A retro, homemade ice cream shop with a quirky assortment of flavours, Mary's Milk Bar leaves a lasting impression. All ingredients for Mary's gelato and truffles are completely fresh and the fun, dynamic tastes will leave you wanting to come back for more. We recommend tea and jam as an out-there flavour you're guaranteed to enjoy.
The Devil’s Advocate
For a taste of Scottish Whiskey, this is the place, with over 200 different types on offer. The bar and restaurant stocks only local produce, and offers a versatile and stylish food and drinks menu. A superb hideaway for the weary traveller.
Edinburgh University halls are open to the public as B&B accommodation outside of term time. What better way to experience the city than through the perspective of its students? Halls are placed in desirable locations and are cheaper than most hotel accommodation. Follow this link to find out more about what Edinburgh halls have to offer at UniversityRooms.
Other hotels, B&Bs and apartments can be discovered via our website. It is easier than ever to explore everything that Edinburgh has to offer with SpeedyBooker's unique and charming accommodation.