Edinburgh Tourist Attractions

Edinburgh is where many of Scotland’s best and most popular tourist attractions are. The city attracts visitors the whole year round, with New Year’s Eve (Hogmanay) and the month of August (Edinburgh Fringe Festival) being particularly famous. Here is our list of the best tourist attractions in Edinburgh.


The Royal Mile

The Royal Mile in Edinburgh is quite possibly the greatest mile in the entire world. Few, if any, places can match it for its mix of history, grandeur, charm, excitement, culture and places to eat and places to stay.

Read our complete guide to the Royal Mile.


Edinburgh is famous for its New Year celebrations, traditionally known as Hogmanay. It is thought to be the biggest New Year’s party anywhere in the world!

Read our complete guide to celebrating Hogmanay.

Royal Edinburgh Tour

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With the Royal Edinburgh Tour ticket, you’ll get free access to three of the city’s most popular attractions: Edinburgh Castle, The Royal Yacht Britannia and the Queen’s official residence in Scotland, the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

You will also get a 48-hour pass to Edinburgh’s open-top sightseeing bus.

Edinburgh Castle

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The magnificent and imposing Edinburgh Castle has been the focal point of the city for over 1000 years. Situated at the top of the cobbled Royal Mile, the castle is now a museum and home to a great many objects of interest.

From stone chapels to eery dungeons, from the scene of the infamous ‘Black Dinner’ to the Scottish Crown Jewels, visiting Edinburgh Castle is a necessity for everyone who visits Edinburgh.

Whisky Experience

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The success of Scottish whisky is matched only by the passion with which it is made. Scotland is literally dotted with distilleries which continue to practice the tried and tested methods behind the fabled tipple.

There are numerous whisky tours starting from Edinburgh, from day trips to multi-day excursions around the country that let you learn about (and sample!) whisky from the country’s various regions.

These tours are always well-reviewed and there are options to suit every budget.

Edinburgh Dungeons

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If you are brave enough, Edinburgh Dungeons offer a particularly memorable experience!

The sight of a 19th Century operating theatre may be enough for some, but others can undergo a sensory overload as they experience the special effects and become immersed in the very accomplished acting performances. You can even take part in a demonstration of the infamous gallows!

Read more about the Edinburgh Dungeons on our travel blog.

The Royal Yacht Britannia

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Interested in learning about what life at sea is like for the Royal family?

The Royal Yacht Britannia was retired from active service in 1997. Since then, it has taken up residence in the port of Leith. Leith has undergone a huge transformation over the past 20 years, and its Shore area is now full of trendy and fashionable bars and Michelin-starred restaurants.

On this interesting tour, you’ll see the Queen’s bedroom, the lavish drawing room and learn a great deal from the audio tour. Wheelchair accessible.

Useful links

To book tickets for any of the tourist attractions in Edinburgh, we recommend using Viator.

If you are looking for accommodation in Edinburgh, read our guide.