Our most recommended things to do in Edinburgh

The Scotch Whisky Experience: Whisky Masterclass with Expert

1. The Scotch Whisky Experience: Whisky Masterclass with Expert

Enjoy a one-of-a-kind Scotch whisky tasting session in the ornate glass and marble vault of The Collection Room at The Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh. Taste 4 drams of premium whiskies paired with delectable canapés as you learn about each bottle with a Scotch whisky expert. One of the premier Scotch whisky destinations worldwide, The Collection Room contains 3,384 mesmerizing bottles of the world’s rarest Scotch whiskies. Bask in the amber glow of liquid gold and twinkling crystal lights in a truly unique space dedicated to Scotland's national drink. Settle in for an exclusive, relaxed evening experience with a small group of guests. Be guided on your journey by a Keeper of the Quaich, a certified whisky expert, internationally recognized for their knowledge and passion for all things whisky. Discover the 5 stages of appreciating Scotch whisky and then be introduced to 4 exquisite, rare, and mature single malts, each expertly selected to showcase the contrasts of Scotland’s regional whiskies. Each whisky is paired with a delicious canapé featuring typical flavors of Scottish cuisine. Be transported to Scotland's remote and beautiful areas in your mind and on your palate, brought to life by flavors and stories. Whether you’re a whisky novice or connoisseur, you'll be entertained, enlightened, and enriched with a newfound or renewed appreciation of Scotch whisky. Scotch whiskies Highland Park 18-year-oldOld Pulteney 18-year-oldGlengoyne 21-year-oldLaphroaig 25-year-old About your host: Lenka Whyles (Keeper of the Quaich) Lenka is a renowned whisky expert with over 20 years of experience. Inducted as a Keeper of the Quaich, she has traveled extensively, sharing her love for Scotland and Scotch whisky in recognition of her contributions to the world of Scotch.

Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe & the Scottish Highlands Tour

2. Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe & the Scottish Highlands Tour

Head for the Highlands, whether in search of the Loch Ness Monster or just a scenic day trip from Edinburgh. After pickup, relax on the bus and listen to the guide’s entertaining commentary. Visit Kilmahog for an introduction to the famous Highland Cows (depending on the time of year) and a cup of coffee. Next, travel up the road to Glencoe and enjoy a 10-minute photo stop in front of the unforgettable Highland views. Have lunch in the Fort William area, where your guide can advise you on where to eat. If you're interested in the mysteries of the kilt, you can even get a ‘wee’ kilt introduction here. Then be whisked to Loch Ness itself. Customize your experience at Loch Ness. Choose to visit the majestic Urquhart Castle, and hop on a boat in search of ‘Nessie’, as the locals call it. Or simply hang out on the pier and grab a coffee with gorgeous views. On the way home, make a short snack stop in Pitlochry, a beautiful village in the heart of the country, before returning to Edinburgh.

Edinburgh: Glenfinnan, Fort William, and Glencoe Day Tour

3. Edinburgh: Glenfinnan, Fort William, and Glencoe Day Tour

Try a Glenfinnan, Glencoe, and Fort William adventure, beginning in the heart of Edinburgh city center from Royal Mile. Take in the scenery of classic modern Hollywood films. Depart Edinburgh's bustling streets, pass some of its most iconic sights like Edinburgh Castle on your way out, and begin your journey north into the rugged Scottish Highlands. Stop for refreshments at the gateway to the Highlands in Callander before continuing to Glencoe. Drive through the land where James Bonds' Skyfall was filmed. See the backdrop to some scenes from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Pause here for photos and to learn all about the history of Glencoe, including the massacre of the MacDonald clan in 1692. From the atmospheric Glencoe, travel further along the banks of Loch Linnhe to the Highland town of Fort William, which sits at the foot of Britain's tallest mountain - Ben Nevis. Stop here to stretch your legs and have an early lunch break. Next, continue on to Glenfinnan Viaduct, the location of many Harry Potter scenes, encased by the shores of Loch Shiel. See the location of the Jacobite Steam Train, and of “Black Lake”. Take in the setting for the Triwizard Tournament, and the loch on which Hogwarts sits. Continue on to Glenfinnan Monument, which symbolizes one of the most important events in Scottish history; the 1745 Jacobite uprising. Next, departing Glenfinnan, you’ll begin your return journey to Edinburgh, stopping for refreshments at the small village of Pitlochry.

Edinburgh: Skip-the-Line Walking Tour of Edinburgh Castle

4. Edinburgh: Skip-the-Line Walking Tour of Edinburgh Castle

Discover the home of Mary Queen of Scots on this guided walking tour of Edinburgh Castle. Admire the 16th-century Great Hall where parties and feast took place. Learn about the bloody history of the kings and queens who lived in this castle.  Meet your guide and walk to Edinburgh Castle which dominates the city skyline from its seat on the extinct volcano of Castle Rock. Stroll on the castle's promenade and hear about the the origins and sieges of the castle. View where the Royal Military Tattoo is performed. Enter the castle and make your way to the three museums and two prisons. Go to the National Monument to the fallen of Scotland and a canine cemetery. See the oldest building in the city at the Chapel of Saint Margaret. Be captivated by the grandeur of the Great Hall and a Royal Palace. After the tour you will have time to explore all of the buildings inside the castle until its closure.

From Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe, Highlands & Ben Nevis

5. From Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe, Highlands & Ben Nevis

Depart Edinburgh on an air-conditioned luxury coach (max 57 seats). Pass Stirling Castle and hear your tour guide tell tales of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce and the bloody battles fought out on these lands. First, arrive at Callander town, nestled at the foot of the Trossachs. Next, drive through Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. Your Scottish guide will tell you about Rob Roy MacGregor, the infamous Highlander. Follow in the footsteps of James Bond ("Skyfall") and Harry Potter ("Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban") as you travel to the stunning Highland valley of Glencoe. Hear the eerie story of the Clan MacDonald massacre of 1692. Travel through Fort William, home to Ben Nevis, which at 4,409 feet is the highest mountain of the British Isles. Arrive on the south bank of Loch Ness in the charming village of Fort Augustus, where lots of cafes, shops, and restaurants offer a relaxing lunch. Stroll along the banks of the Caledonian Canal, then experience Loch Ness on an optional 1-hour boat cruise. Try to catch a glimpse of "Nessie," the legendary Loch Ness Monster. Admire the impressive Commando Memorial at Spean Bridge with views of the Nevis Range. Enter the Cairngorms National Park and discover "Monarch of the Glen" country. Drive along Loch Laggan before the roads climb above the Grampian Mountains. Travel over the Pass of Drumochter, linking the northern and southern Central Highlands. Experience the majesty of a mountain pass created by glacial activity during successive Ice Ages. Finally, stop briefly in the beautiful Victorian town of Pitlochry before heading back to Edinburgh city center, arriving at approximately 8:30 PM.

Edinburgh Castle: Tour in English with Fast-Track Entry

6. Edinburgh Castle: Tour in English with Fast-Track Entry

Begin your tour by the statue of Adam Smith on the Royal Mile. Walk towards Edinburgh Castle as your guide sets the scene, explaining the significance of the Castle and mentioning some of the key characters who have helped shape it. Once inside, let your guide walk you through the Castle complex. Hear their in-depth knowledge of the Castle's main buildings and attractions, including the Argyle Battery and One O'clock Gun, the Hospital Square and Western Panorama. See the Castle dungeons and military prison, the Black Banquet and Thomas Randolph's daring castle raid. Encounter St Margret's Chapel, Mons Meg, the Crown Square, and The Honors of Scotland. After the tour, enjoy some time at your leisure to explore the castle museums (not accessible during the tour).

Edinburgh: Harry Potter Magical Guided Walking Tour

7. Edinburgh: Harry Potter Magical Guided Walking Tour

Enjoy a Harry Potter-themed walking tour across Edinburgh. See the city where JK Rowling found inspiration for Hogwarts, her famous characters, and discover the place where she wrote the books. Have your Harry Potter trivia tested with an audio-visual quiz, and earn points for your house. Find out which Hogwarts House you’re in, and whether you’re a pure-blood, a muggle, or a squib. Visit the Grave of Tom Riddle in Greyfriars Kirkyard, and pass JK Rowling’s golden handprints outside City Chambers. See all this and more on a magical guided tour.

Edinburgh: Haunted Underground Vaults and Graveyard Tour

8. Edinburgh: Haunted Underground Vaults and Graveyard Tour

Join a guided walking tour to Greyfriars Graveyard and learn about one of Edinburgh's most famous canine residents and hear stories about notorious criminals. See Gothic mausoleums and learn about notable burials as you explore the grim history of the cemetery. Continue with a visit to the nearby Edinburgh Vaults, located in the arches of South Bridge. Hear about regular paranormal occurrences and how some of the characters from history have never really left. Discover the former home of the destitute, witches and a hellfire club, and hear how the haunted vault is now possessed by something truly evil.

Edinburgh: Underground Vaults Tour

9. Edinburgh: Underground Vaults Tour

Experience a guided walking tour that takes you beneath the streets of Edinburgh's Old Town into a dimly lit space that many considered to be haunted. Your tour visits the vaults of the South Bridge that date back to the 1700s. These are the same vaults mentioned on Most Haunted Live as one of the scariest places on Earth. Learn how the vaults have been used over the years, the living conditions endured by the poor and homeless residents, and the spirits that are supposed to haunt them. The darker side of Edinburgh's history will unfold as you wander through the candle-lit underground area. From your guide, you'll hear about the Burke and Hare murders and the persecution of witches. Discover the characters who stalked the streets of Edinburgh, and the paranormal stories associated with the vaults. The Haunted Vaults tour option will cover slightly more paranormal and ghost stories. Step into the torture exhibition and explore how and why these items were used.

Edinburgh: 24-Hour Family-Friendly Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

10. Edinburgh: 24-Hour Family-Friendly Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

Explore Edinburgh at your own pace with an award-winning hop-on hop-off open-top bus tour. Enjoy the onboard commentary that describes the history behind the city. Stop at locations like St Andrew Square, Johnstone Terrace, the Royal Mile. See sights like Edinburgh Castle and Grassmarket. Board the bus and begin your city adventure. 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. Waterloo Place 2. St. Andrew Square 3. Lothian Road 4. Grassmarket 5. Lauriston Place 6. Johnston Terrace 7. Lawnmarket 8. Chambers Street 9. John Knox House 10. Canongate 11. Holyrood 12. Our Dynamic Earth 13. Regent Road

Add dates

Things to do in
Edinburgh
You'll discover everything from whisky to Harry Potter, or even some bodysnatchers, in Scotland's captivating capital.

Top activities

Top sights in Edinburgh

All activities

352 activities found
Sort by:
Page 1 of 22

Immersive experiences

Planning your trip to Edinburgh

Go beyond Edinburgh

Explore all

Frequently asked questions about Edinburgh

What are the best day trips and excursions from Edinburgh?

The best day trips and excursions from Edinburgh are:

Loch Ness

Insider tips: Planning a trip to Edinburgh

Laurence is a full time travel blogger and photographer, who shares his tips on travel and improving your photography on his website Finding the Universe. He used to live in London, and you can see his tips for spending two days in Edinburgh here.

What should I do on my first trip to Edinburgh?

Two highlights of the city that every visitor should experience are a visit to Edinburgh Castle, one of the oldest continuously inhabited structures in Scotland, and then the view from Calton Hill. For the former, this impressive castle is well worth spending at least a couple of hours visiting, and the regular tours are also worth joining. There's a lot to see and do here, from watching the 1 o'clock gun firing through to seeing the Scottish Crown Jewels. Calton Hill, at the other end of the city, is the perfect place to watch the sunset. It's also where you'll get best views of the city skyline.

What are some hidden gems to see in Edinburgh?

About twenty minutes walk south of the city centre there's an awesome venue called Summerhall. They host a range of live events throughout the year, as well as during Edinburgh's famous festivals. It's also home to both a gin distillery and a microbrewery. Tours of the former are possible, and you can try them both on site as well!

How much time should I spend in Edinburgh?

Edinburgh is not a huge city, so if you were organised with your time you could see most of the highlights in a day. However, two days would give you more time to experience all that the city has to offer.

What food is Edinburgh known for?

Edinburgh, and Scotland in general, is well known for a dish known as Haggis. This is often served with a full Scottish breakfast, but can also be ordered as a meal or as a burger topping. Whilst the ingredients list can be a bit terrifying, it is actually a delicious dish that is well worth trying while in the city.

What is the best way to get around Edinburgh?

Edinburgh is best explored on foot. The city is not too big, although visitors should be aware that the medieval streets can be steep and uneven! For attractions a little out of the city centre, there's a good public bus network as well as a tram.

What are the best months to visit Edinburgh?

If you want to visit Edinburgh when there's a lot going on, then August is the month to do just that. The city plays host to no less than five major festivals in the month of August, giving the visitor almost endless entertainment options. The next best time to visit is over New Years Eve, known as Hogmanay in Scotland, when the city usually throws a massive street party with incredible fireworks and live music performances.

What is neighborhood The Old Town known for?

The medieval city centre with its narrow cobbled streets and steep staircases is known as the Old Town. Next to it sits the 18th century "New Town", which is characterized by Georgian style buildings and wide boulevards. Both are well worth exploring.

What are the best neighborhoods for food?

Edinburgh has an excellent selection of restaurants to choose from in the city centre, stretched between the Old Town and the New Town. Most visitors will likely gravitate to one of the city's many pubs, which serve a wide range of hearty and traditional meals.

What are the best neighborhoods for shopping?

The main shopping street in the city is Prince's Street, where you'll find many of the standard high street shops. For tourist focused wares, including souvenirs and whisky, then the Royal Mile, which runs from Edinburgh Castle down to Holyrood Palace, is the best option.

What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit Edinburgh?

The best area to stay in the city is around the Old Town, somewhere between Edinburgh Waverley train station and the Grassmarket. This will put you in easy walking distance of the majority of attractions in the city.

Other Sightseeing Options in Edinburgh

Want to discover all there is to do in Edinburgh? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Edinburgh

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 80,263 reviews

Amazing trip from Edinburgh to the highlands of Scotland. Our guide / driver Nestor was awesome and made it a great “Scottish” experience. He played great Scottish music and gave the history behind it along side with the epic scenery which really created a unique and enjoyable experience. What I loved the most was that Nestor set the ground rules/expect and at the beginning so there were no surprises and everything went to plan. We had extra photo ops which I was very valuable for me and my wife. He dodged the busy areas so we all can have more time and privacy to take better photos. Overall a great trip, thank you Nestor for sharing your culture with us!

Went along to the tour as part of a small stag party. We all had a great time, learnt lots about the city and got a little spooked by the history of the catacombs. Highly recommend going. Our tour guide was a legend and kept us all very amused.

Very fun tour! Did it in the cold and rain and our tour guide Kieran kept us engaged the whole time. He did an awesome job. The quizzing throughout is a great idea too.

The day was perfect from start to finish! Penny, was amazing, knowledgeable, fun and made the whole experience exciting and enjoyable.

Simply amazing tour, our tour guide Anthony was exceptional.