Located at the heart of Scotland’s hilly capital, Edinburgh City Centre is a captivating area packed with centuries-old landmarks and museums. It’s clearly divided into two parts - the narrow winding alleys of the Old Town and the symmetrically designed streets of the New Town, which are together listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Things to do in Edinburgh City Centre
Dominating Edinburgh City Centre is its centuries-old castle, which has been an important stronghold of the Kingdom of Scotland since the reign of David I. It’s home to the Scottish National War Memorial and the National War Museum of Scotland, as well as the Scottish Crown Jewels. Be sure to admire the oldest building in Edinburgh, St. Margaret’s Chapel, and explore the interior of the 16th-century Great Hall.
Nestled beneath Edinburgh Castle is the Scottish National Gallery, which occupies a Neoclassical building designed in the form of an Ancient Greek temple by William Henry Playfair. Its interior galleries showcase Scottish artwork from the Renaissance to the early 20th century, as well as masterpieces by Anthony van Dyck, Giambattista Tiepolo and Peter Paul Rubens.
For sweeping views across Edinburgh City Centre, climb to the top of Arthur’s Seat, a 250-metre-high volcano dominating Holyrood Park. It was described by Robert Louis Stevenson as “a mountain in virtue of its bold design” and is believed to have been named after legends associated with King Arthur. Follow the trail that leads above Dunsapie Loch or test your rock climbing skills on the Salisbury Crags.
Getting around Edinburgh City Centre
Edinburgh Airport is around 20 minutes’ drive from Edinburgh City Centre and long-distance trains connect from London to the Edinburgh Waverley railway station. Buses and trams travel throughout the city centre, which is compact enough to explore on foot.