Cities

So you've got three days in Edinburgh, you lucky thing - it's time to embrace Scotland's capital! Explore brilliant museums, fascinating historical attractions and stunning architecture. Much of Edinburgh city centre is classed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and you might just sense the distinct air of mystery and intrigue. It really is one of the best cities on the planet and we know you are going to love it!

Transport

Bus Walk

Days

3

Miles

6

Route

The Royal Mile, Port of Leith, New Town, Old Town

Highlights

The Royal Mile, great museums, excellent restaurants and bars, sampling Scotch whisky

Areas Covered

East

see full route

Day 1

overview

The Old Town: The Royal Mile, Canongate and Holyrood

Edinburgh's Old Town lives and breathes history. It's a warren of cobbled streets, winding wynds, long lanes, and dark alleys - it's easy to feel like you've stepped out of a time machine! Spend today discovering historic places and iconic sites and soak up the bustling Old Town atmosphere.
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    Bus Walk

Old Town, Edinburgh

Edinburgh Castle

Get ahead of the crowds and start your day at Edinburgh Castle when it opens at 9.30am to see the Scottish Crown Jewels and Stone of Destiny. It's also home to the National War Museum and the beautiful National War Memorial. If you're still there in the early afternoon, you can see (and hear!) the famous One o'clock Gun. Afterwards, explore the Royal Mile on foot and check out the various shops, pubs, restaurants, buildings and historic closes, as well as the famous St Giles' Cathedral.

The Palace of Holyroodhouse

Venture to the other end of the Royal Mile and you'll be in the Canongate and Holyrood area of the Old Town - it dates back over 800 years. You could probably spend days discovering its many nooks, crannies and secret gardens! At the bottom you'll find the Palace of Holyroodhouse, one of the Royal Residences. Take a tour and see Mary Queen of Scots' bedchamber and the room where her confidante, David Rizzio, was brutally murdered. If you've got time afterwards, pop into the Scottish Parliament opposite for a tour.

Tour buses

Tired feet? As an alternative to walking to the Canongate and Holyrood, jump aboard one of the open-top tour buses. They have fantastic on-board guides to supply an entertaining and knowledgeable insight into this fascinating city (multi-language tours are available). The buses will allow you to get on and off at your leisure to visit attractions, including the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Edinburgh Dungeon and the Scottish Parliament and provide a great introduction to the city. Wind down after your busy day with a dram in a historic pub, relax as you dine in a restaurant, or maybe even catch a show or a gig?

Day 2

overview

Royal connections: Leith and New Town

The next 24 hours are going to be just as awesome as the last!  In fact, we'd say that day two is a royally good day indeed. Taking in the historic Port of Leith and the handsome Georgian New Town, you'll find there are some rather wonderful sites to uncover.
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    Bus Walk

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Edinburgh

The Royal Yacht Britannia

From Princes Street in the city centre, it's a short number 22 Lothian Bus ride to The Royal Yacht Britannia, which TripAdvisor named as one of the UK's best attractions. Alternatively, you could take the Majestic open top bus tour as it also stops at the Royal Botanic Garden, a place you might want to visit later. Step on board HM The Queen's former floating Royal residence, where you'll see the engine room, Rolls Royces and state apartments across five decks. After the tour, take some time to explore the Shore in Leith, one of the most fashionable areas to live in Edinburgh.

Royal Botanic Garden

For the next part of your day, spend the afternoon touring the Royal Botanic Garden with its wonderful glasshouses, exhibitions and a world of colourful plants and shrubs. It's located in the Inverleith part of the city and is 1 mile from the city centre. Wander back to the centre via Stockbridge in the elegant New Town - it's a bustling village-like area with a superb blend of independent retailers, delicatessens, charity shops, bars and restaurants.

Shopping and galleries

Head to Princes Street and George Street, the ideal destinations for some retail therapy. There's a huge range of top high street brands, or if you like designer stores, head to Multrees Walk. If shopping is not your thing, then why not head to Calton Hill to the east of Princes Street. It's home to the National Monument, and offers some superb city skyline views.

Or, if you are in the mood for a bit of culture, head to the Scottish National Gallery to see some of the world's greatest artworks for free. If you dined in the Old Town last night, then why not dine at an eatery on either George Street, Rose Street or Thistle Street tonight?

Day 3

overview

The Old Town: The Royal Mile and the Grassmarket

It's your final day in the city, and there is still plenty to pack in! Today's a day of discovery where you'll sample the national drink, experience Victorian innovations, and discover a treasure trove of artefacts.
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National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh

Camera Obscura and World of Illusions

Stroll up the Royal Mile and pay a visit to the fascinating Camera Obscura and World of Illusions which has captivated visitors with its amazing optical illusions and panoramic views of Edinburgh for over 150 years. Step inside a darkened room and watch incredible live moving images of the city and its inhabitants projected onto a table by a giant periscope while listening to colourful tales from the past.

Scotch Whisky Experience

Close by, Scotland's national drink is honoured at the Scotch Whisky Experience where you can sample a dram at the end of your tour. Enjoy a barrel ride to learn all about the whisky-making process and see the world's largest collection of Scotch whisky. Why not stop for lunch at the Amber Restaurant which offers traditional Scottish produce?

National Museum of Scotland

Next, take the steps down Castle Wynd to the Grassmarket. The historic area is full of lively pubs and often markets and special events take place. Wander through and take Candlemaker Row to George IV Bridge, where you'll see the statue of Greyfriars Bobby, the famous loyal Skye terrier.

Your next visit is nearby the National Museum of Scotland, a fantastic free museum where you can learn about the story of Scotland and see fascinating exhibits on the natural world, world cultures, science, design and history. Round off your Edinburgh experience with an evening tour - whether you are interested in literature, history or the supernatural, there's a tour with your name on it!

Summary

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