Things to do in Edinburgh

Now you've got your cheap tickets to Edinburgh, explore what the Scottish capital has to offer...

 

Find out more about Edinburgh

Exclusive: See the world premiere of Local Hero at the Royal Lyceum Theatre

Bill Forsyth’s international hit film Local Hero will make its musical stage debut at the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh from 14 March – 4 May 2019, and we’ve teamed up with The Lyceum to offer you the chance to WIN a three-night Local Hero break in Scotland!

About the play
A wry comedy about a man who sets out to buy a beach, but ends up losing his heart to a village, Bill Forsyth’s magical Local Hero takes to the stage at The Lyceum, Edinburgh with new music and songs by the legendary Mark Knopfler. Treasured by a generation and loved far and wide, Local Hero is one of the defining moments of Scottish storytelling. With its world premiere in Edinburgh, there’s never been a better time to plan your city break to Scotland’s vibrant capital!

Book tickets to see Local Hero 
Call to book tickets on 0131 248 4848 or visit www.lyceum.org.uk/localhero

WIN a three-night Local Hero Break in Scotland. 

The fantastic prize for two adults includes:

  • A two-night stay at Edinburgh’s hottest new luxury serviced apartments The Edinburgh Grand
  • Champagne dinner at multi-award-winning luxury brasserie and cocktail lounge DINE Edinburgh
  • Two tickets to see Local Hero at the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh
  • Travel to Edinburgh to see the play with First Class train tickets on us, LNER!
  • And to celebrate the original home of Local Hero, you will also receive an overnight stay and dinner at the vibrant gem in Scotland’s Granite City Malmaison Aberdeen

To enter the competition visit the Royal Lyceum Theatre here.

For more things to do in Edinburgh see our top six cheap things to do on your visit below.

1. Be amazed by the world’s best wildlife photography

Proud of your snap of cheeky meerkats playing at the zoo? Or your cat lazing on the lawn? Learn from the very best with the Wildlife Photographer of the Year at the National Museum of Scotland.

Don’t miss the chance to see this exhibition – on loan from the Natural History Museum – featuring 100 of the most awe-inspiring images from the natural world.

From curious seals in Antarctica to a suprisingly majestic toad in Spain, almost 50,000 hopefuls entered their photos – so you know the winners are really, really good.

Where is it? Chambers Street, EH1 1JF

How much? Free entry to museum. Exhibition entry £8 for adults, concession £6, under-16s free. 

2. Climb Calton Hill to the ‘Athens of the North’

The atmospheric, spooky architectural ruins that sit atop Calton Hill led to Edinburgh being known as the ‘Athens of the North’.

The National Monument on the top of the hill was inspired by the Parthenon in Athens – the huge ruined temple built 2,500 years ago dedicated to the Greek goddess Athena. The Scottish monument pays more than lip service to the Parthenon’s iconic pillars.

Ancient Greece aside, you can enjoy magnificent, sweeping views across Edinburgh – with Arthur’s Seat, the Holyrood crags, the Royal Mile and the castle all totally visible. No wonder Calton Hill is part of Edinburgh’s UNESCO World Heritage site.

Drink in the views with a latte from the hip Milk – Edinburgh’s highest coffee shop.

Where is it? Edinburgh city centre, beyond the east end of Princes Street

How much? FREE! Or just the price of a coffee 

3. Explore Picasso, Warhol and bona-fide art heroes

Picasso, Matisse, Braque, Mondrian, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein… These guys are real heavyweights of the art world.

See their work in this fantastic collection of Cubist, Expressionist, post-war and contemporary art at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.

It often rains in Scotland. So use a rainy day to brush up on your culture – then hold a dinner party with your friends to show off about Picasso’s Cubism period or Warhol and pop art – smug, moi?

Where is it? 75 Belford Road, EH4 3DR

How much? FREE! Fee for special exhibitions

4. Don’t act your age at the Museum of Childhood

Those halcyon days of childhood seem a long way off as you start the slow climb from 30 – all careers, houses and raising families. Take a stroll down the memory lane of misty-eyed nostalgia at this museum.

From marbles and yo-yos to Monopoly and Ludo, you can’t fail to recognise things you had as a child.The Museum of Childhood is split into 5 galleries over several floors, with impressive collections of toy cars, puppets, dolls, board games and school games.

On a family trip? Your kids will be gobsmacked by how ancient mum and dad’s toys appear today. We can still hear them laughing.

Where is it? 42 High Street, EH1 1TG

How much? FREE! 

5. Walk like kings and queens along the Royal Mile

Running through the heart of the Old Town, the Royal Mile connects two royal residences – Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyrood House.

Also part of Edinburgh’s UNESCO World Heritage Site, it’s jam-packed with things to see and do between the royal stuff.

There’s St Giles Cathedral – look out for the heart-shaped section of pavement outside, and law courts and parliament buildings. Gladstone’s Land is the ‘best surviving example of an Old Town tenement from the 1600s,’ reckon the heritage boffs at UNESCO.

All that sightseeing is thirsty work – stop off at one of the many historic pubs for a cheeky half between stops. 

Where is it? The Old Town, EH1

How much? FREE to walk the street, but some sites have admission fee 

6. Have a laugh at The Stand Comedy Club

The Stand is an Edinburgh institution. It has various stand-up, sketches and touring shows throughout the week, but every Sunday afternoon it holds a free improv session called Stu and Garry's Free Improv Show.

Hosted by The Stand’s resident comedy duo, it’s a great laugh. And there’s grub if you want a bite to eat while the mirth and mayhem ensue.

Where is it? 5 York Place, EH1 3EB

How much? FREE!