25 Best Things To Do In Edinburgh (Scotland) - The Crazy Tourist (2023)

Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland, and a vibrant city full of culture, history, and beautiful landscapes. Edinburgh has been an important city for centuries, with a focus on education and art. Today, it is home to 500,000 people and a number of cultural events including the Edinburgh Fringe and Edinburgh Festival.

The city has a relaxed but lively vibe, with something new and exciting happening every week. Edinburgh is the perfect gateway city into Scotland and Scottish culture. Here are some of the best things to do in this beautiful, calm, and active city.

Lets explore the best things to do in Edinburgh:

1. Edinburgh Castle

25 Best Things To Do In Edinburgh (Scotland) - The Crazy Tourist (1)Source: StevanZZ / shutterstock

Edinburgh Castle is a key component of the city’s skyline. The castle sits atop a tall rock, making it visible from many parts of the city. The site has been used since the 2nd century as its position is a perfect defensive location. For centuries, the castle has been seen as the ‘key to the city’ – controlling the castle meant controlling Edinburgh.

The castle has housed important figures in Scottish history, including Mary Queen of Scots and Bonnie Prince Charlie. Pay a visit to Edinburgh Castle to gain an insight into historic life in the castle. On display are the crown jewels of Scotland, as well as the Stone of Destiny which has been used in the coronation of British monarchs for centuries. Be sure to stick around for the firing of the One O’Clock Gun, which has been fired every day except Sundays since 1861.

Get there: Royal Attractions with Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tours

2. Princes Street

25 Best Things To Do In Edinburgh (Scotland) - The Crazy Tourist (2)Source: Duirinish Light / shutterstock

One of the first places you will visit after arriving in Edinburgh is the historic Princes Street. This main thoroughfare has been the heart of the city since 1770, and is now one of Edinburgh’s most popular retail hubs. Visit Princes Street for a spot of shopping – you’ll find all the big high street stores along this road. Princes Street is also a wonderful location for history, with a number of key landmarks nearby. Here you will find gorgeous views of Edinburgh Castle, a number of galleries, and the Scott Monument, making it ideal for photography.

After shopping or snapping, take a break in the Princes Street Gardens, which feature a beautiful floral clock, a war memorial, and lovely green lawns that are perfect for a picnic.

3. Holyrood Palace

25 Best Things To Do In Edinburgh (Scotland) - The Crazy Tourist (3)Source: David Ionut / shutterstock

Holyrood Palace is the Scottish residence of the British monarchy, located near Edinburgh Castle. The palace was built in 1678 and has housed generations of kings and queens. Today, much of the historic palace has been preserved in order to showcase royal life in the 17th century. Explore Mary Queen of Scots’ chambers which includes a room where her secretary was murdered by her husband in 1566.

For some art and a view into regal responsibilities, stop by the State Apartments which feature fine art and are still used today by the British Royal Family. Finish your trip with a rest at the palace café to enjoy a classic afternoon tea in an extravagant setting.

Book online: Palace of Holyroodhouse Ticket

4. Camera Obscura

25 Best Things To Do In Edinburgh (Scotland) - The Crazy Tourist (4)Source: Mariusz S. Jurgielewicz / shutterstock

Opened in 1835, Camera Obscura is Edinburgh’s oldest tourist attraction. The gallery focusses on visual illusions, featuring a number of experiences and hands-on activities to explore and enjoy. On site, you will find a mirror maze, an Ames room which will appear to shrink around you, and a vortex tunnel which will provoke a sense of imbalance even though you are completely stable!

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Climb to the roof to see the city from an excellent vantage point, with free telescopes available for close-up views. Camera Obscura provides a fun and family-friendly way to spend a day, tricking your brain and experiencing all sorts of unique sensations.

5. Arthur’s Seat

25 Best Things To Do In Edinburgh (Scotland) - The Crazy Tourist (5)Source: S-F / shutterstock

For outdoors enthusiasts, Arthur’s Seat is a must-visit. Arthur’s Seat is a dormant volcano and one of the highest points in Edinburgh. Hike to the top for breath-taking views of the city and a touch of wild nature in the heart of Edinburgh. Here you will also find a hill fort, dating from around 600 A.D. although there are remains of older structures nearby dating from 2 A.D. In mythology,

Arthur’s Seat is considered to be a possible location for Camelot, the legendary castle of King Arthur. Arthur’s Seat is a dramatic and historical place, and the perfect starting point to explore the nearby hills around Holyrood Park.

Included in: Edinburgh Scenic Bike Tour

6. Mary King’s Close

25 Best Things To Do In Edinburgh (Scotland) - The Crazy Tourist (6)Source: syahir rahim / shutterstock

Mary King’s Close is part of Edinburgh’s Old Town, which consisted of a number of winding and narrow alleyways called ‘closes’. Today, Mary King’s Close is a warren of underground passages and streets, having partially collapsed centuries ago. Book a tour with The Real Mary King’s Close to explore the fascinating history of this once-bustling Edinburgh street. Learn about life in the closes, as well as the rumours of hauntings and gristly murders that have sprouted since the collapse of the close.

The close has been well-preserved so that its history is visible in every inch of every street. Tour guides are even costumed to provide an immersive and interesting experience. This is a great way to learn about life in old Edinburgh.

7. St Giles’ Cathedral

25 Best Things To Do In Edinburgh (Scotland) - The Crazy Tourist (7)Source: Susanne Pommer / shutterstock

St Giles’ Cathedral is the principal church in Edinburgh and a key feature of the city’s skyline. It was built in the 14th century and showcases a distinctive gothic-style architecture that is commonly found in Edinburgh. The cathedral is home to a number of memorials for Scottish people of note, as well as beautiful stained glass windows. The church holds original bells dating from the 15th century, as well as the King’s Pillar. The Pillar bears the coats of arms and medieval shields of ancient British kings.

Be sure to stop by the Thistle Chapel which commemorates the Order of the Thistle, a group of 17th century knights who protected Scotland. The chapel features stunning architecture and beautiful archways. St Giles’ Cathedral is a focal point of the city and a wonderful place to learn about Edinburgh’s history and ancient culture.

8. Scottish National Gallery

25 Best Things To Do In Edinburgh (Scotland) - The Crazy Tourist (8)Source: Jeff Whyte / shutterstock

The Scottish National Gallery is Scotland’s national art gallery, making it a must-see for visitors to Edinburgh. The building was opened in 1859 and features beautiful neoclassical architecture, the perfect setting for the rich collections of fine art housed within. Located in the heart of the city, the National Gallery features work by Van Dyck, Gainsborough and Rubens.

One of the highlights is the collection of pieces by Scottish artists, featuring unforgettable landscapes, portraits and scenes of everyday life by artists such as Peter Graham, Sir David Wilkie and Sir Henry Raeburn. Settle down for a snack and a tea at the Scottish Café and Restaurant which features gorgeous views across the Princes Street Gardens. An ideal place to go for a slice of Scottish culture and art.

9. Scott Monument

25 Best Things To Do In Edinburgh (Scotland) - The Crazy Tourist (9)Source: Ilia Torlin / shutterstock

The Scott Monument is located by Princes Street and a popular landmark in Edinburgh. Built with a distinctive gothic-style architecture, the Scott Monument was constructed in 1844 as a dedication to Scottish author Sir Walter Scott. It is the world’s biggest monument to a writer and reaches 61 metres high.

The tower is adorned with 68 statues featuring a number of prominent Scottish writers, poets and people of interest including Mary Queen of Scots, Robert Burns and Lord Byron. Climb the steps to the top of the monument to find stunning views of the city and the adjacent Princes Street Gardens.

(Video) 20 Things to do in Edinburgh, Scotland Travel Guide

10. Royal Botanic Garden

25 Best Things To Do In Edinburgh (Scotland) - The Crazy Tourist (10)Source: Makhh / shutterstock

Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Garden was created in 1670 to aid in the scientific study of plants for medicinal purposes. Today, the garden is used for conservation and study, as well as being a popular tourist attraction. The current building was obtained in the early 19th century, including the Temperate Palm House which was built in 1858. The palm house is the tallest in Britain even today. Around 275,000 plants can be found in the garden today, spread across 70 acres of beautiful landscaped gardens.

The diversity of the plants on show means that each new area of the garden is a wonder to explore. On-site is Inverleith House, an 18th century mansion that is now used as an art gallery. The gallery features a constant rotation of contemporary art with a focus on Scottish artists. Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Garden is a delightful place to spend a sunny day amongst flowers, plants and culture.

11. Greyfriars Kirk

25 Best Things To Do In Edinburgh (Scotland) - The Crazy Tourist (11)Source: Andy A Graham / shutterstock

Greyfriars Kirk has been standing since 1620 in the heart of Edinburgh. It has been a popular place of worship for centuries and an important part of the city’s history. Book a tour to learn about the history of the church, including its importance for the Scottish Covenanters and its use as a barracks during the 17th century invasion of Scotland by Cromwell.

Today, you can still attend a Sunday service, or visit the Kirk when a concert is on, as the church is also used as a venue for music and performance. With a diverse and ever-changing rota of events, be sure to catch some culture in this unique setting. Don’t forget to stop by the Greyfriars Museum and Shop to see an original copy of the National Covenant signed in 1638.

12. Scottish National Portrait Gallery

25 Best Things To Do In Edinburgh (Scotland) - The Crazy Tourist (12)Source: Jeff Whyte / shutterstock

The Scottish National Portrait Gallery is housed in an iconic gothic-style building in the centre of the city. Built in 1889 as the world’s very first purpose-built portrait gallery, the building features wide open galleries and small intimate spaces. The gallery holds an expansive collection of portraits showcasing Scottish history through its people. See portraits of Mary Queen of Scots, Robert Burns and more, and works by artists such as Sir Henry Raeburn, Allan Ramsay and William Brodie.

With many temporary exhibits exploring important facets of Scottish culture, history and people, there is always something new on at the National Portrait Gallery. Finish your trip with a break in the café for delicious food, with gluten or dairy-free options, in a beautiful and inspiring setting.

13. Gladstone’s Land

25 Best Things To Do In Edinburgh (Scotland) - The Crazy Tourist (13)Source: Irina Crick / shutterstock

Gladstone’s Land is located in Edinburgh’s Old Town. It is a 17th-century tenement house, consisting of six storeys that tower above the street. The building has been well-preserved and restored to offer visitors an insight into life in Edinburgh during the 1600s. Explore the narrow staircases and historical rooms where people once lived and worked.

Gladstone’s Land has been decorated with period pieces to showcase a number of different lifestyles: from the merchant, to the wealthy resident, to the cramped conditions of the poor. This is a fascinating and immersive slice of life in the Old Town, and an ideal way to learn more about Scottish culture. Be sure to check listings for the gallery, located on the second floor and frequently used by local artists to showcase their work in a gorgeous, eye-catching location.

14. National War Museum

25 Best Things To Do In Edinburgh (Scotland) - The Crazy Tourist (14)Source: Nocciola / shutterstock

Located within Edinburgh Castle, the National War Museum explores Scotland’s history of war. The collections here showcase military artefacts and wartime materials, such as medals, uniforms, banners and posters. The museum examines Scotland’s place in war from the Highland-Lowland battles in the 17th and 18th centuries, all the way up to Scotland’s modern-day military presence.

Learn about the experience of war from the perspective of Scottish soldiers and see how recruitment material has changed over the years. The museum also holds regular events and exciting temporary exhibitions to offer an in-depth insight into the experience and effects of war throughout history, all from a unique Scottish point of view.

15. Holyrood Abbey

25 Best Things To Do In Edinburgh (Scotland) - The Crazy Tourist (15)Source: Alexandra Reinwald / shutterstock

Holyrood Abbey is a ruined abbey built in 1128. The abbey was later used partially as a royal residence, and as a location for the Scottish Parliament from the 13th to the 15th centuries. The abbey has seen a large chunk of Scottish history, politics and culture, including the end of the First War of Scottish Independence, and the birth and coronation of kings.

The remains still show beautiful and impressive original architecture which have inspired numerous painters and writers. Book a guided tour to learn about the history of the abbey and to catch stunning views of the nearby Arthur’s Seat.

(Video) Top 25 Things to do in Edinburgh

16. Craigmillar Castle

25 Best Things To Do In Edinburgh (Scotland) - The Crazy Tourist (16)Source: Exploring Planet Earth / shutterstock

Craigmillar Castle is one of Scotland’s most beautiful and well-preserved castles, and a must-visit. The castle has existed since the 15th century and was inhabited by royals including Mary Queen of Scots. At the entrance to the castle, a pair of yew trees stand in the same place they have been for centuries, having once supplied wood for weapons.

Explore the castle’s stunning stone architecture, grand halls and living chambers. Climb the castle tower for spectacular views across Edinburgh, as well as Queen Mary’s Room, where Mary Queen of Scots once lived. Craigmillar Castle is an ideal place to learn about Scottish history and culture, and to spend a day in gorgeous surroundings.

17. The Georgian House

25 Best Things To Do In Edinburgh (Scotland) - The Crazy Tourist (17)Source: Fotokon / shutterstock

Standing tall in the bustling city centre, the Georgian House is a slice of 18th century Edinburgh. Built in 1796, the Georgian House is a fine example of the fashionable buildings that made up Edinburgh’s New Town. The New Town was built to provide wealthier residents of the city with more comfortable living conditions than the Old Town could offer.

The House has been decorated impeccably with period pieces to provide a glimpse into the life of its elite Edinburgh residents. On show are pieces of fine art, stunning silverware, and gorgeous furniture. Explore on your own or as part of a special costumed tour, where guides enact a typical day in the life of a noble family.

Book online: Georgian House Entry Ticket

18. Museum of Childhood

25 Best Things To Do In Edinburgh (Scotland) - The Crazy Tourist (18)Source: chrisdorney / shutterstock

The Museum of Childhood in Edinburgh was the first of its kind in the world, and continues to showcase toys and games from the 18th century to the modern day. The museum provides an interesting look into the way that childhood has been defined over the generations, and the differences in toy trends over time.

This is a great attraction for both children and adults, exploring the history of ‘fun’ as well as provoking nostalgia in the grown-ups! Stop by the shop and pick up some toys or retro merchandise to take home with you.

19. Heart of Midlothian

25 Best Things To Do In Edinburgh (Scotland) - The Crazy Tourist (19)Source: Christian Mueller / shutterstock

In the city centre, seek out the Heart of Midlothian for a uniquely Scottish piece of history. The Heart of Midlothian is set in the pavement on the Royal Mile, constructed from coloured granite blocks that form the shape of a heart and cross. This landmark records the position of the 15th century ‘heart’ of the town, the Old Tolbooth. This building no longer exists but was once used to run the city and also acted as prison and execution site. This formed the origin of a local custom involving spitting on the Heart.

Originally this act was done to show contempt for the prison that once stood on this site; today it is believed to bring good luck. The Heart of Midlothian is easily-missed if you’re not paying attention – but the locals spitting as they pass by should give away its location.

20. Museum of Edinburgh

25 Best Things To Do In Edinburgh (Scotland) - The Crazy Tourist (20)Source: Alizada Studios / shutterstock

The Museum of Edinburgh is the single best location to learn about the history of Edinburgh through the ages. At the museum, you can learn about the city and its formation, as well as its people and trade. Witness the National Covenant, original city plans and lots of Edinburgh decorative art.

The museum features a number of immersive exhibitions to educate visitors about the formation and progression of the city in an entertaining and engaging way. Don’t forget to visit the ‘hidden’ courtyard behind the museum which features centuries-old engravings and stonework.

21. Edinburgh Zoo

25 Best Things To Do In Edinburgh (Scotland) - The Crazy Tourist (21)Source: John A Cameron / shutterstock

Experience some exotic wildlife in the 82-acre Edinburgh Zoo. With beautiful views of the city, Edinburgh Zoo makes a wonderful and entertaining day out for all the family. The zoo was the first in the world to house penguins, and is currently the only zoo in Britain with koalas and giant pandas. Watch adorable animals in their enclosures, or book a keeper experience to get up close and personal, and to learn what it’s like to be a zookeeper.

(Video) Things to Do in Edinburgh, Scotland + Our Tips [Travel Guide]

There are daily talks on offer and a number of events each week including photography workshops, feeding shows, and film screenings. Edinburgh Zoo is ideal for animal-lovers and a slice of exotic nature in historic Edinburgh.

22. Edinburgh Vaults

25 Best Things To Do In Edinburgh (Scotland) - The Crazy Tourist (22)Source: Marcel_Strelow / shutterstock

Travel underground and experience the dark underbelly of the city in the Edinburgh Vaults. The vaults are a number of chambers formed from the arches of the South Bridge, built in 1788. Originally, the vaults were used by tradesmen and illegitimate figures. Over time, the vaults became more popular with the poor and the criminal and were excavated in the 1990s, providing a wealth of interesting archaeological and historical artefacts.

Today, you can book a guided tour to explore and learn about the vaults. If you’re feeling brave, take a ghost tour instead! The vaults are rumoured to be haunted, having once been used by murderers and torturers. This is a fascinating – and spooky – look into a vital part of Edinburgh’s history.

Recommended tour: Underground Vaults Tour

23. National Monument of Scotland

25 Best Things To Do In Edinburgh (Scotland) - The Crazy Tourist (23)Source: S-F / shutterstock

The National Monument of Scotland lies on Calton Hill, overlooking the city. The monument was designed to commemorate Scottish soldiers who fought in the Napoleonic Wars, but was never completed. The monument has stood since 1829 and is a popular tourist attraction.

Locals have mixed feelings about the monument, as it remains unfinished. Nonetheless, the monument showcases stunning architecture and breath-taking views out across the city and surrounding landscape. Hike to the top of the hill for gorgeous vistas of Arthur’s Seat, Salisbury Crags and Holyrood Park.

24. Usher Hall

25 Best Things To Do In Edinburgh (Scotland) - The Crazy Tourist (24)Source: anastas_styles / shutterstock

Usher Hall is Edinburgh’s premier concert venue and a must-visit for fans of entertainment and culture. The hall was built in 1914 and features beautiful architecture, including a curved exterior decorated with panels of famous figures such as Sir Walter Scott and Mozart.

The hall has historically been used for a variety of events, including concerts, political events, and sporting events. Usher Hall is particularly popular for classical musical performances, and is praised across Europe for its high-quality acoustics. Visit Usher Hall to attend one of its many concerts, and take in some modern culture in historic surroundings.

25. Dean Village

25 Best Things To Do In Edinburgh (Scotland) - The Crazy Tourist (25)Source: Stefano_Valeri / shutterstock

Dean Village is one of Edinburgh’s hidden treasures, located just outside of the city and besides the picturesque Water of Leith. Historically, Dean Village was a key player in Edinburgh’s milling industry, and you can still see signs of this heritage today. Explore the village to find millstones and stone advertisements for bakeries. Visit Well Court, a 19th century house that has been carefully restored to accurately represent its original appearance.

Nearby is St Bernards Well, used in the past to draw water from the adjacent river. This water was believed to be very good for health and drew tourists from all over the country. The well also features beautiful architecture, including a statue of Greek goddess Hygeia. Finally, be sure to cross Dean Bridge, an impressive bridge that helps to connect the city to the village. Dean Village is a unique and well-preserved location, perfect for experiencing Scottish history first-hand.

Where to stay: Best Hotels in Edinburgh, Scotland

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What is the number 1 tourist attraction in Scotland? ›

Arthur's Seat

The Edinburgh landmark of Arthur's Seat is, perhaps unexpectedly, the most highly-rated attraction in Scotland with over 21,000 mainly glowing reviews. Rach said: "An amazing spot we visited while travelling through the country and hope to go back. Great scenery and views."

What is not to miss in Edinburgh? ›

Use our interactive map to help guide you through the city.
  • 01 Explore Edinburgh Castle. ...
  • 02 Discover the treasures of the National Museum of Scotland. ...
  • 03 Climb Arthur's Seat and stroll through Holyrood Park. ...
  • 04 Be amazed at Camera Obscura and World of Illusions. ...
  • 05 Ascend Calton Hill to the National Monument.

What is Scotland's most paid tourist attraction? ›

Leading paid visitor attractions in Scotland 2019-2021

The Edinburgh Zoo was the most visited paid attraction in Scotland in 2021.

What is the most magical place in Scotland? ›

Isle of Skye

If ever a unicorn would prance, it would be on this mist-shrouded, mountainous island. Skye is undoubtedly one of the most magical places to visit in Scotland.

What is the prettiest place in Scotland? ›

20 Most Beautiful Places In Scotland
  1. 01 Dunnottar Castle, Aberdeenshire. ...
  2. 02 Bow Fiddle Rock, Moray. ...
  3. 03 Isle of Iona. ...
  4. 04 Traigh Hornais Clachan Sands, North Uist. ...
  5. 05 Bealach Na Ba, Wester Ross. ...
  6. 06 Loch Ken, Galloway Forest Park. ...
  7. 07 Glenfinnan, Fort William. ...
  8. 08 Eoligarry Beach, Isle of Barra.

What is the pubic triangle Edinburgh? ›

Taking its name from Edinburgh's notorious 19th century serial killers, the former of whom was hung just along the road in the Lawnmarket, the Burke and Hare is Edinburgh's best known, pole-dancing and strip bar, located at the top of what is fondly referred to as the "pubic triangle."

What is the smell around Edinburgh? ›

Anyone who has walked around the Scottish capital knows what we're talking about. As you enter Edinburgh city center, you instantly get this smell. A fairly familiar scent for many, it can be quite a bother for others strolling in the streets of the city. The explanation: this smell is that of malt.

What is unique in Edinburgh? ›

These lesser known attractions include Edinburgh's second castle, small museums on the Royal Mile, two National Trust sites, hidden gardens, walking paths, mysterious underground passages, local markets, and even a beach!

What food is Edinburgh famous for? ›

Whether it's the most famous national dish of haggis, neeps and tatties, or other options such as porridge (for breakfast), Scotch broth, Aberdeen Angus beef, smoked Scottish salmon, or desserts and confectionary like cranachan or shortbread, you can find it all in Edinburgh.

What are 3 things about Edinburgh? ›

Edinburgh Castle is built on an extinct volcano. The Royal Mile is actually one mile and 107 yards long. Edinburgh was the first city in the entire world to have its own fire service. Edinburgh has 112 parks and more trees per head of population than any other city in the U.K.

What is the most visited place in Edinburgh? ›

Situated at the top of the Royal Mile on top of Castle Rock, Edinburgh Castle is Scotland's most-visited paid-for attraction and the most iconic building in the city. Perched on top of an extinct volcano, the Castle and its Esplanade offers unparalleled views of Edinburgh.

What are 3 traditions in Scotland? ›

The traditional Burns Supper, Hogmanay and St Andrews Day celebrations are still very much a part of Scottish culture but the Scots are now joined on these special days by Scots at heart across the globe.

What is the number 1 tourist attraction in the world? ›

1. The Colosseum in Rome, Italy. Topping off the list of most popular tourist attractions is the Colosseum which is no big surprise for those who have it on their bucket list.

How much money do I need per day in Scotland? ›

You can expect the average trip to Scotland cost for travellers that want to vacation in Scotland to be £70 to £190 per person per day (approximately $84 – $228 USD). This can, however, be reduced if you plan on spending some nights camping, not doing many paid activities and cooking most of your own meals.

What is the most photographed thing in Scotland? ›

Situated at the junction of Glen Etive and Glen Coe, Buachaille Etive Mor (The Great Shepherd of Etive) is the most photographed mountain in Scotland.

Where is the prettiest village in Scotland? ›

The prettiest villages in Scotland
  • Anstruther, Kingdom of Fife. ...
  • Tobermory, Isle of Mull. ...
  • Cullen, Moray. ...
  • Lochcarron, Highlands. ...
  • Crovie, Aberdeenshire. ...
  • Dean Village, Edinburgh. ...
  • Kippford, Dumfries and Galloway. ...
  • Balmaha, Loch Lomond.

What is the wildest part of Scotland? ›

From Remote and Dramatic to Lush and Abundant
  • The Knoydart Peninsula.
  • St Kilda.
  • The Cairngorms Massif.
  • Cape Wrath.
  • Foula & Fair Isle (Shetland)
  • Fisherfield Forest.
  • The Isle of Rum.
  • Ardnamurchan.
Jun 23, 2021

What is the most interesting thing in Scotland? ›

  • 1: Castles. Stirling Castle, Glasgow. ...
  • 2: Scottish Highlands. Loch Lomond. ...
  • 3: Loch Ness Monster. Loch Ness. ...
  • 4: Bagpipes. Bagpipes. ...
  • 5: Whisky. Whisky. ...
  • 6: The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. ...
  • 7: Scottish Wool. Scottish wool. ...
  • 8: Haggis. Haggis.

Where do the rich live in Scotland? ›

Highest valued towns in Scotland 2022, by average property price (in GBP) Humbie and Gullane in East Lothian, were two of the most expensive towns for residential property in Scotland as of February 2022. The average house price in both towns was estimated at over 500,000 British pounds.

Where is the happiest place in Scotland? ›

1. Galashiels. Located on the Scottish Borders, Galashiels is ranked as the happiest place to live in Scotland and the second in the entirety of the UK.

What is the nickname for Edinburgh? ›

The city is affectionately nicknamed Auld Reekie, Scots for Old Smoky, for the views from the country of the smoke-covered Old Town.

What is the most photographed street in Edinburgh? ›

Victoria Street

Victoria Street lies in Edinburgh's Old Town - and it's probably the most photographed road in the entire city. The pretty street is lined by colourful shop fronts that form a gentle curve, the perfect photo backdrop!

Why are bricks in Edinburgh black? ›

“The Scott Monument and [National] Art Galleries, which are largely built of Binny Sandstone, are disfigured by black patches on the surface of the stone. These patches are generally said to be caused by the smoke of the city, and by the smoke of the locomotives of the railway close at hand.

Are people from Edinburgh friendly? ›

Scottish people have a well-deserved reputation for being friendly and welcoming, and Edinburgh is certainly no stranger to visitors, but pub etiquette is never useless.

How walkable is Edinburgh? ›

Split into two distinct halves, Edinburgh is one of the most walkable cities around. Start your walk at the city's highest point, the Castle. It's a fascinating start to your tour with The Scottish Crown Jewels and the huge 16th century cannon, 'Mons Meg', on display.

What is the IKEA smell? ›

"Not wild, more friendly, and welcoming like a Scandinavian forest. It's the scent of home, the scent of IKEA. A familiar and genuine woody fragrance which is also clean and distinct – a modern interpretation of IKEA and the company's historical roots," says Ilse.

Where do the rich live in Edinburgh? ›


This attractive leafy neighborhood is one of the most affluent in Edinburgh.

What is the cool area of Edinburgh? ›

Let's go right to the northerly edge of Edinburgh and cast our minds back to the busy days of the working docks in the 18th century.

What drink is Scotland known for? ›

It's no surprise that whisky is the national drink of Scotland.

What is the most popular snack in Scotland? ›

Shortbread. Shortbread is perhaps the most famous snack and side dish from Scotland. This treat is a favourite well beyond Scotland – it has built a name around the whole world! This snack/dessert option has been around since 1736.

What is the most popular dinner in Scotland? ›

Scotland's national dish is haggis, a savoury meat pudding, and it's traditionally accompanied by mashed potatoes, turnips (known as 'neeps') and a whisky sauce. Which brings us to the national drink – whisky.

Why do people love Edinburgh? ›

Edinburgh has a rich history that dates back to before the Roman times. Battles, forts, weapons and armies; the city was once a battleground. On a trip to Edinburgh, wander the grounds of Edinburgh castle. The historic fortress is built high on an impressive 700 million year old extinct volcano called Castle Rock.

Why is Edinburgh a popular attraction? ›

Its stunning mix of architecture includes medieval tenements, the Old Town and its cobbled wynds; not to mention the Georgian era buildings of New Town. There is plenty of historical charm when it comes to this holiday destination making it an ideal city break to learn more about Scottish heritage.

Why is Edinburgh so amazing? ›

Edinburgh has well over 1,000 years of history and is famous for having many of the best-preserved medieval buildings in Britain. The Highlight is Edinburgh Castle but there are many other attractions on the Royal Mile and all over the Old Town.

How many days in Edinburgh is enough? ›

For first time visitors, we recommend spending at least two or three days in Edinburgh, which will give you enough time to explore the city centre and see the main sites.

What time of year is best to visit Edinburgh? ›

The best time to visit Edinburgh is June through August when the average high temperatures rise to a balmy 65 degrees Fahrenheit. But this is also the city's busiest time for tourism, especially in August when festivals fill up the calendar.

What is the most famous street in Scotland? ›

Sauchiehall Street is probably Glasgow's most famous thoroughfare. Originally, it was a winding, narrow lane, with villas standing in gardens. It was widened in 1846 .

What are Scottish people most proud of? ›

Ten reasons Scotland can be proud of itself – Ian Johnston
  • The Scottish Enlightenment. “We look to Scotland for all our ideas and civilisation.” ...
  • The poetry of Robert Burns. ...
  • Jock Tamson's bairns. ...
  • Inventions. ...
  • The natural world. ...
  • Renewable energy. ...
  • Financial sector. ...
  • Scottish music.
Apr 25, 2019

What is unique in Scotland? ›

Scotland is famous for its whisky distilleries, bagpipes, lively music culture, and beautiful lochs across the country. From its stunning landscape and architecture to its hearty food and legendary golf courses, Scotland is a popular destination for travelers from all over the world.

What are the 3 most visited places in the world? ›

New York (Total International travelers: 13.60 million) Istanbul (Total International travelers: 13.40 million) Tokyo (Total International travelers: 12.93 million)

What are the five 5 types of tourist attractions? ›

The different types of tourist attractions make up an integral part of the structure of the tourism industry. People travel far and wide to visit a particular tourist attractions.
  • Entertainment parks.
  • Wildlife attractions.
  • Museums and art galleries.
  • Unique built attractions.
  • Historical or heritage attractions.

What is the tourist capital of the world? ›

London. England's vibrant capital, London, will draw close to 18.82 million people this year, making it the number one most visited city in the world. It's not surprising that so many people want to visit, as it has so much to offer.

Can you use US dollars in Scotland? ›

Paying with cash in Scotland

You can take US dollars with you and exchange them at the airport or make an ATM withdrawal.

What is the best currency to use in Scotland? ›

Our Scottish currency is the British Pound (GBP) and all notes that say “Pound Sterling” are accepted. Both Scottish and English notes are widely used in Scotland. We use the same coins in Scotland and England, so they are fine too.

What are midges in Scotland? ›

What is a midge? Midges are tiny flying insects with a wingspan of only 2-3mm. There are over 35 different species of biting midge in Scotland, but it is Culicoides impunctatus, otherwise known as the Highland Midge that earns its place as Scotland's most ferocious foe.

What is the #1 tourist destination? ›

Most visited destinations by international tourist arrivals
RankDestinationInternational tourist arrivals (2018)
1France89.4 million
2Spain82.8 million
3United States79.7 million
4China62.9 million
6 more rows

What is the most visited city in Scotland? ›

Edinburgh is the largest tourist destination in Scotland, and the second largest in the United Kingdom after London. The cities' major tourist attractions include Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh Zoo, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Our Dynamic Earth and the Royal Mile.

What is Scotland famous known for? ›

Scotland is famous for its whisky distilleries, bagpipes, lively music culture, and beautiful lochs across the country. From its stunning landscape and architecture to its hearty food and legendary golf courses, Scotland is a popular destination for travelers from all over the world.

What is the #1 most visited place in the world? ›

London. England's vibrant capital, London, will draw close to 18.82 million people this year, making it the number one most visited city in the world. It's not surprising that so many people want to visit, as it has so much to offer.

What country do Americans visit the most? ›

Visited Releases Top 10 Countries Most Visited by Americans
  • Mexico - which is popular with those looking to escape to the beach.
  • Canada - another boarding country, is famous for attracting travelers for various reasons, from skiing in the rocky mountains to the culinary delights of Quebec City.
Nov 22, 2022

What are the five A's of tourist destination? ›

Accommodation, Accessibility, Activities, Amenities, and Attractions.

What is the most scenic train ride in Scotland? ›

Fittingly, the West Highland Line is considered by many to be the most scenic rail journey in the world. Heading north through the wilds of the west coast, you can see parts of the country only visible by train as you pass through Loch Lomond and the stunning Trossachs National Park.

Which is more beautiful Glasgow or Edinburgh? ›

Edinburgh is known for being pretty and Glasgow is famous for being fun. It might be a bit reductive but essentially Edinburgh is famous for being pretty and Glasgow is known for being fun. The same might be said of their people.

What is Scotland national dish? ›

haggis, the national dish of Scotland, a type of pudding composed of the liver, heart, and lungs of a sheep (or other animal), minced and mixed with beef or mutton suet and oatmeal and seasoned with onion, cayenne pepper, and other spices. The mixture is packed into a sheep's stomach and boiled.

What are some Scottish phrases? ›

Scottish Sayings
  • Gonnae no' dae that! ...
  • Pure dead brilliant – Amazing.
  • Yer bum's oot the windae – You are lying or exaggerating.
  • Am pure done in – I am pretty tired.
  • Am a pure nick – I am not looking my best.
  • Ah umnae – I am not.
  • Ma heid's mince – My head is mince, meaning I'm a bit confused.
  • Yer oot yer face!

What is the most visited city in the USA? ›

With an estimated 10 million visitors to New York City every year, this is indisputably the most visited city in the US.

Which is the most beautiful city in the world? ›

Florence, Italy. Italy has no shortage of beautiful cities, but Florence remains unrivaled in history, art, and architecture. You'll find traces of Renaissance aesthetics all over town, like the striking Santa Maria del Fiore (The Duomo) and Basilica of Santa Maria Novella.

What is the 2 most visited country in the world? ›

United States - 79.3M. China - 65.7M. Italy - 64.5M.


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