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Sightseeing in Edinburgh reveals a score of attractions, highlighting this ancient city's historical, cultural and visual charm. Most Edinburgh attractions are quite centrally located and best enjoyed during the summer, when the days are both longer and warmer. It is easy and pleasant to get around the main tourist enclaves of the city on foot.

Located on the mound of an extinct volcano, Edinburgh Castle includes structures from as early as the 12th century. The National Gallery has displayed fine works of art to the public since 1859 and continues to exhibit an impressive collection. For Scottish opera and ballet performances, visit the Edinburgh Festival Theatre, while the Museum of Edinburgh is another worthwhile attraction.

The Scotch Whisky Experience shows visitors the art of brewing Scotland's celebrated whiskies, locally referred to as 'the water of life'. The Royal Yacht Brittania is docked in the port of Leith and has hosted the likes of Winston Churchill and Nelson Mandela. Founded in 1670, the Royal Botanic Garden is made up of Victorian glasshouses and impressive landscaped grounds. The Royal Mile in Old Town, which stretches from the Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse is another must. Strolling down this atmospheric road, travellers will encounter many people advertising themed tours of the city including a number of thrilling historical and ghostly routes, which are a great way to get some insight into this mysterious Gothic city.

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

The imposing castle that stands on the craggy mound of an extinct volcano in the heart of Edinburgh is not only the city's top attraction, but a proud and lasting symbol of the Scottish nation. The castle rock has been inhabited since 800...  see full details



Palace of Holyrood House

Palace of Holyrood House

The Palace of Holyrood was originally an abbey, built in the 12th century, and later the home of Mary, Queen of Scots, notorious for her turbulent reign and dramatic life. Today the palace is the official Scottish residence of Queen Elizabeth II, and...  see full details



Royal Botanical Gardens

Royal Botanic Garden

Not just any garden, the Edinburgh Botanic Garden is acknowledged as one of the finest in the world. The garden features six percent of all the world's known plants, the most tender being cosseted in elegant Victorian glasshouses. Visitors can admire vegetation from 10...  see full details



Gallery of Scotland

National Gallery of Scotland

The National Gallery of Scotland is situated in the heart of Edinburgh and is home to Scotland's greatest collection of European paintings and sculpture from the Renaissance to Post-Impressionism. The museum opened to the public in 1859 and includes works by Botticelli, Cézanne, Van...  see full details



Edinburgh Museum

Museum of Edinburgh

Get to grips with the mystery and magic of the ancient city of Edinburgh at the museum dedicated to its history, from prehistoric times to the present day. The Museum of Edinburgh contains important collections relevant to the city's history, from pottery to documents,...  see full details



A shot of the best

Scotch Whisky Experience

Alongside Edinburgh Castle, visitors can enjoy a 'wee dram' and uncover the secrets of brewing Scotland's famed malt, grain and blended whiskies, known to the locals as 'the water of life'. The whisky tour includes a barrel ride through the history of whisky,...  see full details



Royal Yacht Britannia

Royal Yacht Britannia

The famed Royal yacht, Britannia, is the pride of the Ocean Terminal in the port of Leith, Edinburgh's recently developed waterfront shopping and leisure area. Numerous illustrious passengers, including Sir Winston Churchill and Nelson Mandela, have trod her decks, not to mention the British...  see full details



Rosslyn Castle

Rosslyn Chapel

Made famous by the conclusion of the exciting novel (later turned movie) The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, this 15th-century Gothic church has become a touristic site of pilgrimage, just six miles (10km) south of Edinburgh's city centre. Known among the clergy as...  see full details



Edinburgh Festival Theatre

Edinburgh Festival Theatre

The Edinburgh Festival Theatre is used primarily for musical events and touring groups, and it is one of the main venues for the annual summer Edinburgh International Festival, as well as being the year-round venue for the Scottish Opera and the Scottish Ballet. This...  see full details



The Royal Mile

Royal Mile

An essential activity for travellers in Edinburgh is a stroll along the Royal Mile, a succession of streets forming the main thoroughfare of Edinburgh's Old Town. Fittingly, the Royal Mile is approximately one Scottish mile long, running between two historic attractions; Edinburgh Castle at...  see full details



Arthur's Seat

Arthur's Seat

The tallest of the seven hills that form Holyrood Park at 822 feet (250m), Arthur's Seat is actually an extinct volcano that overlooks the city of Edinburgh. There are the remains of an Iron Age hill fort, with several grassy plateaus that make...  see full details