Edinburgh Experience
Edinburgh Experience
4.5

Top ways to experience Edinburgh Experience and nearby attractions

The area
Address
Neighborhood: Broughton & Calton
Lying where grandiose New Town townhouses give way to malls and utilitarian housing, Broughton and Calton have long been transitional neighborhoods with a mixed identity. It’s here that Edinburgh’s gay village found a home in the 1980s. But gay culture is anything but overt along bustling epicenter Broughton Street; even if polished pubs, hip bistros, smart delis and art galleries all speak of affluent good taste. The top of Leith Walk is more ragged. This major thoroughfare boasts a famously gritty gay club, as well as a strip of good Indian restaurants. Regal Georgian and Victorian townhouses preside over largely deserted streets in Calton, where only the occasional restaurant or hotel brings much life. Even so, a steady trickle of idlers and picnickers pass by to climb Calton Hill for its wide-open lawns, wonderful city views, and curious monuments – an Athenian-style temple among them.
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


4.5
33 reviews
Excellent
21
Very good
7
Average
3
Poor
2
Terrible
0

Whistlebinkie
London, UK2 contributions
Oct 2012 • Friends
Took the green bus tour. tour guide was Jack. Fantastic speaker, very informative and interesting, he barely drew breath so managed to cram in lots of detail all along the way. One of the best tours I have been on, he is an asset to the company and Edinburgh.
Written October 14, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Drew P
9 contributions
May 2011
Did you know that Edinburgh is the second most visited city in the UK, after London?
That statement pretty much says it all, but, if that’s not enough evidence for you to make the journey up there then I shall continue and hopefully by the end you’ll be ready to book that flight , hotel, campsite or hostel and go see for yourself, the wonder that is Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh.
Travelling with a small child is always an interesting experience, but with the flight direct from Newquay Cornwall Airport taking just over an hour and twenty minutes, you’ve only just got above the clouds and it’s time to start the descent. Not hearing a squeak, apart from excitement, from our son throughout the entire journey lent itself to an air of excitement taking over from the initial worries of flight vs baby. On arrival at Edinburgh international airport a sense of calmness and relaxation came over us, and the words “we’ve made it!” were clear to hear.

Pre booking our accommodation at the MacDonald Houstoun Hotel, Uphall, was a fantastic decision as I can guarantee you’ll find excellent service, fantastic rooms, food to die for (including the best breakfast in the whole of the world!) and the friendliest staff you could ask for. The hotel itself is situated about 15 miles from Edinburgh which gives easy access to the City via train, car or bus and with the hotels facilities including the likes of a swimming pool, gym, restaurant, bar, 10 acres of woodland and gardens make it the perfect family base.

A trip to the city for adults would normally include the whisky trail, pubs and usual visitor traps. But as a family you have to think a little more wisely, as entertainment, cost and ‘can we get the buggy in there’ factors into everything. Fortunately, for families sightseeing Edinburgh there is a lot available.

A very good start, as you get yourself to the highest point of the city, is Edinburgh Castle. Did you know that the term ‘panorama’ was originally coined by the painter Robert Barker to describe his panoramic paintings of Edinburgh? The views from the Castle are panoramic, that’s for sure. Pretty much the whole of Edinburgh and beyond is viewable from the Castle walls. Of course the history of the castle is vast, just being in the knowledge that it’s built on top of a 350 million year old volcano (extinct of course) brings a sense of the ancient. With a bit of imagination and if you listen closely, I’m sure you can even hear the war cries of the Jacobite’s and the clashing of troops below.
From there, just down the royal mile is the Camera Obscura which offers something out of the ordinary. This spectacle uses an array of optical devices to project a view of Edinburgh inside a darkened room, you can also zoom in on the city with their telescope or enjoy the optical illusions and holograms, amongst other attractions like morphing yourself into a monkey!

Back on the Royal mile there are many street performers and colourful ‘characters’ to keep you amused and entertained along the way. The museum of childhood was next on our agenda. Described as 'the noisiest museum in the world' the Museum is a favourite with adults and children alike. It is a treasure house, crammed full of objects telling of childhood, past and present and to top that all, its free!

A wander down to the bottom of the royal mile brings us out to The Palace of Holyroodhouse, another beautiful set of buildings and grounds to help tire out those of us young enough to be requiring a run around. Being the Queen's official residence in Scotland and used by the Royal Family for state ceremonies and official entertaining it’s a working royal palace, so, be aware that opening arrangements may change at short notice!

After, once again, being awe struck by the architecture and grandeur of the historic parts of the city we decided it was time for a sit down so we jumped aboard one of the many bus tours available.

Being able to hop on and off the bus to visit sites en route gives an easy way to visit most of the main attractions. We chose to go via The New Town trail which takes you through buildings that were erected to ease overcrowding in the Old Town, where to date, there are still weird goings on beneath and above the streets – for those not faint of heart there are many ghost stories and tours available to experience the supernatural and ghostly past of the city.

Onwards to the Royal Botanic Garden which is one of the finest examples of Botanic Gardens in the world, established in 1670 and set in seventy acres of tranquillity it includes Britain’s tallest Palm House and a world famous rock garden. From there we were transported to the Royal Yacht Britannia and Saw what life was like for the Royal Family on board Britannia, such poverty. Sarcasm? Yes indeed. You can tour the ship from the Queen’s bedroom and Duke’s sitting room to the State Drawing Room and gleaming engine room. Quite an eye opener.

After an hour of being driven around and introduced to other parts of the city whilst in the comfort of a double decker topless bus, we decided it to call it a day. As always, when there is so much to do and see time unfortunately cuts us short.

One attraction that was missed but visited the following day was Edinburgh Zoo, well worth the trip, but a lot to do in one day. Tired and reflecting on the three day break brought to mind Robert Louis Stevenson, who once wrote, "Edinburgh is what Paris ought to be" - beautiful without doubt, but, in our own country and well worth the visit.
Back at the hotel, a swim, a meal and a bit of rest and recovery in preparation for our little journey home to Newquay.

With a varied and eclectic daytime selection of bars, cafe’s and restaurants along the way, Edinburgh really does cater perfectly for the whole family, or for any visitor anytime of the year. Finally not forgetting, from previous experience, the nightlife in Edinburgh is second to none!
Written November 15, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jan D
Edinburgh, UK37 contributions
Feb 2012
Ifyou love the story as i do you'll just love the experience of seeing this cute wee dog and humbling to what he did for his master xxx
Written April 17, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

einnejjja
Massachusetts45 contributions
Dec 2015 • Friends
Virgin money have decorated the Royal Mile with an amazing display of lights. Its hard to imagine during the daytime but at 6.30pm until 8.30pm the lights are turned on and it takes your breath away. Walk through the archway and look up and the thousands of lights. Its a great opportunity to mix and chat to others who are visiting, take pictures and mingle. Its a great free activity for December. Sundays have a 5.30pm switch on.
Written December 12, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

loulou012
Edinburgh, UK221 contributions
Dec 2013 • Couples
visited the xmas market on Monday 23rd dec as im in Edinburgh for xmas this year ,really enjoyed it only thing I was disappointed in was they haven't got the real reindeers this year as I was looking forward to seeing them, tried hot cider and hot chocolate with baileys recommend both, some lovely ornaments but I would recommend looking about before you buy as we bought 2 candles that at a different stall were £2 each cheaper for exact same ones got some lovely handmade soap half price £2 , there is a ice skating rink with a upstairs bar (no seats) where you can watch people iceskate with a drink, theres also a indoor bar(with seats) next to the ferris wheel and in the gardens is a miniature kids trains with xmas lights theres also a gypsy roma caravan where you can get ur palm or tarots read it was queued out we didn't go but was told its £20, people friendly .good toilet facilities(free)
Written December 27, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

IreneEH12
Edinburgh, UK16 contributions
Dec 2013 • Friends
My friend and I visited the Xmas market last night for some mulled wine. It has become a bit of a tradtion over the years. After last night I won't be going back. 2 glasses of mulled wine at 2 different stalls and it was awful. Screaming 90's rave music at one and no atmosphere and rubbish service at the other. Bring back the German market and the real deal mulled wine bars with complimentary biscuits and nice German people. Poor show Edinburgh. From a disappointed resident.
Written December 10, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Colin C
Birmingham, England, United Kingdom30 contributions
Oct 2012 • Friends
Visited Edinburgh for a long weekend last week. We stayed in the Travelodge just off Cowgate Street, 2 minute walk to the Royal Mile, would recommend Hotel, it was a good clean place to stay and reasonably priced. Did the open bus tour first to look around the city and get our bearings, Visited all main attractions over the weekend, but for value for money, a visit to the Castle is a must, even though on our last visit there they had a re-enactment with people dressed up in full 17th century clothing acting out what life would have been like in them days. This time it was just the castle tour you still get great feeling of life there throughout the ages. You'll need 3 to 4 hours plus and flat shoes to see it all ( Defiantly recommend flat shoes or trainers as we saw one lady walking in bare feet)
Written November 1, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Annstreks
Antrim, UK911 contributions
Sep 2012 • Family
First time in Edinburgh so reckoned tour bus was the best way to see around. Got the green bus as it covered the old and new towns and suited me perfectly for the limited time I had there. Lovely lady did the commentary on the way round, luckily for me weather was good so I was able to sit on the open topped upper deck. Driver was lovely and kept an eye on my suitcase rather than me lugging it upstairs and taking up unnecessary room. Edinburgh is a beautiful city steeped in history with amazing architecture. I thoroughly enjoyed the tour from which you can hop on and hop off at any time and it is an excellent and informative way to view the city.
Written September 14, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Carolyn S
Sudbury, Canada103 contributions
May 2012 • Couples
It's full of historic and unique building.We don't mind going back again.
Written June 6, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

odyssey04
Leeds, UK6 contributions
Feb 2012 • Couples
Get a day rover ticket and go see the royal yacht this is a wonderfull exibition
Written February 23, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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