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Sightseeing and landmarks in Edinburgh

Art museums

Museum
“This building is a mixture of old and new architecture. A great way to spend the afternoon with existing and visiting exhibitions. Don't forget to look up the ceiling is a sight for sore eyes. ”
  • 577 locals recommend
Art Gallery
“Amazing building. Do not forget your camera! Free entrance from 10am - 5 pm.”
  • 216 locals recommend
Museum
“An amazing Victorian building with a huge, beautiful hall and lots of interesting things to see. Bring lots of time or, as it's free, nip in and out at your leisure : )”
  • 40 locals recommend
Art Gallery
“Beautiful paintings in the heart of Edinburgh. Free entrance to regular exhibitions. ”
  • 23 locals recommend
Art Museum
“Find out what it was like to live in one of the New Town's houses when the New Town was built in 1820 or so. This is Tom's favourite attraction.”
  • 19 locals recommend
Art Gallery
“This gallery is - like most of Edinburgh's galleries and museums - housed in a beautiful building (in this case, classical). There is much to see, but check out the Phoebe Traquair tapestries. Beautiful!”
  • 18 locals recommend
Art Museum
“A creative hub, housing Edinburgh Printmakers, artists and cultural organisations. Great shop, exhibition space and cafe.”
  • 8 locals recommend
Museum
“Massive overhaul and now ranked as a major tourist attraction. Thousands of objects on display charting the history of Scotland. And it's Free Admission!!”
  • 2 locals recommend

History museums

Museum
“This building is a mixture of old and new architecture. A great way to spend the afternoon with existing and visiting exhibitions. Don't forget to look up the ceiling is a sight for sore eyes. ”
  • 577 locals recommend
Museum
“An amazing Victorian building with a huge, beautiful hall and lots of interesting things to see. Bring lots of time or, as it's free, nip in and out at your leisure : )”
  • 40 locals recommend
History Museum
“The Museum of Edinburgh, formerly known as Huntly House Museum, is a museum in Edinburgh, Scotland, housing a collection relating to the town's origins, history and legends”
  • 32 locals recommend
History Museum
“Museum that focuses on money, coinage and economics. It is located in the Bank of Scotland Head Office building on The Mound.”
  • 13 locals recommend
History Museum
“The People's Story gives an unique insight in to Edinburgh's working class people from the 18th century to the late 20th century. The displays include tableaux, original objects, images and personal stories to reveal their fascinating history of the city. Just opposite it on the Royal Mile is the Edinburgh Museum where you can discover the fascinating history of the city through its wide and varied collections. Both are Free Admission (see also www.edinburghmuseums.org.uk)”
  • 19 locals recommend
History Museum
“Fascinating museum showing domestic life in Edinburgh's Old Town in 17th century”
  • 15 locals recommend
History Museum
“Celebrate the lives of Scotland's greatest writers, Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson at the architecturally enthralling Lady Stair's House built in 1622. At the Writers' Museum you can see Robert Burns' writing desk, the printing press on which Scott's Waverley novels were produced and many more. Upon leaving the museum be sure not to miss the quotations carved in stone celebrating Scottish writers. ”
  • 16 locals recommend
History Museum
“The National War Museum is housed in Edinburgh, and forms part of National Museums Scotland. It is located within Edinburgh Castle, and admission is included in the entry charge for the castle.”
  • 4 locals recommend

Scenic lookouts

Mountain
“You can see from the window or you can climb it. 15 minutes walking from the flat to the bottom of the hill. Another 30 mins to the top. Unmissable.”
  • 896 locals recommend
Park
“Another local hill. Easier to climb than Arthur's Seat. Views are also spectacular at the top.”
  • 272 locals recommend
Monument / Landmark
“The Scott Monument is a Victorian Gothic monument to Scottish author Sir Walter Scott. It is the second largest monument to a writer in the world after the José Martí monument in Havana. It stands in Princes Street Gardens, just opposite the Jenners department store and near to Edinburgh Waverley Railway Station, which is named after Scott's Waverley novels. The tower is 200 feet 6 inches (61.11 m) high, and has a series of viewing platforms reached by a series of narrow spiral staircases giving panoramic views of central Edinburgh and its surroundings. The highest platform is reached by a total of 288 steps.”
  • 68 locals recommend
Monument / Landmark
“You can walk up the (many!) steps inside the monument to fabulous views from the top. Just bear in mind it's not for you if you have a fear of heights or are claustrophobic as the stairwell is very narrow near the top!”
  • 65 locals recommend
Scenic Viewpoint
“Historic setting beside the castle and then walk down the royal Mile to Holyrood.”
  • 9 locals recommend
Park
“Calton Hill is a mix of bustling commercial areas and quiet residential streets. The hill itself, with its city views, is home to the Collective contemporary art gallery and the unfinished National Monument. Gay bars and casual eateries cluster around the top of busy Leith Walk, where the Edinburgh Playhouse stages musicals and comedy. Locals frequent the bakeries, cafes and gift stores on vibrant Broughton Street.”
  • 7 locals recommend
Scenic Viewpoint
“A beautiful ruined chapel - where I took the photo on the cover of this guide!”
  • 5 locals recommend
Park
“Great Views from the top of this City Centre Hill. Climb the fake Parthenon or just take up a picnic and enjoy the views from near the observatory at the top”
  • 7 locals recommend

Historic sites

Palace
“The Queen's official residence in Edinburgh and the home of Scottish royal history. Open throughout the year, the Palace of Holyroodhouse stands at the end of Edinburgh's Royal Mile, with beautiful views of Arthur's Seat. ”
  • 192 locals recommend
Palace
“Where the queen sleeps when she is in the city! Located at the foot of the royal mile worth seeing en route to Arthur Seat”
  • 109 locals recommend
Monument / Landmark
“The Scott Monument is a Victorian Gothic monument to Scottish author Sir Walter Scott. It is the second largest monument to a writer in the world after the José Martí monument in Havana. It stands in Princes Street Gardens, just opposite the Jenners department store and near to Edinburgh Waverley Railway Station, which is named after Scott's Waverley novels. The tower is 200 feet 6 inches (61.11 m) high, and has a series of viewing platforms reached by a series of narrow spiral staircases giving panoramic views of central Edinburgh and its surroundings. The highest platform is reached by a total of 288 steps.”
  • 68 locals recommend
Road
“Known as such as it is one mile long and connects two of Edinburgh's most iconic locations - Holyrood Palace and Edinburgh Castle, this is one of the busiest streets in Old Town. The Royal Mile is an eclectic mix of shops, restaurants, pubs and visitor attractions. During the August Edinburgh Festival, the High Street becomes crowded with tourists, entertainers and buskers. It has various souvenir shops along with vintage and quirky bohemian clothes shops, you will also find multiple traditional whiskey shops and drinks locally sourced from Edinburgh and wider Scotland for you to sample and buy. You can also browse through various shops selling Scottish tartan and tweeds. ”
  • 86 locals recommend
Church
“Beautiful and historic piece of architecture right on the royal mile free entry”
  • 58 locals recommend
Monument / Landmark
“You can walk up the (many!) steps inside the monument to fabulous views from the top. Just bear in mind it's not for you if you have a fear of heights or are claustrophobic as the stairwell is very narrow near the top!”
  • 65 locals recommend
Castle
“Edinburgh Castle is a historic fortress which dominates the skyline of the city of Edinburgh, Scotland, from its position on the Castle Rock. ”
  • 20 locals recommend
Castle
“Craigmillar Castle is a ruined medieval castle in Edinburgh, Scotland. It is three miles (4.8 km) south-east of the city centre. It is best known for its association with Mary, Queen of Scots, who convalesced in the castle after an illness after the birth of her son, the future James VI in 1566. Enjoy views to the north over the city of Edinburgh from the castle ramparts.”
  • 27 locals recommend

Libraries

Library
“The National Library of Scotland is a reference library with world-class collections. It is also Scotland's largest library and one of the major research libraries in Europe. Their collections range from rare historical documents to online journals, covering every subject. They specialise in Scotland's knowledge, history and culture.”
  • 12 locals recommend
Library
“Morningside is the south side of Edinburgh. It has many amenities such as a family owned cinema, numerous coffee shops, excellent number of buses for getting to the centre of the city for museums, art galleries and shopping on Princes Street and George Street. If you hire a car and want to do some local site seeing, then Morningside is the perfect place as it's close to the city bypass for travelling north and south. Glasgow is approx. 45 minute drive or the train from Waverley Station also takes about 45 minutes. From the flat there are great views to Blackford and the Royal Observatory. If you are keen on walking Blackford duck pond is 10-15 minutes away and then you can climb up to the top of the hill. At the top you have panoramic views of Edinburgh Castle and the city as well as across the Forth to Fife in the distance.”
  • 13 locals recommend
College Library
“A lovely quiet space for reading and contemplation in the heart of the Old Town.”
  • 5 locals recommend
Library
  • 2 locals recommend
Library
“Access to free PCs and wi-fi, you'll need to become a member to use the facilities but it's open to anyone. Super central”
  • 2 locals recommend
Library
“Bookbug sessions - children's crafts class/workshops A free event for 0 to 4 year olds and their parents/carers. First and third Tuesday of every month at 10.30-11.15am. Second and fourth Wednesday of every month: 10.30-11.15am”
  • 5 locals recommend
Library
  • 3 locals recommend
Coffee Shop
  • 2 locals recommend