A trip to Scotland’s capital combines the best of the country’s past and present. If you’re a first time visitor, you’ll be fascinated by its medieval-era towns – Old Town and New Town – and the famous Edinburgh Castle. At the same time, you’ll enjoy the area’s more modern attractions, including countless pubs, festivals, shopping areas, museums, galleries, and many other landmarks.
There’s so much to see when you go to Edinburgh. It will be such a waste not to view them all. If you’re going to be there for a short period, it’s best to plan. For a day tour, consider the city’s top destinations.
Before you start your journey, make sure to book your transportation to Edinburgh. It’s a more convenient way of planning your route to and from the airport.
Your first stop is Scotland’s famous icon, the Edinburgh Castle. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with the Old and New Towns. It opens daily at 9:30 in the morning. Be sure to be there early to beat the crowd and enjoy the sceneries and structures.
The castle is located atop the Royal Mile, easily recognizable on the city’s skyline. Inside, you can visit the National War Monument and the stately Honours of Scotland. The Honours of Scotland, also known as the Scottish Crown Jewels or the Scottish Regalia, houses the Crown Jewels of Scotland, including the crown, scepter, and sword of state.
Visiting the Crown Room might entice you to purchase some jewelry. You can go to the Royal Apartments, where they seel specially-made jewelry to visitors.
If the castle didn’t eat much of your time, you could go on a day tour of the city on an open-top sightseeing bus. From the Waverley Bridge, it will take you to the Castle Esplanade, Ramsay Lane, Mound, and Princess Street Gardens in splendid succession. These highlights are all located in the Old and New Towns.
A bus tour would typically take one hour. What’s good about these tours is that you can hop off anywhere you want in the journey. You can do this to take a closer look at the other sites, such as the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Holyrood Park, and Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano that provides a 360-degree view of Edinburgh.
The Real Mary King's Close
From Arthur’s Seat, your next stop is an early evening trip to the Real Mary King’s Close. Take a personal tour of the area for this part of your sightseeing adventure.
Go through the area of Canongate and Holyrood, where you’ll see lots of stores selling whiskey, wool, cashmere, and various other Scottish items. There are traditional pubs along the way, too.
You’ll also pass the beautiful St. Giles’ Cathedral and finally, the Real Mary King’s Close, a collection of medieval underground alleyway hidden beneath the Royal Mile.
The Royal Mile
Speaking of the Royal Mile, it will be your last stop for the day. Make it memorable by eating dinner in one of the many establishments in the area. Choose from a wide variety of local and international cuisine. Cap off the evening with a visit to any of the bustling and sophisticated pubs.