See & Do

There is an extensive list of things to see and do in central Edinburgh and the suggestions listed below is only a handful of what’s on offer.

Click on the attractions below to find out more about them.

Edinburgh has a very extensive list of festivals and they’re almost all completely free to attend! The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, taking place from the 2nd-26th of August is undoubtedly our most famous but there are so many shorter festivals that are well worth a visit including Edinburgh Beltane Fire Festival, Leith Festival, Edinburgh Science Festival, Edinburgh Vegan Festival, Edinburgh Tradfest, Edinburgh Internation Children’s festival, Festival of Wine, Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival and many more! The easiest thing to do is tell us what you’re interested in or when you intend on coming to Edinburgh and we’ll email you the ones right for you.

Edinburgh has a lot of history and there are so many wonderful places to explore and George Square is one of them and worth a quick visit. George Square was the first creation, planned in 1766, made outwith Edinburgh’s old city walls and marked the beginning of Edinburgh’s New Town.

You can appreciate the meadows at any time of year but to witness it at its best you have to see it in Summer a.k.a. picnic season. If you enjoy the outdoors and like the thought of going alfresco with some takeaway delights and drink of your choice then the meadows has a place with your name on it! Also, due to the endeavours of the Edinburgh City Council and fellow meadow-users, it’s always kept clean and tidy. We take pride in our city’s green spaces and would like to help keep it that way!

The festival theatre is a major performance and arts venue and has the largest performance area in Scotland. It covers a huge array of performances including theatre, dance, ballet, opera and musicals. On attending any performance you’re not just witnessing talent but you’re also experiencing one of the planet’s most prestigious theatre venues; it hasn’t received its superb reputation for nothing!

As you might already know, Edinburgh has an excellent history in the development of medical and dental practice and has forged its name among some of the most influential and significant places in the world for its research and discoveries. A lot of people take the time to complain about our current health service. Well, imagine one with almost no anaesthetics, limited knowledge on hygiene, horrendous odds of even semi-basic surgeries and very little regulation… things were appalling! Even if you’re not too interested in the health professions you’ll still guaranteed to discover some fascinating, and even some entertaining, facts and exhibits. The Surgeons’ Hall Museums even host many events. Keep an eye out for ones that may interest you.

This is an excellent live music venue and offers events from a huge variation of world-renowned musicians. There are plenty of different music styles including jazz, pop, classical, rock and really just about anything else you can think of! It also hosts a lot of events during the Frindge, not all musical, that are also well worth a look.

Edinburgh’s Old Town has been named accordingly as being the oldest part of the city. Impressively, it has retained lots of very old buildings and even its medieval street plan! If you’re looking for history and culture you’ve come to the right place.

Edinburgh’s Royal Mile is located within the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town and features many of Edinburgh’s most famous buildings and landmarks. At the very top of this street, you will find Edinburgh’s most famous landmark of them all – Edinburgh Castle.

This is a top 10 UK visitor attraction and it’s easy to see why; it’s an impressive building where two enormous museums have been joined together to make one genuinely incredible must-see attraction. And the best part? It’s completely free! It exhibits all sorts of things (fashion, science, transportation, arts, machines, weapons, artefacts, literature, famous inventions, you name it!) but, in a nutshell, covers the complete history of Scotland and its heritage around the world. It’s not all about looking around and reading; there’s also a lot of interactive areas too and also very child-friendly.

The St Giles Cathedral also has a lot of history about it and is Edinburgh’s main/most significant place of worship of the Church of Scotland. Not only is it a stunning building but it also accommodates many large venues during the Edinburgh Fringe.

If you want science, education and fun then look no further than the Camera Obscura! It has visual exhibits, hands-on optical illusions mental challenges, great views from the top floor and there is also the option of seeing a show there too.

The Edinburgh Playhouse, a former cinema, is the UK’s largest non-sporting theatre in terms of audience capacity – an impressive 3,059 people! The theatre first opened on 12 August 1929 so, even if you’re not attending one of its countless events or shows, you have to walk inside to see its classy decor and glamorous setting.

The Omni Centre, conveniently located near some excellent must-see attractions, is a leisure and entertainment centre encompassing a cinema, many popular foods and drink brands/chains and a gym.

Leith Walk is one of Edinburgh’s longest streets. The clue is in the name but Leith Walk takes you to the heart of Leith, where you can find a large shopping mall, lots of excellent eateries and the Royal Yaught Britannia – another must-see attraction that has won countless of awards and all for very good reasons.

To be honest, you could probably spend an entire day very happily just in Leith but there are so many other amazing places to see and do that it would be unfair to talk too much about Leith!

Waverly Mall is a great shopping centre and, as the name suggests, right beside Waverly Station. There’s plenty of high-street chain stores and a large food court here too.

It only takes a few minutes to walk to the top of Carlton Hill and it’s so worth. You can get an excellent view of most of Edinburgh, including the castle, old town, new town, the Firth of Forth (the stretch of water north of Edinburgh) and so much more of the city! There are also plenty of significant buildings and monument on top of the hill that are definitely well worth the visit. The pictures you can take of yourself and the city is itself enough of a reason to walk to the top of this very short walk! If you get your timings right and make it just in time for sunset then I bet you won’t be able to leave without taking at least 10 pictures! If you fancy something a bit longer but with even more reward then maybe you should consider Arthur’s Seat.

Arthur’s seat is shrouded with lots of myth and legend – there are few people who haven’t heard of the legend of King Arthur pulling the sword out of solid rock and fewer people still who believe it! But, regardless of what you believe, it’s still a fantastic walk with so much reward at the top – the view is breathtaking. Being a hill/mountain in the centre of Edinburgh, it’s easy to imagine why I consider this to be one of my personal favourite must-see attractions. The walk itself takes between 30 and 60 minutes (depending on your speed) to reach the summit and less to get down. Just please be sure to keep an eye on the weather before making the climb – currently, there are no taxis capable of collecting you from the top!

The Edinburgh Dungeon has some dark and interesting history behind it but is also great fun! The staff here are excellent and there are lots of live actors along the route. This is an award-winning visitor attraction and undoubtedly a must-see! It’s full of surprises and I highly recommend it. It’s located only a few minutes away from Waverly Station so very easy to get to. The whole tour lasts about 70 minutes and is well worth the time.

Princes Street is arguably Edinburgh’s biggest shopping street but really the entire Southern-most section of New Town is ideal for shoppers – from big high-end brands to small independent stores, if you love shopping then you’ll adore this busy shopping area. In addition to hundreds of shops, there are also plenty of an equally-varied and equally-abundant selection of food and drink places to visit too. Princes Street and its surrounding area lends itself to anyone with any budget.

The Royal Botanic Gardens is one of 2/3 things on this list that is a little further than a 15-minute walk away. However, it’s definitely worth a mention and is undoubtedly a must-see during the summer time.

If you enjoy going out, meeting new people or joining pub crawls then Rose Street is your place. This quirky street is situated very near Princes Street and is definitely worth a visit, even if you’re not a drinker, just to see its unique character and vibrant atmosphere.

Edinburgh Castle is undoubtedly, and very literally, a must-see attraction in the heart of Edinburgh. Built on top of an extinct volcano, the Castle can be seen from miles away. It holds hundreds of years of history, having stood the test of time throughout countless monumental moments and events within Scotland’s fascinating story. It is also the home of Scotland’s crown jewels.

Edinburgh’s New Town district is just North of Edinburgh’s Old Town. It actually has a lot of history behind it and packed full of culture but New Town’s most popular selling point is its sheer abundance of shops, cafes, pubs/bars and restaurants.

Dynamic Earth is situated at the foot of Arthur’s Seat and is the perfect place for anyone really. It is all about the history of our planet and full of interesting facts. It has a fantastic layout, starting from the big bang and ending in our modern era, complete with lots of great themes and hands-on exhibits; it’s super cool (literally – it has an iceberg in one of its rooms)! It’s well worth a visit and an easy trip to incorporate with many other great places nearby.

The Palace of Holyroodhouse is still used by the Queen on many occasions today and full of romantic and classical history. There is an excellent tour and Queen’s art gallery here too.

One of our team members used to be a chef and knows a thing or two about food! If you tell us your budget and what type of food you want to try then we will send you a list of recommendations for you nearer to the time of your arrival.

Again, we know the area rather well and can recommend some great cafes, bakeries, patisseries, takeaways etc. and to be honest you can’t go too wrong. We are more than happy to recommend a few places to you but there is certainly a very extensive list to choose from!

Edinburgh is famed for its nightlife and a huge selection of classy pubs but there are also many other more modern, stylish bars, nightclubs and late night music venues. None of us are party animals but we’ve still done our fair share of ‘sampling’ many of central Edinburgh’s nightlife! Our team are conveniently a mixture of ages and we all seem to prefer different things. We are more than happy to recommend pubs/bars and nightclubs for you. Let us know your preferred style and vibe and we can sort you out with our top recommendations.

There is so much to do and see in Edinburgh and I would highly recommend paying a small fee to have your own expert show you around; it’s easy to miss some very interesting places and the guide will likely know lots of fun and interesting facts that you would never know unless you spent the time to painstakingly research them all yourself. At Prime Edinburgh Getaways, we do genuinely want to help all of our guests as best as we can and we will answer any of your questions and take the time to pair up the best recommendations (on request) for you and your group. In essence, we are your very own personal representatives! If we have time, we would, and indeed will, volunteer to give you a grand tour ourselves but if we don’t get enough notice or are too busy we can happily recommend some fab tour guides near you.

We hope this has given you an idea of some of the wonderful things to see and do near our apartments.

Please tell us which ones you end up deciding to visit and let us know your favourites.