Free attractions and things to do
You can enjoy a wide variety of attractions in Edinburgh that are absolutely free. From museums and art galleries to gardens and events, these top attractions provide hours of entertainment without breaking the bank.
Spend a day exploring Edinburgh with this helpful introduction to the city’s many free attractions.
Edinburgh has more green space than most cities. Along with gardens and parklands there are inner-city paths along old train tracks and beside rivers which feel so peaceful it is hard to believe that you are in the middle of the city.
Whether you want to experience 18th century Edinburgh, see a million pounds in cash or meet a Tyrannosaurus Rex, you can do it at Edinburgh’s museums, and it’s all free. Many museums also have excellent cafes and offer guided tours and events.
Get involved in the free action along the sweeping East Lothian coastline, whether you chose to ride the waves, watch the wildlife or walk some of the John Muir Way, a coastal path which takes in East Lothian’s great beaches.
Art galleries in Edinburgh are airy and welcoming with space for you to relax and enjoy great art . The galleries have plenty of art to see for free, some with paid touring exhibitions too and also have great cafes, shops and events.
Edinburgh’s skyline is punctuated with churches and cathedral spires. Peaceful refuges from city hustle and bustle, these historic buildings are well worth a visit for their interesting architecture and many also have cafes, exhibitions and events.
The award-winning Scottish Parliament building is situated at the bottom of Edinburgh’s historic Royal Mile and is one of Scotland’s most distinctive buildings.
Established in the 1940s, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the biggest arts festival in the world. The Fringe showcases a diverse and exciting line-up of over 2,000 shows across the city throughout the month of August, many of which are completely free.
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Edinburgh and the Lothians sits on the eastern side of Scotland's central belt, in the heart of the country.