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Edinburgh - Things to Do



This 1850s camera obscura captures a live panorama of the city below. Spy on passers-by at Edinburgh’s oldest attraction and see the largest three-D hologram display in Europe.

EDINBURGH CASTLE - admission charge

One of the most famous castles in the world. Includes the Scottish Crown Jewels, Stone of Destiny and Scottish National War Memorial. The oldest part of the Castle dates from the Norman period.

EDINBURGH ZOO - admission charge

Established in 1913 the zoo has more than 1,000 animals in beautiful hillside parkland. The world’s biggest penguin pool can be found here, and the famous penguin parade takes place daily in the summer months.

THE GEORGIAN HOUSE - admission charge

Designed by Robert Adam this is a typical house in Edinburgh’s New Town, furnished as it would have been by its first owners in 1796.

MUSEUM OF CHILDHOOD - admission free

This museum has a fine collection of childhood-related items including toys, dolls, dolls’ houses, and costumes and nursery equipment.

MUSEUM OF SCOTLAND - admission free

Tells the history of Scotland from its geological beginnings to the present day. A striking piece of architecture to hold the treasured objects of Scotland’s past and present.


Contains an outstanding collection of paintings, drawings and prints by the greatest artists from the Renaissance to Post Impressionism, including Velazquez, El Greco, Titian, Vermeer, Constable, Monet and Van Gogh. It also houses the national collection of Scottish art.

OUR DYNAMIC EARTH - admission charge

Through dramatic special effects and interactive displays visitors discover the story of the planet from the start of time to an unknown future. Walk through rain forests and see volcanoes erupt.

PALACE OF HOLYROODHOUSE - admission charge

The official residence of the Queen in Scotland. This was the home of Mary Queen of Scots for six years and it was where she met John Knox and where Rizzio was murdered.

THE REAL MARY KINGS CLOSE - admission charge

Guided tours of Edinburgh’s famous underground streets, giving a historically accurate interpretation of 17th century life.

ROYAL BOTANIC GARDENS - admission free

70 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds. Spectacular features include the world-famous Rock Garden, the Pringle Chinese Collection and a magnificent arboretum. The amazing Glasshouse Experience features Britain’s tallest Pal House.


The museum houses international collections in a wonderful Victorian glass-topped building. Collections include applied arts, geology and zoology, natural history, social and technical history, jewellery and costume and Egyptian and African treasures.

THE ROYAL YACHT BRITANNIA - admission charge

Britannia is a five-star visitor experience. A fascinating audio tour takes visitors over five decks. View the Royal Family picture gallery and learn about life on board for officers and yachtsmen.


Scotland’s finest collection of 20th and 21st century art. Includes works by Picasso, Moore and Hirst. The gallery also houses an unrivalled collection of 20th century Scottish art.


All the portraits on display are of Scots, but not all are painted by Scots. The collection includes famous Scots from Mary Queen of Scots to Sean Connery.


DEEP SEA WORLD (North Queensferry) - admission charge

Scotland’s National Aquarium, featuring on of Europe’s largest collections of Sand Tiger Sharks. Dramatically located under the Forth Rail Bridge.

EDINBURGH CRYSTAL VISITOR CENTRE (Eastfield, Penicuik) - admission free

Visit the Heritage Centre to see crystal being cut. Shop in the largest Edinburgh Crystal first quality shop. Fantastic restaurant.

GLENKINCHIE DISTILLERY (Pencaitland) - admission charge

This is the only remaining malt whisky distillery close to Edinburgh. Visitors can see all aspects of the traditional distilling craft, with sample tasting.

HOPETOUN HOUSE (South Queensferry) - admission charge

A gem of Europe’s architectural heritage and the residence of the Marquis of Linlithgow, the house is set in magnificent parkland with fine views of the Forth Bridges. Features original furniture, carriage collection, and paintings by famous artists as well as collections of tapestries and ceramics.

HOUSE OF THE BINNS (Linlithgow) - admission charge

Home of the Dalyell family since 1612. The architecture reflects the early 17th century transition from fortified stronghold to spacious mansion. Famous for snowdrops and daffodils in the Spring.

LENNOXLOVE HOUSE (Haddington) - admission charge

The home of the Duke of Hamilton. It features a 14th century keep and houses a collection of Mary Queen of Scots memorabilia.

NEWHAILES (Musselburgh) - admission charge

Enchanting untouched 17th century house with original Rococo interiors, impressive library and fine paintings. Intriguingly designed garden landscape with superb vistas.

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Tour Scotland with Scottish Tours. Discover the highlights of Scotland on a tour to Loch Ness, The Scottish Highlands, Skye and Loch Lomond.