Things to do | Posted 03 Oct 2018

Scotland’s bustling capital is filled with history and culture, which blends seamlessly into unique architecture and breathtaking natural scenery. Below we explore some of the city’s most iconic, must-see landmarks and fun activities for the whole family to enjoy.

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Edinburgh Castle

Towering above the city, atop an ancient extinct volcano, lies the world-famous Edinburgh Castle. The castle has watched over the streets of the city’s Old Town for centuries – did you know that the oldest part of the structure, St Margaret’s Chapel, dates back almost a thousand years? The chapel was built in the 12th century during the reign of David I.

On a tour of Edinburgh Castle, you’ll follow in the footsteps of royalty. Venture into the Great Hall and discover the heart of the castle, where kings and queens of yesteryear would dine in magnificent splendor. Discover the mysterious Stone of Destiny, the ancient symbol of Scottish royalty which has played an essential role in coronations for centuries, anddon’t forget to see Mons Meg, one of the most renowned guns in medieval Europe.

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The Real Mary’s King Close

The Real Mary King's Close at en.wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Edinburgh is a city built on a city – the 18th century City Chambers were built over the remains of a medieval Old Town alley called Mary’s King Close, leaving it unchanged beneath for 250 years. To step into the history of Edinburgh, visit The Real Mary’s King Close and explore a labyrinth of underground passageways frozen in time.

See for yourselfwhat life was like for the people of medieval Edinburgh, and meet some of the residents. See if you can spot the plague-ridden home of Walter King, a gravedigger and unsung hero of the 17th century plague epidemic, or solve the murder mystery of a 16th century upper-class household. Be sure to book your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment, as The Real Mary’s King Close is one of the most popular attractions in the city.

Our Royal Hotel Edinburgh Haymarket is in the historical heart of the city, near the Old Town.

Edinburgh Zoo

A great day out for the whole family Edinburgh Zoo is filled with intriguing animals, and offers once-in-a-lifetime experiences which are perfect for an unforgettable day in the city. See some of the world’s most interesting and unique animals, from Asiatic Lions to Giant Pandas, the Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros, King Penguins and even the Giant Anteater.

Edinburgh Zoo also boasts a huge event calendar, featuring daily talks and seasonal exhibitions, a great way for you to make the most of your trip to the zoo!

Arthur’s Seat

About a mile to the east of the city centre lies Arthur’s Seat, which is another part of the extinct volcano upon which Edinburgh Castle sits. Hike up Arthur’s Seat and you’ll be treated to unparalleled views of the city, as well as breathtaking natural scenery and uncommon plants and wildlife species.

Towering over Edinburgh at 251m above sea level, Arthur’s Seat is a relatively easy hike that’s suitable for kids as well as adults. While you’re at the park, be sure to pay a visit to the Salisbury Crags – a series of 150-foot cliffs that tumble down to the city below and dominate the skyline.

If you’re looking for somewhere convenient to stay in Edinburgh, our Leonardo Edinburgh Murrayfield Hotel is close to the airport, and just a short drive from all the city’s main attractions.

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