Edinburgh is a city in Scotland that’s known for its beautiful scenery, lush landscapes, crumbling castles, and friendly people. And don’t forget the delicious beer! Here are 10 COOL THINGS TO DO IN AND AROUND EDINBURGH if you will be traveling with your mum.
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1. Take a Hop On Hop Off Bus
Edinburgh is a small city and you can easily visit some of the main attractions if you decide to take a bus tour. You can jump on and off of the bus whenever you feel like it! The major attractions the Edinburgh Bus Tour visits are the Palace of Holyrood House, the Scottish Parliament, Old Town, the National Museum of Scotland, the Grassmarket, the Edinburgh Castle, and the New Town.
One adult ticket is £15. One full tour takes approximately one hour.
2. Visit the Main Attractions
- year-round Arthur Seat: This is the main peak of a group of mountains, and is the remains of a volcano situated in the center of Edinburgh
- Cost: Free Entry
- Opening Hours: Open 24 hours a day, year-round
- Location: Holyrood Park, Queen’s Drive, Edinburgh EH8 8HG
- Edinburgh Castle: This dominant fortress in Edinburgh, which was built centuries ago, sits on Castle Rock
- Opening Hours: 9:30 am- 6 p.m.
- Cost: Adult (16 – 59 yrs): £16.50 / Child (5 – 15 yrs): £9.90
- Location: Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NG
- The Scottish Parliament: Watch the law-making in action in this Scottish government building
- Cost: Free Entry
- Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday, 10:00 – 17:00 (last admission 16:30)
- 1335 Gallowgate, Glasgow G31 4DN
- Visit the Royal Botanical Garden: Established in 1670, this is one of the world’s largest collections of living plants
- Cost: Free Entry
- Opening Hours: November to January: 10am – 4pm / February and October: 10am – 5pm / March to September: 10am – 6pm
- Location: Arboretum Place, Edinburgh EH3 5NZ
- Visit St. Giles’ Cathedral: This is a beautiful cathedral in Edinburgh that is considered to be the Mother Church of Presbyterianism
- Cost: Suggested donation, but free entry
- Opening Hours: Summer (May-September) Monday – Friday 09.00-19.00 / Saturday 09.00-17.00 / Sunday 13.00-17.00 and for services — Winter (October-April) Monday – Saturday 09.00-17.00 / Sunday 13.00-17.00 and for services
- Location: High St, Edinburgh EH1 1RE
- Visit Scott Monument: This is the largest monument to a writer in the world, and is a Victorian Gothic monument to Sir Walter Scott, with 287 steps to the top
- Opening Hours: April through September: Monday to Sunday 10 am – 7 pm / October through March: Monday to Sunday 10 am – 4 pm; last admission 3.30 pm.
- Cost: Admission is £5, for both adults and children.
- Location: E. Princes St Gardens, Edinburgh EH2 2EJ
- Visit the National Museum of Scotland: Learn about Scottish history at this museum, which dives into natural diversity, world cultures, science and art
- Cost: Free admission
- Opening Hours: Daily: 10:00-17:00 / Christmas Day: Closed / Boxing Day: 12:00-17:00 / New Year’s Day: 12:00-17:00
Location: Chambers Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1JF
- Visit Holyrood Palace (Palace of Holyrood House): This is the official residence of Scotland’s British monarch
- Opening Hours: from 1 November to 25 March: Open daily 09:30-16:30 (last admission 15:15) / from 26 March to 31 October: Open daily 09:30-18:00 (last admission 16:30)
- Cost: Adult: £12.00
- Location: Canongate, Edinburgh EH8 8DX
- Visit Mary King’s Close: Considered to be Edinburgh’s deepest secret, this one-hour guide will show you the hidden streets from the 17th century
- Schedule: March 25th, 2016 to October 31st, 2016
- Monday to Sunday
- 10 am – 9 pm (last tour)
- November 1st, 2015 to March 24th 2016Sunday to Thursday 10 am – 5 pm (last tour)
Friday & Saturday 10am – 9pm (last tour)
- Adult: £14.50
- 2 Warriston’s Close, High St, Edinburgh EH1 1PG
- Walk around Victoria Street: This street is considered to be one of Edinburgh’s most picturesque locations, full of restaurants, bars, pubs, and cafes. Take pictures of the architecture and pop into some of the delicious restaurants to try local food!
- Cost: Free
- Location: Victoria Street, Edinburgh
- Always open!
3. Do the West Highlands Tour including Loch Lomond etc!
This is a must-do if you’re in Edinburgh! Escape the city and see the surrounding nature and sights that you may miss out on. Just a few hours away from Edinburgh are the West Highlands, scenic mountains, ancient castles, and gorgeous villages. The Timberbush Tour takes 9 hours and 45 minutes and includes a comfortable couch and a guide. You will see Stirling Castle, Doune Castle, and Loch Lubnaig.
4. Try the Local Food and go on a Food Tour
Check out the Eat Walk Edinburgh walking food tour company that will bring you to different restaurants and help immerse you into Scottish culture. The Eat Walk Edinburgh tour takes you to 5 different places to eat, and 3 different places to try drinks. In between each food or drink venue, your guide will tell you about Edinburgh’s history- it’s a food and walking tour all in one! You’ll be stuffed from all of the delicious food by the end of the tour!
5. Go on a Jazz Night or attend the Jazz Festival!
Looking for something a bit more memorable and unique? Check out a different side of Edinburgh by going to a Jazz Night or attending the Jazz Festival! There are 12 festivals throughout the year, so check to see if you’ll be in Edinburgh during one of the festivals! You’ll experience an atmosphere unlike anywhere else in the world.
6. Go Skiing at The Midlothian Snowsports Centre
Fancy going skiing any time of the year? Check out the Midlothian Snowsports Centre in Edinburgh, where you can go skiing or snowboarding. They also offer classes, lessons, and tubing for those of you looking to learn how to ski or those of you who don’t want to ski or snowboard. A weekly adult ticket is £70.
7. Enjoy Afternoon Tea at One of the Many Tea Shops
There are so many tea shops around Edinburgh, that one has to know where to go to be able to decide on which one to choose! Here are a few of some of the best tea shops, where you can relax and immerse yourself in the Scottish way of life.
- Prestonfield: Enjoy delicious sandwiches and tea in the rose gardens, which are enjoyable during the warm summer months
- The Roxburghe: Enjoy warm homemade cakes, pastries, and sandwiches with deliciously brewed tea
- The Howard: Enjoy tea from 2-5 p.m. daily at this tea house
8. Visit the Edinburgh Farmer’s Market
This is Edinburgh’s award-winning farmer’s market, which takes place under the backdrop of Edinburgh Castle. The market is in its 16th year and is one of the world’s best markets. Here you will find fresh, local produce from local farmers at an unforgettable market in a beautiful setting. Come hungry!
9. Take a Step Back in History with Gladstone’s Land
Visit the house of Thomas Gledstanes, where you will learn exactly how people from a variety of backgrounds used to live. You’ll learn out-of-the-ordinary things, like living in cramped spaces, what happens if you’re dishonest and certain punishments that come with bad behavior. You’ll experience hands-on life back in the 17th century, which will further enhance your knowledge of Scottish culture.
Opening Hours of the Museum: 10.00 – 17.00
Prices: Adult: £7.00 / Family: £16.50
10. Gaze at the Stars at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh
Could you stare at the night sky for hours and hours? Then visit the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh, where you will observe the night sky at the same time as learning about what you see.
Public Astronomy Evenings:
- Every Friday evening, 6:30pm – 7:30pm and 8pm – 9pm(Winter). Monthly 7.30pm – 9pm (Summer).
- Tickets £4 adults, £3 children
Note: Our awesome trip itinerary was incredibly arranged with the help of Marketing Edinburgh.
Recommended Accommodation in Edinburgh
The Balmoral Hotel,
With an excellent location, excellent service, and beautiful rooms, The Balmoral is a modern luxurious place that offers first-class service. Located in the city center, it offers guests beautifully appointed rooms. Truly, this is one of the best and well most recommended accommodations in Edinburgh.
Read Reviews on TripAdvisor
Village Hotel Edinburgh
Village Hotel Edinburgh is a modern hotel with very clean and big rooms. Great facilities, the staff is very helpful and location is also good, near the city center. Truly, this is one of the best and most well-recommended accommodations in Edinburgh.
Read Reviews on TripAdvisor