If you need a little inspiration for your trip to Edinburgh, here’s our pick of the best things to see in and do in the city.
If you’re staying in Edinburgh over the summer months, make sure you attend the city’s world-famous international festival and fringe festival. There are lots of events happening in venues throughout the city, from comedy shows to live music and performance art, so there’s simply no excuse to miss out.
We recommend: looking out for the free shows in the city’s many pubs, where you can see top comedy, cabaret and more.
Standing proudly above the city since the 12th century, Edinburgh Castle is the capital’s oldest building and its biggest tourist attraction. On your visit you’ll find out all about the city’s heritage as you wander through the Royal Palace to the Great Hall and the Stone of Destiny.
We recommend: taking a picture with Mons Meg, a huge 15th century cannon.
National Museum of Scotland
The National Museum of Scotland is a free attraction just 12 minutes away from our Edinburgh hotel on foot. There’s a huge range of galleries and exhibits in the museum, from dinosaurs to fashion, technology and world culture, ideal if you’re visiting with or without kids.
We recommend: looking out for Dolly the Sheep, the first cloned animal in the world.
The Royal Mile
Take a walk through the heart of the Old Town along Royal Mile, Edinburgh’s most famous street, to see historic buildings and some of the best eateries in the city. With impressive architecture and lots of great independent shops, it’s easy to lose yourself for an entire afternoon along the Mile, which connects Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
We recommend: going shopping in the eclectic Grassmarket, which was used in medieval times for public executions.
If you need a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, Holyrood Park is the perfect place to unwind. For impressive views across the city, make sure you climb up to Arthur’s Seat, which sits on top of an ancient volcano.
We recommend: going bird spotting at the beautiful Duddingston Loch.
The Royal Yacht Britannia
Having sailed more than one million miles in waters across the world, The Royal Yacht Britannia is now moored in Edinburgh and considered one of Scotland’s top visitor attractions. Your visit includes a free audio guide, and there’s even a children’s version to keep the little ones entertained.
We recommend: enjoying a speciality tea at the Royal Deck Tea Room.
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
The beautiful botanic gardens are one mile from the centre of Edinburgh, and can be reached by bus or even bicycle via the traffic-free National Cycle Network Route 75 path. To get the most from your visit, take one of the daily garden tours.
We recommend: visiting the impressive Tropical Palm House, which dates back to 1834.
One of Edinburgh’s most unique attractions is Camera Obscura, a rooftop chamber built during the Victorian Era with panoramic views created by mirrors and lenses. If you’re visiting the city with your children, they’ll be amazed by the optical tricks and illusions.
We recommend: spending time in the mind-bending mirror maze.
Exploring beyond Edinburgh
If you’re planning on exploring more of Scotland, there are lots of great attractions within easy reach of our hotel in Edinburgh. Here are some of our favourite things to do just a short drive or train journey from the Scottish capital.
- Visiting Kelvingrove Art Gallery, the Transport Museum and the People’s Palace in Glasgow
- Seeing a show at His Majesty’s Theatre or Cowdray Hall in Aberdeen
- Browsing the exhibits at the National Mining Museum in Newtongrange, just a short drive from the city centre
- Exploring the Pentland Hills Regional Park
- Playing a round of golf at St Andrews Links
Travelling to and from our Edinburgh hotel
Whether you’re travelling onward to other places in Scotland or returning home after an action-packed weekend in the city, it’s easy to get in and out of Edinburgh from our conveniently located hotel. Jurys Inn Edinburgh is two minutes away from Waverley Station on foot or a 30 minute bus ride from Edinburgh Airport, perfect no matter where you’re going next.
To help plan your onward journey, we’ve put together a handy snapshot of travel times to some of the most popular destinations from Edinburgh.
Glasgow: one hour 10 minutes by car or 50 minutes by train
Aberdeen: two hours 35 minutes by car or two hours 20 minutes by train
Inverness: three hours 15 minutes by car or three hours 40 minutes by train
Newcastle-upon-Tyne: two hours 20 minutes by car or one hour 20 minutes by train
London: seven hours by car, four hours 45 minutes by train or one hour 15 minutes by plane
Our team look forward to welcoming you at our hotel in Edinburgh very soon.