Explore Edinburgh’s Best Attractions and Activities

Discover the hidden gems of Edinburgh and make memories that will last a lifetime!


Hello and welcome to my blog where I share my adventures exploring the wonderful city of Edinburgh. As a local resident, I have had the opportunity to discover the most incredible sights, activities, and tours that the city has to offer. So, whether you’re a first-time visitor or a long-term resident looking for some inspiration, this article is for you!

Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and beautiful landscapes. From iconic landmarks such as Edinburgh Castle and Arthur’s Seat to hidden gems like Grassmarket, there is something for everyone in this city. In this article, I’ll be sharing my top picks from sightseeing to museums, art galleries, activities, and tours to help you make the most of your visit to Edinburgh. So, let’s get started on our journey of exploring the city’s best attractions!


Edinburgh is a city full of history and stunning architecture. One of my favorite places to visit is Edinburgh Castle, which offers breathtaking views of the city and a glimpse into Scotland’s rich history. I highly recommend taking the audio tour to fully appreciate the castle’s significance.

For a more peaceful experience, I suggest visiting the Royal Botanic Garden. The gardens are a serene oasis in the heart of the city, with over 70 acres of stunning plant life. Make sure to check out the Victorian Palm House, which is home to some of the most beautiful and exotic plants from around the world.

If you’re feeling adventurous, a hike up Arthur’s Seat is a must. The views from the top are absolutely breathtaking, and it’s a great way to get some exercise while exploring the city’s natural beauty. Just make sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring plenty of water!

The Grassmarket is another must-see spot in Edinburgh. This historic marketplace is filled with charming boutiques, cafes, and pubs, and is a great place to shop for souvenirs or grab a bite to eat.

Last but not least, a stroll through the Old Town and New Town is a must. The winding streets and stunning architecture make for a picturesque walk, and there are plenty of hidden gems to discover along the way. Don’t forget to stop by St Giles’ Cathedral and the Scott Monument for some stunning photo opportunities.

Museums and Art Galleries

As someone who loves learning about history and culture, I’ve spent a lot of time exploring the many museums and art galleries that Edinburgh has to offer. One of my favorite stops is the National Museum of Scotland, which has a vast collection of artifacts and exhibits that cover everything from science and technology to fashion and design. I could easily spend an entire day here, and I always come away feeling like I’ve learned something new.

Another must-visit destination for art lovers is the Scottish National Gallery. This impressive institution is home to a wide range of artwork, from classic masterpieces to contemporary pieces by up-and-coming artists. I particularly enjoy the galleries dedicated to Scottish art, which offer a fascinating glimpse into the country’s rich artistic heritage.

For bookworms like me, The Writers’ Museum is a must-visit. This small but charming museum is dedicated to the lives and works of some of Scotland’s most famous writers, including Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott, and Robert Louis Stevenson. I love wandering through the exhibits and learning more about these fascinating literary figures.

And for a trip down memory lane, you can’t beat The Museum of Childhood and The People’s Story. The former is full of toys, games, and other childhood memorabilia from throughout the years, while the latter is a fascinating look at everyday life in Edinburgh over the past few centuries. Both museums are well worth a visit, whether you’re traveling with kids or just feeling a bit nostalgic.

Overall, Edinburgh’s museums and art galleries offer something for everyone, and I always make sure to stop by a few on each of my trips to the city.

Activities and Tours

Edinburgh is not only a city full of history and culture, but also offers a wide range of activities and tours that are definitely worth checking out. As a local resident, I have had the chance to experience some of them myself and here are my top recommendations:

Ghost tours: Edinburgh is known to be one of the most haunted cities in the world, and its dark alleys and spooky buildings are the perfect setting for a ghost tour. I’ve been on a few of them and they never fail to give me chills. One of my favorites is the Underground Vaults tour, where you get to explore the haunted underground chambers beneath the South Bridge.

Harry Potter tours: If you’re a fan of the wizarding world, then you’re in luck because Edinburgh is the birthplace of Harry Potter. From the café where J.K. Rowling wrote the first book to the school that inspired Hogwarts, there are plenty of Harry Potter themed tours that will take you on a magical journey through the city. I went on one of these tours and it was like stepping into the pages of the books.

Whisky tasting tours: Scotland is famous for its whisky, and Edinburgh has plenty of distilleries and bars where you can sample some of the finest. I recently went on a whisky tasting tour and learned so much about the different types of whisky and how they’re made. It was a great way to spend an afternoon and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good dram.

Overall, Edinburgh has so much to offer in terms of activities and tours that it’s impossible to experience them all in one visit. But whether you’re into ghosts, magic, or whisky, there’s something for everyone in this amazing city.

Outdoor Adventures

As I’m an avid hiker, one of my favorite outdoor activities in Edinburgh is hiking in the Pentland Hills. The scenery is absolutely breathtaking, and the fresh air is invigorating. I remember one particular hike where I stumbled upon a hidden waterfall that was simply stunning. It was a perfect spot for a picnic and a peaceful break before continuing on the trail.

Another exciting outdoor adventure I had in Edinburgh was kayaking on the River Forth. It was a bit nerve-wracking at first, but as I got the hang of it, I found it to be quite exhilarating. The views of the city from the water were spectacular, and I even spotted some wildlife along the way, including a seal that popped up right next to my kayak!

Cycling along the Union Canal is another great outdoor activity in Edinburgh. I rented a bike and set off on the path, passing by charming neighborhoods and historic landmarks. I even stopped at a local brewery for a quick beer tasting before continuing on my way. It was a fun and unique way to see the city.

Overall, Edinburgh is a great destination for outdoor adventures. Whether you’re into hiking, kayaking, cycling, or any other outdoor activity, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this beautiful city.

Food and Drink

As a foodie, one of the highlights of my trip to Edinburgh was definitely trying out the traditional Scottish cuisine at the Royal McGregor Restaurant. I ordered the haggis, neeps, and tatties, which is a classic dish made of sheep’s offal, turnips, and potatoes. I have to admit, I was a bit hesitant at first, but boy was I pleasantly surprised! The flavors were incredibly rich and savory, and the texture was surprisingly smooth and creamy. I even went back for seconds!

Another food experience I highly recommend is having afternoon tea at The Dome. The atmosphere is elegant and sophisticated, and the staff is incredibly attentive and friendly. I sipped on a delicious cup of Earl Grey tea while feasting on an array of sweet and savory treats, including scones with clotted cream and jam, finger sandwiches, and mini cakes and pastries. It was the perfect way to indulge in a little bit of luxury and relaxation in the midst of a busy day of sightseeing.

If you’re a beer lover like me, you won’t want to miss out on the craft beer tasting at Stewart Brewing. The brewery is located just outside of Edinburgh, but it’s well worth the trip. The staff is incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about their craft, and they offer a wide variety of beers to sample and enjoy. I especially loved their Black IPA, which had just the right balance of bitterness and roastiness.

Overall, I was blown away by the food and drink scene in Edinburgh. There are so many delicious and unique flavors to try, and the culinary experiences I had truly added to the richness and depth of my trip.