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Things to See & Do

Explore our lists of what to see and do, as well as where to stay and eat, in Scotland's beautiful capital city.

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  • Accommodation
  • Attractions
  • Shopping
  • Live Like a Local
  • Food & Drink

This selection of city centre hotels are close to the EICC and are most frequently used by our delegates.  Listed by their proximity to the EICC.

Edinburgh has a huge amount of attractions, here's a selection of top visitor attractions, as listed by TripAdvisor.  View the full list of Edinburgh attractions.  Listing by proximity to the EICC.

Edinburgh boasts a fantastic variety of shops - from high street and designers stores to independent boutiques and specialist suppliers.  Here are some suggestions of where to go for some retail therapy.  Listing by proximity to the EICC.

A selection of the EICC team's favourite places in Edinburgh, which are off the well-known tourist trail. Listing by proximity to the EICC. 

With more restaurants per head than anywhere else in the UK, in Edinburgh you will find restaurants to suit every palate and budget.  Here are just a few suggestions from Leith's at the EICC General Manager, Adrian Wade.  Listing by proximity to the EICC.

 

 

  • Accommodation

    Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa

    Neighbour to the EICC, the five-star Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa is home to 269 stylish bedrooms and the award-winning One Spa.

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  • Accommodation

    Premier Inn

    The Premier Inn Group has five hotels in central Edinburgh, with the closest to the EICC being the Edinburgh Central Lauriston Place.

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    DoubleTree by Hilton

    Enjoy freshly-baked cookies on arrival at the DoubleTree by Hilton Edinburgh City Centre, which is less than five minutes on foot from the EICC.

    Also within the Hilton Group is the centrally located Hilton Edinburgh Grosvenor which is minutes from both Haymarket Train Station and the EICC.

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  • Accommodation

    Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh

    The Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian, or ‘The Caley’ as it is known locally, is at the west end of Princes Street and just a five minute walk from EICC.   

    This former Victorian railway hotel offers two restaurants – The Pompadour by Galvin and Galvin Brasserie de Luxe – as well as 241 luxurious bedrooms and suites.

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    Fountain Court Apartments

    Enjoy a home-from-home experience with one of Fountain Court Apartments' 230 serviced properties, located across eight sites in central Edinburgh.

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  • Accommodation

    The Roxburghe Hotel

    The 4-star Roxburghe Hotel is located on Charlotte Square, just off George Street and Princes and a 10 minute walk from the EICC.

    The hotel was recently refurbished and offers chic new club style bedrooms with subtle heritage touches.

    The Roxburgh Hotel is part of the Principal Hotel Company which also offers The Bonham and The Principal Edinburgh George Street, both in central Edinburgh.

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    Apex Hotels

    Apex Hotels boast four hotel in central Edinburgh - two of which are located in the Grassmarket of Edinburgh's Old Town, just a ten minute walk from the EICC. 

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  • Accommodation

    Radisson Blu Hotel

    Located in the heart of the Edinburgh's Old Town, the four-star Radisson Blu Hotel has been designed to fit perfectly with the surrounding medieval architectural. 

    Part of the Rezidor Hotel Group, the Radisson Blu has 238 rooms and suites, a choice of restaurants, bars, a spa and guest parking.

    Also part of the Rezidor Group is the G&V Hotel - a stylish five-star hotel in the Old Town which offers a chic collection of rooms and suites, individually designed by Scottish artists.

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  • Accommodation

    The Balmoral

    The Balmoral, by Rocce Forte, is one of Edinburgh's most iconic landmarks. It is ideally located at no. 1 Princes Street, directly above Waverley Station.

    The Balmoral is a popular choice for business and leisure tourists who are keen to experience five-star luxury.

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  • Attractions

    Edinburgh Castle

    The world-famous Edinburgh Castle is a historic fortress which dominates the skyline of the city. Explore the Castle's rich and fascinating history during your visit. 

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  • Attractions

    Scotch Whisky Experience

    The five-star visitor attraction at the top of the Royal Mile has been inspiring visitors about the joys of Scotch whisky for over 25 years.  

    Take a tour, visit the shop or restaurant, or enjoy a tasting experience.

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  • Attractions

    Camera Obscura

    Enjoy the fascinating Camera Obscura & World of Illusions Show - with fantastic views of Edinburgh and five floors of optical experiences.

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  • Attractions

    National Museum of Scotland

    The Museum's diverse collections will take you on a journey of discovery through the history of Scotland, the wonders of nature and world cultures.

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    National Galleries of Scotland

    Edinburgh is home to three of the National Galleries of Scotland: the National Gallery, the Portrait Gallery and the Gallery of Modern Art.

    With some of the world's greatest art on show, a visit to the galleries is a must for art lovers.

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  • Photo: The Real Mary King's Close
    Attractions

    The Real Mary King's Close

    For years, the hidden Closes of Old Town Edinburgh have been shrouded in myths and mysteries.  Explore this underground site to hear these fascinating stories.

    The Real Mary King’s Close is a warren of underground streets and spaces. In the 1600’s, Mary King’s Close and neighbouring Closes were open to the skies and bustling with traders.  Why would this street find itself underground 400 years later?

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  • Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016 Photographer: Sandy Young
    Attractions

    Palace of Holyroodhouse

    The Palace of Holyroodhouse is the home of Scottish royal history and is the official residence in Scotland of Her Majesty The Queen.

    Admission to the Palace includes the State Apartments, Mary, Queen of Scots' historic chambers and the ruins of the 12th-century Abbey Church.

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  • Photo: RZSS Edinburgh Zoo
    Attractions

    RZSS Edinburgh Zoo

    RZSS Edinburgh Zoo is one of Europe's leading centres of conservation, education and research, and is one of Scotland's most popular visitor attractions.

    RZSS Edinburgh Zoo is home to the UK’s only koalas and giant pandas and has over 1,000 rare and endangered animals.

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  • Attractions

    Royal Yacht Britannia

    The Royal Yacht Britannia was home to Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family for over 40 years, sailing over 1,000,000 miles around the world.

    Now berthed in Edinburgh, you can follow in the footsteps of Royalty to discover the heart and soul of this most special of Royal residences.

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  • Shopping

    West End Village

    Tucked away off the main road in Edinburgh's West End you'll find a small collection of quaint streets with some lovely boutiques and eateries on offer.

    From Princes Street head towards Shandwick Place and turn right on to Stafford Street for Edinburgh's West End Village. 

    In the close vicinity you will also find the beautiful and impressive St Mary's Cathedral. 

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  • Photo: VisitScotland
    Shopping

    Princes Street

    Under the dramatic skyline of Edinburgh Castle Princes Street offers shoppers a mile of high street fashion stretching from Waverley Station to the West End.

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  • Shopping

    George Street

    With an array of glamorous stores and boutiques, Edinburgh's George Street is the place to go for upmarket fashion.
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  • Shopping

    Old Town

    Explore the cobbled streets of Edinburgh's medieval Old Town during your visit and discover a unique collection of independent shops and boutiques.   

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  • Shopping

    Multrees Walk

    For high-end labels head to this stylish walkway with a collection of designers stores including Harvey Nichols, Louis Vuitton and Mulberry.

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  • Photo: Courtesy of Edinburgh World Heritage
    Shopping

    New Town

    Walk north of George Street and explore the streets which span Edinburgh's and discover specialist delis, boutiques and galleries.

  • Live Like a Local

    Edinburgh Farmer's Market

    The Edinburgh Farmers’ Market takes place every Saturday from 9am to 2pm on Castle Terrace under the backdrop of Edinburgh Castle. You'll find a huge variety of fresh local produce from over 50 specialist producers.

    Now in its 16th year the Edinburgh Farmers' Market has been listed by Lloyd Grossman as one of the World’s Best Farmers’ Markets.

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  • Photo: Paul Tomkins, VisitScotland
    Live Like a Local

    Bruntsfield & Morningside

    Head 10 minutes south of the city centre by foot and you'll find the neighbouring areas of Bruntsfield and Morningside, just beyond the beautiful green expanse of the Meadows and Bruntsfield Links.   

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  • Photo: This is Edinburgh
    Live Like a Local

    Stockbridge & Dean Village

    Take a ten minute walk north of the city centre to the area of Stockbridge with its stylish bars, cafes, art shops and boutiques.  Visit on a Sunday, between 10am and 5pm, to enjoy the weekly food and crafts market.

    A stroll along the Water of Leith, which cuts through Stockbridge and Dean Village, will take you to The Shore at Leith, heading east, or Roseburn and Murrayfield, heading West.  The stretch of walkway between the Modern Art Galleries and Stockbridge is a particularly beautiful spot.

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  • Photo: Summerhall
    Live Like a Local

    Summerhall

    Summerhall, the former Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies in Edinburgh, is now a creative hub for the arts with studio and workshop spaces, and an exciting year round programme of public events.

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  • Live Like a Local

    Arthur's Seat & Duddingston

    Arthur’s Seat, the highest point of Holyrood Park, is the remains of a volcano which can be climbed and explored via the many footpaths. Stone and flint tools found here reveal human activity as far back as 5000 BC.

    Enjoy a drink or a meal in Edinburgh's oldest pub, The Sheep Heid Inn, which can be found on the south side of Arthur's Seat in Duddingston Village.

    Duddingston Village is also home to Dr Neil's Garden - one of Edinburgh's true hidden gems.  These remarkable gardens lie next to the twelfth-century Duddingston Kirk, where the lower slopes of Arthur’s Seat meet Duddingston Loch.  The garden is the result of the imagination, dedication and sheer hard work of Drs. Andrew and Nancy Neil.

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  • Photo: Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
    Live Like a Local

    Royal Botanic Garden

    The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) is a world-renowned scientific centre for the study of plants, their diversity and conservation. Take a walk around and admire the beautifully manicured gardens.

    Stop for coffee and refreshments in one of the two cafes, at the East Gate or The Terrace, or enjoy lunch or afternoon tea in the Gateway Restaurant - part of the John Hope Gateway Visitor Centre, at the West Gate. 

    The Royal Botanic Garden is located next Inverleith Park, which offers stunning views up to Edinburgh Castle - making it a popular spot with locals to view the end of Festival and New Year fireworks from.   

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  • Photo: Friends of the Hermitage
    Live Like a Local

    Hermitage of Braid Walk

    Take Lothian Bus number 11 through Morningside to The Hermitage to start this 2.75 mile walk. It combines the wooded nature reserve of the Hermitage of Braid with an ascent of Blackford Hill and fantastic views.

    Blackford Hill is also home to the Royal Observatory Edinburgh which welcomes groups and offers public astronomy evenings.

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  • Photo: VisitScotland,  Kenny Lam
    Live Like a Local

    The Shore at Leith

    Take Lothian Bus number 22 from the city centre to The Shore at Leith for an eclectic choice of places to eat and drink in a setting which mixes historic sites with contemporary developments.

    Seafood lovers can choose from The Ship on the Shore, for their fish platters, The King's Wark, or The Shore Bar & Restaurant - which does live Jazz every Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

    For upmarket dining, Leith is home to two of Edinburgh's five Michelin starred restaurants - The Kitchin and Martin Wishart.

    The Roseleaf Bar & Cafe offers a fun twist on the traditional afternoon tea with their Mad Hatters Tea Parties - or if you are there early in the day they also do wonderful breakfasts. 

    Sample a little piece of local history with a drink at the oldest pub in Leith, The Carriers Quarters, which was established in 1785, or a visit to see the newly restored Lamb’s House. Now home to the Icelandic Consulate, Lamb's House is where Mary Queen of Scots stayed after returning to Edinburgh from France on 19 August 1561.  A section of the property has been converted into self-catering apartments and is available for holiday rentals.

    Visit The Shore on a Saturday between 10am and 5pm to enjoy the weekly market.

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  • Live Like a Local

    Cramond Island & Village

    Located four miles north west of the city centre, Cramond is an historic fishing village on the Firth of Forth complete with a quaint row of whitewashed houses, cafes and a small sandy beach.

    Cramond is popular with locals who visit to walk and cycle on the beachside paths. 

    It’s also possible to walk over the causeway to the island at low tide - just refer to tide times which are sign-posted before the crossing. 

    Another lovely walk which can be done in the same area is along the River Almond to the Cammo Estate.  On your return the Cramond Falls Café or Cramond Gallery Bistro will provide some welcome refreshments or lights lunches.

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  • Food & Drink

    Brasserie Les Amis

    Located directly opposite the EICC, Les Amis serves seasonal French and Scottish cuisine.

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  • Food & Drink

    Castle Terrace Restaurant

    Superb Michelin-star cooking in the shadow of Edinburgh castle.

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  • Food & Drink

    Timberyard

    Creative menu of locally-sourced artisanal produce in hip, industrial-chic former warehouse space.

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  • Food & Drink

    Passorn Thai

    Passorn's two restaurants serve dishes created with imported Thai spices, to ensure authenticity.

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  • Food & Drink

    First Coast

    Inventive Asian and European bistro dining in cool blue and bare stone décor.

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  • Food & Drink

    Cannonball Restaurant & Bar

    Serves award-winning Scottish food with stunning views of Edinburgh Castle and The Royal Mile.

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  • Food & Drink

    Ondine Restaurant

    A creative menu presents sustainable fish dishes in light, modern, elegant space, with an oyster bar.

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  • Food & Drink

    Cafe St Honore

    Fresh Scottish produce cooked in classic French style and served in smart Parisian brasserie décor.

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  • Food & Drink

    Norn

    Norn's ethos is to provide a creative dining experience which represents the best of Scottish produce.

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