Local Destinations

6 Things To Do In Edinburgh

by Trent Pike

image description kolibri5 / Pixabay

As you walk along the cobbled streets of the Royal Mile, surrounded by 18th-century Gothic architecture, it almost feels as though you have stepped back in time.

There is barely a hint of modernity in Edinburgh – even the city’s lone Starbucks has an antiquated feel to it. It’s a time capsule worth exploring, especially without the distractions of a music festival.



The historic city, New Town and Old Town alike, deserves an inquisitive-minded explorer. Lathered with history, each narrow alleyway and crumbling door frame leads to a new discovery.

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There is so much to see and do here that a week barely does it justice. For those on a strict budget or a tight travel schedule, though, I’ve put together a list of the top six things do in Edinburgh:

kolibri5 / Pixabay

Top six things do in Edinburgh

Arthur’s Seat

A strenuous hike in itself, this ‘hill’ climb is made even harder by the strong winds that batter and blow frequently. The hike is a must-do for anyone who loves a good challenge, and it also offers some pretty picturesque views.

Calton Hill

Another great spot for extraordinary views, Calton Hill is a far easier ascent. It also boasts some impressive historical buildings and ruins and is the perfect place for a sunset stroll or a sunrise picnic.

As the hill sits lower, the views aren’t as panoramic as those from Arthur’s Seat, but are nevertheless worth the trip.

Edinburgh Castle

Building a castle on an extinct volcano has a plethora of benefits: not only is it easier to defend (it was never successfully assailed), but Edinburgh Castle also looks tremendous.

If crown jewels aren’t enough to grab your interest, perhaps the views through the first ever Camera Obscura will.

The Royal Mile

The highlight of the Old Town and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Royal Mile is Edinburgh’s most popular attraction. Named after the now-defunct unit of measurement called the ‘Scots mile,’ it is actually 1.13 US miles or 1.81km long.

Walking the length of it is recommended, and while we chose to walk uphill from the Palace of Holyrood House, it is presumably far easier to start at the Castle and walk downhill.

Highlights include not only the many historical buildings and towering cathedrals, but also the pubs, boutique stores and Bagpipe players on every street corner.

Scott Monument

Ghastly thin and seemingly growing into the sky, this Gothic spire monument was built in 1846 to celebrate the life of Sir Walter Scott, a famous Scottish poet and historical novelist.

For a small admission fee, you are able to climb over 60 metres up a spiral staircase and enjoy incredible city views.

Night Ghost Tours

It’s practically a sin to visit Edinburgh and not go on one of their famed ghost tours. With its ghoulish past, secret tunnels and underground chambers, a trip through the darker side of Edinburgh will scare even the bravest of souls.

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Trent Pike

contributor

Trent is a twenty-two year old, nature-loving, soccer-playing, vegan-donut-eating South African who loves hiking, sunsets, bare feet, mid-afternoon naps, and his 1995 Chevy campervan, Winston. Trent studied business science at the university of cape town and has since become an award-winning young entrepreneur and successful business owner. Beyond this, Trent is a passionate environmentalist, a vegan, and an advocate for sustainable business and ethical practices, animal rights, and social justice. You’ll probably find him climbing mountains, eating vegan pizza, or reading/snoozing on the nearest comfortable surface.

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