Highlights of Edinburgh to capture in a day

Bursting with stories, tales, history and traditions Edinburgh, the Capital of Scotland, is a city that is sure to delight. With an old medieval town and a Georgian new town, the city has a unique appearance and an individual atmosphere to it. With spectacular monuments and the dramatic Edinburgh Castle towering over the city, Edinburgh is a place that is just waiting to be explored and enjoyed.

There are so many fantastic sights to see in this vibrant capital and whatever you choose you will be sure of a visit that makes memories that are special and truly Scottish. Below you will find ideas to help you plan your day in Edinburgh and remember sometimes it is not about seeing as much as possible but capturing the essence of the city and seeing the sights that are of personal interest.

Princes Street

One of the busiest shopping streets in the city and great if you fancy a browse in the high street stores but the main attraction to Princes Street is the architecture, views up to the Castle, the gardens and of course the Scott Monument.
Purchase a takeaway coffee and take a relaxing walk through the Princes Street Gardens, beautifully manicured and with stunning views don’t forget to look up and all around as you wonder.

Scott Monument

Stands bold and dominating at the far end of the gardens, a dramatic sculptural design, almost spaceship like in shape reaching up proudly to the sky. The Monument in memory of Sir Walter Scott, the Scottish literary extraordinaire, was built in 1840 and was designed by George Meikle Kemp. The monument is spectacular to view from both near and far but if you are feeling energetic then a walk up the 287 steps will provide you stunning views across the city.

Grey Friars Bobby

The little Terrier dog that really was a ‘man’s best friend’. Grey Friars Bobby became known in the 19th Century for spending 14 years standing guard by the grave of his owner until he himself died in 1872. A small but perfectly formed monument to a dog that has become well known throughout all of Scotland and for the many stories he has featured in.

The Royal Mile

Leads you beautifully up to the Edinburgh Castle and provides an exciting Scottish atmosphere. With many fine examples of old and elaborate architecture including St Giles Cathedral, a towering grand design that sits dark and powerful. On this famous street, you will also find many souvenir shops and boutiques selling traditional kilts and fine cashmere designs.

The authentic sounds of the bagpipes can often be heard throughout the air and enhance the Scottish atmosphere as you explore (don’t be afraid to wander down the many side streets to discover even more hidden gems of shops and museums). As you reach the far end of the street the statuesque Castle dominates the view adding even more drama to this street.

Edinburgh Castle

Dominates the skyline of Edinburgh adding a very dramatic and grand style to this varied city. The Fortress is rich in history and is definitely a sight to be seen during your visit. Due to the amount there is to see and do at the Castle it is a good idea to consider how you would like to use your time when only spending a day in the city.

Somebody with a fine interest in history could easily spend a whole day exploring the castle alone. The castle is a spectacular scene to behold whether you view it solely from the outside or explore within its internal walls, whatever option you choose when viewing this sight it will definitely add lasting memories of your time spent in the capital.

The Scottish Parliament building

Creates a dramatic contrast to the old architectural designs as you wander down The Royal Mile from the Castle. Situated at the opposite end from the castle this modern, contemporary building creates a real statement that adds drama in a very new and different way. Did you know that if Parliament is sitting you can listen from the public gallery?

The Scottish National Gallery

Provides an excellent example of neoclassical design from the outside and is home to some of the finest art masterpieces including Titan, Da Vinci, Raphael, Monet and Degas. A great place to visit even if you are not an artist.

Edinburgh Bus Tours

Provide a great way to see more of the city in a quick informative way. You can buy an all-day ticket that allows you to hop on and off the tour bus.

Edinburgh has something for everyone and seeing it all in a day will make for a busy day of sightseeing. Choose the places that will be most meaningful to you and remember not everything has to be viewed from the inside to be enjoyed.