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Edinburgh, Scotland’s atmospheric capital, is a treasure trove of history, culture, stunning landscapes, and unique experiences. Here’s our list of the top 20 attractions in Edinburgh, complete with prices and opening times.

1. Unearth Scottish History at Edinburgh Castle

Immerse yourself in Scotland’s rich history at this iconic fortress.

Dominating the city skyline, Edinburgh Castle is an iconic symbol of Scotland’s rich history. Uncover the tales of royalty, war, and siege while exploring its ancient halls and ramparts. Don’t forget to check out the Crown Jewels and the Stone of Destiny!

Price: Adults £19.50, Children £11.50 Opening times: 9:30 AM – 6 PM daily

2. Stroll Down the Historic Royal Mile

Experience the heartbeat of Edinburgh, where old meets new.

Stretching from Edinburgh Castle down to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Royal Mile is the city’s historic heart. Walk the cobbled streets and alleyways, browse quirky boutiques, grab a bite at local eateries, and soak in the vibrant atmosphere.

Price: Free Opening times: Open 24/7

3. Make Your Own Chocolate Bar at The Chocolatarium

Embark on a tantalizing journey from cocoa bean to chocolate bar.

A sweet haven for chocolate lovers, The Chocolatarium invites visitors on a sensory journey through the chocolate-making process, from bean to bar. Learn about the origins of cocoa, enjoy interactive chocolate tastings, and create your own chocolate masterpiece.

Price: Adults £22, Children £15 Opening times: Monday – Sunday, 10 AM – 6 PM. Tours run at various times throughout the day. Check their website for the latest schedule and to book in advance.

4. Conquer the Summit of Arthur’s Seat

Challenge yourself with a hike to the highest point in the city for breathtaking views.

A dormant volcano and the city’s highest point, Arthur’s Seat offers panoramic views of Edinburgh. The hike to the summit, although a bit challenging, is worth every step. The surrounding Holyrood Park further enhances this natural spectacle.

Price: Free Opening times: Open 24/7

5. Pedal Through the City with Edinburgh Bike Tours

Experience Edinburgh’s beauty, history, and culture up close as you cycle through its picturesque streets and trails. Perfect for all fitness levels, these tours offer a unique perspective on the city. Visit Edinburgh Bike Tours for more information.

Price: Prices start at £30 for adults and £25 for children for a 2.5-hour tour. Opening times:  Tours run at various times throughout the day. Check their website for the latest schedule and to book in advance.

6. Savour the Spirit of Scotland in the best Whisky Experiences

Toast to Tradition at Johnnie Walker Princes Street

Embark on an immersive journey into Scotland’s whisky heritage at the newly opened eight-story Johnnie Walker Experience, complete with tastings and rooftop views.

Price: £30 Opening times: 12:00-19:00

Embark on an immersive journey at The Scotch Whisky Experience

Immerse yourself in the world of Scotland’s national drink, Scotch whisky. On a guided barrel ride, you’ll learn about the whisky-making process, discover the differences between various regions, and enjoy a tasting session.

Price: Adults from £17 Opening times: Monday – Sunday, 10 AM – 5 PM

7. Explore Royal Splendour at the Palace of Holyroodhouse

Witness the grandeur of royal life in this majestic palace.

The official Scottish residence of the Queen, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, is replete with regal splendour. Tour the State Apartments, explore the Queen’s Gallery, and stroll through the manicured gardens.

Price: Adults £16.50, Children £9.50 Opening times: Varies seasonally, typically 9:30 AM – 6 PM in summer, 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM in winter

8. Step Aboard History at The Royal Yacht Britannia

Explore the Queen’s former floating residence and experience royal life at sea.

Step aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia, the former floating residence of the Queen. Explore the opulent State Apartments, the Officer’s Wardroom, and the Engine Room while learning about the ship’s intriguing royal history.

Price: Adults £17, Children £8.75 Opening times: 10 AM – 4 PM (October to March), 10 AM – 5 PM (April to September)

9. Marvel at Artistic Masterpieces at The Scottish National Gallery

Discover a world of art spanning numerous styles and periods.

Art enthusiasts will be captivated by the masterpieces housed within the Scottish National Gallery. Its collections encompass works by renowned artists, including Botticelli, Van Gogh, and Monet, representing various styles and periods.

Price: Free (special exhibitions may have an entrance fee). Opening times: Monday – Sunday, 10 AM – 5 PM

10. Challenge Your Senses at Camera Obscura and World of Illusions

Enjoy mind-bending fun for all ages at this unique attraction.

Step into a world of fun, fascination, and mind-bending illusions. From the mesmerizing Mirror Maze to the infinite Light Fantastic, this unique museum promises a visual treat for all ages.

Price: Adults £17.95, Children £13.95 Opening times: Monday – Sunday, 9 AM – 10 PM

11. Meet Exotic Creatures at Edinburgh Zoo

Discover a world of wildlife, from pandas to penguins.

Home to the only giant pandas and koalas in the UK, Edinburgh Zoo offers a fantastic day out for wildlife enthusiasts. Meet a variety of animals, watch live feedings, and explore the different zones from the African Plains to Penguins Rock.

Price: Adults £21.95, Children £11.95 Opening times: 10 AM – 6 PM daily

12. Commune with Nature at The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Escape to a peaceful oasis filled with rare and exotic plants.

Escape the city’s hustle and bustle in this serene oasis. The Royal Botanic Garden boasts one of the world’s most significant living collections of plants. Explore themed gardens and glasshouses with exotic species, and enjoy stunning city skyline views.

Price: Garden: Free Opening times: Garden: 10 AM – 6 PM; Glasshouses: 10:10 AM – 5:30 PM

13. Venture into History at The National Museum of Scotland

Explore the wonders of nature, world cultures, art and design, science and technology.

With a vast range of displays spanning natural history, world cultures, science, and technology, this museum offers a world of discovery under one roof. Don’t miss the spectacular views from the rooftop terrace.

Price: Free (donations welcome) Opening times: Monday – Sunday, 10 AM – 5 PM

14. Step Back in Time at Mary King’s Close

Experience life in 17th-century Edinburgh, complete with tales of plague and intrigue.

Buried deep beneath the Royal Mile lies Mary King’s Close, a historic close dating back to the 17th century. Accompanied by costumed guides, visitors will step back in time and hear tales of plague-stricken residents and everyday life in old Edinburgh.

Price: Adults £21 Opening times: Monday – Sunday, 10 AM – 9 PM

15. Uncover the City’s Past at The Museum of Edinburgh

Dive into Edinburgh’s rich history and its iconic characters.

Situated in a series of historic buildings, this museum chronicles the city’s past and its people. Exhibits range from the story of the original ‘Greyfriars Bobby’ to stunning pieces of local glass and silverware.

Price: Free (donations welcome) Opening times: Monday – Saturday, 10 AM – 5 PM

16. Ascend Calton Hill for a City Panorama

Capture unforgettable vistas of Edinburgh’s skyline from this centrally located hill adorned with historical monuments.

Climb up to Calton Hill for a dose of greenery, neo-classical monuments like the National Monument and Nelson Monument, and fantastic panoramic views of the city. It’s also a great spot to watch the sunset!

Price: Free Opening times: Open 24/7

17. Admire Gothic Beauty at St Giles’ Cathedral

Explore this religious landmark and architectural masterpiece in the heart of the city.

At the heart of the Old Town stands St Giles’ Cathedral, an important religious site and a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. Explore its stunning interior and climb the rooftop for a close-up view of the Crown Spire.

Price: Free (donations welcome) Opening times: Monday – Sunday, 10 AM – 5 PM

18. Immerse Yourself in Local Culture at Grassmarket

Discover a vibrant area filled with independent shops, lively bars, and restaurants.

Historically a marketplace and public execution site, today’s Grassmarket is a vibrant area filled with independent shops, lively bars, and restaurants. It’s a great spot for people-watching and enjoying a leisurely meal.

Price: Free Opening times: Open 24/7

19. Brave the Scares at The Edinburgh Dungeon

Experience the city’s dark past through interactive shows and rides.

Experience the city’s grisly past at The Edinburgh Dungeon. This 80-minute journey includes 11 live shows, 2 underground rides, and a host of scary fun facts.

Price: Online prices from £18.50. Opening times: Monday – Sunday, 10 AM – 5 PM

20. Pay Homage to Literary Legends at The Writers’ Museum

Celebrate the lives of Scotland’s literary greats – Burns, Scott, and Stevenson.

Celebrating the lives of three giants of Scottish Literature – Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott, and Robert Louis Stevenson, The Writers’ Museum is a must for literary fans. Delve into their works, personal lives, and their connections to Edinburgh.

Price: Free (donations welcome) Opening times: Thursday – Monday, 10 AM – 5 PM

21. Relax and Reflect at Princes Street Gardens

Enjoy a tranquil retreat in the heart of the city, with stunning views of Edinburgh Castle.

Nestled between Old and New Town, Princes Street Gardens is the perfect place to relax after a day of sightseeing. Enjoy a picnic, take a leisurely stroll, and admire the stunning views of Edinburgh Castle.

Price: Free Opening times: Open 24/7

From history to natural beauty to indulgent experiences like The Chocolatarium, Edinburgh offers attractions for every traveler. Whether you’re visiting for the first time or have been before, there’s always something new to discover in this dynamic city. Happy exploring!