Edinburgh Travel Attractions

By on September 7, 2015

Edinburgh, is one of the most beautiful cities in the World. As the capital of Scotland, it is a place rich with history and culture, seen in the many museums, galleries and visitor attractions across the city.

Edinburgh is an ideal holiday destination, whether for a weekend break, a New Year stay for Hogmanay or a visit to the Edinburgh Festival.

Things to do in Edinburgh:

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

If there is one thing you won’t miss when visiting Edinburgh, is Edinburgh Castle. Overlooking the city on top of a volcanic rock, it is the cities main attraction.

The castle has been around since the 12th Century, and has been at the centre of many historical conflicts from the Wars of Scottish Independence in the 14th century, up to the Jacobite Rising of 1745. It has been a military base since the 17th century and continues to be a military barracks today.

The castle boasts from attractions such as St Margaret’s Chapel, the oldest surviving building in Edinburgh, the Royal Palace, Great Hall, Mons Meg (a huge cannon),and the Scottish National War Memorial, and National War Museum of Scotland are both here too.

Personally, I would recommend being at the castle at 1 o’clock, so you can witness the daily firing of the One O’Clock gun, heard all over Edinburgh.

Holyrood Palace

Holyrood Palace

Holyrood Palace, or The Palace of Holyroodhouse to use its proper name, is the official residence of the monarch in Scotland, which at present is Queen Elizabeth II (technically she is not Elizabeth the second of Scotland, as Elizabeth the first was an English Queen). The Queen uses the palace when carrying out State duties when in Scotland, most recently she received Pope Benedict XVI there.

The palace was first built in the 15th Century next to Holyrood Abbey (now a ruin), and has been at the forefront of Scottish history, being home to Mary, Queen of Scots, James IV, and Bonnie Prince Charlie, briefly during the 1745 uprising.

If you are visiting Edinburgh, Holyrood Palace is a must see attraction. A tour is recommended, where you will be shown the opulence of The Royal Apartments, The Brussels Tapestries, and the famous Northern turret where David Rizzio, Mary, Queen of Scots private secretary was brutally murdered in front of her.

If you are an art lover, The Queens Gallery is also worth a visit, usually exhibiting works from the Royal Collection.

Where is Holyrood Palace?

Holyrood Palace is located at the bottom of the Royal Mile, across the road from the Scottish Parliament building and surrounded by the magnificent Holyrood Park.

Edinburgh zoo

Edinburgh zoo

Edinburgh Zoo is the largest wildlife attraction in Scotland, home to over 1,000 different animals, set in over 82 acres of parkland, just 15 minutes by bus from the city centre.

Famous for their penguin parade, hilltop safari and the UK’s only Koalas, Edinburgh Zoo has a wide range of amenities to cater for a great family day out. Stop the presses!!! It was confirmed in January 2011 that a deal has been signed to bring two Giant Pandas to the Zoo. The new additions will hopefully arrive later in 2011.

Where is the Zoo?

Edinburgh Zoo is on Corstorphine Road, next to the Holiday Inn hotel. From the city centre it is about a 15 minute taxi ride, or 25 minutes by bus using a 26, 12, 31, 100 (Airport Bus) and 48/ X48 Park and Ride.

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