Edinburgh city breaks

Edinburgh has a rich heritage and a contemporary feel, making it a great city break destination. Stand in awe of its cliff top castle as the sound of bagpipes fill the streets or spend a day trying to catch a glimpse of the famous giant pandas which call its zoo home.

Things to do in Edinburgh

The famous Edinburgh Castle rises above the city on Castle Rock, with plenty to see inside, including the Scottish crown jewels. For the best of the city, head up to the extinct volcano Arthur’s Seat, armed with your camera of course. From here, you’ll be able to gaze down over the Medieval Old Town and Georgian New Town. 

When you think of the Scottish capital, there’s one sight that springs to mind - the famous Edinburgh Castle. Rising above the city on Castle rock, you can reach the castle by walking up Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano with an elevation of 250m. From here, you’ll be able to gaze down over the city’s Medieval Old Town as well as the graceful Georgian New Town. Make sure to check out the Scottish crown jewels at the castle before heading back down. 

Once you’re back on ground level, spend an afternoon browsing the fascinating Scottish National Gallery or go on a tour of a gin distillery. Sit down for a traditional meal of haggis before you spend the evening sampling some beautifully-aged Scottish whisky. 

Make sure you check the events calendar before your trip to Edinburgh, as you might be in for a treat. From the Edinburgh International Festival to the Fringe and Royal Military Tattoo, there are some fabulous celebrations across the city. If you’re going for New Year’s Eve, then Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is one of the best places to party the night away as you sing Auld Lang Syne at the top of your lungs.

Map of Edinburgh

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1°C - 25°C

Edinburgh has a cold climate similar to the UK, but its winters aren’t as chilly as some parts of Scotland. Rainfall is more likely during autumn and winter, but the summer still sees a moderate amount. July and August are the hottest months and have been known to reach a toasty 25°C.
 

 

Edinburgh is best for...

History buffs: As a former battleground, Edinburgh’s history is both fascinating and dark. Explore its UNESCO-listed Old Town or walk uphill to Edinburgh Castle which rests high above the city. And if that’s not enough history for one day, admire the monumental scale of St Giles’ Cathedral, before heading underground to Real Mary Kings Close, an historic street which lies beneath the city.

Festival lovers: With a calendar full of events, there’s always something going on in this fun-loving city. Edinburgh International Festival hosts a series of performances from well-known acts, while the Fringe Festival showcases up-and-coming comedians, playwrights and  musicians. There are also events celebrating all things science, art and jazz, not to mention Hogmanay, its iconic New Year’s street party.

Outdoorsy types: This incredible city is surrounded by rolling hills with plenty of vantage points offering amazing views of the highlands. The extinct volcano, Arthur's Seat rises for 251 metres, and is one of Edinburgh’s most famous hiking spots.

Fast facts for Edinburgh

Language: English is the main language spoken in Edinburgh, but many Scots still speak the ancient Celtic language of Gaelic. Mainly spoken in the highlands and islands, it’s likely that you won’t even come across it during your time in Edinburgh.

Currency: The currency in Edinburgh is the British pound (GBP).

Local time: Edinburgh is (GMT), the same time as the UK.

Tourist Information: Further tourist information can be found at the Official Guide to Edinburgh website.

 

Edinburgh weather

Let’s put a few misconceptions about the weather in Edinburgh to bed. Despite what you may have heard, the summer weather in the city is delightful. You can expect average highs of around 20ºC. This makes it the perfect place to visit for those who don’t enjoy the heat. The mild summer months provide the perfect opportunity to get out there and see the beautiful sites this historic city has to offer.

Pack layers and be prepared for anything

Although Edinburgh weather is usually drier than the rest of Scotland, there’s still a chance of rain, even during the summer months. We advise packing versatile clothes that’ll suit all weathers. You can’t go wrong with a trusty cardigan or sweatshirt.Pack a few layers and enjoy your holidays, no matter how the weather turns out.

If you long to experience the best of the Edinburgh weather, we suggest planning a trip sometime between June and August as that’s when it tends to be warmest.

If you’re planning a trip in August be sure not to miss the Edinburgh International Festival, where you’ll witness amazing classical music performances complemented by a firework display.  A word of warning though, this is the most popular time to visit, so book accommodation well in advance.

However, if you’re planning a winter trip, the temperatures average a chilly 3ºC in January. Be sure to wrap up warm, pack layers, a rain mac, and an umbrella. You don’t want the wind and rain to stop you from seeing everything this vibrant city has to offer.
 

 

Best hotels in Edinburgh