Best Things to Do in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a city steeped in history and adorned with architectural marvels which beckons travellers and residents alike to explore its offerings. From the iconic Edinburgh Castle and the enchanting cobbled streets of the Royal Mile to the Scotch Whisky, Fringe, and Book Festivals, and Princes Street, the city takes you back in time while also providing a vibrant contemporary scene. 

Whether you’re savouring Scotch whisky, exploring hidden alleys, or immersing yourself in literary heritage, Edinburgh offers an unforgettable journey through time and culture, making it a must-visit destination.


Unmissable Experiences in Edinburgh 

Historic Wonders in Edinburgh

Edinburgh Castle, a monumental fortress atop Castle Rock, is a timeless testament to the city's heritage. As you walk its storied halls, you're transported through centuries, immersing yourself in Scotland's intricate history. The crown jewel of the castle, the Stone of Destiny, carries the weight of royal coronations, adding a touch of mystique to this architectural wonder.

Parking Close To Edinburgh Castle

Down the cobblestone path, the Royal Mile evokes mediaeval charm. Lined with historic buildings, this bustling route serves as a living museum. The path will take you through time, from the elegant splendour of St. Giles' Cathedral to the cosy ambiance of traditional Scottish pubs. Here, the soul of old Edinburgh comes alive, inviting travellers and residents to relish in the city’s vibrant past.

Exploring these historic wonders isn't just a journey through time; it's an immersion into the very essence of Edinburgh.

Cultural Gems in Edinburgh

In the heart of Edinburgh's cultural landscape, the National Museum of Scotland stands as a testament to the nation's artistic richness and historical depth. This architectural marvel houses a diverse array of artefacts, from ancient relics to contemporary art pieces, providing visitors with an insight into Scotland's vibrant heritage. From the intricately crafted Pictish stones to the innovation of Scotland’s renowned scientists, every exhibit tells a tale of creativity, resilience, and intellectual curiosity.

Parking near the National Museum of Scotland 

Beyond the museum walls, Edinburgh truly comes alive during its vibrant festivals. The city is globally renowned for events such as the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the world’s largest arts festival, where streets and stages transform into showcases for performers from every corner of the globe. The Edinburgh International Festival celebrates classical music, theatre, opera, and dance, attracting top talents. 

Parking at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 

These cultural celebrations offer a unique opportunity for visitors to immerse themselves in the creative pulse of Edinburgh. In Edinburgh, art and history is not just observed; it’s experienced, making Edinburgh a haven for culture enthusiasts from around the world.

Natural Beauty in Edinburgh

In the heart of Edinburgh, Arthur's Seat stands as an emblem of the city's natural beauty. Hiking this ancient volcano is a must for nature enthusiasts, offering not only a physical challenge but also rewarding panoramic views. The ascent takes you through rugged pathways and greenery, meeting in a summit that provides a breathtaking perspective of the city below. 

For a more curated natural experience, the Royal Botanic Garden is a haven of biodiversity. It boasts a diverse collection of plants from every corner of the globe. A leisurely stroll through its gardens introduces visitors to an array of colourful flowers, aromatic herbs, and massive trees. The garden is also an educational journey through the world's ecosystems. 

In both Arthur's Seat and the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh reveals its natural splendour and invites its visitors to reconnect with the Earth and find serenity in urban life.

Parking near Arthur’s Seat 

Whisky and Gastronomy in Edinburgh

Embark on a tantalising journey through Scotland’s liquid gold at the Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh. Here, knowledgeable guides take you through the whisky-making process, from malting to maturation, offering insights into the intricate art of whisky production. The experience culminates in a tasting session, where you can savour the nuanced flavours of Scotland's finest, learning to distinguish the subtle notes that make each sip unique.

Edinburgh's culinary scene is equally excellent, boasting a variety of Scottish dishes and culinary delights. Indulge in the classics such as haggis, neeps, and tatties, a flavorful combination of minced meat, turnips, and potatoes. Seafood lovers can also relish in fresh catches like salmon, langoustines, and scallops, sourced from Scotland’s waters. For those with a sweet tooth, traditional desserts like cranachan, a delightful blend of whipped cream, raspberries, oats, and honey, provide a sweet ending to the full experience.

The city's restaurants and eateries offer a diverse range of international cuisines, ensuring every palate is satisfied. From Michelin-starred fine dining establishments to cosy pubs serving hearty pub grub, Edinburgh's gastronomy scene is a fusion of innovation and tradition, making it a paradise for food enthusiasts.

Princes Street and Shopping

Edinburgh's Princes Street is a retail paradise, offering a delightful blend of shopping therapy and stunning vistas. The street offers shoppers a view of the city's most iconic landmark, the Edinburgh Castle. The juxtaposition of historic sites against the backdrop of modern storefronts creates a uniquely Edinburgh shopping experience. On Princes Street, you can browse through an array of high-street fashion brands, luxury boutiques, and department stores, all while viewing the silhouette of the castle.

Beyond the mainstream shops, Princes Street, George Street and Cockburn Street are also home to a variety of unique boutiques and souvenir shops. These hidden gems offer an eclectic selection of goods, from handmade crafts to vintage treasures, allowing visitors to take home a piece of Edinburgh's distinct character. It's a chance to indulge in authentic Scottish souvenirs and gifts, ensuring memories of Edinburgh long after your visit.

Princes Street isn't just a shopping destination; it's an experience where retail therapy meets with the city's rich heritage, making it a must-visit for both fashion enthusiasts and those seeking mementos from their Edinburgh adventure.

Parking near Princes Street 

Literary Wonders in Edinburgh

For literary enthusiasts, Edinburgh offers the Writers' Museum. The museum is found in a historic building off the Royal Mile, and pays homage to Scotland's literary legends - Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott, and Robert Louis Stevenson. Here, manuscripts, personal belongings, and rare editions can be viewed, offering an intimate glimpse into the lives and works of these influential writers. 

Edinburgh's literary wonder also extends beyond museums, and into the realm of fantasy. J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, found inspiration in the city's winding streets and hidden corners. Fans can embark on a magical journey to discover the inspiration behind Harry Potter, exploring locales like the charming Victoria Street, believed to be the prototype for Diagon Alley, and the haunting Greyfriars Kirkyard, where names like McGonagall and Moody can be found on tombstones. It’s a chance to experience the real-life magic that stirred Rowling's imagination.

Hidden Gems in Edinburgh

There are many hidden gems waiting to be discovered in Edinburgh. Dean Village is a picturesque oasis that can be found along the Water of Leith. Here, Cobblestone streets are lined with stone cottages and the gentle flow of the river, creating an idyllic atmosphere. The village, once an industrial hub, now represents Edinburgh's architectural heritage. Every corner has charm, making Dean Village a hidden gem cherished by locals and intrepid travellers alike.

Parking near Dean Village 

Beneath the bustling streets of the Royal Mile is another captivating gem: the Real Mary King's Close. This underground labyrinth, preserved from the 17th century, unveils Edinburgh's hidden past. Guided tours lead visitors through narrow closes and hidden chambers, revealing daily life in the city's historic underbelly. It's a time capsule, allowing guests to step into the lives of Edinburgh residents centuries ago. The Real Mary King's Close is a captivating journey into the city's enigmatic history, a must-visit for those seeking to unearth the mysteries that lie beneath the surface of Edinburgh.

These hidden gems embody the essence of Edinburgh's charm, inviting explorers to learn more about its rich tapestry of history and culture.

Hollyrood Palace and Dynamic Earth

Edinburgh boasts two distinctive gems that showcase the city's royal heritage and its fascination with the natural world. Holyrood Palace, the official residence of the monarch in Scotland, stands proudly at the end of the Royal Mile. This historic palace, with its dramatic architecture and green gardens, provides a peek into Scotland's regal history. Visitors can explore the State Apartments, where kings and queens once held court, and walk the same hallways as royalty. The adjacent Holyrood Abbey, a romantic ruin, adds to the palace's splendour, making it a must-visit for history enthusiasts and admirers of architecture.

Holyrood Palace Parking 

For those interested in the Earth's incredible journey, Dynamic Earth offers an immersive experience. This state-of-the-art science centre takes visitors on a captivating journey through the planet's evolution. Interactive exhibits and multimedia presentations unveil the story of Earth's formation, from the Big Bang to the present day. Dynamic Earth isn't just a museum; it's an exploration of our world's history, making it a fantastic destination for families and science enthusiasts.

Getting Around Edinburgh

Edinburgh Navigating the streets of Edinburgh on foot is easy with everything accessible within a short distance, with Edinburgh Waverley railway station acting as a hub of activity and a gateway to the city's attractions. For travellers, especially those new to the city, it is important to plan your journey in advance, considering the frequent and efficient train services that operate from Waverley station. Be aware of the station layout, ensuring you know the location of ticket counters, platforms, and amenities.

Parking near Edinburgh Waverley Railway Station 

Public Transport and Parking in Edinburgh

Edinburgh offers a range of convenient parking options, and platforms like YourParkingSpace can assist in securing your spot in advance. Whether you prefer the ease of parking near major attractions or need a secure spot close to public transportation points like Waverley station, YourParkingSpace provides a user-friendly solution. 

Reserve hourly, daily, or monthly parking through the website or mobile app, eliminating the stress of finding parking on the spot.

Planning Your Visit to Edinburgh?

Make your travel hassle-free by reserving your parking space in Edinburgh with YourParkingSpace. YourParkingSpace ensures your parking needs are met. Visit our website or download the app now to secure your spot and enjoy a seamless travel experience in Edinburgh.