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Holidays in Edinburgh

Edinburgh Holidays

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Holidays in Edinburgh

It's time to call the boss, declare yourself off duty and acquaint yourself with the charms of Edinburgh!

The population of this city is 440,000.

Edinburgh is, as you surely already know, famous for Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Yacht Britannia. Arthur's Seat and St. Giles' Cathedral are just as amazing.

A visit to Camera Obscura and World of Illusions or Edinburgh International Climbing Arena Ratho is a fantastic opportunity for a bit of family bonding. Are the little ones still bouncing off the walls? Keep the adventure going with a trip to Butterfly and Insect World and East Links Family Park.

A couple of animal snaps will certainly add some intrigue to your holiday album! Take the whole family to see, learn about and photograph the collection of intriguing wildlife at the Edinburgh Zoo and the Five Sisters Zoo. Scottish Owl Centre is another impressive attraction which teaches visitors about the importance of animal care and conservation.

Whether you're curious about local plant species or just want to take some time to explore the many pathways, you'll enjoy your time at the Royal Botanic Garden and the Dunbar’s Close Garden.

Remember those blissful childhood days of stretching out on the grass watching clouds pass by? Recapture that feeling at Princes Street Gardens and Calton Hill. Alternatively, spend the day outdoors at Holyrood Park or The Meadows.

Make sure you call in at Preston Mill & Phantassie Doocot Mill or Edinburgh Visit Scotland Information Centre. Their helpful, expert staff can offer you tips, advice and inspiration to get the most out of your stay.

You can't go past a day by the seaside. You're spoilt for choice around here, with Portobello Beach and Longniddry Bents two of the best places to put your toes in the water. Yellowcraigs and Tyninghame Beach are also popular hangouts for many travellers.

Edinburgh features a range of natural reserves, such as North Berwick Harbour and Aberlady Bay Nature Reserve. Two additional areas to have a look at are North Berwick Law and Morrisons Haven.

Looking for unique displays? Head straight to the National Museum of Scotland and the National Gallery of Scotland. Don't forget to enquire about guided tours. The Our Dynamic Earth and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art are also worthwhile alternatives.

Set off on a voyage through the seven seas at the Trinity House, a valuable repository of the region's maritime past.

You don't have to be an explorer to appreciate all of the amazing wonders of the natural world, particularly when you've got the Surgeon's Hall. This place is brimming with fascinating specimens and interesting models.

With such a wide range of terrific art exhibitions to admire, you might need a slight push in the right direction. We recommend picking up a coffee and heading straight for the Fruitmarket Gallery or the Talbot Rice Gallery. The City Art Centre and the Hanover Fine Arts Gallery are not to be missed either.

Learn all about the influence that Edinburgh's past events and characters had on the country, and sometimes the world, at the Newhaven Heritage Museum and the People's Story Museum. The Annet House Museum and the Prestongrange Museum are also worth a peek for an even greater insight into the past.

Would you like to discover a few history-filled sights? An outing to Greyfriars Kirk or the University of Edinburgh offer a fascinating glimpse into Edinburgh's days of old. If you're not in a rush, the Heriot Watt University and Real Mary King's Close should also be on your list.

Nungate Bridge is a timeless fixture in the city. While local residents may seem to take it for granted, most travellers come away impressed by this physical memory of of a different time.

Learn more about the important residents who have been able to call Palace of Holyroodhouse and Linlithgow Palace home. Ask about tours of these exquisite residences if you'd like to see the details up close.

For a magical trip back in time, look up and gaze at the enchanting profile of Craigmillar Castle and Blackness Castle. If you'd like to explore more of these fascinating cultural structures, why not take a look at Dirleton Castle and Hawthornden Castle too?

Whether you're spiritual or not, places of prayer like Rosslyn Chapel and St Mary's Church are sure to be among the most peaceful and uplifting sights you'll come across in your travels. If you want to explore more, continue your pilgrimage at St. Michael's Parish Church and St. Mary's Episcopal Cathederal.

They're unlikely to be on the cover of any travel magazines, but Greyfriar's Bobby and the National Library of Scotland are still well worth a visit. There's also plenty to keep you occupied at the Glenkinchie Distillery and Omni Centre Edinburgh.

Hotels in Edinburgh

With so many awesome new things to see and do, you'll want to secure a convenient Edinburgh hotel. Booking is a breeze, with some 409 properties listed on ebookers' hotel travel guide.

If you're looking for a basic room without all the added extras, the Lyncliff Hotel, located at 4 Windsor Street, is your best bet. Yet another place that offers its guests superb service at an even better price is the Halcyon Hotel, which you'll find at 8 Royal Terrace. Maybe you'd prefer to live like a king as the experienced staff at the Balmoral Hotel fulfil your every desire? The Old Town Chambers is one more popular choice for those who enjoy the finer things in life.

Arthur's Seat is a not-to-be-missed sight in Edinburgh. If you'd prefer to stay close to this highly popular attraction, the Holyrood Aparthotel and the Crowne Plaza Edinburgh - Royal Terrace are both good picks.

Top Edinburgh attractions

Edinburgh Military Tattoo

Located on Market Street, this popular attraction is known for its talented performers, traditional pipers and spectacular fireworks.

Arthur's Seat

Enjoy the great outdoors, and escape the busy city life. Climb to the top to take in the views, and be sure to pack a picnic lunch.

Camera Obscura

With hands-on illusions, tricks and a shrinking room, this attraction offers an experience unlike any other.

Holyrood Park

Head to this outdoor space when the weather is warm to feed the swans or simply stroll the grounds.

Xtreme Karting Edinburgh

Thrill-seekers and children alike will enjoy racing around this track. Parents can enjoy a snack or cup of coffee in the lounge area while the little ones play.

Royal Museum

This museum has several floors to explore. Spend the day enjoying art deco and art nouveau pieces in this free museum.

Old Town

This is Edinburgh's oldest neighbourhood. Browse the small shops that line the streets, or grab a brew at one of the quaint pubs.

Royal Mile

With street performers, dining establishments and shops, this is one of the busiest streets in the city.

The Dome

An opulent crystal chandelier greets visitors who come to this upscale bar. Visit on Sunday, and enjoy the live jazz.

Hairy Coo Tour

This free wilderness tour offers a unique way to experience the city.

Edinburgh Castle

It is the most famous of the castles here. Learn about its unique architectural history, dating from the 12th century (St. Margaret’s Chapel), to the early 20th (the Scottish National War Memorial). Be sure not to miss features such as the Honours (Crown Jewels) of Scotland, the Stone of Destiny, and the One o’Clock Gun. Audio tours are available in eight languages.

The Georgian House

Part of Robert Adam’s impressive Charlotte Square, the Georgian House dates from 1796 and reconstructs 18th-century life in upscale New Town. Visitors can see how the house’s exquisite china, beautiful paintings and furniture echo the domestic and social conditions of the era.

National Library of Scotland

Don’t miss this research library’s major exhibition every summer. If you can’t visit during summer though, you can still enjoy the year-round events programme as well as smaller exhibitions and educational activities. Admission free.

Belhaven Bay

This award-winning beach within the John Muir Country Park sprawls from Belhaven to the north of the River Tyne. It is a perfect setting for long strolls—walk along the cliff-top near Dunbar and pass the harbour and castle ruins—as well as sunbathing and picnics. Look for the new interpretation centre and town house museum as well.

Edinburgh Zoo

This leading world zoo houses 1,000+ unique animals from all over the planet and provides them with the highest level of physical and behavioural care. Check out the new, state-of-the-art habitat for chimpanzees, the UK’s only koalas, and the famous Penguin Parade. Guaranteed to keep children delighted for hours, the zoo also boasts play areas, a gift shop, and restaurants.

Nelson Monument

The architect Robert Burn designed this monument in the early 19th century in honour of Admiral Lord Nelson’s death and victory at the 1805 Battle of Trafalgar. The breathtaking views of the city make it worth climbing up to the monument’s perch atop Calton Hill.

Tip * Booking your Tours, Transfers & Airport Parking before you go will save your money & time and ensure a stress free start to your holiday

Insider tips for Edinburgh travel

Chocolate Tree

Sample handmade chocolates at this charming café on Bruntsfield Place.


A favourite of the locals, this venue is known for its live music and diverse clientele.

The Westroom

This casual eatery has cozy, oversized chairs and a warm atmosphere.

Bon Papillon

Discover this darling café, and enjoy fresh, homemade cake and a hot cup of tea.

Dominion Cinema

Take in a film or two in this retro-style theatre. With four screens and reclining armchairs with footrests, this cinema is a great place to kick up your feet and relax.

Best time to go on holiday to Edinburgh

Like much of Scotland, Edinburgh has a temperate climate. During December and January, temperatures can hover around freezing, and summer highs climb to about 18°C. The months of May through September have pleasant weather and are the best times to visit. If you are planning a trip in the winter, consider New Year's, and experience the Hogmanay festival, which offers live music, delicious food and dazzling fireworks. If you are visiting during the summer, the Fringe festival is celebrated in August and draws thousands of visitors to Edinburgh each year.

Edinburgh highlights

Experience a Cultural Festival

Edinburgh is Europe’s premier festival city. Its calendar is always crammed with festivals and events, so visitors always have something to look forward to, such as the Snowdrop Festival, Jazz and Blues Festival, and Edinburgh International Festival.

Taste the Finest Whisky

Enjoy one of Scotland’s national exports during a whisky tour with Absolute Escapes. Not only will you be able to taste the best single-malt whisky in the world, the whisky trail will also expose you to beautiful countryside, historical landmarks, and stunning coastal stretches.

Practice Your Drive at St Andrews Links

For 600 years, golf clubs have been swinging at St. Andrews Links, the most expansive public centre for golf in Europe. The Old Course is considered to be the sport’s original home. By road, the seven golf courses that make up the Links are only an hour from Edinburgh, and the courses are bookable in advance. Host of many Open Championships, the Links have something for golfers of any level. Not a golfer? Take a guided tour of the Old Course on foot. Buy tickets from the guide on the day.

Go Shopping

Edinburgh offers eclectic options for shopping. Princes Street is where you will find standard ‘High Street’ labels, while the West End is full of trendy boutiques. New Town will spoil you with its assortment of designer labels, most of which can be found on Multrees Walk. The country’s only Harvey Nichols store is located next to Multrees Walk. If you would rather hunt for vintage treasures, try WM Armstrong & Son in the Grassmarket.

Take a Ghost Tour

Learn about Edinburgh’s dark past while you visit the most ghost-ridden locations in Old Town, accompanied by spooky stories and eerie subterranean vaults. Mercat Tours provides tours year round.


See Edinburgh from a different perspective with Alba Ballooning. It provides balloon flights over Edinburgh, Fife, the Lothians, and the Scottish Borders. Flights are about an hour long, and can be enjoyed with champagne.

Where to stay in Edinburgh

New Town

The Macdonald Roxburghe Hotel offers the epitome of luxury. It is among the oldest inns in Edinburgh, but all 198 bedrooms have recently been renovated. Enjoy vistas of Edinburgh Castle and the Charlotte Square gardens, as well as amenities such as a health club, pool, and spa services.

The Howard Hotel might be small, but you can expect to be pampered like a guest at a private mansion. The five-star hotel has 18 uniquely designed bedrooms, all recently renovated. An attentive butler will attend to you from arrival until departure, and there is also a babysitting service.

West End

The Bonham Hotel is an award-winning lodging. The lovely Victorian townhouse is only a short walk from many superb shops and the financial district. There are 48 bedrooms, including luxury suites and deluxe superior rooms. The restaurant is one of Edinburgh’s most excellent contemporary dining spots, featuring a European-inspired menu. The hotel also boasts a permanent collection of artwork.

The West End Hotel is a comfortable, fashionable hotel just a brief amble from Princes Street and numerous other tourist attractions. Expect the customer service and cleanliness to be of a superb grade. The rooms are inviting and contemporary, with brand-new LCD television sets and en suite bathrooms. There is, however, no lift available.

For more choice, check out for a hotel in Edinburgh among our offers!

How to move around in Edinburgh


Edinburgh Airport is easily accessible from overseas and everywhere in the UK by various means of transport.

The airport lacks its own train station, but the two main stations in Edinburgh are, at least, conveniently located on bus routes to the airport.

Taxis are a convenient way to get to and from the airport without a lot of stress. There are hundreds of taxi companies in Edinburgh and the surrounding areas.

The #100 bus is a shuttle that connects the airport to the city (near the train and bus stations). It runs 24/7, departing every ten minutes during peak hours, and every half hour during non-peak hours.

Getting Around Edinburgh

Edinburgh is smallish, and walking is an easy way to see the central areas. The city also has a network of local bus services. A Lothian Buses Day Ticket allows you unlimited trips in and around the city.

Edinburgh is also accommodating to cyclists. There are some steep hills, but at peak hours, cyclists can share lanes with the city buses in the vicinity of the centre of the city. If you prefer to avoid traffic, there is a network of cycle routes where cars are not allowed, usually running along old railroad lines. The campaign group Spokes has great maps of those routes. You can take your bike on trains for free, but many routes require reservations in advance, so don’t forget to book ahead.

If travelling by rail, be sure to buy your train ticket at the station—they’re more expensive on the train.

Check out our car hire in Edinburgh offers.

MORE Edinburgh Hotels

See all 858 Hotels in Edinburgh
Aparthotel Adagio Edinburgh Royal Mile

Aparthotel Adagio Edinburgh Royal Mile

231 Canongate, Edinburgh
    3.5 out of 5.0
    4.6 out of 5 (14 reviews)

    Located in Old Town, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Museum of Childhood, Palace of Holyroodhouse and St. Giles' Cathedral. Our Dynamic Earth and ...

    Aparthotel Adagio Edinburgh Royal Mile£69

    Aparthotel Adagio Edinburgh Royal Mile£69
    Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club

    Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club

    Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club, Kirknewton
      4.0 out of 5.0
      4.2 out of 5 (29 reviews)

      This family-friendly Dalmahoy hotel is located near the airport, 2.9 mi (4.7 km) from Heriot Watt University, and within 6 mi (10 km) of Gyle Shopping Centre ...

      Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club£66

      Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club£66
      Old Town Chambers

      Old Town Chambers

      Roxburgh's Court, Edinburgh
        5.0 out of 5.0
        4.7 out of 5 (23 reviews)

        Located in Old Town, this luxury apartment is steps away from City Chambers, St. Giles' Cathedral and Real Mary King's Close. Gladstone's Land and Camera Obscura ...

        Old Town Chambers£119

        Old Town Chambers£119
        Cairn Hotel

        Cairn Hotel

        10-18 Windsor Street, Edinburgh
          3.0 out of 5.0
          3.4 out of 5 (21 reviews)

          Located in New Town, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Edinburgh Playhouse Theatre and Calton Hill. Palace of Holyroodhouse and St. Giles' Cathedral are ...

          Cairn Hotel£45

          Cairn Hotel£45
          Apex City of Edinburgh Hotel

          Apex City of Edinburgh Hotel

          61 Grassmarket, Edinburgh
            4.0 out of 5.0
            4.3 out of 5 (93 reviews)

            Located in Old Town, this hotel is steps away from Camera Obscura and World of Illusions and Scotch Whisky Experience. Greyfriars Kirk and St. Giles' Cathedral ...

            Apex City of Edinburgh Hotel£79

            Apex City of Edinburgh Hotel£79
            DoubleTree by Hilton Edinburgh Airport

            DoubleTree by Hilton Edinburgh Airport

            Edinburgh International Airport, Newbridge
              4.0 out of 5.0
              3.9 out of 5 (14 reviews)

              Situated near the airport, this hotel is 0.5 mi (0.8 km) from Royal Highland Centre and within 6 miles (10 km) of Murrayfield Stadium and Edinburgh Zoo. Gyle ...

              DoubleTree by Hilton Edinburgh Airport£70

              DoubleTree by Hilton Edinburgh Airport£70
              The Principal Edinburgh George Street

              The Principal Edinburgh George Street

              19-21 George Street, Edinburgh
                5.0 out of 5.0
                4.6 out of 5 (5 reviews)

                Located in New Town, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Princes Street Gardens and Edinburgh Playhouse Theatre. Edinburgh Castle and St. Giles' ...

                The Principal Edinburgh George Street£84

                The Principal Edinburgh George Street£84
                Dakota Forthbridge

                Dakota Forthbridge

                Ferrymuir Retail Park, South Queensferry
                  3.5 out of 5.0
                  3.7 out of 5 (3 reviews)

                  Situated in South Queensferry, this hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Forth Road Bridge and Forth Rail Bridge. Hopetoun House is 2.3 mi (3.7 km) away.

                  Dakota Forthbridge£68

                  Dakota Forthbridge£68
                  The Principal Edinburgh Charlotte Square

                  The Principal Edinburgh Charlotte Square

                  38 Charlotte Square, Edinburgh
                    5.0 out of 5.0
                    4.2 out of 5 (6 reviews)

                    Located in New Town, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Charlotte Square, Princes Street Gardens, and Royal Lyceum Theatre. Edinburgh International ...

                    The Principal Edinburgh Charlotte Square£106

                    The Principal Edinburgh Charlotte Square£106
                    Princes Street Suites

                    Princes Street Suites

                    16 Waterloo Place, Edinburgh
                      4.0 out of 5.0
                      4.5 out of 5 (14 reviews)

                      Located in New Town, this luxury apartment is within a 10-minute walk of Waterloo Place, Edinburgh Playhouse Theatre, and Princes Street Gardens. Scott Monument ...

                      Princes Street Suites£77

                      Princes Street Suites£77

                      Prices reflect the lowest "base rate" found over the next 30 days. Rates are subject to change and may not include taxes and fees, hotel service charges, extra person charges, or incidentals, such as room service. Converted rates are provided for your convenience. They are based on today's exchange rate, but the hotel will charge you in the local currency. Local charges may apply