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What to do in Edinburgh

Location: Edinburgh Length: 2 hours Needed: Good mood Language: English

Best hostel in town!St Christopher's Inn is in the heart of Edinburgh, just a few steps from Prince's Street. There's also a Belushi's Bar onsite!

Basic Infos

Many times described as “Athens of the North”, Dublin is full of history and mysteries in every corner. For more than 500 years remains the capital and cultural center of Scotland. Its streets reflect the tradition and scottish culture with a twist of modernity. When visiting the city for the first time you must be aware that is actually divided in two cities: The Old Town – a maze of narrow alleys right next to the castle; and the New Town – 18th century planning with wide avenues and squares reflecting Georgian Revival architecture.

1. Go on a Walking Tour

The best way to explore a city is getting into a free walking tour. Edinburgh is full of hidden gems and what the best way to expore it than with a local guide? You will get around the city and hear about all the stories about Scottish history and culture. Every inch of the city is covered in history. Believe us – it’s worth the walk!

Book now your tour and explore the wonders and secrets of Edinburgh with local guides!

2. Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre

When you take a trip to Dublin you visit the Guinness Factory. When you go to Edinburgh, you take a trip to the Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre.  On the tour you’ll learn all about the production, the history and the best varieties of this winter warming drink. Another selling point of this tour is that you know exactly which bottle to stick in your backpack and take home to your dad!

3. Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

If you’re an art junkie make sure you pay a visit to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. Artists on display include Lucien Freud, Adrian Wiszniewski and Goya. Check out the sculptures in the garden by Henry Moore before heading over to the Dean Gallery. Here you’ll be wowed by Eduardo Paolozzi’s sculpture collection and surrealistic works by Dali, Magritte and Picasso. The National Gallery is open from 9am until 5pm, Monday through to Sunday and entrance is free.

4. Royal Yacht Britannia

The Royal Yacht Britannia is another major tourist attraction in Edinburgh and you get the chance to see into the Queen’s bedroom. The yacht was decommissioned on December 11, 1997 and is now permanently docked at the Ocean Terminal in Leith. It’s open from 10am until 3.30pm everyday and tickets can be booked in advance by calling +44 (0) 131 555 5566.

5. Mary King’s Close

For something a little different check out Mary King’s Close. This network of streets is hidden away below road level and dates back to the sixteenth century. Tours of this unique location explore what life was like during the plague in the seventeenth century and you get a taste of what is reputed to be one of the most haunted places in Scotland. The Supernatural History Tours are well worth a look in and give you the chance to make up your own mind about what really goes bump in the night. Mary King’s Close is located beneath the Royal Mile and can be accessed from Warriston’s Close.

6. Edinburgh Castle

The major tourist trap in the Scottish capital has to be Edinburgh Castle. Built on an extinct volcano, this twelfth century fortress attracts a big crowd. Attractions inside the castle include the Stone of Destiny, the Scottish Crown Jewels and the army headquarters of the Scottish Division. The view is also a big hit and a great way to get your bearings in Edinburgh. Tours in the winter run all day from 9.30am until 5pm and reduced price tickets are available for children and senior citizens.

The Castle is part of the famous Royal Mile which stretches to the Queen’s residence in Scotland, Holyroodhouse Palace. The Palace is a stunning example of Baroque architecture and also houses a large section of the Royal Collection, which you can see in the palace and in the nearby Queen’s Gallery. Unfortunately the gallery is closed until March but the Palace is open seven days a week from 9.30am until 4.30pm.

7. Scottish Parliament building

For a taste of something a little more modern on the Royal Mile, pay a visit to the new Scottish Parliament building. The building was designed by competition winner Enric Miralles and the roof of the building is based on the image of upturned boats. You can watch the parliament in action on Wednesday afternoons, Thursday mornings and Thursday afternoons, but tickets are very popular so it’s a good idea to book a week in advance.

8. Head to the park

Take a load off and take it down a few notches with a drink at the Starbank Inn on Laverockbank Road. This stone built pub overlooks the Firth of Forth and offers up a selection of real ales, standard lagers and stocky Scottish food. If you’re here in the winter this is the perfect place to warm your cockles with a pint of ale and some haggis.

Escape the bustle of the city with a trip to Queen’s Park, also known as Holyrood Park. This green expanse can be found close to the city centre and covers an area five miles in diameter. Originally developed by James V, the park showcases every aspect of the Scottish countryside, including mountains, marshes and moorlands. Why not walk off the city stress on one of the three most popular walks? Check out the Radical Road, the Hunters Bog, the Long Row and on the way don’t miss the ruins of St. Anthony’s Chapel.

Where we’ll be...

Meeting Point: 154 High Street

Availabilities

Edinburgh Free Tour - Every day
10am, 11am & 1pm
FREE Ghost Tour - Every night
5pm, 7pm & 9.30pm
FREE Harry Potter - Every day
2.30pm

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