Planning to hang around the Scottish capital sometime soon? We’ve got good news for you if you’re tied by a budget: Edinburgh will not disappoint with free things to do and see while you’re visiting. Here’s a little guide that your pocket book will be happy for.
Summers in Edinburgh are glorious… we’re not talking about the weather because let’s face it, you can never depend on the weather in Scotland, but the city is exploding with culture, festivals, great pub grub and everything else you can imagine. Splash out for accommodation, the rest is easy (and even free).
Will your trip to Scotland take you to Edinburgh?
Art & Culture
Get yourself to one of Edinburgh’s great galleries, most of which are free: Dean Gallery (73 Belford Road), Gallery of Modern Art (73/75 Belford Road), the National Portrait Gallery (1 Queen Street), National Galleries of Scotland (The Mound) and City Art Centre (2 Market Street).
Edinburgh is home to many a performer and you can bet that the buskers are out in full-swing when the weather is fine, especially at festival time. The best places to watch them are High Street in Edinburgh’s Old Town and The Mound in the city centre. It’s completely free to watch but it is courteous to spare a pound or two at the end of the performance.
Arthur’s Seat is a defining part of Edinburgh’s skyline. The rocky peak of the dormant volcano in Holyrood Park offers quite the view, well worth the hike up. The view is incredible, 360° incredible. You can see as far as the Forth Bridges in the west to the hill of North Berwick Law in the east.
The Royal Botanical Gardens cover more than 70 acres and are popular year-round, even in the rain. Established in 1670, today the RBGE comprises of the largest collection of Chinese plants outside of China, an interesting rock garden and the Scottish Heath Garden which features plants from the highlands.
Other free sights:
- Greyfriar’s Kirk – historic church with an interesting history
- St Gile’s Cathedral – gorgeous stained glass windows, Crown Spire
- Scottish Writer’s Museum – focuses on Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson
- National Museum of Scotland – natural history, local culture
Are you planning to spend your holidays in Edinburgh? What are your favourite things to do in Edinburgh?