Scotland's Capital, Edinburgh, has over hundreds of years become one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It is fairly compact and the majority of the attractions can be reached on foot. Edinburgh really does offer something for everyone.
As well as numerous and varied attractions (see a selection below) Edinburgh is home to the annual Edinburgh Military Tattoo, the Edinburgh International Festival and Edinburgh International Jazz and Blues Festival.
Tourist AttractionsCity Art Centre 2 Market Street
Home of Edinburgh's own fine art collection and one of Britain's finest venues for major international exhibitions.
Open: Jan-Dec. Mon-Sat : 1000-1700. Sundays 1200-1700 only during exhibitions. Tel: 0131 529 3993
Craigmillar Castle Craigmillar Castle Road
Early 15th century L plan tower house, expanded in 15th and 16th centuries. Range of private rooms. Historical connections with Mary Queen of Scots. Courtyard and gardens.
Open: 1st April-30th Sept., daily, 9:30am-6:30pm; Oct-March, Mon-Sat., 9:30am-4:30pm, Sun from 2-4:30pm. Tel: 0131 661 4445
Dean Gallery 73 Belford Road
Large collection of Dada and Surrealist art, including works by Dali, Ernst, Magritte, Man Ray and Miro. Great city views and beautiful sculpture park.
Open: Jan-Dec. Mon-Sat : 1000-1700, Sun 1200-1700. Tel: 0131 624 6200
Deep Sea World North Queensferry, Fife
This aquarium offers a spectacular divers eye view in an underwater tunnel. Educational and entertaining for all ages and whatever the weather. Awarded Scotland's Family Attraction 2001.
Open: Apr-Oct, Mon-Sun 1000-1800, until 1830 Jul and Aug. Nov-Mar, Mon - Fri 1100-1700, Sat & Sun 1000-1800. Tel: 01383 411 880
DOM Gallery in Edinburgh's Oldest House 8 Advocates Close, 357 High Street
An ever evolving exhibition by international artists plus recitals, readings, lectures and animation.
Open: Mon-Sun: 1100-1730. Closed all day Wed. Tel: 0131 225 9271
Dynamic Earth Holyrood Road
Using the very latest interpretative technology and special effects this exhibition charts the evolution of the earth from early beginnings using relevant art earthscapes. You will experience earthquakes, ice ages and tropical rainstorms. You'll travel to the depths of the oceans and fly high above towering glaciers and mountains. You will see, hear, feel and smell the planet as it was millions of years ago and how it might be in the future. Located in a purpose-built tented amphitheatre.
Open: Apr to Oct 10am - 6pm daily. Last admission at 4.50pm. Nov to Mar 10am - 5pm Wed to Sun. Closed Mon and Tues. Last admission at 3.50pm. Tel: 0131 550 7800
Edinburgh Castle Castlehill, Royal Mile
The oldest part dates from the Norman period. Great Hall built by James IV, Royal Apartments with pine panelling and gilded and painted plasterwork, late 16th century Battery. The castle houses the Crown Jewels (Honours) of Scotland, the Stone of Destiny and Mons Meg, a famous 15th century gun. Royal Scots Regimental Museum at the castle. Setting for Edinburgh's famous military tattoo. Far reaching views over Edinburgh from the castle. The National War Museum of Scotland, with six galleries of exhibitions that tell the story of soldiers, Scotlands military past, battles, uniforms and more is located in Edinburgh Castle.
Open: 1st April-30th Sept., daily, 9:30am-6pm; Oct-March, daily, 9:30am-5pm. Walk required to the top of the hill, except in winter. Tel: 0131 225 9846
Edinburgh Dungeon 31 Market Street
Depicts the darkest chapters of Scottish history. Emphasis on interaction, via actors, ride and tableaux. The attraction blends horror and humour to represent Scotland's bloody past. May not be suitable for very young children, or for the squeamish.
Open: Mon-Sun. 1000 - 1800; Jul-Aug, Mon-Sun. 1000-2000. Tel: 0131 240 1011
Edinburgh Gallery 18a Dundas Street
Regular exhibitions of contemporary Scottish art.
Open: Mon-Fri 1100-1700 Sat 1000-1300 closed Sun. Tel: 0131 557 5227
Edinburgh Zoo 134 Corstorphine Road, Murrayfield
Scotland's largest and most popular wildlife attraction. Over 1,000 animals, the world's largest penguin pool and fountain-filled maze. Don't miss the exciting African Plains and the new Magic Forest - home to the tiniest primates. Every weekend in winter and every day in spring and summer take the safari bus to the top of the hill. Only 10 mins from city centre.
Open: Apr-Sept. Mon-Sun 0900 - 1800. Oct & Mar. Mon-Sun 0900 - 1700. Nov-Feb. Mon-Sun 0900-1630. Tel: 0131 334 9171
Lennoxlove House and Gardens Lennoxlove Estate, Haddington
Home of the Duke of Hamilton. Dates from 14th century. Original tower house with great hall, added to during reign of Charles II. Collection of furniture, portraits, porcelain and historic mementos of Mary, Queen of Scots.
Open: Easter-end Oct, Wed, Thurs, Sat (check first), Sun from 2-4:30pm; guided tours. Tel: 01620 823 720
Museum of Scotland Chambers Street Adjacent to the Royal Museum
History of Scotland exhibits.
Open: Mon-Sat from 10am-5pm, Sun. from 12noon-5pm. Tel: 0131 247 4422
National Gallery Of Scotland The Mound
Collection of European art from 15th century to 19th century.
Open: Mon-Sat from 10am-5pm, Sun from 2-5 pm. Tel: 0131 624 6200
Royal Botanic Garden 20a Inverleith Row
70 acres of beautiful, landscaped grounds.
Open: Daily from 9:30am. Closing times: Nov-Jan 4pm., Feb. and Oct. 5pm, March and Sept. 6pm, April-Aug. 7pm. Tel: 0131 552 7171
Royal Museum Chambers Street
Exhibits of the natural world, scientific and industrial development, and decorative arts.
Open: Mon-Sat from 10am-5pm, Sun. from 12noon-5pm. Tel: 0131 247 4219
Royal Yacht Britannia Ocean, Drive Leith
This is the former Royal Yacht with most of the rooms open for viewing. Adjacent visitor centre.
Open: Daily. Tickets must be pre-purchased for a specific time. Tel: 0131 555 8800
Scottish National Gallery Of Modern Art Off Belford Rd
In large wooded grounds in a Neo-classical building. Sculptures, international and Scottish art of the 20th century.
Open: Mon-Sat from 10am-5pm, Sun. from 2-5pm. Tel: 0131 624 6200
Scottish National Portrait Gallery Queen Street
Portraits of persons of historic interest.
Open: All year, Mon-Fri., 10am-5pm, Sun. from 2-5pm. Tel: 0131 624 6200
St Giles Cathedral Royal Mile
15th century church, changed by alterations, serves as the High Kirk of Edinburgh. Delicate crown spire of 1495, massive central pillars of 1120. Thistle Chapel, in Gothic style, has fan-vaulted ceiling, carvings, heraldic and religious details. John Knox was minister here in 1560. Parliament met here.
Open: Mon-Sat 9am -7pm (Sept. to Easter to 5pm), Sun 1pm-5pm. Tel: 0131 225 9442
Edinburgh Tourist Information CentresEdinburgh Tourist Information Centre
Above Waverley Shopping Centre, 3 Princes Street, EH 1. Tel. 0131 473 3800. Open Oct-Apr
Airport Tourist Information Desk
Edinburgh Airport, EH12, Tel. 0131 333 2167
Destination guides by kind permission of Britain Express