Things to do | Posted 25 Mar 2019

As Scotland’s bustling capital, it will come as no surprise that Edinburgh boasts an enormous list of things to do. With new possibilities around every corner, and whispers of ancient tales and legends hanging throughout the cobbled streets of the Old Town, the city is an excellent place to visit for a weekend.

Being a UK city means that Auld Reekie is subject to the occasional rainy day. If you’re caught in a downpour during your visit – don’t worry! There are plenty of activities to keep you occupied until the sun starts to shine again.

Here are our top four things to do in Edinburgh when it’s raining:

Visit an art gallery

Edinburgh is home to a wide range of fascinating art galleries, all of which are perfect for wandering round if the weather is less than ideal. The National Galleries Scotland exhibits some of the greatest art in the world, with masterpieces from the likes of Van Gough, Vermeer, Raphael and Botticelli, to name only a few.

Alternatively, jump on the art bus to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and discover a varied collection of pieces by some of the more contemporary artists from across the globe.

Take a trip under the arches

Looking for a cool and quirky way to spend your rainy day in Edinburgh? The Waverly Arches are a relatively new development, and are a fantastic alternative to the bustle of the city centre. Peruse a plethora of on-trend shops and chilled-out cafes, all housed beneath the exposed brick walls of the arches.

Fancy a bite to eat while you explore? You’ll find a range of quirky eateries here, catering to all tastes with everything from traditional sandwiches and afternoon tea to fiery Vietnamese dishes.

Take a walk through the Botanic Gardens’ Glasshouses

When most people think of Edinburgh, they envision a medieval castle, cobbled streets and cloudy skies. But did you know there’s a tropical rainforest right in the city centre? The Glasshouses of the Botanic Gardens are heated to mimic a tropical atmosphere, so they can house a diverse collection of exotic flora, and are just perfect for exploring on a rainy day.

Visit the Museum of Edinburgh

Step back in time on a journey through Auld Reekie’s fascinating history by visiting the Museum of Edinburgh. Here you’ll discover a wide and varied collection of artefacts from through the ages, sending you down a timeline of Edinburgh’s origins, bloodthirsty history and, of course, ghostly myths and spooky legends.

The museum is also a testament to the spectacular craftsmanship of Scottish nationals, with a collection of engraved glass, intricate metal designs, costumes, clocks and, of course, Scottish pottery and porcelain.

Explore the rest of what Scotland has to offer and get all the latest travel tips by keeping up to date with the Leonardo’s blog. Alternatively, for the perfect place to lay your head after a long day of exploring the city, find out more about our Simpson Townhouse, Edinburgh Murrayfield and Edinburgh Royal hotels.

You may also like

News & Events

Six Nations 2020: A Rugby Guide to Edinburgh

Thinking of making a weekend of it? Then you’ll need somewhere to get your...


News & Events

The UK’s Greenest Cities Revealed

There’s no denying that spending time in the great outdoors is good for yo...


Things to do

Day Trips from Edinburgh by Train

Edinburgh is a destination in its own right. But once you arrive and get a feel ...

JURYS REWARDS More great reasons to stay