Edinburgh city break itinerary

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A dish of beef bone marrow gratin, foie gras, crispy beef shin & fillet of beef being prepared at an Edinburgh steak restaurant
Taste Our Best in Edinburgh ››

Discover Taste Our Best accredited businesses in Edinburgh with Zomato, the online restaurant search.

  • Zebras at Edinburgh Zoo
    Zebras at Edinburgh Zoo
  • People relaxing in Princes Street Gardens on a warm day against the backdrop of Castle Rock
    Princes Street Gardens
  • The Ross Fountain in Princes Street Gardens with Edinburgh Castle in the background
    The Ross Fountain in Princes Street Gardens
  • The busy Royal Mile during the Festival Fringe
    The busy Royal Mile during the Festival Fringe

Enjoy an unforgettable day out in Scotland’s capital city with this helpful 24-hour itinerary, which features some of the best attractions found anywhere in Scotland.

Edinburgh is packed full of fantastic attractions, culture hotspots and great shopping opportunities. The city’s compact nature makes it easy to fit a range of wonderful activities into one brilliant day out in Scotland’s capital.

Edinburgh Castle, home to the iconic Stone of Destiny is a must see and is best toured first thing in the morning to beat the crowds who flock to this world famous attraction every day. Visitors can enjoy stunning views of the city from the castle’s position atop the volcanic Castle Rock, conveniently located near many open top tour bus routes. Why not spend the afternoon hopping on and off these tour buses whilst exploring the city’s other top attractions such as the iconic Scottish Parliament, the refurbished National Museum of Scotlandthe Royal Yacht Britannia and Edinburgh Zoo, home to the unmissable giant pandas? You can view a 360 degree panorama of the city projected via a giant periscope at Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, a 150-year-old observatory on the Royal Mile.

If you’re looking for an afternoon of retail therapy, Edinburgh provides a variety of shopping experiences to suit any taste, from the high-end fashion retailers on George Street to the weekly stalls of the award-winning Edinburgh Farmers’ Market, the largest of its kind in Scotland. Princes Street Gardens sit below the magnificent castle and provide the perfect location for taking a well-earned break from your shopping and sightseeing.

After a busy day exploring Edinburgh, you can enjoy a dram of specially blended Scottish whisky and cuisine on a relaxing evening tour of the Scotch Whisky Experience. Here, you’ll learn all about the fascinating whisky making process before tucking into a delicious three course meal. A great way to walk off your meal is by taking a gentle stroll down the atmospheric Royal Mile or Grassmarket whilst exploring Edinburgh’s legendary nightlife, which is full of busy bars, pubs and restaurants.

Edinburgh and the surrounding Lothians offer a variety of accommodation for you to choose from on your city break from hotels in Edinburgh to self-catering in the Lothians.