Cannons on the northern defenses of Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle, tel 0131 225 9846, open daily April-October 9.30am-6pm, November-March 9.30am-5pm, admission adults £11, concessions £9, children £5.50 - Edinburgh Castle, home to the Edinburgh Tattoo, is a magnificently situated royal fortress located on one of the highest points in the city. The castle has been continuously in use for 1000 years and is in excellent condition. The audio tour, which costs £3 per headset, is extremely detailed and worth hiring, providing both location based and chronologically based commentary on the castle. Highlights include the Honours of Scotland (the Scottish Crown Jewels) and the ancient St Margarets' Chapel.
the Royal Yacht Britannia - runner-up Best UK Attraction in 2004
the Palace of Holyroodhouse - tel 0131 556 5100. fax 020 7930 9625. email email@example.com. The Palace is a royal residence, and hosts the Queen's Gallery containing a collection of art from the Royal Collection. The Palace is best known as the home of Mary Queen of Scots and as the site of the murder of Mary's secretary Rizzio by her husband Lord Darnley. The Palace opens at 9:30am and closes at 6:00pm April to October and 4:30pm during the rest of the year. Palace admission is £8 adults, £6.50 concessions, and £4.00 children. Separate admission to the gallery is £5 adults, £4 concession and £3 children. Joint admission to the gallery and the palace is £11 adults, £9 concessions and £5.50 children.
Calton Hill vista da North Bridge
Admire the panoramic views from the North Bridge.
the Scott Monument, East Princes Street Gardens, open April - September Mo-Sa 9-6, Su 10-6; October - March Mo-Sa 9-3, Su 10-3, tel 0131 529 4068, admission £3.00 - built in 1846 to commemorate the life of Sir Walter Scott after his death in 1832, the Gothic spire monument allows you to climb 200 ft above the city centre to enjoy fantastic views and get a closer look at sculpted statuettes of characters from Scott's works.
St Giles' Cathedral, the Royal Mile, between Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse - the historic City Church of Edinburgh is also known as the High Kirk of Edinburgh and takes its name from the city's patron saint. St Giles' is Presbyterianism's Mother Church and contains the Chapel of the Order of the Thistle (Scotland's chivalric company of knights headed by the Queen). The building bears a distinctive crowned spire and was first officially dedicated in 1243, although a church probably existed on the site since before the 9th century.
Mary King's Close, Warriston's Close (opposite St Giles' Cathedral), open daily except Christmas Day - a slice of Edinburgh's medieval history, preserved since being closed over in the 18th century - watch out for the haunting....
Gladstone's Land, in the Lawnmarket at the top of the Royal Mile. It is a 17th century Old Town tenement (known as a 'Land') decorated with period furniture. It has an impressive painted ceiling.
Greyfriars Kirkyard is a very old graveyard in Old Town off the Southwest corner of George IV Bridge. It contains some impressive, ancient grave markers and fantastic views of the surrounding Old Town.
Old Calton Burial Ground just east of Princes Street and Southwest of Calton Hill in New Town contains a range of graves, memorials, and funerary ornaments. Notable memorials include those dedicated to the philosopher David Hume and the Scots who died in the American Civil War
Il Parlamento scozzese
Visit Edinburgh Zoo, entry £10.50 Adults, £7.50 children, £8 students. Watch the world famous Penguin Parade.
The Scottish Parliament, eastern end of the Royal Mile, opposite the Palace of Holyrood House - a unique building (designed by the spanish architect Enric Miralles) with a £431 million price tag which is much higher than the original back-of-an-envelope estimate. Highly controversial among Scots, who consider it either a daring showpiece of postmodern architecture or a national embarrassment. Free access to an exhibition, and the Debating Chamber on non-business days. It is necessary to get (free) tickets to watch the Parliament in session from the Public Gallery.
Royal Botanic Garden, Inverleith Row (East Gate) / Arboretum Place (West Gate). Very impressive gardens with a collection of interesting plants. Great place to wander around on a sunny day, or to sit and have a picnic. Free entry to the gardens, entry to the glasshouses
costs £3.50 adults, £3 concessions, £1 children.
Rosslyn Chapel Take bus number 15 to see this chapel, featured in "The Da Vinci Code".
Museum of Scotland and Royal Museum, Chambers Street, tel 0131 247 4422. fax 0131 220 4819. typetalk 18001 0131 247 4422. email firstname.lastname@example.org. The museum mixes innovative modern architecture with the best of Scotland's heritage. The Royal Museum has a magnificent airy Victorian atrium now with the Millennium Clock at one end - arrange to be there when it is chiming. Exhibits in the Museum of Scotland include Scottish pottery and weapons from the Roman era and the Renaissance. Opening hours are 10am - 5pm Monday to Saturday with extended opening to 8pm on Tuesdays; and 12pm - 5pm Sundays. Admission is free.
The National Gallery of Scotland holds much of Scotlands fine artwork and carries exhibitions that change seasonally. The new Western Link was opened in 2004 with an entrance from Prices Street Gardens. It joins The National Gallery with the neighbouring Scottish Academy gallery and gives Scotland it's first world class art space. The Mound, Edinburgh, EH2 2EL, tel. +44 (0)131 624 6200
The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art contains a fine selection of modern art from Scotland and other countries. Belford Road, off the northwestern fringe of New Town.
The Fruitmarket Gallery aims to find the most appropriate way to bring artists and audiences together. It is a not-for-profit organization and a registered charity. Centrally situated behind the Edinburgh Waverley Rail Station. Opening hours Mon-Sat 11am-6pm; Sun 12-5pm. Admission free.
The Edinburgh Military Tattoo - one of the iconic images of Edinburgh for millions worldwide is the yearly Tattoo, kilted pipers skirling below the battlements of Edinburgh Castle...
The T on the Fringe Festival - A music festival
The Edinburgh Fringe Festival - as the name might suggest, this Festival developed on the "Fringe" of the main International Festival and offers more alternative performances, with an emphasis on comedy and avant-garde; it is now the largest arts festival in the world
One important thing to decide when planning a trip to Edinburgh is whether you wish to go at festival time, which runs from early August through to mid-September. Hotel rooms in and around the city are noticeably much more expensive then, and you will need to book well (at least six months!) in advance.