The Best Attractions in Edinburgh!

Visiting Edinburgh for the first time? As Scotland’s beautiful capital city there’s is so many things to do. From secret bars to spooky ghost tours, Edinburgh has it all. So to make things a bit easier we’ve put together a list of our must-do’s! Don’t forget to comment below if you think we’ve missed anything critical. Sharing is Caring!

STEEP YOURSELF IN HISTORY AT EDINBURGH CASTLE

Why not get ahead of the crowds and start your day at Edinburgh Castle when it opens at 9.30am. The Castle is set in the heart of the city and the escapade offers a fantastic view. It’s home to the National War Museum and you can see the real Scottish Crown Jewels and Stone of Destiny! If you’re still wandering around in the early afternoon, you can see (and of course) hear the famous One O’clock Gun! Afterwards, enjoy exploring the Royal Mile, visiting the various pubs, restaurants, shops and historically significant closes to find the hidden gems.

BE FASCINATED BY SURGEONS’ HALL MUSEUM

Take a pit stop halfway down the royal mile and grab some lunch on South Bridge. Make sure you’ve eaten before visiting our next suggestion! Surgeon’s Hall Museum is a real treasure trove of historical surgical tools, mind-boggling paintings and – yes –  an assortment of real body parts, displayed in jars. You may not know but Edinburgh’s dark history of  body snatching allowed for the evolution of medical surgeries. Find out about how many great Scottish minds discovered several medical breakthroughs we still use today.

TRAVEL TO THE BEGINNING OF TIME AT DYNAMIC EARTH

Now you’ve experienced some of exciting human history, perhaps it’s time to launch into outer space and see the creation of time itself. Dynamic Earth is a fantastic attraction, suitable for all ages to learn and enjoy. This immersive and interactive adventure takes you on a journey through space and time to learn how the forces of the natural world worked to shape Earth to what we know it to be today. Finish your afternoon off (and rest those feet) watching a short film in their 360-degree cinema dome, its included in your tour price.

SPEND YOUR TIME, NOT MONEY (IT’S FREE) AT NATIONAL MUSEUM OF SCOTLAND

We also suggest a visit to the National Museum of Scotland, its easily one of the best indoor attractions in Edinburgh. Even better, it’s free! With over 20,000 unique artifacts to see, you can learn about the story of Scotland and see fascinating exhibits on the natural world, world cultures, science, design and history. Some museum highlights would be the animal exhibit, the fashion & style gallery and watching the millennium clock chime in the hour with its unique musical display.

GETTING HUNGRY FOR DINNER INSPIRATION? CHECK OUT OUR SISTER BLOG ‘BEST PLACES TO EAT IN EDINBURGH’ FOR OUR TOP FOODIE FAVORITES.  

HAVE A DRAM AT THE SCOTCH WHISKY EXPERIENCE

Head towards the castle from the Royal Mile where you’ll find the Scotch Whisky Experience.  You can honour Scotland’s national (and regularly enjoyed) drink. Whisk around on the barrel ride where you’ll learn all about the whisky making process and behold the world’s largest collection of Scotch whisky. Then don’t forget to finish off your tour with a sample of the good stuff!

THE ROYAL YACHT BRITANNIA, ITS FIT FOR A QUEEN

Start your day from Princes Street in the city centre, it’s a short ride on the number 22 or 11 to The Royal Yacht Britannia. which according to votes on TripAdvisor , it is one of the UK’s best attractions. We recommend buying a day-ticket for the bus, its only £4.50 this will set you up on as many buses as you would like throughout the day however, alternatively a single is £1.80. Once you arrive at Ocean terminal you can step on board The Queen’s floating Royal residence. On a tour around the yacht you’ll see the engine room, a Rolls Royce and state apartments across the five decks. After the tour, we would recommend taking some time to exploring terminal’s shops, bars and attractions and of course- the Shore of Leith, one of the most fashionable areas to live in Edinburgh.

SMELL THE ROSES AT THE ROYAL BOTANIC GARDENS

If you find yourself at the Leith Shore, then you can hop on the number 36 bus and head down Edinburgh’s haven of peace and tranquility. The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh offers visitors 72 acres of stunning scenery and is one of the finest botanic gardens in the world, dating back over 300 years.  Wonder around its wonderful exhibitions, exotic glasshouses and be surrounded by a host of colourful plants, trees and shrubs. Once you’ve soaked up the fresh air, either wander back to the centre through the sophisticated Stockbridge area of New Town or catch the number 27 and 23 bus will drop you back off at Princes Street.

IF THERE ARE ANY ATTRACTION WHICH TAKES YOUR FANCY, DON’T HESITATE TO GIVE OUR UK AGENTS A CALL ON 0131 556 3840 OR EMAIL US. WE WOULD BE HAPPY TO ARRANGE TICKETS AND/OR MAKE RESERVATIONS TO SECURE YOUR PLACE AND SAVE QUEUING TIME.  

Edinburgh Tattoo 2020 – ‘The Platinum Edition’

Starting humbly in 1950, The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is marking their 70th birthday this upcoming August. For generations a broad an ever-increasing audience have had a pleasure of enjoying this remarkable event. To celebrate the tremendous achievement of 70 successful years in running, this year’s shall be themed around ‘Platinum’.

What to expect?

The ‘Platinum Edition’ promises to pay homage to its traditional military roots which are carefully integrated in a fusion of international musicians, dancers and culture. Furthermore, this year’s performances intend to honour and commemorate the Royal Navy and the important role they have played in Scottish waters and beyond. The Tattoo’s Chief Producer, Brigadier David Allfrey explained that: “Platinum is an amazing element.  It is valuable, durable and a catalyst in chemical ‘reactions’ helping other ingredients to work well together. So too is the Tattoo!”

Our beautiful city is steeped with rich history, its practically begging for you to explore. It’s truly magical to sit in the battlements of Edinburgh Castle, you read that right, the show takes place on the beautifully-lit castle esplanade. There is no better location to experience the explosion of sheer artistry (and fireworks).

After 7 decades the Tattoo has managed to drum up a loyal support, not just here in Scotland but also across the globe. The morale and excitement in Edinburgh during the Tattoo and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is tangible.

It’s no surprise that it consistently appears on bucket lists internationally- is it on yours?

What can we do for you?

Every year our clients enjoy truly immersive performances every night throughout the month of August. It’s our pleasure to organise your trip to Edinburgh so you can focus on the show. We have long-standing partnerships with a variety of accommodation providers from luxury hotels to self-catered apartments: meaning we have options to suit all budgets and requirements. We are also delighted to arrange dinner reservations and additional tickets to the many attractions the city has to offer, as an office of Edinburgh locals we love to share our recommendations.

Click here to see our available packages.

History of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

Etymology of the term “Tattoo”

With the establishment of modern barracks and full military bands later in the 18th century, the term “tattoo” was used to describe the last duty call of the day, as well as a ceremonial form of evening entertainment performed by military musicians.

Early Days

In 1949 Edinburgh held its first Military Tattoo, the modest event was entitled “Something About a Soldier” a the aimed to portray the Army’s support of the International Festival.

The show was held at the Ross Bandstand in Princes Street Gardens which still stands proudly below the castle.

We’d recommend visiting as a good comparison, as now, 7 decades later the show has progressed into the world-renowned showcase we know today.

Girl Power

In 1977 the first female took on the prestigious role of being the lone piper. Officer Elaine Marnoch took the role in her strides as she performed to the full battlements of Edinburgh Castle. Furthermore, in 2016, Scottish solider Lance Bombardier Megan Beveridge made history as the youngest piper to take on the role, aged 21.

Weather

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo performance takes place every weekday evening and twice on Saturdays throughout August and has never been cancelled due to adverse weather conditions. (Us Scots aren’t scared of a bit of ‘dreich’ or ‘baltic’ weather)

Make sure to wrap up with plenty layers to stay warm during the performance.

Fit for a Queen

In 2010 HM Queen Elizabeth awarded the event the title of ‘Royal’ to honour the celebration of 60th years running.

Which gives us the title we know it as today, The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

Who’s in the Audience?

The stands at Edinburgh Castle can accommodate a nightly audience of 8,800 people.

This means that throughout the multiple live performances 220,000 people can enjoy the tangible atmosphere of the live show.

In 2018 the Tattoo was televised in 40 countries. This year between 100-300 million people are set to enjoy it worldwide.

Did you know?

The Tattoo benefits several charitable causes. It has been estimated that over £10 million have been donated to arts, military and civilian charitable organisations.

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo generates an astounding £88 million in revenue for Edinburgh’s economy annually.

The show benefits local businesses and is readily anticipated by the city.

Running alongside Edinburgh’s Festival Fringe the city is at its peak.

The Edinburgh August buzz is not to be missed!