Things to do in Edinburgh

Guide

Below is Hidden Scotland’s selection of the best attractions in and around the Edinburgh area. Enjoy your visit to this wonderful city.

Magdalen Chapel

It was constructed in the 1540s and has been the site of some seminal events, such as (deb...
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Holyrood Abbey

For those with an interest in Scottish history, this beautiful ruined abbey has many stori...
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Jupiter Artland

Founded by Nicky and Robert Wilson, Jupiter Artland is a ‘sculpture garden’; with scul...
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Mousehole Deli, Portobello

Located in the seaside Edinburgh suburb of Portobello, the Mousehole Deli is a perfect spo...
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Stockbridge Market

Since 2011, Stockbridge Market has taken place every Sunday in Saunders Street, next to th...
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Belhaven Bridge - Bridge to Nowhere

Belhaven Bridge, known as the ‘Bridge to Nowhere’, is a bridge across the Biel Water. ...
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White Horse Close

White Horse Close is one of the many closes that lie on the Royal Mile. These closes are h...
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Craiglockhart Hill

Craiglockhart Hill is one of the famed Seven Hills of Edinburgh. It towers over the Edinbu...
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Dominion Cinema

The Dominion Cinema, known as the ‘Dom’ locally, has been run by the Cameron family si...
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Lady Stairs Close

Lady Stairs Close is one of the most famous closes in Edinburgh. It is home to the 17th ce...
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Corstorphine Hill

Corstorphine Hill is a great place to come for a relaxing stroll. Corstorphine Woods makes...
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Holyrood Park

Holyrood Park is a very large park in the centre of Edinburgh. It was founded in 1541 by J...
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The Velvet Easel

Located in the seaside resort of Portobello, ‘The Velvet Easel’ gallery exhibits conte...
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Edinburgh Stills

Since opening in 1977 on Cockburn Street, Stills has been the central hub for photography ...
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The Fine Art Society

‘The Fine Art Society, Edinburgh’ is a high-class art gallery on Dundas Street. Previo...
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Dynamic Earth

Since opening in Edinburgh’s Holyrood area in 1999, Dynamic Earth has used multimedia di...
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The Manuscript of Monte Cassino

This remarkable artwork can be found in front of the beautiful St. Mary’s Cathedral. Bui...
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Edinburgh Butterfly & Insect World

Edinburgh Butterfly & Insect World is an indoor tropical jungle that is home to hundreds o...
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Edinburgh Zoo

Edinburgh Zoo is the second most visited attraction in Scotland, and for good reason. Open...
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Camera Obscura

Camera Obscura, located at the top of the Royal Mile, is one of the most enduring attracti...
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Transreal Fiction

It is home to the largest selection of imported sci-fi and fantasy in Scotland, and there ...
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Chessells Court

This remarkable collection of mansion houses was built by Wright and Merchant Chessel in 1...
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Edinburgh Books

Previously known as West Port Books, ‘Edinburgh Books’ is one of Edinburgh’s best se...
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The Scotch Whisky Experience

The Scotch Whisky Experience opened in 1988 in a building that was formerly Castlehill Sch...
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Advocates Close

Advocates Close is an alley leading from Cockburn Street up to the Royal Mile. Its exit is...
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Dovecot Studios

Dovecot Studios is a tapestry studio – a space where skilled weavers create beautiful ta...
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Edinburgh International Climbing Arena

The Edinburgh International Climbing Arena (EICA) is the largest indoor climbing arena in ...
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Elvis Shakespeare

As its name might suggest, this is a second-hand shop selling both music and books. They s...
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Scottish Poetry Library

The Scottish Poetry Library was created by poet Tessa Ransford in 1984 to correct what she...
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Typewronger Books

Typewronger Books, located in Haddington Place, Edinburgh, is surely one of a kind. As wel...
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Golden Hare Books

Although relatively small, Golden Hare Books certainly packs a punch. It was named the UK...
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McNaughtan's Bookshop & Gallery

Located at the top of Leith Walk, McNaughtan’s lays claim to being Scotland’s oldest s...
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Edinburgh Bookshop

Since opening in 2007, the Edinburgh Bookshop has become one of the most popular and celeb...
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Till's Bookshop

Named after founders Rick and Ann Till, Till’s Bookshop has become something of an insti...
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The People's Story Museum

‘The People’s Story’ museum aims to tell the story of Edinburgh’s working-class fr...
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Museum of Edinburgh

The Museum of Edinburgh is a must for anyone visiting the capital. Free to the public, it ...
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City Art Centre

Located in a former warehouse beside Waverley train station, the City Art Centre is devote...
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City Observatory

Designed by William Henry Playfair in 1818, the City Observatory on Calton Hill is one of ...
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Nelson Monument

The Nelson Monument was erected in the 1810’s to commemorate Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson...
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The Caiy Stane

This ancient standing stone is quite out of place in its suburban Edinburgh home. It’s r...
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Dunbar's Close Gardens

Dunbar’s Close is named after the Scottish writer David Dunbar, who owned some tenements...
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Wild West Morningside

Hidden down an alley in Edinburgh’s posh Morningside region, this strange Wild West faç...
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Andy Goldsworthy's 'Hutton Roof'

‘Hutton Roof’ is the name of a piece of sculpture currently sitting on the roof of the...
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Magdalen Chapel

Located in Cowgate, this was the last Catholic chapel built in Edinburgh before the Reform...
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Coade Stone Columns

These three stone columns are located in the picturesque village of Portobello, on Edinbur...
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New Calton Cemetery Watchtower

Old Calton Burial Ground is the resting place of some of the greatest figures in Scottish ...
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John Knox House

Since opening in 1853, this museum has been one of the biggest tourist destinations in Edi...
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The Scotsman Steps

The Scotsman Steps, built in 1899, mark the divide between Old Town and New Town Edinburgh...
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Edinburgh Book Sculptures

Created by an anonymous artist, these ten mysterious sculptures began appearing in librari...
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Lauriston Castle

For those who want a break from city life, why not take a stroll around Lauriston Castle g...
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Burke and Hare Murder Dolls

Burke and Hare were the infamous 19th century murderers who sold the corpses of their vict...
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Witches Well

For those on an historical tour of Edinburgh, this commemorative well is easily missed. Lo...
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Holyrood Abbey Ruins

For those with an interest in Scottish history, this beautiful ruined abbey has many stori...
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Duddingston Loch & Garden

Famed for its beauty, Duddingston Loch makes a fantastic spot for a picnic or a long thoug...
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Newhaven

Newhaven is a small former village in the Firth of Forth, located between Leith and Granto...
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Bakehouse Close

If you want to get a feel for what life in Edinburgh was like in the 1700s, Bakehouse Clos...
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Writers' Museum

Scotland has produced some excellent writers over the years, and the three featured in thi...
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The Scotch Whisky Experience

Enjoy a guided tour, plus a nosing and tasting of a Scotch whisky or a soft drink, in The ...
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Fudge Kitchen

Founded by Irish-American Jim Garrahy, Fudge Kitchen has become the UK’s leading artisan...
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Edinburgh Tour & Whiksy Tasting

Walking the Old Town of Edinburgh you'll see the city that founded the world’s largest S...
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Edinburgh Outlander Experience

Edinburgh, 1745. The Jacobite rising has reached the city gates, and Bonnie Prince Charlie...
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Mile to the Museum & National Museum of Scotland Tour

Discover the story of Scotland through our capital city and our National Museum. Y...
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Treasures of the Old Town tour Edinburgh

Explore the hidden treasures of the Royal Mile – and let your expert guide unlock the hi...
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Historic Underground Tour in Edinburgh

Get exclusive access to the Blair Street Underground Vaults – the largest system of unde...
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An Evening of Ghosts and Ghouls

The night begins with a walking tour of the darker closes and wynds of Edinburgh, before j...
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Hidden & Haunted Edinburgh

A chilling way to explore Edinburgh after dark – and underground. Strictly adult-only, t...
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Ghostly Underground Edinburgh Tour

Explore the haunted Blair Street Underground Vaults with access no other tour company can ...
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Doomed Dead and Buried Tour Edinburgh

Explore the haunted Blair Street Underground Vaults with access no other tour company can ...
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Topping & Company Bookstore

Opened in 2019, Topping & Company is an exciting new addition to Edinburgh's literary scen...
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The Coastal Communities Museum

This museum opened in 2013 and gives the visitor an insight into how the towns and village...
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The Chesters Hill Fort

This is one for the budding archeologists among you. It’s the site of a large iron age f...
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The Glen

A lovely woodland with good paths, picnic tables, ruins of an old mill, stream and views o...
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Yellowcraig

Yellowcraig offers a pretty cove beach, nature trails through woodland and grassland, dog ...
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Fidra Island

The small island of Fidra can be found only 300m off the mainland at Yellowcraig beach. Th...
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Tantallon Castle

This castle offers views over to the Bass Rock, a history of sieges since its origins in 1...
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Dirleton Castle & Gardens

Thought to be one of the best castles in Scotland. This is a romantic 12th century castle ...
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Seacliff Beach

This beach sits just over 4 miles from North Berwick. Drive along the A198 for approximate...
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The Bass Rock

This rock is actually the core of an old volcano and was formed 320 million years ago. Tod...
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Visit the National Museum of Flight for a great day out for all the family

A great day out for all the family can be had at the National Museum of Flight. Here you c...
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The Dreaming Spires

Standing proudly in front of Edinburgh’s Omni Center in the heart of Edinburgh’s City ...
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Dr Neils Garden

Hidden behind the twelfth-century Duddingston Kirk, this peaceful oasis is one of Scotland...
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Day Trip to Cramond Island

With some planning ahead your able to take a walk out to the Island when the tide is low, ...
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Craigmillar Castle

Craigmillar Castle which stands 5 miles south of the centre of Edinburgh, is a ruined medi...
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Cammo Estate

Often described as Edinburgh’s Hidden Gem this oasis away from the city is thought to be...
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Discover Edinburgh's best kept secret at Gilmerton Cove

This mysterious and unique experience complete with a network of underground chambers, pas...
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A floating afternoon tea on Edinburgh’s Union Canal

Away from the hustle and bustle of Edinburgh’s City Center you will find the Union Canal...
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Ashley Terrace Boathouse

This iconic boat house on Edinburgh Union Canal is used as the base for Edinburgh's Canal ...
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Star Gaze at the Royal Observatory

The Royal Observatory is an astronomical institution located on Blackford Hill around 3 mi...
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Surgeon’s Hall Museums

Located opposite Edinburgh University on Nicholson Street, Surgeons' Hall Museums is an aw...
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Go Ghost hunting

Edinburgh is a city with secrets. The Blair Street underground caverns are magnificent and...
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Walk up Blackford hill

Blackford Hill is one of Edinburgh’s seven hills and situation around 2 miles south of t...
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Circus Lane

There are lots of lanes and back wynds in Edinburgh so what’s different about this one? ...
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Have a picnic in the secret gardens

Dunbar’s Close Gardens on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh’s Old Town is a hidden gem.  Si...
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Secret Herb Garden

Set in rural surroundings at the foot of the Pentland Hills, the Secret Herb Garden is a b...
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Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

The Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh is one of the great botanical gardens of the world ...
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Walk up the Canongate to Hollyrood Palace

The Palace of Holyroodhouse stands at the end of the Royal Mile and is the official Scotti...
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Explore the Scott Monument

Sir Walter Scott was a well-loved Scottish literary figure who died in 1832, after his dea...
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Spend time in Stockbridge the city’s gastronomic urban village.

Around a ten to fifteen minute walk from Edinburgh city centre you will find the charming ...
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Climb the historic Vennel steps for and amazing view of the castle

The Vennel is a beautiful alleyway in Edinburgh’s Grassmarket area, directly across the ...
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Journey back in time at Mercat Cross

Once known as a “the dreaded theatre of public punishment” The Mercat Cross in Edinbur...
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