Things to do in Edinburgh

Are you in need of some inspiration for things to do in Edinburgh? Below are just some of the biggest attractions in the area, and some would say are a must-see!
Things to to in Edinburgh

As well as the fine architecture you'll find here, Edinburgh Castle offers spectacular views from its hilltop position, and is also home to the National War Museum of Scotland and the Scottish crown jewels.

Things to to in Edinburgh

Home to over 1,000 animals, Edinburgh Zoo makes for an informative and fun family day out. The zoo is situated just ten minutes from the city centre and is a charity keen to promote animal welfare and conservation also, making it a worthwhile cause to contribute to by visiting.

The Palace of Holyrood House

The Palace of Holyrood House marks the end of the famous Royal Mile in Edinburgh city centre. This former medieval monastery is the Queen's official Scottish residence. The residence currently houses the Queen's Gallery, which is a fine collection of 17th-century Dutch paintings and artwork.

National Galleries of Scotland

You could spend a day or two simply exploring the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and the Scottish National Gallery.

Scotch Whiskey experience

Whether you want a Taste of Scotland or a Golden Tour of the Whiskey Factory (with samples a-plenty), this sure does make for a day out with a difference!

Things to to in Edinburgh

Discover Edinburgh's Hidden History through this brilliant interactive tour, as you wind down the streets of 17th century Scotland

Attraction distances from Edinburgh Airport

The easiest way to navigate around Edinburgh on your visit is by car! Whether you decide to hire a vehicle or maybe even book a taxi or two to transport you around the city, you may find the below distance and time information useful when it comes to planning.
Attraction Distance from Edinburgh Airport Approximate journey time (Car)
Palace of Holyrood House 9.4 miles 36 mins
Edinburgh Castle 8.3 miles 25 mins
Scottish National Portrait Gallery 7.6 miles 27 mins
Edinburgh Zoo 4.3 miles 11 mins
Mary King's Close 8.4 miles 26 mins
Scotch Whiskey Experience 8.3 miles 24 mins
Gyle Shopping Center 2.7 miles 8 mins

Tourist information - VisitScotland Edinburgh iCentre

If you’re not sure what to do, then your first point of call should be visiting this centre. They’re perfect for helping you find activities and things to do in Edinburgh! The advice provided is completely free of charge and can be very helpful if you’re new to the area so we definitely recommend visiting them if you need inspiration for your trip. Their address is:

249 High Street,
The City Of Edinburgh

If you want to contact them, you can email them at or call them on 0131 473 3820.

Shopping in Edinburgh

Edinburgh City Centre has a large number of shops which are mostly located on the High Street and Princes Street. The Gyle Shopping Centre is a covered shopping centre just west of the city itself and houses a large number of high street shops. It has the following facilities:

  • Over 50 shops including Boots, Burtons, Dorothy Perkins, Superdrug, Gap, Marks & Spencer, River Island, Monsoon and WH Smith
  • A 500 seat food court containing a bar/bistro, Burger King, Chopstix, M&S, Baguette Express and Starbucks
  • Free parking for up to 4 hours
  • Children's facilities including a rein hire, buggies and ID wristbands as well as Parent and Baby facilities available in the food court, Morrisons and M&S
  • A Morrisons petrol station

Visit the Gyle Shopping Centre website for more information.