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What To Do In Edinburgh (Before/After Your Tour)

You’ve landed in Edinburgh! Now What? We often get this question from people who have just landed and have no idea where to start. So, we’ve decided to give you a little guide on what to do in Edinburgh either before or after your tour to the highlands. We made a list of 10 things to do, but there’s much more to see if you’re here longer. 

a group of people walking down a street in front of a building


1. Edinburgh Castle 

Found in the center of town, you can see the iconic castle. Edinburgh Castle was home to kings and queens for many centuries. We recommend getting a ticket in advance through their website.  

a castle on top of a stone building with Edinburgh Castle in the background


2. Scotch Whisky Experience  

Scotland is pretty famous for their whisky, so we recommend at least trying one while you’re here. Even if you’re not a whisky fan, the Scotch Whisky Experience has some fun activities and interesting guides explaining how Scotch whisky is made.  

a display in a store


3. The Real Mary King’s Close  

Mary King’s Close is a historic close located under buildings on the Royal Mile. They offer tours that explain the history of the close and how people lived in the 17th century in Edinburgh. We recommend getting a tour in the evening. You can find tickets here.   


4. Edinburgh Dungeon  

The Edinburgh Dungeon is described as “the ultimate underground journey through Edinburgh’s darkest history, using live actors, theatrical sets and thrilling rides”.  You can get tickets in advance online. 

a group of people posing for the camera


5. Camera Obscura  

Camera Obscura is a very popular tourist attraction with over 100 illusions. They also have an incredible rooftop view of Edinburgh. This attraction is a lot more family-friendly than the others listed, as Edinburgh’s history can be quite dark. We recommend this one for people who are visiting with their children. 

a person holding a colorful umbrella


6. Palace of Holyroodhouse 

The Palace of Holyroodhouse is the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland. Explore the history of the royal monarchs in Scotland and learn how the castle is used today by royalty. You can get tickets here. 


7. Holyrood Distillery 

Close to the Palace is Holyrood Distillery, an award-winning Gin & Whiskey Distillery. They have a variety of tours and tastings to choose from. This is the closest whisky distillery you will find in Edinburgh, so it’s worth booking if you’re looking to see how whisky is made! 


8. Surgeon’s Hall 

Surgeons’ Hall Museum has the largest collection of pathology and offers an interesting history of medical practices in the UK. It’s something that’s a little different from typical tourist attractions. If you’re interested, you can find out more on their website.  

a shelf in front of a window


9. Dynamic Earth   

Dynamic Earth is another great spot for a family-friendly attraction. Explore all things planet Earth at this science centre and planetarium. They also provide workshops, exhibitions, and special events. Learn more on their website. 

a group of people in a room


10. Edinburgh Zoo    

Edinburgh Zoo can be a fun family day trip while you’re in Edinburgh. If you go on their website, they also offer special events and workshops which can be a great way to bond with the family on your vacation! 

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