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50+ Fun Things to Do in Edinburgh

Looking for 50+ fun things to do in Edinburgh this weekend?

Edinburgh is a city that’s bursting at the seams with things to do. A beautiful cityscape of winding cobbled streets and antique buildings, cosy pubs and bars, wonderful scenery within the city itself, and a huge range of top-notch Edinburgh attractions. It’s one of my favourite places in the whole world.

Top Free Things to do in Edinburgh

Maybe you won’t be able to fit that many in… but you can certainly try a few!

There are tons of things to do in Edinburgh, and even after living here on and off since 2013 I’m still discovering more.

Visit Scotland’s Capital City at any time of year, and you’ll be able to experience some of the best of what Scotland has to offer.

There are essentials that you MUST see when you visit Edinburgh, but there’s also a whole host of interesting and unique things to do that’ll make your experience all the better.

I’ve divided the below into the free things to do in Edinburgh, followed by some of Edinburgh’s best attractions that you’ll need to pay for. 

Free things to do in Edinburgh

The Royal Mile and the Old Town

It wouldn’t be a visit to Edinburgh without a stroll down the Royal Mile. It may have become a magnet for souvenir shops selling everything Scottish from Whisky to shortbread and tablet to tartan, but the building facades that have been there for centuries haven’t lost their charm.

From Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Palace, you can duck into the closes or old streets of Edinburgh. The closes were named for a memorable occupant or a trade, like Fleshmarket close (meat), to Advocates Close (lawyers).

Today they hold hidden gems of restaurants and pubs or boutique accommodations.

Ultimate Guide to Free Things to Do & Attractions in Edinburgh

Don’t miss one of the most picturesque streets in Edinburgh, West Bow, just off the Royal Mile and leading down to the Grassmarket.

Ultimate Guide to Free Things to Do & Attractions in Edinburgh

The Grassmarket

The Grassmarket sits in a hollow beneath Edinburgh Castle and was one of Edinburgh’s main markets from 1477, as well as a place of lodgings, taverns and even public executions.

Now you can still find a market there on Saturdays, and any time of the week is a perfect time to step into some of Edinburgh’s oldest pubs.

You can find the Wee Pub, touted as the smallest in Scotland, as well as a pub named after Maggie Dickson, who notoriously survived a hanging and was therefore allowed to go free, as well as the Beehive Inn with its extensive beer garden

Ultimate Guide of Free Things To Do & Attractions in Edinburgh

St Giles Cathedral

St Giles Cathedral is hard to miss as you walk down the Royal Mile.

Technically, it’s not a Cathedral, but it has retained the name, mostly owing to its prominence as one of the most well-known churches in Edinburgh.

Its spire is a standout part of the skyline of Edinburgh, and the beautiful stained glass windows inside are worth a look.

Don’t miss one of the most picturesque streets in Edinburgh, West Bow, just off the Royal Mile and leading down to the Grassmarket.

Dunbars Close Garden

One of the best closes to visit off the Royal Mile, Dunbars close is home to Edinburgh’s Secret Garden. This 17th-century garden is a welcome escape from the bustle of the Royal Mile. Try to duck in without anyone seeing you so we can keep the secret!

New Town

Old Town Edinburgh was once a crowded and dank place, and the people had become sick, literally, of living in such squalid conditions.

For a fresh start, the Princes Street loch was drained, and new buildings sprung up on the northern side of it, which they named the very original “New Town”.

You can view the inside of No 7 Charlotte Square to see a house as it would have been in Georgian times (but this no longer makes it free at £7).

In New Town Edinburgh the streets are wide, and the buildings are less high. The Edinburgh elite flaunted the space they had.

Behind Princes Street, in the grid roads of the New Town, you can find some of Edinburgh’s greatest restaurants and bars, as well as shopping.

Ultimate Guide of Free Things To Do & Attractions in Edinburgh


Like many museums in the UK, Edinburgh’s biggest museums are mostly free to enter. The National Museum of Scotland has a huge range of exhibitions.

Despite visiting several times, I’ve never managed to see them all!

One side contains historical information and artefacts stretching back to the Picts, the other side of the museum is science-based, and one of the best things to do in Edinburgh with kids.

There’s another reason to visit the National Museum of Scotland, though, and that’s to go up on the roof.

It’s an open secret that the views of Edinburgh from the roof of the National Museum are some of the best.

Open gallery at National Museum of Scotland

National Galleries of Scotland

In the heart of the city, between the Old and New Towns, is the Scottish National Gallery. It contains art from the beginning of the Renaissance until the 20th century, and the building itself is impressive.

The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art is a must-see if you like contemporary and Modern Art, and the Portrait Gallery brings you face-to-face with Scotland’s finest, past and present.

Museum of Childhood

This small museum located on the Royal Mile is now the home of toys from days gone past.

It is the first of this kind of museum, dedicated to childhood, to be opened in the world. A place to reminisce or to show children how things used to be.

Greyfriars Bobby & Greyfriars Kirkyard

It’s hard to miss the little dog statue across the road from the National Museum despite its size. There’s usually a small crowd waiting to snap a picture of Greyfriars Bobby or pat him on the nose.

The story of Greyfriars Bobby was immortalised in film by Disney in 1961, but if you haven’t heard the story before, it goes something like this…

Greyfriars Bobby was a Skye Terrier dog who became known for his dedication to his owner, who was buried in Greyfriars Kirkyard. Bobby spent 14 years guarding his grave through sunshine and rain until he passed away too.

He was buried just inside the gates, a huge honour given animals were not supposed to be buried there.

Just outside the Kirkyard is a statue representation of Bobby, and it’s rumoured that rubbing his nose will bring you luck.

However, Greyfriars Kirkyard is a well-known spot in Edinburgh for another reason. Word has it that when J K Rowling was writing Harry Potter, she would wander through here while she had a break.

For this reason, some of the characters in Harry Potter are named after some headstones in the Kirkyard, including Professor McGonagall.

There’s also a grave with the name Tom Riddle, and although J K Rowling has said she didn’t purposely name the protagonist of Harry Potter after this, the grave is now one of the top spots for Harry Potter fans coming to Edinburgh.

Greyfriars Bobby top things to see in Edinburgh

The Writers’ Museum

Celebrating the lives of three of Edinburgh’s prominent authors, Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson. There are portraits, personal objects and books.

Even if you don’t know much about the authors or you’re not a bookworm, it’s worth a look at no cost!

Gardens and Green Spaces

I love the way in which nature has been preserved in the city of Edinburgh.

As far as organised gardens go, Princes Street Gardens and the Botanic Gardens in the north of the city are some of the loveliest.

Locals use Princes Street Gardens as a lunchtime break spot, and travellers are often found waiting there with suitcases and bags since the train and bus stations are nearby.

On a good day in Edinburgh, Princes Street Gardens is a prime spot in the centre of the city to relax in the sun.

Near the university, you can find The Meadows, where a fine day will see smoke rising from disposable barbeques and plenty of chatter from friends and families in the air.

In springtime, the pink blossoms on the trees that line the paths of the Meadows are a sight to see.

Ultimate Guide to Free Things to Do & Attractions in Edinburgh

The People’s Story Museum

Another small and free museum is located in the Canongate Tollbooth on the Royal Mile.

This museum showcases the lives of the ordinary people of Edinburgh through displays such as a wartime kitchen and a former jail cell.

The building itself has been there since 1591 and was where taxes were collected, and people were jailed.

Arthur’s Seat

Contrary to what you may think when you first hear the name, Arthurs Seat is not a seat. It’s an ancient volcano located near Holyrood Palace. You can’t really miss it from most vantage points in Edinburgh!

The easiest way to climb Arthurs Seat is from near Holyrood Palace, and in return, you’ll receive 360-degree views of Edinburgh and its surrounds. Just beware, it can get windy up there!

Ultimate Guide to Free Things to Do & Attractions in Edinburgh

Holyrood Park & the Salisbury Crags

Arthur’s Seat is actually part of Holyrood Park, which is full of other hills, lochs and glens.

My favourite part, other than Arthur’s Seat, is the Salisbury Crags. These cliffs provide stunning views over Edinburgh from all different angles, and walking along the top of them is one of my favourite things to do in Edinburgh.

Ultimate Guide of Free Things To Do & Attractions in Edinburgh

The Water of Leith Walkway

This public foot and cycle path stretches from Balerno to Leith and is a welcome reprieve from the flurry of the city.

Most of it runs along the Water of Leith, away from roadways. Locals use it as a place to run, cycle and walk with their dogs, but it makes for a pleasant stroll along at least part of it as a tourist too.

Ultimate Guide of Free Things To Do & Attractions in Edinburgh

Dean Village

Dean Village is a hidden gem just ten minute’s walk from the end of Princes Street.

Formerly known as the ‘Water of Leith Village’, it was a working village with up to 11 grain mills driven by the currents of the river.

Now it’s a peaceful oasis, with the former workers’ cottages and warehouses making this one of the most picturesque parts of Edinburgh.

Ultimate Guide of Free Things To Do & Attractions in Edinburgh

Calton Hill

If you walk to the eastern end of Princes Street, you’ll see the entrance to Calton Hill. It’s a rather unique place, given the smattering of monuments that grace the hill.

It’s a fantastic spot for viewing the skyline of Edinburgh, from Arthurs Seat to the spire of St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh Castle and the buildings of Princes Street like the Balmoral and the Scott Monument. On the other side, you can look towards the Port of Leith.

Of the most interest, though, are the various monuments at the top of the hill. Yes, that is a Parthenon in Scotland! It has never technically been finished and, for a long time, was touted as “Scotland’s Disgrace”. Now it’s more accepted for what it is, an iconic monument of Edinburgh!

One of my favourite views of Edinburgh includes the Dugald Stewart Monument with the cityscape behind it.

Ultimate Guide of Free Things To Do & Attractions in Edinburgh

Museum on the Mound

A free museum about money! The Museum on the Mound is all about the art, design and technology of money as well as how it’s used in crime, trade and security. Interesting for kids and adults alike!

Spit on the Heart of Midlothian

Um, what?! Yes, you read that correctly.

On the Royal Mile, just near St Giles Cathedral, there’s a heart shape in the concrete.

It’s usually walked over without much notice, but if you watch for long enough, you might see someone spit on it.

The Heart of Midlothian is on the spot of the Old Tolbooth, where citizens would go to pay taxes, but it was also one of the worst prisons in the country.

The story goes that as prisoners left (if they left, it was also a place of executions), they would spit at the door, and people would spit at it when passing as a form of solidarity.  

Now people say it’s for luck, but for whatever reason, the tradition continues!

Ultimate Guide of Free Things To Do & Attractions in Edinburgh

Cramond Island

Cramond is a suburb in the northwest of Edinburgh, and just off the shore in the Firth of Forth is Cramond Island. It’s a tidal island that you can reach along a concrete path when the tide is out.

Although no one lives there, it does house signs of being used by the Romans, as well as housing the remains of a farmstead and World War I defensive buildings.

Although it seems close, take note of the tides because visitors have been caught out before!

Ultimate Guide to Free Things to Do & Attractions in Edinburgh

Portobello Beach

Edinburgh is a coastal city, and to the west of the city centre is Portobello Beach.

It boasts a pretty promenade, a plentiful array of eateries and classic penny arcades that probably shouldn’t feature on the free list unless you’re lucky enough to find a machine that spits out more than you put in!

Beach, sea and blue sky at Portobello Edinburgh

Scottish Parliament

Maybe not everyone’s cup of tea, but the Scottish Parliament offers a range of free tours, from the self-guided through to one about the award-winning architecture of the building itself.

Gorgie City Farm

Exactly what it says it is, this farm just west of the city centre is a community-led charity that houses animals and provides educational opportunities for all its visitors. They house everything from livestock like cows to pets like chinchillas.

Don’t miss one of the most picturesque streets in Edinburgh, West Bow, just off the Royal Mile and leading down to the Grassmarket.

Not so free (aka paid) things to do in Edinburgh

Edinburgh Castle

You absolutely can’t miss Edinburgh Castle on a visit to Edinburgh. It dominates the skyline from most directions. I like to view it from the west end of Princes Street Garden and the Grassmarket specifically.

However, if you want a closer look at the inside, you’ll need to pay.

Edinburgh Castle is one of the most unique castles I’ve visited in the UK in that it’s more of a fortification with numerous buildings sheltered inside. It also contains the National War Museum of Scotland.

The best parts for me were seeing the Crown Jewels and the Stone of Destiny (with its intriguing story about how it was stolen back from England by university students!).

Cost: Adult from £19.50

Ultimate Guide to Free Things to Do & Attractions in Edinburgh

The Real Mary Kings Close

If you enjoy visiting the closes off the Royal Mile for free but want to know what these narrow Edinburgh streets were really like to live on in times past, then a visit to Mary Kings Close will satisfy your curiosity.

At one time, Mary King’s Close was the second largest street in Edinburgh, after the Royal Mile. Hard to imagine when it’s hardly very wide, and the length of one-half would have been covered in market stalls!

Mary Kings Close began to be destroyed or covered over in 1753, and the last resident left in 1902.Luckily, many of the houses and rooms have been preserved below the ground.

Mary Kings Close is a step back in time to when the streets of Edinburgh were covered in a filthy muck, and the name of Auld Reekie rang true.

You can enter several of the houses on the street, including one that still has traces of paint prints on the wall that were the way of decoration at the time and is said to be haunted by a little girl who died from the plague.

Part of the tour allows you to walk the steepness of Mary King’s Close itself and wonder how any light penetrated this narrow path.

Cost: Adults from £21

Ultimate Guide to Free Things to Do & Attractions in Edinburgh

Scotch Whisky Experience

What’s a visit to Scotland without a dram of whisky? Not a full experience, I would say!

Luckily, near the top of the Royal Mile is the Scotch Whisky Experience, where you can learn more about how whisky is made in Scotland, see the world’s largest whisky collection (it’s huge!) and find a whisky that tempts your tastebuds.

The owner of the collection is now 83 years old, and he never opened a single bottle of whisky in the collection!

I highly recommend one of the tours with multiple tastings which gives you a chance to understand much more about the subtle flavours of whisky and find one that you know you like.

As they say, you can’t not like whisky; you just need to find the right one for you!

Cost: Silver tour starts at £21 and includes a taste of one whisky. The Gold or Platinum Tours start at £34 for 5 tastings.

Ultimate Guide to Free Things to Do & Attractions in Edinburgh

Camera Obscura

There are six floors of interactive exhibitions in the Camera Obscura Tower, and it’s the oldest purpose-built attraction in Edinburgh. There are puzzles, optical illusions, a vortex tunnel and a mirror maze.

The camera obscure itself is at the top of the tower, and live images of Edinburgh are projected onto a table as they have been for over 150 years!

Cost: Adult from £21.95

Ultimate Guide to Free Things to Do & Attractions in Edinburgh

Pickerings Gin Distillery

If you really decide whisky isn’t your thing (after a try, of course!), then maybe the Pickerings Gin Distillery could be for you. There are guided tours and tastings Thursday to Sunday.

You get to see everything from the botanicals room to how a small batch of gin is made and do tastings of course.

Cost from £25

Palace of Holyrood House

In contrast to Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace is still used by the Royal family when they visit Edinburgh.

However, when they’re not in, you’re welcome to take a look around!

An audio guide leads you through the Palace and the history of Scotland, particularly that of Mary Queen of Scots.

Cost: Adult from £18

Ultimate Guide to Free Things to Do & Attractions in Edinburgh

Dynamic Earth

Journey through the story of planet Earth through a series of interactive exhibitions. My favourite part was the huge iceberg in the middle of the room!

There’s also a 360-degree dome theatre playing different films throughout the year.

Cost: Adults from £19.50

Gilmerton Cove

Gilmerton Cove is an ongoing mystery in the midst of Edinburgh. It’s a collection of underground tunnels and caves located beneath the streets of Gilmerton. And that’s about all anyone really knows about it!

I’d been wanting to visit since I first moved to Edinburgh in 2013, and I finally went in 2017, and it was worth the wait!

Cost: Adults £7.50. Tours by appointment only. Currently closed but will hopefully reopen soon!

Ultimate Guide to Free Things to Do & Attractions in Edinburgh

Edinburgh Zoo

Pandas. Need I say more?!

Well, maybe I could also mention the Penguin Parade, which is where they let the penguins out of the enclosure to walk around with their keepers, and you can stand at the parade route to watch them go right past. They don’t entice the penguins with food; it’s entirely up to them if they want to take a walk.

Cost: Adults from £24

Scott Monument

If you’re wondering what that rocket-shaped thing emerging out of Princes Street Gardens is, it’s the Scott Monument, which opened in 1844.

It’s the largest monument to commemorate an author in the world, dedicated to Sir Walter Scott. At the base is a statute of Walter Scott himself.

You can climb the 287 steps to the top for unique views from the very centre of Edinburgh.

Cost for Adults from £8.

Scott Monument Things to do in Edinburgh

Royal Yacht Britannia

This yacht was formerly used by the Queen from 1954 until 1997. It travelled more than a million miles around the world before being moored at Ocean Terminal in the Leith part of Edinburgh.

Now you can discover what life was like in this royal residence and partake of a little afternoon tea on it as well.

Cost: Adult from £18.50

Afternoon Tea at the Balmoral

With all of this wandering and exploring, you should definitely treat yourself! For something extra special, try the award-winning Afternoon Tea at the Balmoral.

Held in Palm Court with its glass dome and palm trees, you’ll be able to indulge in a mouth-watering array of savouries and sweets, all while listening to the melodic sound of the harp.

Afternoon tea really doesn’t get much better than this!

Cost: from £45 per person

Ultimate Guide to Free Things to Do & Attractions in Edinburgh

Lauriston Castle

This 16th-century tower house overlooks the Firth of Forth in the northwest of Edinburgh and has been left as it was last inhabited in 1926. It has one of the most stunning Edwardian interiors in Scotland.

Cost: £8 for a guided tour of the castle; gardens are free.

The Edinburgh Dungeon

A tour of the Edinburgh Dungeon takes you through some of the darkest parts of Scotland’s history.

There are rides, special effects and theatrical actors to enhance your historical learning experience or give you a scare! Basically, it’s history like you’ve never seen it before.

Cost: £18.50. Check online and the back of Edinburgh bus tickets for discounts.

Craigmillar Castle

This ruined castle is another location associated with Mary Queen of Scots. If you’re coming to Scotland, I highly suggest you learn at least her part in history!

Although it is technically in ruins, it is one of the most well-preserved medieval castles in Scotland.

Cost: Adults from £7.50

Surgeons Hall Museum

The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh was founded way back in 1505. Their collection has grown impressively, especially since the early 1700s.

Originally it was a place of teaching for students but was opened to the public in 1832. Now you can interact with different exhibitions and discover the amazing advances in medicine and surgery within its walls.

Cost: Adults from £24

Golf at Bruntsfield Links

Sometimes called mini golf, sometimes pitch & putt and sometimes short hole golf, but whatever you want to call it, it’s fun.

In summer you can do a 9-hole course and in winter 36. While it is free if you take your own clubs and balls, I’ve put it under “paid” since I don’t know that many people who have them!

If you visit the Gold Tavern on the edge of the green, you can hire them from behind the bar for a small cost!

Cost: £7 to hire clubs and balls with a softdrink/coffee and £10 with a pint.

Ultimate Guide to Free Things to Do in Edinburgh And Attractions

Both Free & Not So Free Things to Do in Edinburgh

Edinburgh’s Festivals

Edinburgh is a festival city, with 11 festivals taking place throughout the year. These involve a huge amount of free and not-so-free events, so they cater for everyone’s budget.

Five of the Edinburgh festivals take place in August, including the well-known Edinburgh Festival Fringe, where basically anything goes.

It’s a fantastic time to experience Edinburgh at its finest, with so much to see and do. There are comedy shows, book readings, art installations, walking tours, musical shows, theatre, the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, and the list goes on!

At New Year, Edinburgh is packed once again for the legendary Hogmanay celebrations, which encompass New Year’s Eve and the surrounding days.

From the torchlight procession with hundreds of people forming a river of fire through the city to the New Year’s Eve Street Party and Concert in Princes Street to taking a dip in the freezing ocean at the Loony Dook on New Year’s Day, it’s just another opportunity to experience this awesome city.

If you need more convincing, check out why Edinburgh’s Festivals have to be on your bucket list and a guide to Edinburgh’s festivals in August.

Ultimate Guide to Free Things to Do & Attractions in Edinburgh

Edinburgh’s Christmas

Growing up in the southern hemisphere means I’m used to Christmas in the summertime. Now, I’m a total winter Christmas convert, thanks in part to Edinburgh’s Christmas!

Six weeks of Christmas markets, ice skating, mulled wine and delicious food, what more do you need?

There are free events like the Santa Run and Light Night, an event that includes a concert and the switching on of The Christmas Tree on the Mound.

Of course, if you want to partake of the mulled wine, mulled cider or hot chocolate with a shot of whisky then you’ll need to pay!

Read More: Edinburgh in Winter

Edinburgh Christmas Market

Get out of Edinburgh

Scotland is full of amazing places to visit. If you have the time, then a road trip to the highlands is a must, including the drive through beautiful Glen Coe.

To some people’s surprise, Scotland has many islands, and the furthermost afield you can go (halfway to Norway!) are the Shetland Isles.

Here are some more options for closer to Edinburgh.

Linlithgow Palace

A 20-minute train ride west of Edinburgh will see you in the small town of Linlithgow, named for the home to the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots, Linlithgow Palace.

While it’s mostly a shell of a palace now, having lost much of its floor and ceiling, it is still a sight to behold. In the central courtyard is an ornate fountain that was said to flow with wine when Bonnie Prince Charlie visited in 1745.

Cost: Adults £7.20

Linlithgow Palace Scotland

North Berwick

Take a train in the opposite direction, through Edinburgh’s east, and you’ll end up at North Berwick on the East Lothian coast.

North Berwick is one of my favourite seaside towns, and it makes the perfect day trip from Edinburgh!

It has a golden sand beach, bordered by Victorian houses and a golf course, and plenty of cafes, restaurants, and cute little shops to keep you interested on a day trip from Edinburgh.

Behind the centre of the town is North Berwick Law, a hill that is well worth the climb for the 360-degree views over the sea and surrounding farmland.

On a clear day, you can see all the way to Edinburgh and spot Arthurs Seat.

Read More: 15 Beaches to Visit near Edinburgh

North Berwick Scotland

Rosslyn Chapel

This 15th-century Chapel in the village of Roslin, just south of Edinburgh, has been a source of speculation regarding the Knights Templar and the Freemasons and featured centrally in Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code.

After falling into disrepair, the Chapel was ordered to be restored by Queen Victoria.

Today you can visit and explore the chapel for yourself, view the stunning stained glass windows and imagine what may have happened there during its extensive history.

Cost: Adults £9.50

Pentland Hills

If you look to the south of Edinburgh from any vantage point, you might have spotted some hills not so far away. These are the Pentland Hills, and you can reach them by car or bus easily from Edinburgh.

There are all levels of walking tracks if you want to have a ramble, with beautiful views back to Edinburgh. Plus, with a few pubs in the vicinity, you’ll be able to have a drink or a pub meal before heading back to the city.

Pentland Hills Edinburgh

South Queensferry

Just west of Edinburgh on the shore of the Firth of Forth is the small town called South Queensferry. It’s an easy train to bus ride from Edinburgh.

From the shore, you can view the Forth Bridge (the railway one), a feat of engineering finished in 1890. Pedestrians can walk across the Forth Road Bridge, and there is now the Queensferry Crossing for cars.

You can also take boat cruises from South Queensferry out onto the Forth to see seals or stop off at an island to view Inchcolm Abbey.

Ultimate Guide to Free Things to Do & Attractions in Edinburgh

How to save some money on the not-so-free attractions in Edinburgh

If you’re on a budget (and let’s face it, who isn’t?), there are a few different ways you can save money on entrance fees to Edinburgh attractions.

The Explorer Pass

The Explorer Pass gives you entry to 77 Historic Scotland attractions.

You can get “free” entry to all Historic Scotland sites with your pass, just pre-book your entry online for the most popular ones.

It includes entry to Edinburgh, Stirling and Urquhart Castles, Skara Brae in Orkney and Fort George near Inverness. Note it doesn’t include Holyrood Palace, or properties under the National Trust for Scotland.

An adult pass is £44 and a child aged 7-15 is £26 (under 7s are free) but a family pass is £88 for 2 adults and up to 3 children aged 7-15 so it’s well worth it for a family. Check out the website for more information.

Online Discounts

A few of the attractions, like the Edinburgh Dungeons, have discounts if you book ahead on their website. So make sure you check them out before you go!

Ultimate Guide to Free Things to Do in Edinburgh And Attractions

Have you visited any of these places, or are you planning a trip to Scotland? 

Sonja x

If you liked it, pin it! Thanks to Visit Scotland and Edinburgh Festivals for providing me with a pass and organising visits to Edinburgh Castle, Linlithgow Palace, Gilmerton Cove, The Real Mary King’s Close, the Scotch Whisky Experience and Camera Obscura. I have also visited many of these places on my own. As always, all opinions are my own, don’t expect anything less! 

12 thoughts on “50+ Fun Things to Do in Edinburgh

  1. Stephanie Fox says:

    Great post! Cant wait for a trip to the Christmas markets, I stayed in Leith earlier this year and loved it there were some great bars with live music. Stunning photos too got me excited for December!

    • Migrating Miss says:

      Thanks so much! I love the Christmas Markets in Edinburgh, they just keep getting better every year! Leith always has so much going on, it’s a great place to head out as an alternative to the city centre :). Hope you have a great trip!

  2. Caroline says:

    Oh I LOVE this post so much! You’ve put so much thought and love into it and it really shows. Edinburgh is my favourite city – there’s so much to see and do without it feeling too big and noisy like London. I love that you like North Berwick too – isn’t it beautiful. One of my all-time favourite beaches and so easy to get to if you’re staying in Edinburgh. You’ve made me want to book a weekend away there now…

    Am surprised not to see a ghost walk mentioned by the way – I’m a real wuss but always enjoy them in Edinburgh haha!

    • Migrating Miss says:

      Oooh very good point! I have actually done a tour of the vaults myself, and it was so interesting! Edinburgh is my favourite city too :). You might be able to tell haha. Any excuse for a visit!

  3. Lisa Susan says:

    great choices, I am an expat living in Edinburgh, moved here in July and am always looking for things to do. I have added some of these to my “list”, working my way through having tea at different places, plan on Balmoral for sure, went for tea at Prestonfield House yesterday which was super posh and had lovely outside areas with cows and peacocks!

    • Migrating Miss says:

      Thanks Lisa! I’m glad I can help you add some more things to the list! Even after living in Edinburgh for a couple of years I still have things I want to see. It’s almost never ending with Edinburgh I think. I love having afternoon tea, so I’ll have to check out Prestonfield House!

  4. Bea Adventurous says:

    Another spectacular blog post on Edinburgh!
    You have included soooooo much, which I’m sure will keep me very busy on my next trip!

    Dean Village looks so stunning, so that has definitely made my to do list.
    Thanks for sharing, I can’t wait to do lots of these!

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