48 hours in Edinburgh
- 48 hours in Edinburgh
- 72 Hours in Edinburgh
- A day exploring Edinburgh’s free attractions
- A day exploring historic houses in Edinburgh and the Lothians
- A day exploring museums and galleries in Edinburgh
- A day exploring the castles of Edinburgh and the Lothians
- A day in the Lothians
- A day shopping in Edinburgh and the Lothians
- A great family day out in Edinburgh
- Edinburgh’s Royal attractions in one day
- Mary Queen of Scots Trail - Edinburgh and the Lothians
- Two days of local crafts - Edinburgh and the Lothians
Get the most out of your weekend city break in Edinburgh with our suggested itinerary, packed full of attraction ideas for a whirlwind 48 hours.
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Whether it is your first time in Edinburgh or you have visited the city before, an open-top bus tour is a great way to begin your day. There are several to choose from and you can take a circuit through the Old and New Towns learning all about the history of the city as you go. Climb on and off the bus at the various attractions or ride the whole route before you start exploring.
Stroll up the Royal Mile and pay a visit to the fascinating Camera Obscura and World of Illusions which has captivated visitors with its amazing optical illusions and panoramic views of Edinburgh for over 150 years. Step inside a darkened room and watch incredible live moving images of the city and its inhabitants projected onto a table by a giant periscope while listening to colourful tales from the past.
Not far away, Scotland’s national drink is honoured at the Scotch Whisky Experience where you can sample a dram at the end of your tour. Enjoy a barrel ride to learn all about the whisky-making process and see the world’s largest collection of Scotch Whisky. Why not stop for lunch at the Amber Restaurant which offers traditional Scottish produce?
Once you’ve recharged your batteries you can either continue to explore the museums and galleries of the Royal Mile, or jump back on the bus and head towards the Scottish Parliament and the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Nearby, on Chambers Street, is the National Museum of Scotland where you can explore fascinating exhibitions and take a look at 20,000 other exhibits across 36 galleries.
In the evening, combine a tour of pubs with a love of literature on the Edinburgh Literary Pub Tour before dining in one of the intimate restaurants and bistros of the Old Town.
Edinburgh is surrounded by hills which are perfect for a stroll and give a great outlook. Climb Arthur’s Seat, an iconic extinct volcano in Holyrood Park, or try the easy and short route up Calton Hill, just off Princes Street. This is the site of what should have been Scotland's National Monument but the city ran out of money so the columns are all that was completed. Nelson’s Monument, in the shape of a telescope, is well worth the climb to the top. A ball at the top of its mast drops simultaneously with the firing of the One o'clock Gun from Edinburgh Castle.
Keep the natural theme for the afternoon with a tour of the Royal Botanic Garden with its wonderful Glasshouses, exhibitions and a world of colourful plants and shrubs. Take some time out for quiet reflection and round things off with a cup of tea.
Evening entertainment can be found in Leith’s traditional bars and restaurants where fish is caught straight from the surrounding waters. Soak up the atmosphere before sampling a dram or sipping a pint with the locals as you enjoy views towards the Water of Leith.
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Edinburgh and the Lothians sits on the eastern side of Scotland's central belt, in the heart of the country.