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Edinburgh Castle picture in Edinburgh
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Details

  • Castles/Palaces Type
  • 2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.0
Overall
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Scorecard

  • Value
    4.0
  • Facilities
    1.5
  • Atmosphere
    5.0

Read about how we rank Things to Do.

Hoisted high atop Edinburgh, almost as if it's monitoring its city below, Edinburgh Castle is not only one of Scotland's most recognized landmarks, but one of the country's most-visited attractions. Not only has the castle housed various royals throughout history, but also once housed military prisoners and was the site of a back-and-forth capture with the English. Inside its stone walls (which survived a World War I bombing), some of the attractions available for visitors to view are the Honours (or crown jewels) of Scotland, St. Margaret's Chapel (Edinburgh's oldest building), Mons Meg (considered one of the greatest guns in medieval Europe), the National War Museum, The Great Hall and the vaults that once held prisoners of war (located under the Great Hall). 

Some travelers express disappointment in the castle's high price of admission but that grievance was quickly followed up with a strong recommendation to visit this attraction. Visitors loved learning about the castle's history, exploring the grounds and enjoyed the attraction's expansive views of the city. Some suggested springing for an audio guide or tour while others urged planning your visit around 1 p.m. Monday through Saturdays, when guns are fired on the premises, a tradition that harks back to the 19th century. 

Edinburgh Castle opens at 9:30 a.m. daily and closes at 6 p.m. from April 1 to September 30 and at 5 p.m. from October 1 to March 31. Admission costs 16.50 pounds for adults (about $24) and 9.90 pounds for children (about $14.40). You can find Edinburgh Castle at the end of the Royal Mile. For more information, visit Edinburgh Castle's website

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#1 Arthur's Seat Arthur's Seat, located in the verdant Holyrood Park, affords one of the best views of the city. Standing 800 feet above sea level, Arthur's Seat is the highest ... Read more » Loop Images / Getty Images

#2 Calton Hill If you're like the writer Robert Louis Stevenson, you might enjoy the view from Calton Hill; this spot was a favorite of his. One of the most popular vantage ... Read more » Shaiith / Getty Images

#3 National Museum of Scotland If Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Yacht Britannia and Holyroodhouse Palace don't quench your thirst for some Scottish history, take a trip to the National Museum of Scotland. The museum ... Read more » morebyless / Flickr

#4 Royal Botanic Garden If you're looking for some peace and serenity after a long day on the Royal Mile, the Royal Botanic Garden is the perfect place to rest your feet. This ... Read more » dun_deagh / Flickr

#5 Camera Obscura and World of Illusions If you're traveling with kids, there is no better place in Edinburgh to bring them than Camera Obscura and World of Illusions. Located at the top of the ... Read more » Karoly Lorentey / Flickr

#6 Palace of Holyroodhouse If you're one for the royals, a stop at the Palace of Holyroodhouse is a must. The palace is the official Scottish residence of the queen and has housed ... Read more » Ryan Finn / Flickr

#7 Royal Yacht Britannia Did you know Princess Diana and Prince Charles honeymooned aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia? You'll find the impressive yacht anchored at the Leith Docks, just north of central Edinburgh ... Read more » Tony Hisgett / Flickr

#8 Royal Mile Stretching from the high-on-a-hill Edinburgh Castle to the Holyroodhouse Palace, the Royal Mile is both Old Town Edinburgh's main thoroughfare and one of the city's main streets. Here ... Read more » John Lawson, Belhaven / Getty Images

#9 Edinburgh Castle Hoisted high atop Edinburgh, almost as if it's monitoring its city below, Edinburgh Castle is not only one of Scotland's most recognized landmarks, but one of the country ... Read more » ullstein bild / Getty Images

#10 Scotch Whisky Experience If you're interested in broadening your whisky repertoire, you might enjoy spending time at the Scotch Whisky Experience. The Scotch Whiskey Experience features a variety of tours varying in ... Read more » Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images

Arthur's Seat picture in Edinburgh
View From Calton Hill picture in Edinburgh
National Museum of Scotland picture in Edinburgh
Royal Botanic Garden picture in Edinburgh
Camera Obscura and World of Illusions picture in Edinburgh
Palace of Holyroodhouse picture in Edinburgh
Royal Yacht Britannia picture in Edinburgh
Performance at the Festival Fringe picture in Edinburgh
Edinburgh Castle picture in Edinburgh
Scotch Whisky Experience picture in Edinburgh
Arthur's Seat picture in Edinburgh
View From Calton Hill picture in Edinburgh
National Museum of Scotland picture in Edinburgh
Royal Botanic Garden picture in Edinburgh
Camera Obscura and World of Illusions picture in Edinburgh
Palace of Holyroodhouse picture in Edinburgh
Royal Yacht Britannia picture in Edinburgh
Performance at the Festival Fringe picture in Edinburgh
Edinburgh Castle picture in Edinburgh
Scotch Whisky Experience picture in Edinburgh

A hike up to Arthur's Seat can be a strenous one, but travelers say the view is completely worth the sweat. Loop Images / Getty Images

Calton Hill offers spectacular views of the city below. Shaiith / Getty Images

With 20,000 historical artifacts, it's best to plan ahead what you want to see at this mammoth attraction. morebyless / Flickr

This garden houses 3,000 exotic plants from around the world, and has something blooming year-round. dun_deagh / Flickr

Kaleidoscopes, holograms and vortexes  oh my! These are just a few of the wacky exhibits that can be found in Edinburgh's oldest tourist attraction. Karoly Lorentey / Flickr

Located at the end of the Royal Mile, this palace is the official Scottish residence of the British monarchy. Ryan Finn / Flickr

The royal family used to sail around the world in this luxury yacht, clocking in one million nautical miles for 968 state visits. Tony Hisgett / Flickr

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe – which is held every August – is widely acknowledged to be the largest arts festival in the world. John Lawson, Belhaven / Getty Images

The 12th-century Edinburgh Castle stares down at the city from the western end of the Royal Mile. ullstein bild / Getty Images

Take a swig of some of the good stuff at the Scotch Whisky Experience. Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images

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