Top 10 Things to See and Do in Edinburgh in Winter

Top 10 Things to See and Do in Edinburgh in Winter

The beautiful capital of Scotland has plenty to offer. The hub of attraction provides exciting events and welcomes visitors all year round. In winter snow often covers the historic architecture, which can be observed from various hills surrounding the city. Check out our list of ten great spots, that you should consider visiting once in Edinburgh.

10. Shoping in Victoria Street

The winding street, with an unusual terrace and colorful fassades, is attractive itself. Various bistros and restaurants here fill the air with delicious smells: French cuisine, cheese mongers, cafes – you name it. A great place to eat and explore the Old Town.

How to get there?

Walk there from anywhere in the city center.

Top Edinburgh-Victoria-Photo by Andy Jack

Photo by Andy Jack

Top Edinburgh-Victoria-Photo by Patricia Hofmeester

Photo by Patricia Hofmeester

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9. The Meadows

Large public park is a center of attraction as it provides a number of recreational activities. Playgrounds for children, tennis courts, a croquet club and other facilities will please more active souls. Meanwhile hiking trails surrounded with beautiful trees offer a romantic stroll anytime of the year.

How to get there?

The Meadows lies next to George Square. Several bus routes will take you there.

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Top Edinburgh-Meadows

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8. Camera Obscura and World of Illusions

Previously known as the Outlook Tower, the attraction provides various entertainments since 1835. The magical halls feature the Mirror Maze, Vortex Tunnel, holograms, 3D posters and other illusions. A great spot for a family visit.

How to get there?

Situated at the Royal Mile, it is only 100 meters from Edinburgh Castle.

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Photo by Unknown

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Photo by Unknown

7. The Royal Botanic Garden

Established in 1670, the Garden is regarded to be one of the best in the world. It features a wide variety of exotic plants, tallest Palm House in Britain, art gallery, Rock Garden and park. It provides an exhilarating stroll in Chinese Hillside or among the Redwood trees in the Woodland Garden. In winter the Garden gets covered in snow and various rare plants bloom.

How to get there?

Easy access by public transport – the Garden is only a mile away from the city center.

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6. The Pentland Hills

Pentland Hills Regional Park spans the south west area from Edinburgh. It features numerous peaks, that reach 579 m (1900 ft) height like Scald Law. The hills provide a variety of recreational activities including skiing, mountain biking, hillwalking, horse riding and even golf.

How to get there?

Get there quickly by bus from the city. There are various routes, that take to various entrances. Read more here.

Top 10 Edinburgh-Pentlands-Photo by Grant Ritchie

Photo by Grant Ritchie

Top 10 Edinburgh-Pentlands-Photo by Bob Hamilton

Photo by Bob Hamilton

Top 10 Edinburgh-Pentlands-Photo by Jason Baxter

Photo by Jason Baxter

Top 10 Edinburgh-Pentlands

Photo by Unknown

5. Holyrood Park

The park spans at the heart of the city and is considered to be archaeological and natural heritage. The mountainous part is an extinct volcano system. Arthur’s Seat, at 250.5 m (822 ft) height, is the highest peak from where an incredible panoramic views to the city open.

How to get there?

It is a short walk from the High Street, pass the Palace.

Top 10 Edinburgh-Holyrood-Photo by Tamás Kátai

Photo by Tamás Kátai

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Photo by Pierre Chaton

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Photo by Unknown

Top 10 Edinburgh-Holyrood

Photo by Unknown

4. Palace of Holyroodhouse

The official residence of the British monarch in Scotland is situated opposite to Edinburgh Castle. A 17th century palace features apartments of Mary, Queen of Scots, that are open for public to view. It is also haunted by Bald Agnes, who was accused of witchcraft. Maybe you will meet her too.

When to go there?

From 14 November to 8 February Evening Tours are available to book. Also works of Castiglione will be exhibited at this time.

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Photo by Ed O’Keeffe

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3. Edinburgh’s Hogmanay

For three days (12.30-01.01) the city turns on its festive mood and becomes a hub of attraction. Various concerts, events, Vikings march, choral singing and wonderful fireworks take over Edinburgh. It attracts people from all around the country and world.

How to get there?

Get the tickets to the shows now – visit the official website.

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2. Calton Hill

The iconic hill is enlisted as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Great views to the city open and pictures taken from here often feature the circular Dugald Stewart Monument. Many more monuments, including a tomb of David Hume and the observatory that looks like a Greek temple, are situated here. The volcanic origin, rocky and rough surface are unspoiled and add up a certain character to the city.

How to get there?

It is a short walk from Regent Road or Royal Terrace. There is also a parking lot.

Top Edinburgh-Calton-Photo by Pedro L Gili

Photo by Pedro L Gili

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Photo by Ben Christian

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1. Edinburgh Castle

The country has the biggest density of historic fortresses and palaces per acre than anywhere else in the United Kingdom. Meanwhile Edinburgh Castle is the most visited attraction in the city. In December visitors can listen to the music that used to be played to King James V during the Music Through the Ages event.

How to get there?

Get there by bus or train – the castle is located in the city center and is easily accessed.

Top 10 Edinburgh-Castle-Photo by Miles Gray

Photo by Miles Gray

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Lead photo by Mark Shimazu