Edinburgh

Cliffs at Holyrood Park with Edinburgh city the in background

Overview

Book a flight

Destination Basics

  1. Royal Mile
    Though touristy it may be, it’s worth the stroll along Royal Mile which connects Edinburgh Castle, overlooking the top of the street with the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the home of Scottish Royalty (and Mary Queen of Scots’ former bedroom) housed nearly a mile away. Shop along the narrow laneways known as “closes” for local treasures of tartans and kilts, good eats and drink but the real gems are the wool shops adorned with soft cashmere for memorable souvenirs.

    Highlight: Laugh, sing and dance along during Edinburgh’s Festival Fringe in August.
     
  2. Water of Leith Walkway
    Urban greenbelt strolling at its best. This public 12 mile/20km footpath tracks a small river from the city’s outskirts to the capital weaving amongst nature, architecture and art – you can make a pitstop at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art – then continue by bike and grab a scrumptious treat to relax in the green refuge.

    Highlight:
     If you’re there on a Sunday check out the market in Stockbridge.
     
  3. National Museum of Scotland
    Not only is the National Museum of Scotland easy to access, it's also free. Mirroring Scotland’s history of old and new, the museum is comprised of two distinct buildings – Victorian and modern in design, catering to archeology, history, world cultures and nature with impressive collections on science and technology and fashion. And if you’re a Potter fan, be sure to take in the Lewis chess pieces immortalized in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

    Highlight: Selfie with a sheep? Visit the world-famous Dolly, the first mammal to be stem-cell cloned.
     
  4. Edinburgh Castle
    This majestic castle perched high atop the [extinct] volcanic escarpment called Castle Rock is home to the Stone of Destiny and Scotland’s Crown Jewels, as well as the National War museum paying homage to besieged eras gone by.

    Highlight:
     Set against the spectacular castle backdrop, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is a must-attend festival in August.
     
  5. Camera Obscura and World of Illusions
    Fantasy, light and bewilderment abound in this kaleidoscope of trippy tunnels and mirrored mazes, holograms and more!

    Highlight: The panoramic rooftop view – we won’t spoil it for you – go and find out for yourself!

Fringe festival fans can partake in performances throughout the city, reveling with friends via a pub-crawl. Be sure to indulge in the local haggis and shop along Victoria Street for curious finds.
Must-see: Edinburgh Castle.

Edinburgh is mostly cool and cloudy with rain throughout the year. Summer, June through August, also known as festival season is when the heat and crowds converge to take in the revelry.

Haggis! You haven’t experienced true Edinburgh without delighting in the concoction of minced sheep's liver, heart and lungs with a seasoning of onions oatmeal. Served with neeps and tatties (mashed turnips and potatoes), it’ll keep you going!

If gamey goodness is not your thing, take a stroll through Leith for fresh seafood.

Highlight: The Elephant House where J.K. Rowling was often inspired writing Harry Potter.

Whisky

Originally derived from the Gaelic term ‘usquebaugh’ meaning “water of life”. Get the grand tour from its history to samples at The Scotch Whisky Experience to learn more.

Music Festivals

By the far the most recognizable arts festival, the Fringe cements Edinburgh as a cultural hub. There’s no shortage of plays, literary events, comedy shows and live music to suit all tastes throughout the city each August.

Highlight: If you miss the fest, but want to catch a concert tour, the Festival Theatre is centre-stage for the best performances in town.

Victoria Street - offers a selection of unique boutiques and funky shops.

Rose Street – Pedestrian only for your resto-pub fare and kitschy paraphernalia.

Royal Mile – souvenir shops and your standard fashion stores.

George Street – luxury and exclusive describe what you’ll find in this high-end promenade.

Duncan Street – art aficionados rejoice: galleries and antiques for the viewing.

Grassmarket – if you’re seeking off the beaten track, alternative shops, this street is flanked with independent artisans.

Highlight: Jenners Department Store akin to Harrods of London for upscale people watching.

With the 24 hour bus servicing many popular stops and trams that connect to the airport, public transit is easy to come by. If luxury is more your speed, hail a black-car taxi for spacious comfort.