Royal Mile picture
John Lawson, Belhaven/Getty Images

Key Info

Canongate

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/Area Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.3scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 3.0Food Scene
  • 4.0Atmosphere

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 you'll find top attraction after top attraction, including the Scotch Whisky Experience and Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, as well as a big concentration of shops, restaurants and pubs housed in stunning architecture along this cobblestone street. Most travelers note the Royal Mile's propensity toward tourist traps; they also say it's a must-do considering all its amenities. The Royal Mile is seen by many as the center of the city, so be prepared for crowds at all hours. 

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More Best Things To Do in Edinburgh

Calton Hill1 of 9
Arthur's Seat2 of 9
Type
Time to Spend
#1 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 points for photo ops (and included in the city's UNESCO World Heritage site distinction), Calton Hill affords a majestic panorama of the city below – so don't forget to bring your camera, or make sure your phone is charged. Located east of New Town, Calton Hill is one of the country's first public parks, founded in 1724. Today, the hill supports several iconic buildings and monuments, so much so that it has been nicknamed the Athens of the North. Some of these structures include the Burns Monument, erected in honor of Scottish writer Robert Burns, the Nelson Monument, designed by Robert Burns, and the National Monument, modeled after the Parthenon but given the name "Edinburgh's Disgrace" for never having been completed. 

Recent travelers loved Calton Hill for its beautiful views, peaceful surroundings and relatively easy hike to the top. With Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh Castle and the sea in sight, some visitors say the best time to go is during sunset or sunrise. Calton Hill is less than a mile from the Royal Mile and less than a half-mile from Edinburgh Waverly train station.

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