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Edinburgh city breaks

City breaks in Edinburgh combine history and culture. Wander the cobbled streets and visit majestic Edinburgh castle. Sample traditional Scottish whisky, shop on Princes Street or enjoy performing arts at one of the city’s famous festivals.

Edinburgh’s beautiful historic architecture is a striking sight to behold. Its stunning castle creates a magical backdrop to the Royal Mile, which comes alive in August with colourful festival performers touting their Fringe shows. Shop until you drop on Princes Street and explore on foot to take in the city’s array of wonderful sights. Book your flights and hotels with us to make savings.

Edinburgh city breaks we recommend

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My perfect day in Edinburgh

Find out how our BA expert, Elaine Fawcett, spends 24 hours in Edinburgh.

collapsedshowEdinburgh zoo
Edinburgh zoo.

Edinburgh zoo

I always set myself up for the day with a full Scottish breakfast – Stornoway black pudding and square sausage certainly hits the spot. If you're staying near Princes Street try Circle Café a few streets away at Brandon Terrace. Then take the bus straight to Edinburgh zoo – buy a day ticket for Lothian Buses, fantastic value for money at just £3.50 per adult or £2 per child. Edinburgh Zoo houses the UK’s only Giant Panda pair Tian Tian and Yang Guang – it’s great fun watching Panda Cam on their website prior to your trip – the city holds its breath waiting for their love to blossom.

collapsedshowEdinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle.

Edinburgh Castle

The highlight of any visit – Edinburgh Castle dominates the city, set high atop the volcanic Castle Rock. Immerse yourself in its history and traditions but don’t be frightened by the one o’clock gun salute fired daily (except Sunday) since 1861. Don’t miss the Stone of Destiny, Crown Jewels or Prisons beneath the Great Hall. I love to take a pot of tea here in the Tea Rooms, along with dainty sandwiches and homemade scones.
Move on down the Royal Mile from here, past traditional tartan souvenir shops, to the Scottish Parliament building and the Palace of Holyroodhouse – the official residence of the Queen when she's in Scotland.

collapsedshowScotch Whisky Experience
Scotch Whisky Experience.

Scotch Whisky Experience

Also on the Royal Mile, and great fun, is the brand new Scotch Whisky Experience. All tours start with a swirling, bubbling barrel ride through a replica distillery and before you know it you've become part of the whisky making process. You’ll see the world’s largest whisky collection and of course have time to sample a ‘wee dram’. Guaranteed you’ll leave happier than when you went in!

collapsedshowRoyal Yacht Britannia (and some shopping)
Royal Yacht Britannia (and some shopping).

Royal Yacht Britannia (and some shopping)

There’s always time for some retail therapy – soak up the atmosphere along Princes Street first and then use your bus ticket and take a 25 minute ride out to Leith Waterfront and the Ocean Point Shopping Centre. Moored alongside is the Royal Yacht Britannia, where an audio tour provides a glimpse into the private lives of the Royal family. Pose for a photo wearing a Royal Navy cap in the Petty Officers bar, the ‘Verge Inn’!! Afternoon tea on board, in the Royal Deck Tea room, is a lovely treat.

collapsedshowArthur's Seat
Arthur's Seat.

Arthur's Seat

Board the bus back to the City and get off at either Calton Hill, easily identified by the Athenian acropolis, or Arthur's Seat – an extinct volcano. Both vantage points offer spectacular views of the city and surrounding Forth river estuary and sea beyond. A perfect spot to catch a sunset too.

collapsedshowWalking Tours of Witches and Ghosts
Walking Tours of Witches and Ghosts.

Walking Tours of Witches and Ghosts

Edinburgh has a dark and violent history – 100s of so called witches were burnt or hanged in the city. Take an evening walking tour around the old town streets and dark back alleys, accompanied by Adam Lyle – a highway robber executed in 1811, as costumed characters tell ghostly stories. Great fun but be warned – a bit scary. At the end of this fascinating day it’s time for warming food and drink in the Witchery Restaurant, in the shadow of the Castle – I loved it. Or for something more relaxed try one of the many atmospheric old pubs. Just ask Adam the way!

Edinburgh Guide

Get the best out of Edinburgh with our handy guides

Unmissable Edinburgh

Unmissable Edinburgh

Medieval history meets Georgian elegance in a city that knows how to throw a party – it’s a unique combination

Eating Out

Eating Out

You’ll never have to worry about finding a place to be fed and watered in Edinburgh – the Scots know how to put on a great spread.

Edinburgh Tours

Edinburgh Tours

See the city a little differently with these sightseeing tours.

Explore Scotland

Explore Scotland

Thousands of miles of dramatic coastline to explore, rolling hills and mountains to conquer

Need inspiration?

Discover the many sides of Edinburgh

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