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Edinburgh
Travel Guide

Arthur\\\'s Seat which includes heritage architecture, a sunset and a city

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

Courtyard by Marriott Edinburgh
Courtyard by Marriott Edinburgh
4 out of 5
1-3 Baxters Place, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is $82 per night from Jun 27 to Jun 27
Located in New Town, this hotel is steps from Omni Centre Edinburgh, Princes Street, and Edinburgh Playhouse Theatre. George Street and Royal Mile are also within ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (682 reviews)
"Location was perfect. Bus stop near the hotel which we used to reach the Royal mile. The hotel is near shopping centre and restaurants."

Reviewed on Jun 19, 2021

Courtyard by Marriott Edinburgh
The Balmoral Hotel
The Balmoral Hotel
5 out of 5
1 Princes Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $420 per night from Jun 28 to Jun 28
Located in New Town, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Princes Street and George Street. Edinburgh Playhouse Theatre and Royal Mile are also within ...
4.7/5Exceptional! (994 reviews)
"We've always wanted to stay at The Balmoral, and very glad that we did. 5 star hotel, 5 star service with an excellent room and skyline view of Edinburgh. The Prince bar is marvellous. A very classy old-fashioned bar with a great cocktail menu. Spa facilities are very good, and gym, though small, ..."

Reviewed on Jun 15, 2021

The Balmoral Hotel
The Scotsman Hotel
The Scotsman Hotel
4 out of 5
20 North Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is $219 per night from Jun 27 to Jun 27
Located in Old Town Edinburgh, this boutique hotel is steps from City Art Centre, Princes Street, and Royal Mile. Edinburgh Dungeon and Real Mary King's Close ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (983 reviews)
"Lovely hotel and the staff were lovely too- we’re hoping to stay there again"

Reviewed on Jun 2, 2021

The Scotsman Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Destiny Scotland - St. Andrew Square Apartments
Destiny Scotland - St. Andrew Square Apartments
3.5 out of 5
9 South St Andrew Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is $85 per night from Jun 24 to Jun 24
Located in New Town, this apartment building is steps from St. Andrew Square and Princes Street. George Street and Edinburgh Dungeon are also within 5 minutes. ...
4.4/5Wonderful! (215 reviews)
"Had a great time apartment very clean. Great location. Bit disappointed when we got there & couldn’t get in phoned the number I was given & hadn’t been told we had to pay £200 deposit! Got sorted in the end & eventually got in. Would definitely recommend & will most definitely stay again."

Reviewed on Jul 29, 2020

Destiny Scotland - St. Andrew Square Apartments
Destiny Scotland Charlotte SQ Apartments
Destiny Scotland Charlotte SQ Apartments
4.5 out of 5
1 S Charlotte St, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is $101 per night from Jun 23 to Jun 23
Located in New Town, this luxury apartment building is steps from Charlotte Square, Princes Street, and George Street. Grassmarket and Usher Hall are also within ...
4.8/5Exceptional! (43 reviews)
Castle view apartment
"Great apartment, well located and equipped to a high standard - very nice all round but in need of some quick paining of the walls - would stay again!"

Reviewed on Oct 19, 2020

Destiny Scotland Charlotte SQ Apartments
Destiny Scotland - Hill Street Apartments
Destiny Scotland - Hill Street Apartments
4 out of 5
5 Hill Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is $112 per night from Jun 24 to Jun 24
Located in New Town, this apartment building is steps from George Street and Princes Street. Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle are also within 15 minutes. Edinburgh ...
4.7/5Exceptional! (151 reviews)
"Amazing apartment! So much space for our family of four and perfect to spend time in after a busy day of sightseeing. Spacious double bedrooms, two bathrooms and a perfect kitchen living / diner. We also had exceptional customer service by Destiny Scotland when our TV didn’t work (we nodded off one ..."

Reviewed on Feb 23, 2020

Destiny Scotland - Hill Street Apartments
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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.

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