Edinburgh and the Lothians

We’ve compiled the best of the best in Edinburgh and the Lothians - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Culross

    Town/Village

    With its mercat cross, cobbled streets, tolbooth, and narrow wynds (alleys), seaside Culross is a picturesque little town. It's also a living...Read More

  • 2. Edinburgh Castle

    Old Town | Castle/Palace/Chateau

    The crowning glory of the Scottish capital, Edinburgh Castle is popular not only for its pivotal role in Scottish history, but also because...Read More

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  • 3. Edinburgh Gin Distillery

    West End | Winery/Brewery/Distillery

    Whisky may be Scotland's most famous spirit, but gin also has a long and storied history here—and it's making a comeback. Edinburgh Gin is a...Read More

  • 4. Isle of May

    Island

    This small island in the middle of the Firth of Forth is home to many interesting sights, from the ruins of a medieval priory to a Gothic lighthouse...Read More

  • 5. Jupiter Artland

    Museum/Gallery

    The beautiful grounds of a Jacobean manor house have been transformed by an art-loving couple, Robert and Nicky Wilson, into an impressive sculpture...Read More

  • 6. Kirk of the Greyfriars

    Old Town | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Greyfriars Church, built on the site of a medieval monastery, was where the National Covenant was signed in 1638. The covenant, which declared...Read More

  • 7. National Museum of Scotland

    Old Town | Museum/Gallery

    This museum traces the country's fascinating story from the oldest fossils to the most recent popular culture, making it a must-see for first...Read More

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  • 8. Palace of Holyroodhouse

    Old Town | Castle/Palace/Chateau

    Onetime haunt of Mary, Queen of Scots, with a long history of gruesome murder, destructive fire, and power-hungry personalities, the Palace...Read More

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  • 9. Rosslyn Chapel

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    This chapel has always beckoned curious visitors intrigued by the various legends surrounding its magnificent carvings, but today it pulses...Read More

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  • 10. Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

    Inverleith | Garden/Arboretum

    Explore Britain's largest rhododendron and azalea gardens at this beautiful 70-acre botanical garden. Founded in 1670 as a physic garden, it...Read More

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  • 11. Scottish National Gallery

    New Town | Museum/Gallery

    Opened to the public in 1859, the Scottish National Gallery presents a wide selection of paintings from the Renaissance to the postimpressionist...Read More

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  • 12. Scottish Storytelling Centre and John Knox House

    Old Town | Arts/Performance Venue

    The stripped-down, low-fi, traditional art of storytelling has had something of a resurgence in Britain over the last decade or so, and there...Read More

  • 13. The Pentlands

    Mountain–Sight

    These unmistakable hills begin almost in the suburbs of Edinburgh, and they make for a very welcome escape from the city crowds. There are access...Read More

  • 14. Alva Glen

    Park (National/State/Provincial)

    There's a gorgeously green gorge at Alva Glen. Lovely walking paths follow the gushing Alva Burn and pass many abandoned woolen mills, though...Read More

  • 15. Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum

    Museum/Gallery

    Scottish-American industrialist and noted philanthropist Andrew Carnegie was born here in 1835. Don't be misled by the simple exterior of this...Read More

  • 16. Arthur's Seat

    Old Town | Viewpoint/Scenic Overlook

    The high point of 640-acre Holyrood Park is this famously spectacular viewpoint. You'll have seen it before—countless photos have been snapped...Read More

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  • 17. Blackness Castle

    Castle/Palace/Chateau

    Standing like a grounded ship on the very edge of the Forth, this curious 15th-century structure has had a varied career as a strategic fortress...Read More

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  • 18. Calton Hill

    New Town | Memorial/Monument/Tomb

    Robert Louis Stevenson's favorite view of his beloved city was from the top of this hill, and it's easy to see why. Located in the heart of...Read More

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  • 19. Camera Obscura and World of Illusions

    Old Town | Viewpoint/Scenic Overlook

    View Edinburgh like a Victorian at the city's 19th-century camera obscura. Head up Outlook Tower for the headline attraction—an optical instrument...Read More

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  • 20. Canongate

    Old Town | Neighborhood/Street

    This section of the Royal Mile takes its name from the canons who once ran the abbey at Holyrood. Canongate—in Scots, gate means "street"...Read More

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