Edinburgh
Things to do for adults

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Our most recommended Edinburgh Things to do for adults

Edinburgh: The Scotch Whisky Experience Tour and Tasting

1. Edinburgh: The Scotch Whisky Experience Tour and Tasting

Take a guided whisky tour and learn the story of Scotland’s most famous product. Visit the Diageo Claive Vidiz Scotch Whisky Collection, which is the world’s largest collection of Scotch whisky, encompassing almost 3,500 individual bottles. Begin the tour with the whisky barrel car ride, which takes guests through the production and maturation process of Scotch whisky. Then enjoy a sensory journey of Scotland including an introduction to Scotch whisky aromas. Next, taste Scotch whisky and see the world’s largest collection of Scotch Whisky (guests under 18 years of age will be given Irn Bru, a Scottish soft drink). Take home your crystal tasting glass as a souvenir. If you select the option, after enjoying a full guided tour, you'll compare and contrast 4 regional single malts while relaxing in the McIntyre Gallery. Assisted by experienced guides, and provided with tasting notes, you'll be able to sip like a true connoisseur.

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City Sightseeing Edinburgh: 24-Hour Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour

2. City Sightseeing Edinburgh: 24-Hour Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour

Tour Edinburgh to your own schedule on the open-top sightseeing bus, and enjoy the onboard commentary that describes the history behind the lively city. Compare Edinburgh's Old Town, where families lived in cramped conditions and rubbish was thrown out of the windows, to the elegant Georgian New Town, with its 3 main streets and square at either end. Hear about the hangings that took place in the Grassmarket as you marvel at the impenetrable Castle Rock above you, and hear about historic attempts to capture Edinburgh Castle. Drive along the Royal Mile, which joins Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Use the 24-hour ticket to hop on and off as you please. With great visitor attractions, museums, galleries, and restaurants to suit every taste and budget, Edinburgh's got it all! Buses run every 30 minutes, making the following loop: Tour Stops: 1. St Andrew Square - Northside 2. Lothian Road - Waldorf Astoria 3. Grassmarket 4. Lauriston Place 5. Johnstone Terrace - Edinburgh Castle, The Scottish Whiskey Experience 6. Lawnmarket - Gladstone's End, The Real Mary King's Close 7. Chambers Street - National Museum of Scotland 8. St Mary's Street West 9. Canongate - John Knox House 10. Royal Mile - Scottish Parliament, Palace of Holyrood House 11. Dynamic Earth 12. Regent Road - Burns Monument

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Edinburgh: Palace of Holyroodhouse Ticket

3. Edinburgh: Palace of Holyroodhouse Ticket

Wander the opulent state rooms and lavish gardens of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Her Majesty The Queen’s official Scottish residence, located at the end of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. Once inside the baroque palace, learn about its close associations with Scotland's history via a complimentary multimedia guide (available in 9 languages). Visit the State Apartments to see the changing tastes of successive monarchs. Marvel at fine plasterwork ceilings and Brussels tapestries, along with paintings and other artworks in rooms still used by the Queen and Royal Family for official ceremonies. Go to the Throne Room to see where lunch was served to the Knights and Ladies of the Order of the Thistle when a new knight was installed. Discover where the Queen holds her private audiences in the Morning Drawing Room. Continue to the Great Gallery, where Scottish residents named in the New Year’s Honours List or Queen's Birthday Honours List receive their award at an Investiture ceremony. Admire Jacob de Wet's portraits of real and legendary kings of Scotland in the Great Gallery, the largest room in the palace. Learn about dramatic events from Scotland’s history in Mary Queen of Scots' historic chambers, where she witnessed the brutal murder of her secretary, Rizzio, by her jealous husband, Lord Darnley. At the end of your multimedia tour, enjoy a refreshing drink or light lunch (own expense) at the Café at the Palace.

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Edinburgh: Royal Attractions with Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tours

4. Edinburgh: Royal Attractions with Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tours

Experience stunning city views and natural vistas with this 48-hour Royal Edinburgh Ticket, and learn Edinburgh's history and culture as your tour. Easy to use, the all-inclusive ticket is fantastic value if you want to go to Edinburgh Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, and the Royal Yacht Britannia. The ticket also includes 48-hour unlimited travel on three of Edinburgh's hop-on-hop-off bus tours; Edinburgh City Sightseeing, Edinburgh Tour and Majestic Tour. Use the bus to reach the attractions, leaving the city behind and heading to the coast at Newhaven through Edinburgh’s New Town. With stops for the Royal Botanic Garden and Royal Yacht Britannia, it couldn’t be simpler. As the bus returns to the city center, you can jump off at the Palace of Holyroodhouse and the Canongate section of the Royal Mile to walk up to Edinburgh Castle. A multi-language audio commentary in English, Gaelic, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, and Russian is available on board.

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Edinburgh: Self-Guided Audio Walking Tour

5. Edinburgh: Self-Guided Audio Walking Tour

Download an MP3 audio guide and explore Edinburgh's famous attractions at your own pace. Begin your tour at Edinburgh Castle, a building that dates back to the 12th century. See the Scottish Crown Jewels, the magnificent St Giles' Cathedral, Mary King's Close, and walk past underground alleys with a layered history. See the Princes Street Gardens, the Royal Mile, Tolbooth Kirk, the George IV Bridge, Edinburgh City Chambers, Tron Kirk, and the Scottish Parliament Building. Drop by at Deacon Brodie's tavern and try Edinburgh's best haggis, a national delicacy immortalized in poetry by Robbie Burns (the National Bard of Scotland). 

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Edinburgh: Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Pass with 3 City Tours

6. Edinburgh: Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Pass with 3 City Tours

Save money and explore Edinburgh at your own pace with a 3-route tour ticket. Tour for 24 or 48 hours, to contrast the Old and New Towns, see the royal attractions of Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Yacht Britannia (entrances not included). Live guides provide English commentary on the Edinburgh Tour, while audio guides are available in up to 9 languages on the City Sightseeing Tour and the Majestic Tour. Hop on and off as often as you like at dozens of attractions, and enjoy unique, scenic views from the open-top upper decks. City Sightseeing Tour: Hear about the people and events that shaped Edinburgh, from the cramped conditions of the Old Town to spacious Holyrood Park, on a classic sightseeing tour in 9 languages. Enjoy Terry Deary’s Horrible Histories with the on board Horrible Histories Children’s Channel - history with all the gory bits left in! • Hanover Street • Princes Street Gardens • St. John’s Church • Grassmarket • Johnston Terrace • Edinburgh Castle • National Museum of Scotland • Museum of Childhood • Scottish Parliament • Our Dynamic Earth • Palace of Holyrood House • Burns Monument Edinburgh Tour: Enjoy the best views aboard an open-top bus, as live commentary in English brings Edinburgh’s history to life. Explore the Old Town and Georgian New Town, hopping off at 9 strategic stops. • Hanover Street • George Street • Charlotte Square • The Mound • Lawnmarket • Grassmarket • Our Dynamic Earth • Scottish Parliament • Canongate Kirk Majestic Tour: Leave the city center and head to the coast at Newhaven, with stops for the Royal Botanic Garden and Royal Yacht Britannia. This multi-language tour offers commentary through headphones in English, Gaelic, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese and Russian. Return via the Palace of Holyrood House and the Canongate section of the Royal Mile. • Hanover Street • George Street • Royal Botanic Gardens • Ferry Road • Newhaven Harbour • Cruise Terminal • Ocean Terminal (Royal Yacht Britannia) • Leith Mills • Elm Row • Queen Mary’s Bath House • Queensberry House • Canongate Kirk

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Isle of Skye & Jacobite Steam Train 3-Day Highland Tour

7. Isle of Skye & Jacobite Steam Train 3-Day Highland Tour

Explore the Highlands of Scotland and the magical Isle of Skye on a 3-day sightseeing tour. Discover an area of outstanding natural beauty, full of Viking history and ancient myths and legends. Tale a journey packed with Scotland's most iconic sights and scenery. Then ride on one of the great train journeys of the world on the charming Jacobite Steam Train. Day 1: Depart Edinburgh and drive past stunning views of the Forth Bridge to enter the Highlands through Perthshire. Admire a land of ancient forests, rivers and mountains. Visit the quaint village of Dunkeld, with its historic cathedral on the banks of the River Tay. Continue north into the Highlands before you enter the Great Glen. At Fort Augustus, explore the shores of Loch Ness. Look out for Nessie! Then cross to the famous Isle of Skye, passing Eilean Donan Castle en route. Marvel at one of Scotland’s most famous icons. Your home for the night is Portree, capital of the “Winged Isle.” Day 2: Today you will spend a full-day exploring the dramatic Isle of Skye, with its amazing scenery and fantastic myths and legends. Hear tales of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s escape against the backdrop of the jagged Cuillin Mountains. Highlights include the spectacular cliffs of Quiraing, the mysterious rock formation of Old Man of Storr, the cascading waterfalls of Kilt Rock, and imposing Dunvegan Castle. Overnight on the Isle of Skye. Day 3: Explore the south of the island, known as the “Garden of Skye,” before taking the ferry to the west coast fishing village of Mallaig. Here you will have the option to board the Jacobite Steam Train to Fort William, one of the most spectacular railway journeys in the world. Cross the Glenfinnan viaduct and see a monument to Bonnie Prince Charlie’s campaign. Head south through the dramatic scenery of Glencoe and Rannoch Moor, before riding through the heart of Rob Roy country to arrive back in Edinburgh in the early evening.

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Isle of Skye, Loch Ness & The Highlands 5-Day Tour

8. Isle of Skye, Loch Ness & The Highlands 5-Day Tour

Day One: Head north to Stirling and the towering Wallace Monument, with stunning views of the Castle. Enter the Highlands heading through wild Rannoch Moor and Glencoe and on to the fishing port of Oban, where you'll stay overnight. Day Two: Take the steam train from Fort William, crossing the viaduct featured in the Harry Potter movies, where a monument to Bonnie Prince Charlie’s campaign now stands. You'll take the ferry to Skye where you can explore the Clan Donald Skye, former home of the MacDonalds, before driving north to your overnight destination. Then stay overnight in the Isle of Skye. Day Three: Explore more of the mysterious island that's full of awe-inspiring mountains, myths and legends before returning to the mainland to view Eilean Donan Castle and wind your way along the Great Glen to infamous Loch Ness. Stay overnight in Inverness. Day Four: Hunt for the elusive monster with a cruise on Loch Ness before turning northward and the stunning beauty of the north west Highlands. Take in the beautiful town of Beauly with its Priory dating back to 1230, then visit the rugged and isolated mountains that secure Scotland's place as one of the last great wilderness in Europe. Stay overnight in Inverness. Day Five: Explore Culloden Battlefield on Drumossie Moor, scene of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s defeat back in 1746. Then head onward to Aviemore in the Cairngorms National Park, south to Pitlochry, and take the chance to visit a whisky distillery before your return to Edinburgh. 

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Edinburgh: Loch Ness and Scottish Highlands Full-Day Tour

9. Edinburgh: Loch Ness and Scottish Highlands Full-Day Tour

Head north from Edinburgh and pass the imposing ramparts of Stirling Castle. Skirt the Trossachs Rob Roy country, and cross the wilds of Rannoch Moor before stopping at dramatic Glencoe; the scene of the infamous 1692 massacre.  Your journey takes you through Fort William. Pass Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain, before entering the Great Glen. Arrive at the pretty Highland village of Fort Augustus on the banks of Loch Ness, and enjoy a lovely picnic with freshly made sandwiches, fresh fruit, shortbread and Scottish mineral water. If you fancy something more substantial, your guide will happily recommend some great local cafes.  Take an optional boat cruise on the loch, go for a scenic hike, or just relax by the Caledonian Canal. If you choose to sail along the waters of Loch Ness, it really is an unforgettable experience. Your boat is eqipped with the latest hi-tech color, sonar, and underwater imaging system, giving you a fascinating view of the underwater terrain and life. You might even see Nessie! You can also relax with a coffee or beer in the on board bar. Having seen the best of the Scottish Highlands, it's time to head back to Edinburgh via shimmering Loch Laggan and the wild and lonely Drumochter Pass. Head south and enter Perthshire, a land of forests, rivers and mountains. See the spectacular Forth Bridge before arriving back in Edinburgh at around 20:00.

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Edinburgh: City Highlights Self-Guided Smartphone Tour

10. Edinburgh: City Highlights Self-Guided Smartphone Tour

Make the most of your time in Edinburgh with a smartphone tour. Take advantage of the unique navigation function which suggests plenty of walking routes to explore. Tune into the audio commentary to hear about tourist hotspots. Immerse yourself in the culture and history of the city, as you approach iconic landmarks. View the imposing Edinburgh Castle perched on Castle Rock. Admire the palace where the Queen spends a week every summer at the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Marvel at the Royal Yacht Britannia, the former royal yacht of the British monarchy. Head to the Scott Monument, a Victorian Gothic monument dedicated to the author Sir Walter Scott.  Have the freedom to start or stop the tour whenever you wish. Pinpoint your favorite sights and source the best photo hotspots.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Edinburgh

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What people are saying about Edinburgh

Doug provided a great summary of the process of distillery, aging and distribution of whiskies. Then we enjoyed a "flight" of 4 whiskies at one historic bar in Old Town, then moved on to another lovely bar to try a couple more whiskies (more aged...21 and 34 years old). Explanations, ratings and methods of tasting.... All in all, a wonderful, entertaining, educational and tasty experience!

Lovely palace and grounds. Very friendly and informative staff. The audio help was fantastic. Thoroughly enjoyed our time in the palace, gallery, grounds, gift shop and cafe. Very reasonably priced. Would recommend.

An interesting, complete narrative for a fantastic city. Saw parts of the city never seen or explored before. The tour guide was great, knowledgeable and charming.

Excellent service. Always on time. Friendly drivers and guides. Good information. Made getting around easy and comfortable.

Fab bus tour that can get you all around the city with history learning as well.