Things To Do In Edinburgh
A couple of weeks ago we had a short break in Edinburgh. I love Edinburgh we’ve been going there for more than 10 years now and I have to say it’s one of my favourite cities. There are loads to things to do in Edinburgh from Edinburgh Castle to tours of the crypts it’s definitely got something for everyone.
This time was the first time we have been with the children and we did under estimate the fact that Edinburgh is a major city, busy, full of people and with the usual parking challenges! But don’t let it put you off, be prepared and Edinburgh is great!
Top things to do in Edinburgh with kids:
1. Edinburgh Castle: (adults £16, kids over 5 £9.60, under 5’s free)
Visit the castle for amazing views of Edinburgh, even just standing outside you get views of the whole of Edinburgh which on a clear day stretch for miles.
The castle itself is full of exhibits which might not suit young children for long but cannons and castle walls are always exciting for my son and he loves looking at them and pretending to be Mike the Knight as we walked around.
With the Crown Jewels, National War Museum and the Prisons of War there is lots of history on display, great for older children especially if you download the family quiz here to help you enjoy a fact finding mission on the way round. You can also hire audio guides that tell you about the exhibits and features whilst you look round, they come in various languages too.
2. The Museum of Childhood – free entry (or small donation)
The Museum of Childhood is a little gem, somewhat hidden on the Royal Mile, externally it looks like a toy shop but internally it’s a tardis-like building that just keeps going! Jam packed with toys from all ages you can lose yourself in toys of the past.The spiral staircases were a bit hit with C who loved the “swirly whirly stairs”.
C loved looking at all the toys, even if some of the dolls were really quite spooky! Think nightmares of dolls coming to life (scarier for adults who’ve seen certain horror films I’m sure!) I liked the downloadable iphone App that gives you hints and clues to carry out a virtual treasure hunt (they also have it for android) .
3. Edinburgh’s Camera Obscura
Sadly due to a lack of time we didn’t have time to go to the Obscura but it looked brilliant! Basically it’s 5 floors of fun, with bendy mirrors, optical illusions and tricks and it’s at the top of our list for when we go again because it looked fab!
C tried out the mirrors outside just to see what it was all about!
A brilliant family friendly restaurant in Leith, the waiters were brilliant, very helpful and great with the kids but the food was FANTASTIC, great childrens menu with incredible fresh dishes and I had the Tagliata di manzo aromatica – sliced steak served on rocket and absolutely delicious, through the week the kids eat for just £1 when an adult chooses a dish from the main menu – bargain!
5. Take an open top bus ride
There are loads of tours to choose from but it’s a great way to see lots of the city without wearing out little legs! Head down to Leith for the Royal Yacht Britannia or stay closer to the centre and take in some of the sights like Holyrood Palace and the Castle. They are great fun and the audio tour will tell you all about the places you see on the way, hop on and off when things take your fancy and it’s a great way to spend some time!
If you go without children then these items are up there with my favourite things to do!
1. Take a tour with MercatTours
They offer a range of tours but if you like the dark then journey beneath the streets of Edinburgh into the catacombs beneath the city. It’s a spooky place to go but it’s a brilliant insight into Edinburghs history. We’ve done this a number of times and it’s worth every penny, Mercat offer a range of tours including less scary, more historical tours but check out their website for full details including timings. Try the ‘Hidden and Haunted’ tour which starts at 9.30pm, the darkness adds to the eeryness.
2. Forth Floor Bar – Harvey Nichols
Head to Harvey Nichols to make the most of great drinks and amazing views down to Leith and the sea – very cool
3. Visit in December to see the brilliant German Christmas Market
Sup gluhwein and eat bratwurst in the freezing cold whilst looking at all the crafts and gifts on offer, it’s a great friendly atmosphere and overlooking Princes Gardens it’s a perfect place to spend the afternoon into early evening. Then head off to a great bar or restaurant to thaw out and fill your belly.
So that’s my take on things to do in Edinburgh, I’d love to know if you have any suggestions on where to go in Edinburgh next time we visit?
Superbreak provided us with tickets for Edinburgh Castle in exchange for the review included in this post. They sell tickets for some of the places mentioned in this post and offer Superbreak City Breaks too.