A visit to the historic Old Town is where you will find some of Edinburgh’s best attractions including Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile. The New Town has an eclectic mix of shops and some of the city’s most highly recommended restaurants.
Edinburgh Castle sits dominating the city from above. It houses important Scottish artefacts such as the Honours of Scotland, which are the oldest crown jewels in the United Kingdom. It is a little bit of a steep climb up to the entrance, however worth it for the views you will receive. You will also find the Stone of Destiny an ancient symbol of the Scottish Monarchy. The vast castle grounds are to be enjoyed and best seen on a guided tour.
Arthur’s Seat is a striking peak in Holyrood Park. With views over the city this ancient volcano used to be the centrepiece of the landscape before splitting apart. This can be easily reached from the city centre and has a relatively forgiving climb to the summit. It features some outstanding panoramic views and a few interesting landmarks, such as Holyrood Abbey and the surrounding park, which famously featured in Chariots of Fire. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Calton Hill is capped with monuments and memorials including the National Monument inspired by the Parthenon of Athens and the city Observatory.
Holyrood Park is just a short walk from Edinburgh’s Royal Mile in the heart of the city. It covers 640 acres of Royal Park adjacent to Holyrood Palace. While in the park you can also visit the 15th Century medieval St. Anthony’s Chapel, Salisbury Crags, a chain of 150 foot cliff faces dominating Edinburgh’s skyline and the fresh water Duddingston Loch.
Princes Street Gardens in the heart of the city is a great place to relax and one of the most important urban parks of Edinburgh. It divides the Old Town from the New Town and has over 37 acres of gardens divided between two by The Mound. You will also find the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art located here with masterpieces that date back to the 1900’s including Picasso, Matisse and more recently, Warhol.
If you are looking for something different to do while in the city, then go underground at the Real Mary King's Close situated deep beneath the Royal Mile. Here you will find where all the deep and darkest secrets are buried. This warren of underground hidden streets frozen in time is shrouded in mystery and as move through the rooms, each will offer you a better insight of how life was in the 17th Century.
Don’t forget while in Edinburgh to enjoy a wee dram of Scottish Whisky as no outing to the Royal Mile is complete without a visit to the Scotch Whisky Experience. This multi-sensory journey will show you the whisky making process where you can listen to stories behind the magic of their craft, view the world’s largest collection and taste a few drams of their unique flavours and aromas.
The Scott Monument commemorates the Scottish novelist Sir Walter Scott. Built in the 19th Century, this is the largest monument to a writer in the world and dominates the Edinburgh skyline with its stunning Gothic design. Look for the carvings of his fictional characters and learn about his life in the museum room. Then climb the 287 steps to the top for some superb views overlooking the city’s surroundings.