Updated: Jun 22, 2020
Edinburgh is a wonderful city full of fun activities for people of all ages! Here is a list of 6 things to do in Edinburgh, Scotland:
1. Visit Palace of Holyroodhouse
Palace of Holyroodhouse, founded in 1128 as a monastery, is the Queen's official residence in Scotland. You're able to tour parts of the house, ruins of Holyrood Abbey, and the stunning gardens. Some things you can see in the house are Mary Queen of Scots' bedchamber, the Royal Dining Room, the State Apartments, and more! Don't forget to take a walk through the gardens because they have an amazing view of Arthur's Seat.
Address: Canongate, The Royal Mile, Edinburgh EH8 8DX, UK
2. Learn About Scottish History at the National Museum of Scotland
The National Museum of Scotland is awesome! I suggest spending at least half a day there, but it could easily take you several days to see everything in the museum. There are interactive, fashion, science, and history exhibits. One history exhibit has Scottish artifacts from 3000 BC!
Address: Chambers St, Edinburgh, EH1, 1JF, UK
3. Hike Up to Arthur's Seat
If you'd like to hike up to Arthur's Seat, be prepared! Definitely bring water and wear tennis shoes. It's not a super easy hike, but the view is worth it!! There is an "easier" route and a "harder" route. Their website has some maps that show the different trails you can take to the top.
Address: Queens Drive, Edinburgh EH8 8HG, UK
4. Tour Mary King's Close
Mary King's Close is a cool tour you can take into the old underground part of Edinburgh. In Edinburgh there are closes (alleyways) leading off the Royal Mile that were originally created as gated pathways to private residences. Back in the 1600s, Mary King's Close was open above and lined by buildings on both sides, just like every other close. In the 1750s, the tops of the buildings lining the close were cut off and the Royal Exchange was built on top. Some residents didn't want to leave their houses, but eventually everyone was evicted and the close practically became a ghost town. Now you're able to walk through the close and some houses while learning about life in the 1600-1700s.
Address: High Street, 2 Warriston's Close, Edinburgh EH1 1PG, UK
5. Visit St. Giles' Cathedral
St. Giles' Cathedral, founded in 1124, was raided a couple of times by the English in the 1300s and in 1559 John Knox became minister of the Cathedral. If you walk down the Royal Mile, you can't miss St. Giles' Cathedral. The beautiful, old building is right in the middle of everything!
Address: High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1RE, UK
6. Walk the Closes and Courts of Edinburgh
Edinburgh is seriously like a maze. You can take one close, then walk down one street and end up in a completely different part of town. I love walking around towns and finding cool, "secret" restaurants and sights. I think you also get a better understanding of different lifestyles and cultures when you walk around and observe. Also, if you're in Edinburgh on a Saturday, definitely go to the Grassmarket Farmer's Market! There are all kinds of vendors, from ones making traditional Spanish food to ones selling bread and cheese. I bought some macarons and candied nuts when I was there and they were amazing!
There is so much to do in Edinburgh, it could probably take you a few weeks to see everything in the Edinburgh area. I knew my family wouldn't be able to see everything in the time we were there, so we decided that we will definitely return to Edinburgh some day ;)