Edinburgh – one of the most beautiful cities in the UK, and for sure the prettiest in Scotland. Even though it will probably rain and be rather cold during your visit there, Edinburgh’s beauty makes up for the weather. Scotland’s capital seems magical – not just because Harry Potter was written here – but because the large city seems compact, and wherever you go, you will find the same old, grey buildings surrounded by cobblestone streets. Here are 8 things you can’t miss when going to Edinburgh.
(If you are a Harry Potter fan and want to visit Harry Potter locations and inspirations in Edinburgh, click here.)
1. Edinburgh Castle
Castlehill, EH1 2NG
Edinburgh Castle is the landmark of Edinburgh, and for good reason. The castle looks absolutely stunning, and from here you have a great view over all of Edinburgh. If you want to go inside, you can either buy tickets in advance online, or get them directly at the castle. Every day (except Sundays) at 1pm, a gun will be fired – the One O’Clock Gun – which used to serve as a time signal for ships.
2. Royal Mile
The Royal Mile, EH8 8DX
The Royal Mile is located in the centre of Edinburgh, and starts directly at the foot of Edinburgh castle. Each summer, it serves as a stage for the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo (Scotland’s biggest music festival).
- 3. Holyrood Abbey
Canongate, EH8 8DX
Holyrood Abbey is located on the Royal Mile and is what remained of the Canons Regular’s abbey. It was built in the 12th century, and even though only its skeleton remains, it is one of the most beautiful buildings and sights in Edinburgh.
4. Princes Street
Princes Street, EH2 2ER
Princes Street is a street of shopping and luxury. From here, you have an excellent view over the Old Town and the Castle. Its adjacent park is also ideal for relaxing or taking a break from all the walking. In the east of Princes Street you can find the luxurious Balmoral Hotel – the hotel J.K. Rowling finished part 7 of the Harry Potter series.
5. National Museum of Scotland
Chambers St, Edinburgh EH1 1JF
This museum definitely isn’t the prettiest from the outside, but – like all museums in Scotland – is free and has a large and beautiful collection. Here you can find exhibitions of art, fashion, culture, and more.
6. Calton Hill
Calton Hill, EH7 5AA
Calton Hill has one of the best views over Edinburgh – it will also give you the typical Edinburgh Instagram picture. Here you don’t only have an amazing view, but you can also find the National Monument of Scotland – and yes, you can climb it.