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Free Things To Do In Edinburgh

Vacations can get quite expensive, especially in Edinburgh! There are some things that are definitely worth the price, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend loads of money to experience Edinburgh! There are tons of free things to do here that are just as incredible as the paid experience. We give you a list of 10 free things to do in Edinburgh.

a large body of water with Space Needle in the background


Royal Botanical Gardens

Royal Botanical Gardens is one of the most gorgeous botanic gardens in the UK. It is 72 acres with a variety of plants. The entry is free, but the greenhouse is £5. Definitely worth a stroll on a sunny day! It’s not in the city centre, so we recommend taking a bus there.


National Galleries of Scotland

There are 3 national art galleries in Edinburgh which are all free entry: the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, the National Art Gallery of Scotland, and the National Portrait Museum. The National Gallery of Modern Art has 2 buildings, so you could spend the day there if you’re a big fan of art. The other two are much closer to the city centre and could be done in a couple of hours.

a person standing in a room


Calton Hill

Calton Hill is a UNESCO World Heritage site with a number of monuments found on the top. It also has some of the best views of the city, especially during the sunrise. I recommend going up Calton Hill on a clear day for the best views.

a castle on a cloudy day


National Museum of Scotland

You could spend the entire day at the National Museum of Scotland. It has a variety of exhibits, which are family-friendly for those travelling with their kids. We recommend going on a rainy day to avoid getting wet while you’re exploring Edinburgh.


Arthur’s Seat

If you like hiking but don’t want to travel too far, Arthur’s Seat is the perfect place. There are a number of paths you can take, so each time you go up is a different experience. If you’re not up for going uphill, it’s just as beautiful on the bottom as well.

a canyon with a mountain in the background


Dean’s Village

Dean’s Village is about a 20 mins walk from the Royal Mile. It’s a great way to explore the city, but if you don’t feel like walking that far there are buses to get you there. We recommend going to Stockbridge after Dean’s Village and stopping at one of the lovely cafes in the neighbourhood.

a castle sitting on the side of a river


Portobello Beach

About a 30-40 mins ride from the Royal Mile, Portobello Beach is a great spot to just relax and watch the waves, have a stroll, or eat some seafood at one of the restaurants by the beach.

a bridge over water with a city in the background


Explore Royal Mile

There are many streets on the Royal Mile and we recommend getting lost and just wandering the city, it’s the best way to find hidden gems!

a city street

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