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Edinburgh is bursting with great activities, most of which are free or cheap to do. You’ll find an interesting range of things to do in Edinburgh that won’t cost a penny.
Edinburgh’s wealth of green space makes it hard to believe you’re even in a city. Along with beautiful gardens and parks, you’ll discover inner-city trails and rivers that offer you a break from the hustle and bustle. Princes Street Gardens is a hub of flora and fauna, while the Royal Botanic Garden is considered to be one of the finest in the world.
Those looking for a golden photo opportunity should head to Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano that lies within Holyrood Park. Head to the craggy top for panoramic views across Edinburgh.
If you’re willing to travel a little further, the neighbouring Lothians offer you the chance to explore unspoilt coastline and enchanting castles in Scotland’s beautiful Lowlands.
Edinburgh is a city steeped in culture and heritage. From year-round festivals to an abundance of free museums and festivals, you’ll never be short of cultural things to do in Edinburgh.
When travelling to Edinburgh, be sure to visit one of its fantastic museums before you leave. Take the whole family for a walk through the planet’s past, present and future at Our Dynamic Earth, or explore the exhibitions of the National Museum of Scotland – including the Natural World which features a pretty cool T-Rex!
The Writers' Museum, near the top of the Royal Mile, contains fascinating first editions, portraits and objects relating to the lives and work of Scotland’s great literary figures such as Robert Burns.
There’s also a wide range of galleries in Edinburgh. The Scottish National Gallery, Scottish National Portrait Gallery and Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art make up The National Galleries of Scotland, each showcasing their own collections of world class art.
No visit to Edinburgh would be complete without a visit to the Edinburgh Castle. Built atop extinct volcanic rock and towering over the Royal Mile, Scotland’s favourite tourist attraction dominates the city skyline. Sneak a peak at the crown jewels or witness the guns being fired.
The biggest and most celebrated arts festival in the world, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival pulls in over 2,000 shows across August, ranging from spoken word and comedy to theatre and dance. A number of other festivals run throughout the summer, including the Edinburgh International Film Festival and the Edinburgh International Book Festival.
Experience first class shopping in the stunning surroundings of Edinburgh and The Lothians.
The famous Princes Street is a great place to start. Along with its mix of high street and designer outlets, you’ll also find the iconic department store, Jenners, a city institution since 1838.
Edinburgh’s Royal Mile offers those travelling to Edinburgh a chance to pick up the perfect souvenirs, such as luxurious Scottish cashmere, whisky and handmade fudge, while the West End houses a variety of quirky and kitsch boutiques selling vintage clothes and rare books.
Named as one of the top five shopping outlets in the UK, you’ll also want to check out shopping opportunities in The Lothians. Rumble through heavily discounted designer brands at Livingstone Designer Outlet, or visit Linlithgow, a Fairtrade town.