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Places Of Interest in Edinburgh

Places of Interest in Edinburgh Like a Russian doll the Scottish capital has more and more places of interest the further you delve, so whether you’re in the city for just a weekend or you're an Edinburgh city slicker at a loose end, you’re bound to find something to do.

Scotland’s most visited attraction is the ever looming guardian of the city - Edinburgh Castle [map]. Built on an extinct volcano’s core, you’ll see stunning vistas of Edinburgh from the castle embattlements and inside you can experience the Scottish Crown Jewels, the stone of destiny, changing of the guard and a gun salute.

Leading from the castle through the medieval Old Town is Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, which holds a number of interesting treasures as well as being an intriguing place in its own right. It is divided into four separate streets; Castle Hill, Lawnmarket, High Street and Canongate [map] where you’ll find a number of historic buildings and cobbled wynds as well as the Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre, Camera Obsura and World of Illusions, the Writers museum, and Tron Kirk, where Hogmanay revellers gather to hear the bells ring in the at New Year.

Set into the Royal Mile by St Giles Cathedral is the Heart of Midlothian [map], a heart shaped symbol of the original centre of Midlothian. The cobbled marker is also a reminder of where Tolbooth of Edinburgh - the administration centre, prison and an execution site - was in the 15th century. Criminals used to spit on the door of the Tolbooth as they passed and today some people still carry on this tradition for luck.

Having led away from the castle at one end, the Royal Mile brings you to the Palace of Holyroodhouse [map] , the Queen’s official Scottish residence. Built as a monastery in 1128, the building has played host to a succession of kings and queens through Scotland’s turbulent past.

At the southernmost edge of the Old Town you’ll find Greyfriars Kirk [map], the resting place of many notable Scots and Greyfriars Bobby, a terrier who watched over his master’s grave for 14 years. The graveyard at Greyfriars, also known as the Covenanters Prison, is also home to the capital’s most notorious ghost the ‘Mackenzie Poltergeist’.

For something a little more of this world there’s Dynamic Earth [map], the Edinburgh Dungeon [map], the Royal Observatory [map] and Royal Yacht Britannia [map].

Creatures great and small can be found at one of Edinburgh’s animal attractions including Edinburgh Zoo [map] for the penguin parade, Deep Sea World for shark dives in the world’s longest underwater safari and the Butterfly and Insect World [map].

Edinburgh also remains true to its cultural past with the National Museum of Scotland [map], the National Gallery of Scotland [map] and numerous other museums and galleries.

If you want to comment on our choices or recommend somewhere, why not use our What You Recommend form to let us know.

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