Visit Edinburgh as part of a multi-stop vacation around Scotland. This enchanting capital city will capture your heart from the moment you arrive. Wander from New Town to Old Town, along the Royal Mile, and stop for a drink at one of the city’s age-old pubs. There is something magical and cinematic about Edinburgh: 1,000-year-old gothic spires rise from cobble-stoned streets, and a vast dormant volcano named Arthur’s Seat towers ominously above the city. You’ll soon succumb to Edinburgh’s intoxicating charm. Plan your trip today with a Tourlane Travel Expert, who’ll take care of your flights, transfers, guides, and accommodation!
Standing proudly above Edinburgh’s cityscape, the world-renowned Edinburgh Castle beckons you in with its gothic towers and fortified walls. This majestic castle dates back to the Iron Age, and when you walk by St. Margaret’s Chapel—constructed in the 12th century—you’ll see just how well-preserved the fortress really is. Climb Castlehill and explore Scotland’s most visited attraction.
If you’re looking to do some shopping during your Edinburgh vacation, then head to Princes Street. Lined with department stores, restaurants, and cafes, this thriving thoroughfare is the beating heart of Edinburgh. The south side of the road is parkland and is bereft of building, which results in stunning views of Edinburgh Castle and Arthur’s Seat.
The official residence of Queen Elizabeth II in Scotland, Holyrood Palace is also home to bucolic gardens, ruins of the 12th-century Holyrood Abbey, and magnificently maintained historical apartments. After a nice lunch, stroll down the Royal Mile and enjoy the home of Scottish royal history. This is one of the most beautiful castles in all the land.
A walk down the High Street in Edinburgh’s Old Town leads to this magnificent cathedral, famed for being the stomping ground of John Knox, the prophet of the Scottish Reformation. Besides its wood-crested Thistle Chapel, which is itself a wonder to behold, St. Giles houses an organ encased in redwood, colorful, stained glass, and a gothic crown spire.
If you’re interested in history, be sure to visit the Museum of Edinburgh. This impressive museum showcases the city’s fabled and complex history, with exhibits that date back to the Iron Age. The National Covenant of 1638 and an uncanny reconstruction of Field Marshal Earl Haig’s headquarters on the Western Front during WWI are highly recommended, and provide a perfect snapshot of history before heading up to the Castle.
The unmistakable Athenian spires of Calton Hill are home to the National Monument, the Nelson Monument, and the City Observatory. But even without hitting all three of these landmarks, a walk to Calton Hill is the perfect way to cool down after a dose of history on the Royal Mile. Climb up to the hill at sunset and see the amber sunset in the summertime. Less
Edinburgh is located approximately 400 miles north of London. A high-speed train connects the two cities, and takes four hours and 30 minutes. Alternatively, there are also frequent flights between the two cities. Flying takes one hour. Driving between London and Edinburgh takes at least seven hours. Flight time between the USA’s East Coast and Edinburgh takes about seven hours.
If you want to stay somewhere where everything is within walking distance, look for a hotel close to Princes Street or the Royal Mile. There are plenty of large, international hotels located in their vicinity. Alternatively, if you prefer a vacation rental in a quieter area, we recommend staying in the beautiful West End, with its lawns and Georgian terraces.
Edinburgh has a strong culinary scene, with excellent restaurants in every neighborhood. We recommend speaking to a Tourlane Travel Expert for the latest insider tips and recommendations, as the scene is constantly changing. Waverley Market @ Platform 2 is a surprisingly good food market located in the city’s train station.
Edinburgh is a relatively compact city, and if your accommodation is central, you should be able to walk between the city’s main attractions. There is a tram network that links the airport with the city center, as well as a bus network. Alternatively, taxis are available across the city.