Things to do in Edinburgh

There is much to do in the beautiful Scottish capital. Here is our pick of top attractions:

Historic centre


One of the main reasons to visit Edinburgh is for its spectacular architecture. The city is breathtaking beautiful with its mix of old and new architecture from the Georgian and neo-classical architecture of the New Town, to winding narrow streets and grand squares. The medieval Old Town area is where the Castle, Royal Mile and Grassmarket is situated. Due to its stunning neo-classical architecture, Edinburgh is often been referred to as `the Athens of the North'. Its famous university was founded in 1583 and is another site worth seeing.

Royal Intrigue


Edinburgh castle rests on its own volcanic rock at the top of the Royal Mile. Inside visitors can see the Scottish Crown Jewels, the Stone of Destiny (where many previous Scottish monarchs were crowned), St Margaret's Chapel, the Queen Anne Building and much, much more. The Royal Mile is a mile-long stretch linking the castle to Holyrood Palace where the Queen stays.

Beaches


Visitors to Edinburgh can enjoy both what the city and the countryside of the Lothians has to offer, including some lovely sandy beaches. These include Cramond, a small beach and the closest to Edinburgh; Yellowcraig, a long sandy beach popular with families and dog walkers, situated to the east of Edinburgh; and Gullane Bents, a sandy beach lined with dunes, twenty miles to the West of Edinburgh. It is also great for surfers.

Shopping


You can certainly shop till' you drop in Edinburgh with something for everyone from all the familiar high street shops on Princes Street and the classy boutiques in the New Town and West End to the local shops dotted around the city selling traditional Scottish fare. On Princes Street one cannot miss the neo-gothic monument dedicated of Sir Walter Thomas, a glimpse of its spire can be seen from throughout the city.

Golf


Lots of people choose to visit Edinburgh and its surrounding area, the Lothians, for its internationally recognised golf courses, including Gullane, Muirfield and Dunbar. Many of the golf courses in the Lothians enjoy spectacular coastal scenery and unspoilt views.

Museums and Galleries


For literary fiends the Writers' Museum is a must-see museum celebrating the works and lives of Scotland's three great writers Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson. You can also enjoy an evening Edinburgh Literary Pub Tour to see the city's pubs with literary connections. The Literary Tour is just one of many tours taking place throughout the city of an evening and others include the History Tour, the Ghost Tour, Whisky Tour, Castle Tour and City Tour. Art lovers have plenty to choose from with the following galleries located throughout the city: National Gallery of Scotland; Scottish National Portrait Gallery; Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art; the Dean Gallery; and Hanover Fine Arts.

Green Spaces


Young and old alike will enjoy visiting Edinburgh Zoo where many fantastic animals reside including the UK's only koalas. The city is also brimming with green spaces to take a stroll, enjoy a picnic or sunbathe. The Royal Botanic Garden is full of beautiful plants and flowers throughout the year.