The capital of Scotland is perhaps best known for its festival season, which runs through late summer and celebrates arts and entertainment. Edinburgh’s Festival Fringe in particular is the largest of its kind. Aside from the festivities, the historic city offers tourists a slew of interesting sights, from the eye-catching architecture of Edinburgh Castle to its beautiful and rocky seaside hills.
- At the west end of the picturesque Royal Mile lies Edinburgh Castle, which sits on a hill overlooking the rest of the city. In addition to housing the Scottish Crown Jewels, the grand castle’s grounds include a National War Museum, two Regimental Museums, cavernous stone prisons and even a Tea Room for some refreshments and respite.
- Occupying 640 acres near the heart of Edinburgh, Holyrood Park served as a getaway for royals for centuries. Its highest point, Arthur’s Seat, is 251 meters above sea level and offers incredible panoramic views of the city. The walk up to the enormous peak takes effort but isn’t strenuous, and is best accompanied by a picnic at the top.
Best Day Trips From Edinburgh
- About an hour’s drive east of Edinburgh, North Berwick is a quaint seaside town. The nearby Bass Rock, a volcanic rock that holds a small castle and chapel, is home to 80,000 gannet nests -- the white seabirds cover the entire surface of the massive rock. The wildlife can be seen from the Scottish Seabird Centre, which also offers puffin and dolphin viewing, or the ruins of Tantallon Castle, located on an idyllic cliff.
- As the biggest city in Scotland, Glasgow is where travelers go for nightlife, art museums and live music galore. The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is a standout for its free admission and spectacular exhibits ranging from Salvador Dali to Scotland’s relationship to football. Tourists also enjoy snapping pictures of Glasgow’s imposing Victorian and Edwardian architecture.