What’s in the Audio Guide

Edinburgh Audio Guide covers all the must-see sights and the famous landmarks of the city, from the Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle to the city’s charming streets and tranquil gardens. And with our easy-to-use MP3 format, you can take our tours with you wherever you go.

With this audio guide, you’ll have the freedom to explore the city at your own pace, listening to the commentary and insights as you go. We will start in Princess Street – the very heart of the city, and finish near the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Alternatively, you can start at any point of this audio guide and finish at any point. As you explore this beautiful city you can make as many stops or breaks for refreshments and resume the audio guide when you are ready.

  1. 15 MPS tracks with total duration of 1 hour and 34 minutes. You can transfer and listen to the MP3 files on any device. There’s no need to download and install an app.
  2. A Google Map with audio guide route and all audio points marked on it. You can use the Map to plan your self-guided tour of Edinburgh.
  3. Directions from one audio point to another. Use your mobile device to follow the route from one audio point to another. The list of 15 Audio Tracks provides links to Google Maps with easy to follow direction from one Audio Point to another.

To use the the map and directions you’ll need an Internet connection on your mobile device. Alternatively, you can use a PDF map provided with the audio tracks.

Below are brief descriptions of some of the major landmarks and attractions covered in the audio guide.

1. The Scott Monument.

The Scott Monument is dedicated to the Scottish author Sir Walter Scott, who is considered one of the greatest literary figures of Scotland. The monument stands in the city’s Princes Street Gardens, near the intersection of Princes Street and Waverley Bridge.

The Scott Monument was designed by the renowned Scottish architect George Meikle Kemp and was built between 1840 and 1844. It reaches a height of 61.11 meters (200 feet 6 inches), making it the largest monument to a writer in the world. The structure consists of a square base with staircases leading up to a series of viewing platforms and a spire at the top.

The monument’s design incorporates intricate Gothic detailing, including statues, reliefs, and ornamental finials. There are a total of 68 statues adorning the monument, each representing various characters from Sir Walter Scott’s novels, poetry, and historical figures from Scottish history. These statues include famous characters like Rob Roy, Lady Margaret Bellenden, and Meg Merrilies.

Visitors can climb the narrow spiral staircase inside the monument, which has 287 steps, to reach the highest viewing platform. From there, they can enjoy panoramic views of Edinburgh’s skyline, including Edinburgh Castle, the Princes Street Gardens, and the surrounding cityscape.

Opening Hours: The monument is open from 10 am to 4 pm, Monday to Sunday.

Ticket Price: The admission fee is £8 for adults and £6 for children (ages 5-15).

What to Expect: The Scott Monument is a Gothic-style tower with four levels. The first level has a small museum, where you can learn about the life and work of Sir Walter Scott. The other levels offer panoramic views of the city.

Tips: It is recommended to visit the monument early in the morning to avoid the crowds. Also, wear comfortable shoes and bring a jacket, as it can be windy and cold at the top.


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2. Calton Hill

Calton Hill is a prominent landmark and hill located in the city of Edinburgh, Scotland. It is situated in the eastern part of the city center and offers panoramic views of Edinburgh’s skyline, including iconic landmarks such as Edinburgh Castle, Arthur’s Seat, and the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Calton Hill is part of the city’s UNESCO World Heritage Site, known as the “Old and New Towns of Edinburgh.”

Historically, Calton Hill has been an important site for various purposes. It was once the location of an ancient hill fort and has been used as a defensive position throughout history. In the 19th century, the hill underwent significant development as part of the city’s expansion and the creation of the New Town.

One of the most recognisable features on Calton Hill is the National Monument. Designed as a tribute to the Parthenon in Athens, Greece, this unfinished monument was intended to commemorate Scottish soldiers and sailors who died during the Napoleonic Wars. Despite its incomplete state, the National Monument has become an iconic symbol of Edinburgh.

Other notable structures on Calton Hill include the Nelson Monument, dedicated to Admiral Lord Nelson and his victories during the Napoleonic Wars. The monument consists of a tower with a time ball at the top, which was used to signal the time to ships in the Firth of Forth.

There is also the Dugald Stewart Monument, a memorial to the Scottish philosopher Dugald Stewart. The monument takes the form of a Greek temple and serves as a tribute to Stewart’s contributions to the field of moral philosophy.

Calton Hill is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. It offers stunning views of the city, especially during sunrise and sunset. The hill is easily accessible, with several paths and stairways leading to the top. Many people visit Calton Hill to enjoy picnics, take photographs, or simply soak in the tranquil atmosphere.

You can find more information about Calton Hill in the first track of the Audio Guide.

Here’s some information for visiting Nelson Monument.

Opening Hours: The monument is open from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm daily, with last admission at 3:30 pm.

Ticket Price: The admission fee for adults is £6, and for children is £3.50. Tickets can be purchased on-site or in advance online.


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3. Princess Street Gardens

Princes Street Gardens is situated at the southern base of Edinburgh Castle and stretches along Princes Street, one of the city’s main thoroughfares. The gardens offer a tranquil and picturesque retreat from the bustling city center and provide stunning views of the castle.

The park is divided into two parts: the East Princes Street Gardens and the West Princes Street Gardens. The division is marked by The Mound, an artificial hill that connects the Old Town and the New Town of Edinburgh. Each section has its own distinct features and attractions.

The East Princes Street Gardens are known for their formal gardens, floral displays, and beautiful monuments. The Ross Fountain, a magnificent Victorian cast iron fountain, takes center stage in this area. It was gifted to the city by philanthropist Daniel Ross and features intricate sculptures and water displays. Adjacent to the fountain is the floral clock, a popular attraction adorned with colorful flowers that change with the seasons.

On the western side of The Mound, you’ll find the West Princes Street Gardens. This part of the park is more natural and includes lush green spaces, trees, and pathways. The gardens are home to the National Galleries of Scotland, housed in the neoclassical building known as the Scottish National Gallery. The gallery holds an extensive collection of fine art, including works by famous artists such as Titian, Van Gogh, and Botticelli.

Both sections of Princes Street Gardens offer fantastic views of Edinburgh Castle, which looms above the gardens on Castle Rock. Visitors can relax on the grassy slopes or take a leisurely stroll along the pathways. The gardens serve as a popular meeting place for locals and tourists alike, with various events and festivals held throughout the year.

Opening Hours: The Scottish National Gallery is open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm daily, except on Thursdays when it is open until 7:00 pm.

Ticket Price: Admission to the gallery is free, although some exhibitions may have an admission fee.

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4. Edinburgh Old Town

Old Town is known for its medieval and Renaissance architecture, narrow winding streets, and its rich cultural and historical significance. Old Town, along with the adjacent district of New Town, has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995.

The most iconic feature of Old Town is the Royal Mile, a famous street that runs through the heart of the district. It stretches approximately one mile from Edinburgh Castle at the top to the Palace of Holyroodhouse at the bottom. The Royal Mile is lined with shops, restaurants, pubs, and various historic landmarks.

One of the main attractions in Old Town is Edinburgh Castle, perched atop an extinct volcanic rock called Castle Rock. The castle has a long and storied history, dating back to the 12th century, and offers stunning views of the city. It houses the Crown Jewels of Scotland, the Stone of Destiny, and the National War Museum of Scotland.

Another significant landmark in Old Town is the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland. It has served as the principal residence of the Kings and Queens of Scots since the 16th century. Visitors can explore the palace’s State Apartments, the ruins of Holyrood Abbey, and the beautiful gardens.

Old Town is also famous for its narrow, atmospheric alleys known as “closes” and “wynds.” These pedestrian-only streets are filled with historic buildings, secret courtyards, and hidden gems. One such close is the famous Mary King’s Close, a preserved 17th-century street that offers a glimpse into Edinburgh’s past.

The district is home to many other notable sites, such as St. Giles’ Cathedral, a magnificent Gothic church with a crown-shaped spire, and the National Museum of Scotland, which showcases the country’s history, culture, and natural heritage.

During the month of August, Old Town comes alive with the world-renowned Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the largest arts festival in the world. The streets are filled with performers, artists, and spectators from around the globe, creating a vibrant and electric atmosphere.

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5. Edinburgh New Town

New Town is considered one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture and urban planning in the world. New Town was constructed between the late 18th and early 19th centuries, as a response to the overcrowding and unsanitary conditions of the Old Town.

The development of New Town began in 1767, when an Act of Parliament was passed to authorise the construction of a new, planned district to the north of the existing city. The layout of the New Town was designed by James Craig, a young architect, and it was intended to be a symbol of the Scottish Enlightenment and a demonstration of Edinburgh’s status as a modern, cosmopolitan city.

The design of New Town is characterised by its grid pattern of streets and squares, with George Street serving as the main thoroughfare. The buildings are primarily constructed from locally quarried sandstone, giving the district its distinctive appearance. The architectural style is predominantly neoclassical, with grand facades, elegant proportions, and decorative details such as columns, pediments, and cornices.

One of the most iconic landmarks in New Town is Charlotte Square, a beautiful Georgian square that features the Georgian House, a museum showcasing the interior of a typical Georgian townhouse. Other notable buildings include St. Andrew’s Square, which is surrounded by elegant townhouses and the impressive Melville Monument dedicated to Henry Dundas, and the Assembly Rooms, a venue for social and cultural events.

New Town is also known for its numerous gardens and green spaces. The largest public garden is Princes Street Gardens, located at the southern edge of the district. It offers stunning views of Edinburgh Castle and serves as a popular spot for relaxation and events. Inverleith Park and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh are also nearby, providing additional opportunities for outdoor activities and recreation.

Today, New Town is a vibrant and thriving part of Edinburgh. Its streets are lined with a mix of residential properties, boutique shops, cafes, restaurants, and cultural institutions. The district is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and attracts both locals and tourists alike with its architectural beauty, cultural attractions, and lively atmosphere.


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6. The Royal Mile

The Royal Mile stretches for approximately one mile (1.6 kilometers) and runs between two significant landmarks, namely the Edinburgh Castle at one end and the Palace of Holyroodhouse at the other. The Royal Mile is the main thoroughfare of the Old Town of Edinburgh, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Royal Mile is made up of a series of streets that are collectively known as the Royal Mile, including Castlehill, Lawnmarket, High Street, Canongate, and Abbey Strand. Each section of the street has its own distinct character and historical significance.

The street is lined with a fascinating mix of buildings, including medieval tenements, churches, shops, restaurants, and museums. Many of these structures date back several centuries, and their architecture reflects various periods of Edinburgh’s history.

Along the Royal Mile, you’ll find numerous notable landmarks and attractions. Edinburgh Castle, situated at the top of the street on Castlehill, is a magnificent fortress that offers panoramic views of the city. The castle is home to the Honours of Scotland (the Scottish Crown Jewels) and the Stone of Destiny.

As you make your way down the Royal Mile, you’ll pass by St. Giles’ Cathedral, also known as the High Kirk of Edinburgh. This stunning medieval church is a prominent landmark and an important place of worship in the city.

Other notable sites include the John Knox House, which is associated with the Protestant Reformation leader John Knox, and the Museum of Edinburgh, which exhibits the city’s rich history and heritage.

The Royal Mile is also famous for its vibrant atmosphere and is a hub of activity throughout the year. It hosts numerous festivals and events, such as the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the largest arts festival in the world, which attracts artists, performers, and visitors from around the globe.


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7. Mercat Cross

The Mercat Cross is an iconic landmark located in the heart of Edinburgh. It is situated on the Royal Mile, which is the historic main street that stretches between the Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse. The Mercat Cross is specifically positioned outside St Giles’ Cathedral, one of the city’s most significant religious buildings.

Historically, the Mercat Cross served as a vital meeting point and trading hub for the people of Edinburgh. It was the central location for various important events, including public announcements, royal proclamations, and the execution of punishments. The name “Mercat Cross” comes from the Middle English term “mercat” or “market,” indicating its connection to commercial activities.

The original Mercat Cross in Edinburgh is believed to have been erected in the late 14th century. Over the centuries, it underwent several modifications and renovations. The current structure, dating back to 1885, is a replica of the original cross. It was designed by architect Sir Robert Rowand Anderson in a Victorian Gothic style.

The Mercat Cross is an octagonal column topped with a unicorn, the national animal of Scotland, holding the Royal Banner of Scotland. The unicorn symbolises strength and has long been associated with Scottish heraldry. The column itself is adorned with intricate carvings and decorative elements, including figures representing different trades.

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8. St Giles’ Cathedral

The history of St Giles’ Cathedral dates back to the 12th century when a church dedicated to St Giles, the patron saint of Edinburgh, stood on the site. The present structure, however, was built in the 14th century and has undergone several modifications and additions over the centuries.

The cathedral is primarily built in the Gothic style of architecture, featuring prominent pointed arches, ribbed vaults, and tall stained glass windows. The crown steeple, which is a distinctive feature of St Giles’, rises to a height of approximately 161 feet (49 meters) and offers panoramic views of the city.

The interior of St Giles’ Cathedral is impressive and houses various notable features. The Thistle Chapel, added in the late 19th century, is the private chapel of the Order of the Thistle, Scotland’s highest chivalric order. It features ornate wood carvings and beautiful stained glass windows. The cathedral’s main space, the High Kirk, has a striking hammerbeam roof and is adorned with intricate stone carvings.

St Giles’ Cathedral is closely associated with the Scottish Reformation and the Protestant reformer John Knox. Knox preached at St Giles’ and became one of the most influential figures of the Reformation in Scotland. His grave is located in the churchyard of the cathedral.

The cathedral is renowned for its magnificent organ, which was built by the esteemed organ builder, Rieger Orgelbau. The instrument has four manuals and over 3,000 pipes. St Giles’ is also known for its music program and hosts regular choral and organ performances.

St Giles’ Cathedral has had various connections with the Scottish royal family over the centuries. It was the site of several royal weddings and baptisms, including the marriage of King James VI of Scotland to Anne of Denmark in 1589. The Order of the Thistle, mentioned earlier, is a chivalric order associated with the Scottish monarchy.

Today, St Giles’ Cathedral serves as an active place of worship, as well as a popular tourist attraction. Its rich history, stunning architecture, and significant role in the Scottish Reformation make it a must-visit destination for those exploring the historic heart of Edinburgh.

Opening Hours: The cathedral is open to visitors from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Saturday, and from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm on Sundays.

Ticket Price: There is no admission fee to enter the cathedral, but donations are appreciated


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9. Mary King’s Close

Mary King’s Close is named after Mary King, a prominent figure who lived on the street in the 17th century. The close was originally a bustling street lined with tenement buildings, but over time, as the city grew, the buildings were buried beneath the city’s expanding infrastructure.

Mary King’s Close gained notoriety for being one of the many “closes” in Edinburgh that were closed off and built over, creating a labyrinth of underground streets and hidden passages. For many years, it remained hidden and forgotten until it was rediscovered in the 19th century during construction work.

Today, Mary King’s Close is a popular tourist attraction that offers visitors a glimpse into Edinburgh’s past. Guided tours take visitors through the narrow, atmospheric streets, revealing the history and stories of the people who once lived there. The close provides insight into the living conditions, social hierarchy, and daily life of Edinburgh’s inhabitants during the 17th and 18th centuries.

During the tour, visitors can explore reconstructed rooms, see remnants of original buildings, and learn about the sometimes harsh and unsanitary conditions that characterised life in the close. Guides, dressed in period costumes, share tales of the residents, stories of plague outbreaks, and other historical anecdotes, adding to the immersive experience.

Opening Hours: The close is open daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Ticket Price: Admission to Mary King’s Close is by guided tour only, and tickets can be purchased on-site or online in advance. The admission fee is £21 for adults and £15 for children (ages 5-15).


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10. Deacon Brodies Tavern

The tavern is named after William Brodie, a prominent figure in Edinburgh’s history. Brodie was a respected cabinet-maker and city councilor by day but led a secret life as a burglar by night. His story became the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s famous novel “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.”

The tavern itself is situated on the iconic Royal Mile, a historic and vibrant street in the Old Town of Edinburgh. It is housed in a building that dates back to the 17th century and is known for its distinctive character and charm. Deacon Brodie’s Tavern has become a popular spot for locals and tourists alike to enjoy traditional Scottish food, drinks, and live entertainment.

Inside the tavern, you’ll find a cozy and welcoming atmosphere with rustic decor, wooden furnishings, and low ceilings. The walls are adorned with historical memorabilia and artwork, adding to the pub’s historical ambiance. The tavern also features a selection of fine whiskies, ales, and other Scottish spirits, allowing visitors to sample the rich heritage of Scotland’s drinking culture.

Click here to visit the tavern’s website.

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11. Lawnmarket

Lawnmarket is part of the famous Royal Mile, a stretch of road that connects Edinburgh Castle at one end with the Palace of Holyroodhouse at the other.

Gladstone’s Land is a historic tenement building located in Lawnmarket. Gladstone’s Land is named after Thomas Gladstone, a wealthy merchant who owned the property in the 17th century. The building is now maintained and operated as a museum by the National Trust for Scotland.

Gladstone’s Land is a fine example of a typical tenement building from the 17th century, providing visitors with a glimpse into the daily life and living conditions of the era. The building consists of several floors, each representing a different time period and showcasing various aspects of Edinburgh’s history.

Inside Gladstone’s Land, you can explore the meticulously restored rooms, including the kitchen, bedroom, and reception area. The interiors are furnished with period-appropriate furniture, decorations, and artifacts, giving visitors an authentic experience of what life was like in the past. Knowledgeable guides are often present to provide insights into the building’s history and answer any questions you may have.

Lawnmarket is also home to several shops, boutiques, and traditional Scottish stores. Visitors can find a wide range of items, including tartan kilts, Scottish souvenirs, whisky, and other traditional Scottish goods. It’s a great place to immerse oneself in Scottish culture and pick up unique mementos.

The street is also dotted with charming cafes, pubs, and restaurants where you can relax, enjoy a meal, or sip on a traditional Scottish drink while taking in the historic atmosphere. Whether you’re looking for a cup of coffee, a pint of beer, or a taste of traditional Scottish cuisine, Lawnmarket offers plenty of options to satisfy your cravings.

Due to its prime location in the heart of the Old Town and its connection to the Royal Mile, Lawnmarket is often bustling with tourists exploring the area’s historical sites and soaking up the unique ambiance of Edinburgh’s rich heritage.

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12. Grassmarket

Grassmarket is one of the oldest market squares in Edinburgh. It is located in the Old Town, at the foot of Castle Rock.

The name “Grassmarket” originates from its historical use as a marketplace for trading horses, cattle, and other livestock. Today, it is known for its picturesque setting, cobblestone streets, and a wide array of shops, pubs, and restaurants.

Another notable feature of Grassmarket is its colorful and distinctive buildings, many of which date back to the 18th century. These buildings house a range of independent boutiques, souvenir shops, and specialty stores where you can find unique gifts, clothing, and Scottish products.

The square is also known for its lively pub and dining scene. There are numerous traditional pubs and contemporary bars where you can relax with a pint of local beer or indulge in traditional Scottish cuisine. In the summer months, outdoor seating areas allow visitors to enjoy the bustling atmosphere and street performances.

Grassmarket holds a significant place in Scottish history as the site of public executions in the past. Today, a memorial known as the “Martyrs’ Monument” stands in the square, commemorating the Covenanters who were executed there in the 17th century.

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13. Maggie Dickson

The Maggie Dickson pub is a historic establishment located in the Grassmarket. It is named after a woman named Margaret “Maggie” Dickson, who has become somewhat of a local legend due to her dramatic and unusual story.

In 1724, Maggie Dickson was a fishwife who was accused of concealing a pregnancy and subsequently murdering her newborn child. She was found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging. However, after the execution, it was discovered that she was still alive. According to the law at the time, this meant she had served her punishment, and she was set free.

She went on to live for several more decades, gaining a reputation as a strong and independent woman. Her story has since been celebrated, and the Maggie Dickson pub pays homage to her resilience and the historical event surrounding her.

The pub itself is a traditional Scottish establishment with a cozy and welcoming atmosphere. It features a historic interior, complete with dark wood furnishings, traditional decor, and a charming old-world ambiance. The pub is known for serving a range of Scottish beers, whiskies, and classic pub fare.

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14. Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle is an iconic historic fortress that sits atop Castle Rock, a volcanic rock formation in the heart of Edinburgh. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country and a symbol of Scottish heritage and history.

The castle’s origins can be traced back to the 12th century, although the site has been fortified since ancient times. Over the centuries, it has served various purposes, including as a royal residence, military stronghold, and a symbol of power and authority.

The castle’s strategic location on Castle Rock provides panoramic views of the city and its surroundings. It offers a glimpse into Scotland’s turbulent past and houses numerous historical buildings and monuments within its walls.

One of the notable structures within Edinburgh Castle is the Great Hall, built in the 16th century. It is a grand medieval hall that showcases the architectural and artistic styles of the time. The Crown Room houses the Honours of Scotland, which include the Crown, Sceptre, and Sword of State, representing the Scottish monarchy.

St. Margaret’s Chapel, the oldest surviving building in Edinburgh, dates back to the 12th century and is a popular spot for weddings due to its quaint charm and historical significance.

The Royal Palace within the castle complex was once a royal residence, and its highlights include the Stone of Destiny, where Scottish monarchs were traditionally crowned, and the historic Crown Room

Opening Hours: The castle is open daily from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm (last admission is at 5:00 pm).

Ticket Price: Ticket prices vary depending on the time of year and type of ticket. It is recommended to purchase tickets online in advance to avoid waiting in line.


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15. The Ross Fountain

The Ross Fountain is a prominent and beautiful landmark located in West Princes Street Gardens. It is a large and ornate cast iron fountain that has become an iconic feature of the city.

The fountain was originally gifted to the city of Edinburgh by a Scottish gunsmith and philanthropist named Daniel Ross. It was designed by the renowned sculptor Jean-Baptiste Jules Klagmann and was manufactured by the iron foundry firm of Antoine Durenne in France. The fountain was completed in 1872 and was initially installed in the park near the National Gallery of Scotland.

The Ross Fountain is designed in a French Renaissance style and stands at approximately 11 meters (36 feet) in height. It features intricate and detailed sculptures, including mythological figures, animals, and cherubs. The sculptures represent various themes such as sea creatures, Scottish wildlife, and Greek mythology.

In 2001, the fountain underwent a major restoration project to bring it back to its former glory. It was carefully disassembled, and each piece was restored and repaired before being reassembled. The restoration aimed to address issues such as corrosion and deterioration of the cast iron elements.

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16. Charlotte Square

Charlotte Square is considered one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture in the city and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Designed by the renowned architect Robert Adam in the late 18th century, Charlotte Square is named after Queen Charlotte, the wife of King George III.

The square is composed of a central garden area surrounded by impressive townhouses, which were originally built as residences for Edinburgh’s wealthy elite. The elegant townhouses feature neoclassical facades with intricate detailing, grand entrances, and symmetrical layouts. Today, many of these buildings have been repurposed as offices, headquarters, and cultural institutions.

At the center of Charlotte Square lies a private garden, which is accessible only to residents of the square and their guests. The garden is a peaceful oasis amidst the bustling city and is well-maintained with manicured lawns, beautiful flower beds, and mature trees. It provides a tranquil retreat and a serene atmosphere for those who visit.

One of the most prominent buildings on Charlotte Square is Bute House, which serves as the official residence of the First Minister of Scotland. The Georgian House, an elegant period house museum, is also located on the square and offers visitors a glimpse into the life of a wealthy Edinburgh family during the late 18th and early 19th centuries.


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17. George Street

George Street is one of the most elegant and prestigious streets in Edinburgh, Scotland. Located in the city’s New Town, it is known for its stunning Georgian architecture, high-end shops, luxurious hotels, and vibrant dining and nightlife scene.

George Street was designed and built in the late 18th century as part of the New Town development, which aimed to expand the city beyond the crowded and cramped Old Town. It was named after King George III.

The street stretches approximately one mile from St Andrew Square in the east to Charlotte Square in the west, running parallel to Princes Street, the city’s main shopping thoroughfare. George Street is lined with beautiful neoclassical buildings, characterised by their grand facades, intricate detailing, and imposing columns.

The street is renowned for its upscale shopping experience, featuring a wide range of high-end boutiques, designer stores, and luxury brands. From fashion and jewelry to homeware and cosmetics, George Street offers a diverse selection of premium retailers.

Aside from shopping, George Street is known for its vibrant dining and entertainment options. The street is lined with numerous stylish restaurants, trendy bars, and chic cafes, making it a popular destination for locals and visitors looking to indulge in fine dining or enjoy a night out on the town. Many establishments offer outdoor seating during the warmer months, allowing patrons to savor their meals while enjoying the lively atmosphere.


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18. St Andrew’s Square

St Andrew’s Square is a prominent public square located in the New Town. It is one of the city’s most significant and historically rich squares, known for its elegant Georgian architecture, green spaces, and its role as a hub for cultural and social activities.

The square was designed in the late 18th century by renowned architect James Craig as part of his master plan for the New Town. It was named after the patron saint of Scotland, St Andrew. The layout of St Andrew’s Square follows a symmetrical pattern, with a central garden surrounded by elegant townhouses and commercial buildings.

The centerpiece of St Andrew’s Square is its beautifully landscaped garden, which provides a peaceful and tranquil retreat from the bustling city streets. The garden features manicured lawns, flowerbeds, and several statues, including a prominent statue of Melville Monument dedicated to Henry Dundas, the 1st Viscount Melville.

St Andrew’s Square is also home to some significant buildings. One notable structure is the Royal Bank of Scotland headquarters, a grand neoclassical building designed by architect Sir William Chambers in the late 18th century. The bank’s building is an architectural masterpiece and adds to the square’s overall grandeur.

In recent years, St Andrew’s Square has undergone revitalisation, and it has become a vibrant gathering place and a focal point for events and festivals. During the Edinburgh Festival, the square often hosts various performances, art installations, and open-air concerts, attracting both locals and visitors.

The square is surrounded by a mix of high-end retail shops, restaurants, cafes, and offices, making it a popular destination for shopping and dining. It also provides convenient access to other notable landmarks, such as Princes Street, George Street, and the Edinburgh Waverley railway station.

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19. Balmoral Hotel

The Balmoral Hotel is a prestigious and iconic luxury hotel located in Edinburgh. It occupies a prominent position at the eastern end of Princes Street, one of the city’s main thoroughfares, and offers stunning views of Edinburgh Castle and the city skyline.

Originally built in 1902 as a grand railway hotel, the Balmoral Hotel has become synonymous with luxury, elegance, and Scottish hospitality. Its architecture showcases a beautiful blend of Victorian and Scottish Baronial styles, creating a distinctive and charming facade.

The hotel boasts a rich history and has welcomed numerous famous guests over the years, including royalty, celebrities, and dignitaries. It has played host to various notable events and has been a cherished landmark in Edinburgh for over a century.

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20. John Knox House

John Knox House is a historic building located on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Scotland. It is considered one of the city’s most significant landmarks and is associated with the Protestant reformer John Knox, who played a prominent role in the Scottish Reformation during the 16th century.

The house itself is believed to have been built around 1470, making it one of the oldest surviving buildings in Edinburgh. While there is no concrete evidence to confirm that John Knox lived in the house, it is widely accepted that he may have resided there for a period of time during his time in Edinburgh.

The John Knox House now serves as a museum dedicated to the life and times of John Knox and the history of the Scottish Reformation. The museum offers visitors a fascinating glimpse into the religious and social upheaval that swept through Scotland during the 16th century.

Inside the house, you can explore various rooms that have been restored to reflect the period when Knox would have been present. There are exhibits showcasing artifacts, documents, and displays related to the Reformation and Knox’s influence on Scottish society. The museum provides an immersive experience, allowing visitors to learn about the religious and political climate of the time and gain insights into Knox’s role in shaping Scotland’s history.

The building itself is a fine example of medieval Scottish architecture, with its distinctive gables and stone construction. As you wander through the house, you can admire its historic features and imagine what life may have been like during Knox’s era.

Opening Hours: The house is open from Monday to Saturday, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, and on Sundays from 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

Ticket Price: The admission fee is £7 for adults and £5 for children, students, and seniors.


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21. Canongate

Canongate is one of the most significant areas along the Royal Mile, the famous stretch of road that connects Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Canongate has a rich history, distinctive architecture, and numerous attractions that draw locals and tourists alike.

In the past, Canongate was a separate burgh but eventually merged with Edinburgh in 1856.

One of the most prominent landmarks in Canongate is the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland.

One of the most prominent landmarks in the Canongate is the Canongate Tolbooth. Over the centuries, the Canongate Tolbooth has served various purposes. It has been a meeting place for the local council, a courtroom, a jail, and a public assembly hall. It played a central role in the administration and governance of the Canongate area.

The Canongate Tolbooth was originally constructed in 1591 as a municipal building serving the Canongate district, which was a separate burgh from Edinburgh at the time. The term “Tolbooth” refers to a building that served as a courthouse, council chambers, and administrative center.

Another notable site in Canongate is the Canongate Kirk, a parish church with a distinctive tower that dates back to the 17th century. The church has witnessed numerous significant events and has connections to many influential figures in Scottish history.

Huntly House is located in Canongate. It is a historic building that houses the Museum of Edinburgh, where visitors can delve into the city’s past through its exhibitions and displays.

Canongate is also renowned for its charming architecture, featuring a mix of historic buildings, tenements, and narrow closes. The area has a vibrant atmosphere with a range of shops, boutiques, cafes, and traditional pubs.

Opening Hours: The Tolbooth is open daily, from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Ticket Price: There is no admission fee to enter the Canongate Tolbooth.


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22. The Scottish Parliament Building

The construction of the Scottish Parliament Building was initiated in 1999, following the establishment of the devolved Scottish Parliament in 1998. The design of the building was awarded to the renowned Catalan architect, Enric Miralles, and construction was completed in 2004.

The architecture of the Scottish Parliament Building is distinct and has garnered both praise and criticism. It was designed to reflect Scotland’s landscape, culture, and democracy. The building’s exterior features a mix of modern and traditional elements, with a dynamic design that includes curved lines, irregular shapes, and the extensive use of glass and steel. The roof of the building resembles the upturned hull of a boat, symbolising Scotland’s maritime heritage.

Inside the Scottish Parliament Building, there are various functional spaces, including committee rooms, public galleries, and debating chambers. The debating chamber is the focal point of the building, designed to foster open and democratic discourse among the elected representatives.

The building incorporates sustainability principles, with features such as natural light optimisation, energy-efficient systems, and the use of environmentally friendly materials. It also houses several artworks and installations, adding to the cultural significance of the space.

Visitors to the Scottish Parliament can explore the public areas of the building, participate in guided tours, and observe parliamentary debates from the public galleries.

Opening Hours: The Parliament is open to visitors from Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, and on Saturdays during parliamentary recesses. It is closed on Sundays and public holidays.

Ticket Price: Entry to the Parliament is free. Book ahead for a guided tour. Visitors on self-guided visit can explore any public areas.


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23. The Palace of Holyroodhouse

The Palace of Holyroodhouse, commonly referred to as Holyrood Palace, is a historic royal residence located at the bottom of the Royal Mile. It is the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland and serves as the setting for a variety of royal events and ceremonies.

The palace’s origins can be traced back to the 12th century when King David I founded an Augustinian abbey on the site. Over the centuries, the abbey evolved into a grand palace. Today, the palace showcases a blend of architectural styles, including medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque influences.

Holyrood Palace has played a significant role in Scottish history and has witnessed many pivotal moments. One notable event is the murder of David Rizzio, the private secretary of Mary, Queen of Scots, which took place in the palace in 1566. Mary herself resided in Holyrood Palace during her reign, and it was from here that she witnessed the murder of her second husband, Lord Darnley.

The palace’s interior features a range of stunning rooms, including the Great Gallery, which houses a collection of portraits of Scottish monarchs. The State Apartments are used for official ceremonies and receptions, while the Queen’s Gallery displays rotating exhibitions of art from the Royal Collection.

The palace is set within beautiful grounds, known as the Palace of Holyroodhouse Gardens, which offer a peaceful retreat with manicured lawns, gardens, and a picturesque ruined abbey. Visitors can explore the gardens and enjoy the scenic views of Arthur’s Seat, a prominent hill in Edinburgh.

Holyrood Palace is open to the public when the royal family is not in residence, allowing visitors to explore the historic rooms, learn about Scottish royalty, and experience the grandeur of the palace. Audio guides and guided tours are available to enhance the visitor’s understanding of the palace’s history and significance.

Opening Hours:
1 November – 31 March: 09:30 last admission 15:15
1 April – 31 October: 09:30 last admission 16:30

Ticket Price:
Adult – £19.50
Young Person (18-24) – £12.50
Child (5-17) – £10.50


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