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Attractions with Admission Charges
 
Camera Obscura  
A 19th century attraction, which uses daylight and mirrors to give a unique view of Edinburgh.  3D holograms, Victorian photograph and pinhole photography are just some of the things on display in this wonderful building next to the castle.
 
City Art Centre 
Six floors of displays and galleries with various exhibitions on all subjects from all over the world.  The centre also houses Edinburgh’s fine art collection.
 
Craigmillar Castle 
On the outskirts of the city this 15th Century keep was enclosed in the 16th Century and deserted in the 18th.  The castle offers the best view’s of the Lothian’s and in my opinion is the most atmospheric of all the castles I have visited.  Strong connections with Mary Queen of Scots, and the murder of her husband Lord Darnley.
 
Deep Sea World  – South Queensferry 
Travel on a moving walkway through the world’s longest underwater aquarium tunnel and come face to face with the inhabitants of the deep.  Interactive rock pools, feeding session, an audio-visual theatre and a diver communication system all add up to a five star day out for all ages.
 
Edinburgh Castle 

One of the best castles in the world.  With a Norman church, the Scottish Crown Jewels, The Stone of Destiny, the National War Memorial, a 15th century giant cannon, palace, military museums and the Napoleonic prisons to start with. Young and old will love and remember the day they spend at Edinburgh Castle.
 
Edinburgh Crystal 
Find out about the history of glass blowing and engraving. Watch and maybe even join the craftsmen in producing the world famous Edinburgh Crystal.  Cafeteria and shop open to the public free of charge.  This attraction is around 30 minutes south of the City Centre
 
Edinburgh Dungeon 
Enjoy a scaringly good time at one of our newer attractions.  Cannibals, grave robbers, murders and ghosts are all here.
 
Edinburgh Zoo
Britain’s most popular Wildlife attraction with over 1000 animals many threatened in the wild.  Visit the world’s largest penguin enclosure and see the famous Penguin Parade daily at 1400.
 
Georgian House 
Designed by Robert Adam.  A typical house in Edinburgh’s New Town furnished as it would have been by its first owners in 1796.  Located in the extremely elegant Charlotte Square.
 
Gladstones Land 
Typical example of the 17th Century tenements of Edinburgh’s Old Town that once cluttered the Royal Mile.  Built in 1620 this building has survived to show what life was like before the New Town.  Contain the original painted ceiling and contemporary furniture.
 
Glenkinchie Distillery   
One of the “Classic Malts” of Scotland. This distillery is situated 18 miles from Edinburgh in East Lothian.
 
John Knox House 
A picturesque 15th Century house associated with John Knox the great reformer and the Reformation of 1560.  Learn about the religious troubles in the 16th. Century and see many of the original features of this beautiful house.
 
Old Town Weaving Company 
Next to the castle this working mill allows the visitor to follow the production of Tartan Cloth ‘from sheep to shop’ try making tartan on a pedal loom in a building that once housed Edinburgh’s reservoir.
 
Open-Top Bus Tours  
Three companies cover most of historic Edinburgh offering “Hop on Hop off” 24hour tickets. One tour travels down to the port of Leith and The Royal Yacht Britannia. Multi Language tours are also available.
 
Our Dynamic Earth 
A £24 million attraction, showing the creation of the world from a scientific point of view.  Travel through time to the “Big Bang” follows the ice as it gouges its way over land in the ice age.  Through tropical forest and artic conditions watch as life evolves and begins to affect the fine ecological balance required for life to be sustained.  Both educational, and thought provoking.
 
Nelson Monument 
A telescope shaped tower on top of the Calton Hill.  This attraction doubles, as a monument to Lord Nelson and as a timepiece letting the people of Edinburgh know when it is one o’clock.
 
Palace of Holyroodhouse 
The official residence of the monarch in Scotland.  The ruined Abbey dates from the 12th Century, and the oldest part of the palace from 1500.  Charles 11 extended the Palace to its present size.  Visit the staterooms of Mary Queen of Scots and see where her husband, Darnley, murdered her Italian servant Rizzio.  The present day State Apartments house tapestries and paintings many going back to the 17th Century.  Marvel at the ostentatious apartments created during the restoration period.
 
Rosslyn Chapel   
A fascinating 15th. Century chapel, which has been linked to the Freemasons and the Knights Templars and relics, like the Holy Grail. This Chapel features in the final chapters in the best seller The Da Vinci Code.
Decorated with spectular carvings, including plants from the New World, which pre-date Columbus.
 
Royal Yacht Britannia 
After nearly 50 years and a million mile on Royal Duty around the world the yacht that has played host to Kings, Queens, Presidents and Prime Ministers now plays host to you.s
 
Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre 
Visitors ride through history in a whisky barrel and discover the origins of Scotch Whisky and the secrets of Whisky making.  Find out the difference between mat and blended whisky and taste the difference in the shop.
 
Scott Monument 
One of Edinburgh’s most famous landmarks commemorates one of Scotland greatest writers, Sir Walter Scott.  Climb the 287 steps and be rewarded with superb view of Edinburgh and its surroundings.  A Museum dedicated to Sir Walter Scott is situated half way up the magnificent gothic monument.
 
Walking Tours 
Although built on 7 hills Edinburgh’s great attractions is that it is small enough to walk around.  Therefore a good way to see the town is on foot.  There are walking tours covering the historical Old Town, the classical New Town, the scary and bloody parts of our town and even a Literary Pub Tour, The ultimate is probably the tours of “underground” medieval Edinburgh.
 
Attractions with Free Admission
 
Arthurs Seat   
Edinburgh’s largest attraction.  At 820 ft this is the largest volcano in Britain and is part of the Queens Park and is accessible by car, bicycle or by foot.  A walk up Arthur’s Seat will take you past Lochs, Cliffs, Volcanic rock and primitive terraces where men farmed before moving to Edinburgh Castle Rock for protection.  Arthur’s Seat was the inspiration behind James Huttons “The Theory of the Earth”.  Hutton became known as The Father of Modern Geology.
 
Bank of Scotland Museum 
A small but unusual museum telling the 300 year old story of Scotland’s first bank and the economic ups and downs of the country.  The museum is located in the banks H.Q. that sits on a magnificent setting high above Princes Street.
 
Brass Rubbing Centre 
Tucked in behind the tenements of the Royal Mile is the remains of a 15th Century church.  Dismantled to make way for the railways the church was not re-built immediately, which caused many of the numbered bricks to be stolen and as a result the brass rubbing takes place in the Apse put together with the materials available.
 
Edinburgh Museum  
In a collection of 16th and 17th Century houses we have the definitive history of Edinburgh.  Romans, sedan chairs, town militia, silverware, the great fire, royal visitors, glassware, the signing of the Covenant and of course Greyfriars Bobby.
 
Forth Bridges 
10 Miles from town stands the Forth Road Bridge at one time the longest suspension bridge in Europe and the Forth Rail Bridge arguably the most impressive bridge in the world!
 
Fruitmarket Gallery 
Formally the Market of Edinburgh, the gallery is now an acclaimed art gallery with an International reputation for diverse and challenging pro-active exhibitions.
 
Greyfriars Kirk
Edinburgh’s first reformed church.  On display is the National Covenant signed in the church in 1638, which started 50 years of religious civil war in Scotland.  Visit the Covenanter’s Prison where many Protestants died for there beliefs and see the graves of great historical figures including James Hutton, the “Father of Modern Geology” and Greyfriars Bobby.
 
James Pringle Weavers Leith Mills 
Large shop selling woollens, tartans, clothing and gifts.  With a new Whisky Shop and the Clan Tartan Centre you can check out your favourite dram and any Scottish family connections you may have.
 
Magdalene Chapel 
Built in 1541 the home of the Scottish Reformation Society.
 
Museum of Childhood 
This is not a museum just for children, it is a museum dedicated to the “Memory of Childhood”.  With toys and memories from bygone days this unique museum is a MUST for all ages.
 
Museum of Fire 
Housed in the historic headquarters of the oldest municipal fire brigade in the world this museum shows the development of fire fighting through the years with fire engines and apparatus dating back to 1806.
 
Museum of Scotland 
A very modern extension to the Royal Museum.  This is the definitive Scottish museum.  Taking you from the formation of Scotland (from a geological point of view) on the basement, through to the present day on the 5th floor.  Everything important to Scotland is here.  I mean everything! Remember to take the elevator to the roof for a spectacular view of Edinburgh.
 
National Gallery of Scotland 
Considered to be one of the finest “small” Art Gallery’s in Europe.  The building was designed by William henry playfair in the 1850’s in a classic Greek Style and houses a collection representing most of the masters.  It also houses the national collection of Scottish Art.  A favourite with Art lovers from around the world. In 2004 The National Gallery and The Royal Scottish Academy were linked underground in a £30 million pound development forming one of the most up to date exhibition venues in Europe.
 
National Library of Scotland 
Founded in 1682, the library is a treasure house of books and manuscripts, with reading rooms open for research to scholars from home and abroad.
 
Parliament Hall 
Built in the 1630’s this was the seat of the Scottish parliament until the Treaty of the Union 1707.  Now the Supreme Law Courts of Scotland, Parliament Hall has a fine Hammer beam roof and fine paintings and statues.
 
Peoples story 
In the picturesque Cannongate Tollbooth built in 1591 this attraction tells the story of the ordinary people of Edinburgh over the last 200 years.  Sights sounds and smells and with the 20th Century included, a history you can compare to your own hometown in the time of your parent and grandparents.
 
Royal Botanical Gardens 
With over 70 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds this is a very popular attraction.  Spectacular features include the world famous Rock Garden, the Chinese Garden and the wonderful arboretum.  The Glasshouse Experience features Britain’s tallest Palm House takes you through Asia, Africa, the Mediterranean and the Southern Hemisphere.
 
Royal Museum of Scotland   
Scotland’s premier museum, housing international collections in a wonderful glass-topped Victorian building.  Geology, Zoology, Egypt, Far East, Africa the list goes on and on and gets better and better.
A MUST!  INCORPORATES THE MUSEUM OF SCOTLAND.
 
Royal Observatory Visitor Centre 
Connected to the James Clerk Maxwell telescope in Hawaii this multi-media centre will give you access to “infinity and beyond”.
 
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art 
With over 4000 works of art from all over the world you are guaranteed to find something you like.  There is also an unrivalled collection of 20th century Scottish Art.
 
Scottish National Portrait Gallery
Provides a unique visual history of Scotland, told by the portraits of the people who shaped it.  The gallery also houses the National Photography Collection
 
Scottish Parliament
After 300 years we again have our own Parliament in Scotland. Four years over due and ten times over budget it is a remarkable building which in time will become one of the most visited sites in Edinburgh.
 
St Giles’ Cathedral 
Proper title is the High Church of the Church of Scotland.  The crown spire has dominated the Edinburgh skyline for over 500 years and is a triumph of 14th and 15th century architecture.  With many memorials to great Scotsmen and modern windows and organ it is a place of contrasts.   The Thistle Chapel by Robert Lorimar is a tribute to Scottish craftsmanship.
 
St Mary’s Episcopalian Cathedral: 
Built in the 1870’s by George Gilbert Scott and paid for by the Walker family this triple spire church is very much part of the Edinburgh skyline.  A small section of the church is dedicated to the American Episcopalian Church.
 
The Writers Museum 
Dedicated to Scottish Writers including Sir Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson and Robert Burns.  The 17th Century house is a gem in its own right.  This is a much underrated attraction.
 
ATTRACTIONS FOR CHILDREN
 
Arthur’s Seat 
Children love running up and down hills and this is the biggest.
 
Butterfly and Insect World 
Situated just outside town you walk through a tropical forest surrounded by some of the most beautiful butterflies in the world.  Then enter the Reptile house before seeing the best Ant colony in the country.  A birds of Prey exhibition is nearby in the Dobbies Garden Centre.
 
Camera Obscura  
A 19th century attraction, which uses daylight and mirrors to give a unique view of Edinburgh.  3D holograms, Victorian photograph and pinhole photography are just some of the things on display in this wonderful building next to the castle.
 
Deep Sea World  – South Queensferry 
Travel on a moving walkway through the world’s longest underwater aquarium tunnel and come face to face with the inhabitants of the deep.  Interactive rock pools, feeding session, an audio-visual theatre and a diver communication system all add up to a five star day out for all ages.
 
Edinburgh Museum 
Lots of interesting things to see including a photo of Greyfriars Bobby and his dog collar. See previous page.
 
Edinburgh Zoo
Britain’s most popular Wildlife attraction with over 1000 animals many threatened in the wild.  Visit the world’s largest penguin enclosure and see the famous Penguin Parade daily at 1400.
 
Fountainpark 
Bowling and movies
 
Gorgie City Farm  
A 2-acre farm with various farm animals and a wildlife garden.  Education Centre and Exhibition Hall.
 
Greyfriars Bobby 
Statue of the Skye terrier made famous in the Walt Disney movie of the same name.  After his master’s death in 1858 little Bobby watched over his grave for 14 years and became a favourite with the people in Edinburgh.  He is buried in a flowerbed in the nearby graveyard.
 
Museum of Childhood
Toys, Dolls, Costumes and games from a bygone age.  Lets the children see what their elders did for fun before the computer came along. “When chips were made from potatoes not silicone”
 
Museum of Fire 
Every child wants to sit on a fire engine. See previous page.
 
Our Dynamic Earth 
An interactive attraction that is fast becoming a huge hit with the kids. See previous page.
 
Peoples story 
Shows them life in days gone by.  Best if there are several generations
 
Royal Museum of Scotland 
My children’s favourite free attraction.  The zoology section and the many working models in the engineering section, being the most popular.
 
Swimming Pools and Leisure Centres…
The Local Authority operate various centres throughout the City

 

 

 


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Last updated: 04/28/06.