Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, is the perfect place to spend a day (or more) while visiting Scotland. The city is rich in history and has many free walking tours for tourists. It is hard to see and do everything in this large city in a day, so I’ve compiled a list of some of the top places I have found to be fun to visit.
It is entertaining to spend a couple hours touring the buildings and museums housed in the castle. However, be warned that Edinburgh castle is a very popular tourist attraction and can become very crowded. I recommend buying tickets in advanced, as this will save you having to wait in line. Some top attractions to see here include the Scottish National War Memorial and the collection of crown jewels. For tickets and open hours visit: https://www.edinburghcastle.scot/
The Royal Mile:
This street leads to the castle of Edinburgh and is lined with eateries, shops, and tourist attractions. Many free walking tours start here such as City Explorers Edinburgh. Although I have not been on one of their tours, I have heard that they can be fun and informative. For times and to book a place visit: http://edinburghfreetour.com//
Hike Arthur’s Seat:
This hike is not long but it isn’t for the faint hearted. The entire hike is uphill, and by the time you get to the top your calves will be screaming. That being said, the view is worth it. The top of the trail overlooks the whole city of Edinburgh and the ocean. The whole hike took us about an hour and a half. Wear non-slip hiking boots as the trial can become slippery when it rains! The Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Queen’s official residence in Edinburgh, is located next to the hike end point. After completing the hike we went to lunch at the café there and enjoyed cappuccinos with cute crowns designed in them. For more information about the Palace of Holyroodhouse visit: https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/visit/palace-of-holyroodhouse
National Museum of Scotland:
First off, this museum is huge so make sure you bring your walking shoes. The museum hosts everything from medieval artifacts, dinosaurs (my favorite part), art, geology, and technology. It is also home to the taxidermy of Dolly the sheep. Dolly was the first cloned mammal and coming from a science background, I find this pretty cool. Also, the museum is free to the public! For open hours visit: https://www.nms.ac.uk/national-museum-of-scotland/
This church house’s the cities oldest graveyard and was the final resting place of many famous people including the poet Allen Ramsay. It is said that author J.K. Rowling used the cemetery to find inspiration for the names of many characters of her books. Also, the cemetery is home to the loyal Skye terrier Greyfrairs Boddy. After the owner died and was buried in the graveyard, the dog refused to leave the grave site. A shelter was build for him after he refused to leave. Bobby lived there until his death 14 years later. A statue of Bobby was build outside the church in 1873. For more information visit: https://greyfriarskirk.com/.
These are a few of the many attractions in Edinburgh. It would take closer to a week to see all that Edinburgh has to offer. But, if you only have a day or two in Edinburgh I hope this list helps you narrow down what you want to do. Happy Travels!
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