Free things to do in Edinburgh & The Lothians

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  • Statue of Greyfriars Bobby a Skye Terrier that would guarding the grave of his owner
    Greyfriars Bobby © Kenny Lam
  • The crown spire of St Giles
    The crown spire of St Giles
  • The Animal World Gallery at the National Museum of Scotland
    The National Museum of Scotland
  • Visitors walking along the landform installation 'Ueda' by Charles Jencks outside the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art
    The Scottish National Galllery of Modern Art

The amazing range of free attractions in Edinburgh & The Lothians offers great value and are a wonderful way to discover more about the area.

The National Museum of Scotland, which recently underwent a £46.4 million redevelopment, is a particular highlight in Edinburgh. In this museum, the whole family can find out more about natural history, Scotland’s past and ancient cultures.

For those interested in art, the National Galleries of Scotland, made up of the Scottish National Gallery, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, are an inspiring option.

There are also a range of fascinating historic churches in Edinburgh which you can explore for free. At Greyfriars Kirk you can see the statue of the loyal dog Greyfriars Bobby, who guarded his master’s grave for 14 years.

The impressive St Giles’ Cathedral sits on the Royal Mile, and has been at the heart of religious life in Edinburgh for centuries. Key parts of this iconic building include stain-glass windows and the Crown Spire, which can be seen across the city.

Edinburgh has a strong creative heritage, and was the inaugural UNESCO City of Literature. Find out more about Scotland’s literary geniuses at the Scottish Writers’ Museum, which focuses on Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson.

If you are in Edinburgh for the festivals, the Free Fringe is an opportunity not to be missed. With hundreds of free events, this is a great chance to see inventive performances and maybe even see a future headline act.

Continue your money-saving adventure by visiting one of the many parks and gardens in Edinburgh & The Lothians that can be seen for free.