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World Travel Guide > Guides > Europe > United Kingdom > Scotland > Edinburgh

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Things to see in Edinburgh

Tourist Offices

VisitScotland Edinburgh Information Centre

Address: , 3 Princes Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2QP
Telephone: +44 (0)131 473 3868
Opening times:

1st July-8th September: Mon-Sat: 0900-1900 and Sun: 1000-1900
9th September-31st March: Mon-Sat: 0900-1700 and Sun: 1000-1700
1st April-2nd June: Mon-Sat: 0900-1700 and Sun: 1000-1700
3rd June-30th June: Mon-Sat: 0900-1800 and Sun: 1000-1800

Website: https://www.visitscotland.com/info/services/edinburgh-icentre-p234441

A one-stop shop for everything from booking day trips and reserving accommodation to buying passes for transport and arranging city tours.

Tourist passes

The Royal Edinburgh Ticket gives admission to Edinburgh Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, and the Royal Yacht Britannia as well as unlimited travel over two days on the city's sightseeing buses. They are available from the Information Centre on Princes Street or online (www.edinburghtour.com).

Attractions

Edinburgh Castle

This is Scotland's most famous tourist attraction, which withstood numerous attacks from Oliver Cromwell's Roundheads in 1650, and William and Mary's army in 1689. The buildings within the fortress include a 12th century chapel (Edinburgh's oldest building) and the Great Hall, completed in 1511. The castle is home to the National War Museum of Scotland, hosts the Edinburgh Military Tattoo every August, and is still an active army base.

Address: , Castlehill, Edinburgh, EH1 2NG
Telephone: +44 (0)131 225 9846
Opening times:

Summer (26th March-30th September): Mon-Sun: 0930-1800
Winter: (1st October-3st March): Mon-Sun: 0930-1700
Website: http://www.edinburghcastle.scot
Admission Fees:

Yes.

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

National Galleries of Scotland

Scotland's national art collection is held by the National Galleries of Scotland and is displayed across three locations in Edinburgh: the National Gallery Complex, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, and the Modern Art Galleries. It includes the world's most comprehensive collection of Scottish art, as well as work by Europe's great masters.

Address: , The Mound, Edinburgh, EH2 2EL
Telephone: +44 (0)131 624 6200
Opening times:

Open daily from 1000-1700 and 1000-1900 on Thursdays

Website: http://www.nationalgalleries.org
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

National Museum of Scotland

Refurbished in 2011, this superb museum incorporates everything from Scottish history, art, and design to world culture, the natural world, and science and technology with over 8,000 objects on display. The hands-on Imagine gallery, Adventure Planet, and Connect gallery have masses of interactive fun for small visitors.

Address: , Chambers Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1JF
Telephone: +44 (0)300 123 6789
Opening times:

Daily 1000-1700

Website: http://www.nms.ac.uk
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: Yes

Royal Yacht Britannia

Launched in 1953 by Queen Elizabeth, the Royal Yacht Britannia served as a floating residence for the royal family until it was decommissioned in 1997. It is now permanently berthed in Leith, Edinburgh's historic port, and is open to the public as an award-winning museum. There is an additional visitor centre next door.

Address: Leith, Ocean Terminal, Edinburgh, EH6 6JJ
Telephone: +44 (0)131 555 5566
Opening times:

Listed below are admission times:
January-March: Mon-Sun: 1000-1530
April-September: Mon-Sun: 0930-1630
October: Mon-Sun: 0930-1600
November-December: Mon-Sun: 1000-1530

Website: http://www.royalyachtbritannia.co.uk
Admission Fees:

Yes.

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Edinburgh Zoo

Opened in 1913 by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, Edinburgh Zoo is one of the most significant zoos in Europe. It is Scotland's most popular wildlife attraction with over 1,000 animals, including the UK's only giant pandas and koalas. It also boasts a huge chimpanzee enclosure and the biggest penguin pool in Europe.

Address: , 134 Corstorphine Road, Edinburgh, EH12 6TS
Telephone: +44 (0)131 334 9171
Opening times:

April-September: Mon-Sun: 1000-1800
October-March: Mon-Sun: 1000-1700
November-February: Mon-Sun: 1000-1600

Website: http://www.edinburghzoo.org.uk
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Palace of Holyroodhouse

The Palace of Holyroodhouse sits at the eastern end of the Royal Mile and is the Queen's official residence in Scotland. The palace was once the home of Mary, Queen of Scots, and the Royal Apartments are renowned for their fine architecture and furnishings. The Queen's Gallery holds outstanding exhibitions throughout the year.

Address: Royal Mile, Canongate, Edinburgh, EH8 8DX
Telephone: +44 (0)303 123 7306
Opening times:

1st November-29th March: Mon-Sun: 0930-1630 (last admission 15:15)
31st March-31st October: Mon-Sun: 0930-1800 (last admission 1630)

Website: https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/visit/palace-of-holyroodhouse
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

The Scotch Whisky Experience

On the Scotch Whisky Experience tour, you'll hop aboard a barrel for a ride through a replica distillery. You'll be taken through the whole whisky-making process and guided round the different whisky-producing regions, before concluding with a tutored nosing and tasting, plus a look at the world's largest collection (over 3,000 bottles) of Scotch whisky.

Address: Royal Mile, 354 Castlehill, Edinburgh, EH1 2NE
Telephone: +44 (0)131 220 0441
Opening times:

January-March: Mon-Sun: 1000-1700
April-May: Mon-Sun: 1000-1800
June: Mon-Sun: 1000-1930
July: Mon-Sun: 1000-2020
August:Mon-Fri: 1000-1700 and Sat-Sun: 1000-1740
September-December: Mon-Sun: 1000-1700

Website: http://www.scotchwhiskyexperience.co.uk
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

The Scottish Parliament

The Scottish Parliament meets in a purpose-designed building at the foot of the Royal Mile opposite the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Much of it is open to the public, and free one-hour guided tours of the floor of the Chamber and a committee room are available when Parliament is not in session.

Address: , Holyrood, Edinburgh, EH99 1SP
Telephone: +44 (0)131 348 5200
Opening times:

Daily: 1000-1700 (last admission is at 1630)

Website: http://www.parliament.scot
Admission Fees:

No.

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

St Giles' Cathedral

A church has stood on the site of St Giles' Cathedral since the early 12th century. John Knox served as minister here from 1559, when he led the Reformation into Edinburgh, until 1572. The present building boasts a notable collection of stained-glass windows, ornate woodcarvings, and one of the finest organs in Europe.

Address: Royal Mile, High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1RE
Telephone: +44 (0)131 225 9442
Opening times:

April-October: Mon-Fri: 0900-1900, Sat: 0900-1700 and Sun: 1300-1700November-March: Mon-Sat: 0900-1700 and Sun: 1300-1700

Website: http://www.stgilescathedral.org.uk
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: Yes

Mary King's Close

In the late 18th century, almost everyone in Edinburgh lived in "closes" - steep, narrow streets built either side of the Royal Mile. A block of these now buried closes has been opened up, and guided tours of Mary King's Close are conducted by actors playing people who really lived there in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Address: High Street, 2 Warriston's Close, Edinburgh, EH1 1PG
Telephone: +44 (0)131 225 0672
Opening times:

December-March: Mon-Thu: 1000-1700, Fri-Sat: 1000-2100 and Sun: 1000-1700 (10th -18th February is 1000-2100)
April-October: Mon-Sun: 1000-2130
November: Mon-Thu: 0900-1730, Fri-Sat: 0930-2100 and Sun: 0930-1830Website: http://www.realmarykingsclose.com
Admission Fees:

Yes.

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: Yes

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