Attractions in Edinburgh
To experience all the attractions of Edinburgh, it is probably an advantage
to be good to the bone. With castles at the top of a volcano and a mountain at
the end of the tourist trap the Royal Mile, this is often the case. But
Edinburgh also offers culture in the form of museum, literature and, not least,
- See DigoPaul for dictionary definitions of Edinburgh,
United Kingdom. Includes geographical map and city sightseeing photos.
You must have enough stamina to climb a path up a 122 meter high cliff to
reach the foremost of Edinburgh's attractions, Edinburgh Castle. This
well-preserved fortress has been in use for over a thousand years, and is
located on top of an extinct volcano, with nearly vertical mountain walls on
three sides. The castle has had an important role in Scottish history for
several centuries. Entrance costs about 135 kroner.
Address: Johnston Terrace
Edinburgh Zoo is Edinburgh's second most visited attraction and is
located in Murrayfield, half a mile west of downtown. There are regular buses
from Princes Street. The zoo has polar bears, koala bears, white rhinos,
gorillas, dwarf hippos and the world's largest zoo community of penguins.
Here lives among other royal queen Nils Olav II, who is a mascot and colonel
in the royal garden in Norway. The zoo is open from 0930 to 1800. (Until 1630 in
winter) Entry price about 100 NOK for adult, children pay about 65 NOK.
Address: Corstorphine Road
Scotch Whiskey Heritage
At The Royal Mile, more specifically 354 Castle Hill, is the Scotch
Whiskey Heritage Center. This center takes care of everything that has to do
with Scottish whiskey, with both guided tours, information, restaurant and of
course a bar with over 300 types of Scottish whiskey. Open every day from 1000
to 1800, the entrance fee costs NOK 110 for adults. Children half price.
Address: 354 - 358 Castle Hill
The National Museum of Scotland
Scotland's National Museum is located in Chambers Street, and is actually two
museums under one roof. The Royal Museum deals with nature, science, culture and
art, while the Museum of Scotland presents Scotland's history, culture and
people. It is open daily from 1000 to 1700 and has free admission. Address:
The National Gallery of Scotland
In The Mound, in the middle of Princes Street Gardens, is the National Gallery.
Here you will find works of art by international artists such as Da Vinci,
Raphael, Titian, El Greco, Rembrandt, Rubens and Van Gogh.
Open daily from 1000 to 1700, to 1900 on Thursdays. Free admission.
Address: the Mound
High Kirk of St Giles
Also at The Royal Mile, in Parliament Square, you will find High Kirk
of St Giles, or St Giles Cathedral. This is a landmark in Edinburgh, and the
most important church, especially for prebyterians. There have been churches
here since the 13th century. Open every day from 0900 to 1700, Sundays from
1300. Free admission, but a donation is expected.
Address: 40 Candlemaker Row
The Palace of Holyroodhouse The
Palace of Holyroodhouse is the British Queen's official home in Edinburgh, and
has been a royal residence for over 700 years. The palace was originally built
as a monastery in 1128. The palace is open to the public and you can take a
guided tour and see the historic royal comforts, galleries, reception rooms and
In summer, the beautiful castle park is also open. Entrance about 100 kroner,
children about 55 kroner. Holyroodhouse is located in Canongate, at the eastern
end of The Royal Mile, and is open from 0930 to 1800. (Until 1630 in winter)
Address: 158 Easter Road
If you're one of the many millions of readers who was intrigued by Dan Brown's
novel DaVinci Code, you probably remember Rosslyn Chapel from the book's closing
This church is very real and is located in the village of Roslin, about a
mile south of Edinburgh city center. Built in the 15th century, it has been
visited by countless kings and queens throughout history. Open from 0930 to 1700
or 1800 every day except Sundays, the church opens 1200. Entrance 90 NOK.
The Writers Museum
Scotland has fostered several great authors, and these are celebrated at the
Edinburgh Writers' Museum, located in the house where national
poet Robert Burns lived, in Lady Stairs Close on Lawnmarket. We may mention
Robert Louis Stevenson (Treasure of the Pirate Island, Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde), Sir
Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes), Peter Pan writer JM Barrie, Ole Brumm's
father AAMilne and Sir Walter Scott (Ivanhoe).
More recently, Alistair MacLean, Ewan McTeagle and Irvine Welsh have made
their mark, and Harry Potters creator JKRowling lives in Edinburgh. The museum
has free admission and is open daily from 1000 to 1700 Monday to Saturday.
Address: Lady Stairs House, Lawnmarket
Tourist in Edinburgh
Edinburgh city center is relatively compact, and most of the sights and
attractions are within walking distance of each other for a reasonably diverse
If you prefer to take a guided tour around the city, there are plenty of
opportunities. An easy and inexpensive alternative to seeing most attractions
while getting relevant information and transport is to use the Hop On Hop Off
buses. The ticket costs around NOK 100 for adults and 40 for children, and the
buses have thirteen fixed stops where you can get off the bus and stay as long
as you want.
The buses pass every 30 minutes and you continue at your convenience. The
main stop is the Waverley Bridge in front of the train station east of Princes
Street Gardens, but you can hop on and pay anywhere.
If you are going to be in Edinburgh for a few days and plan to visit the main
sights, consider investing in an Edinburgh Pass. This gives you free access to
over 30 attractions, transportation to and from the airport and free use of
public transport. The passport costs about NOK 260 for one day, NOK 390 for two
days and NOK 520 for three days. This can be purchased at the tourist offices or
on the Internet.
Day 1 in Edinburgh
After breakfast, head for Edinburgh's premier landmark, on the west end of
the Royal Mile. Yes, Edinburgh Castle is teeming with tourists, but you may not
be familiar with missing the castle during your visit to Scotland's capital.
Edinburgh Castle you notice almost as soon as you arrive in Edinburgh, where it
lies majestically on top of a 122 meter high cliff, with vertical mountain walls
on three sides.
Inside the castle, we recommend that you join us on a tour together with a
knowledgeable guide who can tell you what has happened here and thus give you
considerably more benefit from the visit. You can easily spend all day in the
castle grounds if you are interested in history, as this place has played a role
in almost all the important events in Scotland's history.
It has been a castle here for over a thousand years, although most of what
you see today dates from the 17th century. The exception is the 12th-century St.
Margaret's Chapel. The chapel is named after King Malcolm III's saintly declared
wife, and Malcolm himself will forever be remembered as the inspiration behind
Macbeth. Notice the huge cannon that stands outside the chapel. It is called
Mons Meg and is from 1449.
Edinburgh Castle was the residence of the
Scottish Kings until the Palace of Holyroodhouse was completed at the other end
of the Royal Mile, and since then the castle has been used by the military. They
guard The Honors, the Scottish crown jewels, stored in The Crown Room.
Here is also the country's most precious item, The Stone Of Destiny, on which
the Scottish kings have been crowned. You can visit Crown Square, which is the
fortress at the top of the castle, and the National War Museum that deals with
Scottish military history from the last 400 years. Every year in the courtyard
is the hugely popular Military Tattoo, which was initially a parade of Scottish
bagpipe and drum corps, but which has evolved into an international event in
Walking down the Royal Mile in Edinburgh
When you finish Edinburgh Castle, you can stroll down Esplanade, the
ground that is, in practice, the start of the Royal Mile. Here is the
Scotch Whiskey Heritage Center. This center takes care of everything
that has to do with Scottish whiskey, with both guided tours, information,
restaurant and of course a bar with over 300 types of Scottish whiskey.
Maybe this is a convenient place to sit down for lunch? You may find numerous
dining options as you continue your mandatory hike through the Royal Mile.
Just below the Whiskey Center, at the bottom of Castlehill, lies
St John's Highland Church, which has Edinburgh's highest spire
of 73 meters and is a landmark in the city. Here are the offices of the
Edinburgh Festival. If you continue down Lawnmarket and turn left into Bank
Street, you will come to Edinburgh's Authors Museum, located in the house
where Scots national poet Robert Burns once lived.
Scotland has nurtured a remarkable number of writers who have written
classics, and here you can get to know some of them, first and foremost Robert
Louis Stevenson, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Burns.
Back on the Royal Mile, you quickly reach Parliament Square,
with its sights. Most notable is St.Giles Cathedral named after the city patron
saint. This is perhaps the most important church in Edinburgh. There have been
churches here since the 13th century, but today's church dates back to the 16th
century. On the ground, on the west side of the cathedral, you can see the Heart
of Midlothian, a heart-shaped mosaic in the cobblestone, which marks the
centerpiece of the Midlothian region. Many passers-by spit on the mosaic, an
ancient tradition that will bring happiness.
On the east side of the cathedral stands Edinburgh's Mercat Cross,
or Market Cross. This is the place where the area's merchants gathered, and was
also the scene of executions and important publications.
The entire south side of Parliament Square is dominated by the
neon-class facade of the Parliament building, where the Scottish Parliament met
from 1639 to 2004. Today, the Supreme Court resides in this building.
If you continue down the High Street section of the Royal Mile, you will
surely notice a strange looking house on your left at # 43-45. This is the
John Knox House, dating back to 1470, and must have been the
home of the religious reformer John Knox. Dramatic episodes in Scotland's
turbulent history have taken place here. The house is part of the Scottish
Storytellers Center. On the other side of the street you will find the slightly
more digestible Museum of Childhood, with its vast collection of toys, including
puppets, doll houses, model railways, tricycles and teddy bears.
If you've actually been to all these museums, you've probably got your dose
of culture for today and might want to spend the rest of the afternoon at some
of High Street's many small shops or pubs.
After a look back at your hotel, it's time to think about dinner. Just above
John Knox House is the Dubh Prais restaurant, the name is Gaelic for Black
Casserole. This is very popular with both locals and tourists, and offers all
kinds of Scottish traditional food, from Aberdeen Angus meat, salmon, deer and
of course haggis.
If you want to test Edinburgh's legendary nightlife afterwards, you should
move a quarter south, to the Cowgate parallel street, and from here work west in
the direction of Grassmarket. On this stretch you will find more than enough
lively pubs, clubs and bars to keep you active for far into the night.
Day 2 in Edinburgh
We start the next day where we left yesterday, in the High Street on the
Royal Mile, and continue east. You will pass the 16th century Canongate
Tollbooth building, a precursor to today's toll stations, but much more stylish
with its towers and clocks. The building today houses a free museum, The Peoples
Across the street is the Museum of Edinburgh in 142 Canongate.
Further down in Canongate (on the right) you pass the new Scottish Parliament
building, which opened in 2004. This was very controversial, both because of its
futuristic appearance and that it was designed by a Spaniard and not a Scotsman.
Next to the Scottish Parliament building is the Palace of Holyroodhouse. This
is the British Queen's official home in Edinburgh, and has been a royal
residence for over 700 years.
The palace was built as a monastery in 1128, but the monastery's church
collapsed in the 18th century and still stands as a ruin next door. The palace
is open to the public, and you can take a guided tour and see some of the
historic royal comforts, galleries, reception rooms and more.
Afterwards you can enter the large Holyrood Park park south of the palace,
and if you feel fit to go up to the top, you will be rewarded with an excellent
view from Edinburgh's highest point, called Arthur's Seat, 251 meters above sea
level. not as far as it looks, and the first climb is the heaviest.
City Manager in New Town - Edinburgh
Back on the Royal Mile you can move north and cross the Princes Street
Gardens over to New Town. Along the way you will definitely find a pub or
cafe where you can have a well-deserved lunch. New Town's main street Princes
Street is Edinburgh's answer to Karl Johan in Oslo, and there are countless
stores, including the world's oldest department store, Jenners.
For the rest of the day, enjoy strolling around Princes Street or
the parallel street of George Street, with lively breaks in some of the
area's pubs. Or, if you're ready for more culture, the Scottish National Gallery
is located at The Mound in Princes Street Gardens.
Here you can see works of art by international artists such as Da Vinci,
Raphael, Titian, El Greco, Rembrandt, Rubens and Van Gogh. Free admission.
In the evening, you should retire to the Old Town, where you have a lot
better selection of both dining and nightlife than New Town, or you can try your
hand at one of the many restaurants that are lined up in Edinburgh's waterfront,