Self catering accommodation, houses to rent - the best online listings plus information on what to see and do in Edinburgh
Homeaway offer more than three hundred self catering houses and apartments for rent in Edinburgh, from 1+ beds to 6+ beds. Most of the properties have extensive feedback from previous guests to look at before you book, and there is instant confirmation available, so you don't have to wait for owner approval. Take your pick from a choice of cheap and chearful all the way through to luxury accommodation.Edinburgh rentals
They have a good selection of Edinburgh and Leith accommodation, and also houses in the area immediately around the city. Most have internet access. The Holiday Cottages site has 'at a glance' information to quickly check if the place is suitable for you (for example, if it is family-friendly). You can quickly see the availability for each house and there is an easy booking system when you find the dates you need.Read More
Hotellook.com offers an easy way to see what types of accommodation are available in the city of Edinburgh including apartments, B&B, lodges, hotels and other options. Easily check for the features and facilities you need before booking, or use their map to find a place where you want to be, in or around the city, at the price you want.Hotels and more
Viator has tickets for all the Edinburgh attractions - Castle tours, Palace of Holyrood House visits, Royal Mile tours, the Underground Ghost and even a guided trip up Arthur's Seat. Check out the hop-on-hop-off tour buses too, and their guide to the top shopping spots in the Old and New Towns.Edinburgh activities
Attractions, walks, wildlife
Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland and one of the most spectacular European cities, also known as the Athens of the North because of its numerous historic sites. The city's oldest part is the Old Town. Its medieval core together with the New Town dating from the 19th and 18th centuries form a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Their winding lanes and the spectacular surroundings make Edinburgh an attractive destination to enjoy and to explore.
The Castle is a breath-taking construction in the city of Edinburgh. It overlooks the city from the volcanic cliff of Castle Rock. The former residence of Scottish monarchs, today it is a museum and one of the most exciting historical monuments in Europe. Visitors can enjoy the Royal Palace and the Crown Room (with the oldest Crown jewels in Britain). The Scottish National War Museum is another significant point of interest here, just like Mons Meg, the six-tonne siege gun from the 15th century.
The Royal Mile
This walk takes you through the heart of the old town of Edinburgh, from the Castle at the top, to Holyrood palace (aka the Palace of Holyroodhouse) at the bottom. On the way you will visit Parliament square, St Giles’ cathedral, the Heart of Midlothian mosaic, the Bridges, John Knox’s house, the Canongate and The Scottish Parliament. You can do some shopping on the way, as you pass some of the world's best whisky shops!
The Scottish Parliament building
This is situated at the bottom of the Royal Mile, beside the Palace of Holyroodhouse. When the Parliament is not in session you can have a guided tour of the Parliament building, which was opened in 2004. The building design was chosen after a competition, won by Catalan architect Enric Miralles, and has remained controversial. Many people are of the opinion it is more attractive inside than out, and the debating chamber is certainly impressive.
The Palace of Holyroodhouse, also known as Holyrood Palace
This 17th century building is the official residence of the Queen in Scotland, but it is open to visitors, along with the pleasant grounds, which have the ruins of the 15th century Holyrood abbey.
Arthur's Seat and Holyrood Park
The extinct volcano of Arthur Seat, another one in the city, is the most prominent point in Holyrood Park. It is a short walk from the Royal Mile and the historical heart of the city. Hiking up the 250-metre cliff is an amazing way to see the city from above. The 640-acre park area shelters the diversity of plants and interesting geological phenomena.
The historic heart of Leith is the Shore of Leith on banks of the Water of Leith. With its historic buildings, quays and boats it looks like a fishing village. However, despite the cobbled quays and the old looks, this area can boast of three Michelin starred restaurants. It is a cosmopolitan area and a cultural district with the historic Leith Theatre, numerous trendy bars and restaurants.
Scottish National Gallery
The Scottish National Gallery on the Mound in the centre of the city close to Princes Street is an extraordinary building designed in a neoclassical style. It houses one of the world's finest collections of art. Free admission allows everyone to admire masterpieces by painters like Botticelli, Titian, Rembrandt, Constable, Turner, Monet, Van Gogh and Gauguin, and many others.
Stretching from George IV Bridge to the Grassmarket, Victoria Street is home to chic boutiques like Swish and Walker Slater and places for art lovers like The Red Door Gallery. Gourmands will not easily resist tasty food in stylish restaurants and exquisite drinks in The Whiskey Shop and the others.
Edinburgh hosts the world's largest arts festival every year. It takes place in August and during the three weeks of the festival there are thousands of various events at different venues. It is certainly the best time of the year to visit the city and watch an infinite number of plays, stand-up, live music and other cultural events. Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival takes place in July at numerous interesting venues. It has such a variety of fantastic music that there is something for everyone.
Although it seems surprising to see such an unconventional museum as Camera Obscura next to the historical sights of the city, the secret is revealed when you come to the top floor. It is a Victorian structure where the whole city is projected. It takes time to explore the five floors of the building packed with fun. Numerous interactive exhibits will entertain kids and adults alike. As it stands at the top of the historic Royal Mile, you will certainly walk past it – don't miss the opportunity to enjoy one of the best attractions in Edinburgh.
What can be more relaxing than the shadowy Meadows of Edinburgh University's Central Campus? This stretch of green is full of students during the summer. It can also be your hideaway from the hustle and bustle of the city and a place to rest after exploring the Old Town.
The Scott Monument
The Scott Monument - dedicated to Sir Walter Scott - is a prominent Gothic style wonder, set in Princes Street Gardens. Visitors can climb up the narrow spiral staircase inside the monument – the spectacular view from the top is worth it. This is one of the largest world’s monuments dedicated to a writer. Walter Scott wrote the classics Waverley, Rob Roy, Ivanhoe and Quentin Durward, and lived in Edinburgh for much of his life.
Royal Botanic Garden
Just a mile from the city, you can enjoy the tranquility of nature in the Royal Botanic Garden. A visit to Edinburgh would not be complete without this 70-acre haven with plants from all over the world, the Living Collection and the opportunity to learn about 350 years of history. The Garden's 10 magnificent Glasshouses are certainly a must-see, with ten climatic zones and more than 3,000 exotic plants.
National Museum of Scotland
This wonderful, grand museum with free entry offers displays on all periods of Scotland’s history and prehistory, as well as its natural history and wildlife. Give yourself at least half a day to explore all the galleries. You can also get up to the roof, to see panoramic views of Edinburgh’s skyline.
If you feel like getting out of the city, the Pentlands to the south-east of the city offer easy walking and hill climbing. Access points can be found at Currie or Balerno, and at various points beyond those villages on the A70 Carnwath road, locally known as the ‘Lang Whang’. Access can also be had from the A702, at Penicuik and beyond. There is a visitor centre at Harlaw house near Currie. The Pentland hills, particularly in the west of the range beyond Harperrig, offer a surprisingly remote-feeling experience. Near Penicuik you can challenge yourself with a climb of the range's two highest hills, Carnethy and Scald Law, which have wonderful views on a clear day.