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. 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

  • 2. 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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  • 3. 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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  • 4. 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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  • 5. 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

  • 6. 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

  • 7. 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

  • 8. 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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  • 9. 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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  • 10. Canongate Kirk

    Old Town | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    This unadorned Church of Scotland building, built in 1688, is best known for its graveyard. It is the final resting place of some notable Scots...Read More

  • 11. Canongate Tolbooth and People's Story Museum

    Old Town | Museum/Gallery

    Nearly every city and town in Scotland once had a tolbooth. Originally a customhouse, where tolls were gathered, it soon came to mean town hall...Read More

  • 12. Dunfermline Abbey and Palace

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    This impressive complex, the literal and metaphorical centerpiece of Dunfermline, was founded in the 11th century as a Benedictine abbey by...Read More

  • 13. Fruitmarket Gallery

    Old Town | Museum/Gallery

    This contemporary gallery behind Waverley station showcases cutting-edge art, mostly from Europe and the United States, including world-renowned...Read More

  • 14. George IV Bridge

    Old Town | Bridge/Tunnel

    Here's a curiosity—a bridge that most of its users don't ever realize is a bridge. With buildings closely packed on both sides, George IV Bridge...Read More

  • 15. George Street

    New Town | Neighborhood/Street

    With its high-end shops, upmarket bistros, and five-star hotels, all with handsome Georgian frontages, George Street is a more pleasant, less...Read More

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  • 16. Grassmarket

    Plaza/Square/Piazza

    For centuries an agricultural marketplace, Grassmarket now is the site of numerous shops, bars, and restaurants, making it a hive of activity...Read More

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  • 17. High Kirk of St. Giles

    Old Town | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    St. Giles, which lies about one-third of the way along the Royal Mile from Edinburgh Castle, is one of the city's principal churches. However...Read More

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  • 18. Lawnmarket

    Old Town | Neighborhood/Street

    A corruption of "land market," Lawnmarket is the second of the streets that make up the Royal Mile. It was formerly the site of the produce...Read More

  • 19. Museum of Childhood

    Old Town | Museum/Gallery

    Even adults tend to enjoy this cheerfully noisy museum—a cacophony of childhood memorabilia, vintage toys, antique dolls, and fairground games...Read More

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  • 20. Museum of Edinburgh

    Old Town | Museum/Gallery

    A must-see if you're interested in the details of Old Town life, this bright yellow, 16th-century building is home to a fascinating museum of...Read More

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