Edinburgh is a bustling city that is certainly worth visiting multiple times, as there is always something new to discover. It is a city with a rich history, filled with mysteries and wonders. Edinburgh is the perfect place to marvel at the architecture, get lost in the past or enjoy contemporary art. It has been attracting tourists for years, as it is also a great place for shopping, pub crawling or just sightseeing.
1. Edinburgh Castle
Nestled on top of Castle Rock, which is actually an extinct volcano, this fortress and royal palace is an absolute must-see. Some highlights include the Stone of Destiny, the Scottish Crown Jewels, Mons Meg (the oldest cannon in the world) and St. Margaret`s Chapel.
2. The Palace of Holyroodhouse
On the other side of the Royal Mile, you will find the Palace of Holyroodhouse, which is the Queen`s official Scottish residence. If not being used by the royal family, the palace is open to the public. Visit the Throne Room and the Royal Apartments and learn more about the palace`s former inhabitants.
3. Royal Yacht Britannia
To complete your tour of all things royal, you should visit the Royal Yacht Britannica, which was used to transport the British royals around the world. It is surprisingly not very glamorous and one of the Queen`s favorite places to relax.
4. National Galleries
Edinburgh boasts three of Scotland`s national galleries, including the Gallery of Modern Art, the Gallery on the Mound and the Portrait Gallery. If you are an art lover, you should surely include these in your itinerary, as there are many fascinating exhibitions, both temporary and permanent.
Edinburgh is known for its interesting museums, some of which are situated within the walls of Edinburgh Castle. Some museums worth mentioning are the National Museum of Scotland, the Writer`s Museum and the Museum of Childhood.
6. Royal Botanic Gardens
The Royal Botanic Gardens cover more than 70 acres and consist of four gardens, making it interesting to visit in any season. Stroll through the Queen Mother`s memorial garden, marvel at the huge collection of Asian plants and explore its beautiful rock garden.
7. Edinburgh Zoo
Edinburgh Zoo has more than a thousand animals, many of which are rare and beautiful. It is also home to the only giant pandas in the UK, Yang Guang and Tian Tian, as well as the country`s only koala bears. There are also interesting exhibits and daily presentations.
Edinburgh has many monuments, commemorating the lives of prominent Scottish people. The Scott monument is a popular attraction, as it is the largest monument in the world honoring a writer, Sir Walter Scott. If you want a magnificent view of Edinburgh and its countryside, it is certainly worthwhile to climb the 287 steps that lead to the top of this monument. Calton Hill is another spot in Edinburgh with a lot of interesting monuments. Highlights include the unfinished National Monument (also known as Edinburgh`s Disgrace), the Robert Burns Monument, the City Observatory and the Nelson Monument.
9. Mary King`s Close
A very fascinating underground tour introduces you to sixteenth and seventeenth century Edinburgh. The City Chambers were built over the existing tenements` lower floors in 1753, preserving this Close as a “lost city.” Actors take you back in time, recreating everyday life as it used to be back then.
10. Camera Obscura
Camera Obscura is the first tourist attraction in Edinburgh that was built purposely to be an attraction. This Victorian observatory has a very interesting rooftop periscope that projects moving images onto a concave table. It also boasts many crazy optical illusions, puzzles and kaleidoscopes.
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