The United Kingdom may have travel restrictions in place, including self-quarantine, due to COVID-19.

Find out moreOpens in new tab or window

EdinburghUnited Kingdom

Scotland’s capital is filled with attractive landmarks, parks and gardens, and hosts cultural festivals that draw millions of visitors each year.

Nestled beside long extinct volcanoes and built on seven hills, Edinburgh offers spectacular scenery in a rugged setting. The city itself is visually impressive with the medieval buildings of the Old Town and the wide Georgian roads and spacious homes of the New Town. Edinburgh was declared a World Heritage Site in 1995.

The city’s crowning glory and the reason for its existence is Edinburgh Castle. For hundreds of years, this fortress perched on an ancient volcano defended the city from attack.

Start your exploration of Scotland’s capital city at The Royal Mile. This series of cobblestone streets links the castle with the Palace of Holyroodhouse, an official royal residence. Along the route you’ll come across some of the city’s most famous landmarks, including St. Giles’ Cathedral and Parliament House.

Just a short walk away is Princes Street Gardens, which runs the length of Princes Street, the city’s main shopping area. While you are enjoying this pretty green space, visit some of its memorials and monuments including the Scott Monument. This Gothic structure was built to honor the novelist Sir Walter Scott. Its viewing galleries offer good views of the city.

Enjoy even more beautiful views from the hills that rise over the city. Hike to the summits of Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano, and Calton Hill, which is home to a number of impressive monuments.

Veer off the beaten track and explore some of Edinburgh’s lesser-known sites. Dean Village is surrounded by countryside and is just five minutes from the city center. The port district has a wealth of bars, cafes and restaurants and is also the final resting place of the Royal Yacht Britannia. This magnificent vessel sailed the British royal family around the world for more than 40 years.

Two of the most popular months to visit Edinburgh are December and August. Overlapping arts festivals running through August include the Edinburgh Fringe and the Edinburgh Art Festival. December is packed with Yuletide attractions and markets, and is rounded off with one of the world’s most famous street parties: Edinburgh’s Hogmanay.

Edinburgh Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in Edinburgh

Old Town which includes street scenes and heritage elements

Old Town

4.5/5Wonderful!(1,279 area reviews)

Old Town is known for its popular shops, and you can see some sights in the area like Royal Mile and Grassmarket.

Old Town
Beautiful sunset Edinburgh

Haymarket

4.5/5Wonderful!(17 area reviews)

Haymarket is well-liked for many features, particularly its museums, restaurants, and shopping. Though there might not be top sights in Haymarket, consider a stop by Edinburgh Castle or George Street, located nearby.

Haymarket
Edinburgh which includes night scenes and heritage architecture

New Town

4.5/5Wonderful!(898 area reviews)

New Town is known for its popular shops, and you can see some sights in the area like Princes Street and George Street.

New Town
Heads & Tales is a cool gin bar located in the same building that produces Edinburgh Gin. You can watch gin be distilled in the stills named Flora and Caledonia, or if you visit with a group of friends, you can hang out in these cave-like booths. Also, don't leave this place without trying the Elderflower gin liqueur! 

#gin #bar #foodie #nightlife #edinburgh

West End

4.5/5Wonderful!(193 area reviews)

West End is known for its popular shops, and with sights like Princes Street and Edinburgh Gin Distillery, you won't get bored spending a day wandering around this part of Edinburgh.

West End
Newington

Newington

4.5/5Wonderful!(124 area reviews)

Historic sites, museums, and cafés are just a few things travelers enjoy about Newington. Check out Royal Commonwealth Pool or Queen's Hall while you're exploring the area.

Newington
Portobello, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

Portobello

5/5Exceptional!(1 area review)

Visitors to Portobello enjoy its beaches, and if you want to do some exploring, Portobello Beach is worth a stop.

Portobello

Top Hotels in Edinburgh

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Aparthotel Adagio Edinburgh Royal Mile
Aparthotel Adagio Edinburgh Royal Mile
3.5 out of 5
231 Canongate, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is $88 per night

Located in Old Town, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Royal Mile, St. Giles' Cathedral, and Palace of Holyroodhouse. Edinburgh Playhouse Theatre ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (1,011 reviews)

"The location and rooms.very refined and upmarket great facilities."…"

Reviewed on Mar 25, 2020

Aparthotel Adagio Edinburgh Royal Mile
Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club
Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club
4 out of 5
Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club, Kirknewton, Scotland
The price is $123 per night

This family-friendly Kirknewton hotel is located near the airport, within 3 mi (5 km) of Edinburgh International Climbing Arena Ratho and Heriot Watt University. ...

4.4/5Excellent! (1,567 reviews)
So helpful

"when my flight from Edinburgh to New York was cancelled the staff were extrodinarily helpful. They tried for hours to help me get a flight back home. When they had to leave to attend to something else they came back and checked on my progress. They were supportive and kind in a time that was very ..."…"

Reviewed on Mar 23, 2020

Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club
YOTEL Edinburgh
YOTEL Edinburgh
4 out of 5
Erskine House, Queen Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is $68 per night

Located in New Town, this hotel is steps from Georgian House and Princes Street. George Street and Royal Mile are also within 15 minutes. Edinburgh Haymarket ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (390 reviews)

"Our 1st hotel stay since covid & was not dissapointed, hand sanatizer station as u walk in, reception area was clean, receptionist friendly & helpful, We had a queen room booked, again super clean really could not find a fault. Bed was super comfortable loved the sit up function. if anything the ..."…"

Reviewed on Aug 2, 2020

YOTEL Edinburgh

Getting around Edinburgh

Edinburgh is fairly compact and exploring the winding streets of its oldest areas on foot is an experience not to be missed. Most of the central neighborhoods are less than a half-hour walk away from one another. Get further out from the center by using the reliable bus network, run by FirstBus. Ticket prices are reasonable and buses are frequent. Taxis are also a common sight in the streets. Visit the Transport for Edinburgh website.Browse Edinburgh rental cars.

Best time to visit

Some say August is the only time of year to visit Edinburgh. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, a vast event of performing arts, transforms the city throughout the month. Visit then to find the streets packed and the bars open all night. Be aware, though, that accommodations are extremely expensive in August and fill up months in advance. A spring or fall visit will show you a more sedate side to the city.

Popular places to visit in Edinburgh

Edinburgh Castle
Image for Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

4.5/5(1,415 reviews)

Fortress, palace and repository of the crown jewels, this landmark overlooking the city has played a crucial role in Scottish history.

Royal Mile
Image for Royal Mile

Royal Mile

4.5/5(408 reviews)

Explore this area in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town to find ancient buildings, historic relics, shops, museums and range of dining options.

University of Edinburgh
Image for University of Edinburgh

University of Edinburgh

4.5/5(279 reviews)

The campus of Edinburgh's venerable educational institution is spread seamlessly around the architecture of the city and opens to the public during year-round events.

Princes Street
Image for Princes Street

Princes Street

4.5/5(346 reviews)

You can enjoy some retail therapy when you visit Princes Street, a favorite shopping spot in Edinburgh. Experience the entertainment choices and fascinating museums in this walkable area.

Edinburgh Zoo
Image for Edinburgh Zoo

Edinburgh Zoo

4/5(48 reviews)

See rare and endangered species and learn about the efforts to conserve them at Edinburgh’s largest wildlife attraction.

Edinburgh Military Tattoo
Image for Edinburgh Military Tattoo

Edinburgh Military Tattoo

4/5(11 reviews)

Edinburgh Military Tattoo is a popular theater with a storied past in Edinburgh. Add the area's notable monuments or shops to your travel plans.

Top things to do in Edinburgh

Glen Coe, Loch Ness & the Scottish Highlands Full-Day Tour
Image for Glen Coe, Loch Ness & the Scottish Highlands Full-Day Tour

Glen Coe, Loch Ness & the Scottish Highlands Full-Day Tour

$72
Per adult
92% of travellers recommend
Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
Image for Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

$20
Per adult
96% of travellers recommend
Loch Ness & the Highlands with Hotel Pickup from Edinburgh
Image for Loch Ness & the Highlands with Hotel Pickup from Edinburgh

Loch Ness & the Highlands with Hotel Pickup from Edinburgh

$63
Per adult
88% of travellers recommend
Palace of Holyroodhouse Admission Ticket
Image for Palace of Holyroodhouse Admission Ticket

Palace of Holyroodhouse Admission Ticket

$21
Per adult
86% of travellers recommend
Skip-the-Line Ticket to The Royal Yacht Britannia
Image for Skip-the-Line Ticket to The Royal Yacht Britannia

Skip-the-Line Ticket to The Royal Yacht Britannia

$21
Per adult
96% of travellers recommend
Edinburgh Private Transfer from Edinburgh Airport to City centre
Image for Edinburgh Private Transfer from Edinburgh Airport to City centre

Edinburgh Private Transfer from Edinburgh Airport to City centre

$79
Per adult

Reviews of Edinburgh

4.8

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
1636
5 - Excellent 80.99009900990099%
4 - Good
349
4 - Good 17.277227722772277%
3 - Okay
32
3 - Okay 1.5841584158415842%
2 - Disappointing
2
2 - Disappointing 0.09900990099009901%
1 - Terrible
1
1 - Terrible 0.04950495049504951%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Mar 25, 2020

Edinburgh is one of our favorite places in the world. We love the people, the atmosphere of the city, and the culture.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Mar 22, 2020

Wow such a beautiful place. Would love to go again. The entire place feels like a movie. Did not see anything run down. The Royal Mile, zoo castle and more. Would recommend 100%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Mar 18, 2020

The Mary King Close was worth a visit, the tour takes you down three levels of the streets and accommodation of old Edinburgh now underneath the Exchange Square.

5/5 - Excellent

Alex

Mar 18, 2020

Loved all the castles and walk to shops

5/5 - Excellent

Lou

Mar 14, 2020

Edinburgh is beautiful!

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Mar 9, 2020

Just make sure you give yourself adequate time when visiting the castle as there is a lot to take in once inside. Also, if you plan ongoing to Arthur's Seat get an early start as it can get fairly crowed, plus I would advise appropriate footwear.

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Edinburgh

Image for Celebrate Father’s Day by giving your old man an experience he won’t forget.

Celebrate Father’s Day by giving your old man an experience he won’t forget.

Celebrate Father’s Day by giving your old man an experience he won’t forget.
Image for Ringing in 2015 with the quirkiest celebrations from different countries

Ringing in 2015 with the quirkiest celebrations from different countries

Ringing in 2015 with the quirkiest celebrations from different countries

Cities near Edinburgh

Other places like Edinburgh