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  • EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND CITY GUIDE

GETTING AROUND EDINBURGH

Edinburgh is a walker’s dream with alleyways to explore and quaint shops to pop into. The Old Town is charming and transports you back in time, while New Town is a great way to soak up modern Scottish culture. If you’re ready to leave the city to experience this country’s cliff-lined coasts, atmospheric moors, and ancient castles, learn about our Scottish Highlands & Islands hiking tour.

THINGS TO DO IN EDINBURGH

Map showing points of interest in EdinburghTHE ROYAL MILE

This famous street connects the city’s two castles and has plenty of shopping, food, and street performers.

1. PRINCES STREET GARDENS

Sunken below street level between the New Town and Old Town, this is Edinburgh’s “Central Park.” Up until the mid-1700s, an artificial lake existed there that provided a defense for the castle but also collected the sewage from the Old Town. The city drained the lake and made the area a welcoming place to walk. If you find yourself daydreaming about your next adventure while strolling, check out Boundless Journeys European hiking tours.

2. EDINBURGH CASTLE

Dominating the city’s skyline, this fortress complex includes a 12th-century chapel, the Great Hall from 1510, the Crown Jewels of Scotland, the National War Museum and much more. Guided tours available.

3. HOLYROODHOUSE PALACE

The summer residence for Queen Elizabeth II is attached to an original section of Mary Queen of Scots’ palace. The ornate interiors in the “newer” wings are spectacular, while the history of the original palace rooms are eerie. The art gallery has rotating exhibits.

4. HOLYROOD PARK

Originally the palace hunting grounds, it is now a public park with lovely hiking trails. Head up Arthur’s Seat for fantastic views of the palace, city, and coast.

5. THE WORLD’S END PUB

One of the oldest pubs in Edinburgh—about mid-way along the Royal Mile—it’s a popular place for locals and tourists alike. Friendly barkeeps and old world charm make it a good place to pop in for some Cullen Skink and a pint!

6. NATIONAL MUSEUM OF SCOTLAND

A 10-minute walk from the top of the Royal Mile, this free museum houses a little bit of everything from prehistoric tools from Skara Brae on Orkney to medieval weaponry to a T-Rex skeleton. It offers a good sense of
Scottish culture and history.

7. ROSSLYN CHAPEL

Made famous in The Da Vinci Code, it’s about an hour south by public bus or 30 minutes by car, and is worth the effort. The incredible carvings throughout the building are a sight to behold. It seems that no two surfaces are the same, and there is hidden meaning in everything—plenty of mysteries to ponder, like how the carvings of American corn cobs showed up sixty years before the continent was discovered.

For a hotel recommendation, please see the Pre- & Post-Tour section of your Trip Planner.

Now that you’ve wandered Edinburgh’s storied streets and sites, journey with us to the Highlands in our Inverness, Scotland City Guide.

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