5 Must Visit Landmarks in Edinburgh

Fitting Scotland Perfectly

5 Must Visit Landmarks in Edinburgh

5 Must Visit Landmarks in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is one of the oldest and most famous cities on Earth and home to over 500,000 people and some of Scotland’s most remarkable buildings and landmarks.

Skyline Of Landmarks In Edinburgh

The history of Scotland’s Capital can be traced back as far as 8500 BC, and whilst you might not see buildings quite that old on your visit, there are plenty of landmarks in Edinburgh dating back many many centuries that are well worth your time.

With the old town alone packed with streets and streets worth of incredible architecture, listing all of Edinburgh’s landmarks in one article would be impossible. However, we have gritted our teeth and narrowed it down to 5 of the most famous landmarks that are a must see for any Edinburgh visitor.


Edinburgh castle

Could we possibly start anywhere else?

Edinburgh castle is Scotland’s most visited tourist attraction, sitting high above the city on the aptly named Edinburgh castle rock.

The oldest part of the castle (St Margaret’s Chapel) dates all the way back to the 12th century and a visit will take you on an journey through centuries of time, with top attractions including the Royal Palace (completed in the 1500s), and the National War Museum of Scotland.

On a tour of the castle you will see some of Scotland’s most historic and famous artifacts, including the Stone of Destiny, and the Scottish crown jewels that were rediscovered in the castle by Sir Walter Scott in 1818!


Scottish national gallery

Located close to Princes street gardens on ‘the mound’ the Scottish national gallery is impressive enough from the outside, with an ancient Greek temple inspired design created by noted Scottish architect William Henry Playfair back in the 19th century.

Inside, you will find the country’s most impressive collection of fine art from both Scottish and international artists. Well worth an afternoon of anyone’s time.


National Museum of Scotland

OK, so the national museum of Scotland (opened in 1998) might not be quite as historic as some of the other structures on this list, but it is the home of countless archaeological, historical, and scientific wonders.

From some of Scotland’s many famous inventions, to one of Elton John’s most outrageous suits, it is no wonder that over 2 million people visit the museum each year. Located right in the heart of Edinburgh on Chambers Street, and free to enter, this is a must add to any Edinburgh itinerary.


The Royal Yacht Britannia

Once the official royal yacht of the British monarchy, the Royal yacht Britannia travelled over a million nautical miles between the 1950s and the end of the 20th century.

She can now be seen, boarded, and admired at Ocean Terminal in Leith alongside racing yacht Bloodhound which was also once owned by the royals.


Royal Botanic garden Edinburgh

A nature lovers paradise, the royal botanic gardens were first founded all the way back in 1670, and is currently located on Inverleith Row.

It is one of the world’s most important biological sights with over 250,00 different species of plants found on site and is home to a world famous rock garden completed in 1914. A fantastic place to take the kids on an educational stroll or to spend an afternoon in the peaceful tranquillity of nature.


Notable Mentions

Cop out coming! We did say that narrowing down the list of Edinburgh’s landmarks to just 5 would be nigh on impossible, so here’s a list of some of the other landmarks and some of the oldest buildings in Edinburgh that are well worth a visit if you have the time.

Scottish Parliament Building

Home of the Scottish parliament, the Scottish Parliament building is located right at the opposite end of the royal mile to the castle right next to Holyrood park, another place more than worthy of a wander.

The Royal Mile

The Royal Mile is not just iconic in its own right but is also home to numerous landmarks and attractions. These include the Scottish Whisky experience, Parliament halls, and the Real Mary King’s Close.

Greyfriars Bobby Fountain

Immortalised in book and film, a life sized statue of the Skye terrier who spent over 14 years guarding his owner’s grave is found on a statue dating back to 1872. It is Edinburgh’s smallest listed structure and has become an iconic national monument.

Scottish national portrait gallery

Found on Queen Street, this neo-gothic red sandstone building is impressive enough by itself, not to mention the fact it houses the Scottish National Photography collection and a wide selection of stunning portraits.

Holyrood Palace

Scotland’s official residence of the British Monarch, Holyrood palace gardens are connected to Holyrood park, with the palace of Holyroodhouse itself attached to Holywood Abbey.

Holyrood park and Arthur’s seat

Adjacent to Holyrood palace, Holyrood park is a 640 acre royal park who’s highest point is Arthur’s seat, an extinct volcano that provides outstanding views across the whole of the Scottish capital.

Calton hill

At the end of Princes Street sites Calton Hill, a volcanic mound that is home to the national monument and a number of other monuments to Scottish history.

The national monument itself was intended to replicate the pantheon of Athens and commemorate the Scottish soldiers who fell in the Napoleonic wars, but was never fully completed.


Edinburgh conservation areas

Edinburgh is packed full of incredible historic buildings, many of which date back several hundred years.

For the tourist, this makes Edinburgh the perfect city to explore Scotland’s history and an incredibly attractive place to live. However, for residents, the protected nature of many buildings can cause issues with extremely strict rules over the changes that can be made to domestic buildings found in conservation areas across the city.

There are a whopping 50 different Edinburgh conservation areas in and around the city centre, all of which have a special architectural and historical interest. If you live in one such area, it is important to be aware of what you can and can’t do in terms of property development. Of course, it is the historical nature of these places that makes Edinburgh such a magical place to live, but restrictions on new windows and doors, and other practical energy efficiency upgrades can make the cost of living significantly higher than in other areas. To find out more about upgrading your windows in Edinburgh, speak to our Double Glazing Edinburgh experts today.


See you soon

The Advanced Group have been operating in Edinburgh for decades now, and love the city just as much now as we did when we began all those years ago.

Edinburgh is a fantastic place to live and visit and whatever brings you to Scotland’s capital, we can’t wait to see you soon!

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