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Edinburgh free hour itinerary travel and explore Scotland

Edinburgh in 72 Hours

Travel with us as we explore the best attractions in Edinburgh in an amazing seventy-two hours. Aye, the city is calling!

  • 09h00 Hike up Edinburgh’s famous, Arthur’s Seat.
  • 12h00 Visit the Palace of Holyroodhouse (at the bottom of the famous Royal Mile) and marvel at the ruins of Holyrood Abbey along the way.
  • 15h00 From the Palace of Holyroodhouse, meander up to Edinburgh Castle at the top of the famous Royal Mile. Along the way, spot the unique architecture of the Scottish Parliament, as well as the Museum of Edinburgh, and St. Giles Cathedral. If you enjoy whiskey, you may even stop to sample some fine Scottish Whiskey at the Scotch Whiskey Experience. Alternatively, learn about Edinburgh’s dark history at Mary King’s Close, a fascinating, underground museum where tour guides take you through a labyrinth of narrow alleyways. Experience what life in medieval Old Town was really like.
  • 19h00 End the day with a trip to Edinburgh Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, a fun and exciting house of illusions with more than a hundred interactive exhibits. 
  • 09:00 Take a local bus to the Ocean Terminal in Leith where you’ll find the Royal Yacht Britannia moored near the second floor of the mall. Spend the morning on the ship where the British royal family spent many of their holidays between 1953 and 1997. Don’t forget to have tea and scones!
  • 12:00 Enjoy lunch at the Michelin star Kitchin restaurant nearby or have a traditional plate of fish and chips at Fishers in Leigh.
  • 15:00 Leith was Scotland’s primary seaport and now it’s home to various historic attractions like the Trinity House Maritime Museum. Walk along the scenic riverside Water of Leith Walkway and look out for Antony Gormley’s ‘6 Times’ scantily statues of gentlemen. Alternatively, return to Edinburgh’s Old Town and go to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art which is home to a wonderful sculpture park with works by Henry Moore. 
  • 09:00 Visit Edinburgh Castle, specifically St. Margaret’s Chapel, the Castle Vaults, the firing of the one o’clock gun, and the Royal Palace where the Honours of Scotland are stored. I highly recommend a guided tour, so you don’t miss out on the rich history of the castle. And a bonus is that you don’t have to line up for tickets.
  • 12:00 Treat yourself to early afternoon tea at the Balmoral Hotel which was where J.K. Rowling stayed while writing the final Harry Potter book. It’s a bit on the expensive side of the coin, but if you want to be treated like a queen, why not book a night or two at the Balmoral Hotel!?
  • 15:00 Meander down Princes Street for stellar panoramic views from the famous Scott Monument. Then, stop by the Scottish National Gallery which is home to three impressive galleries.
  • 19:00 Hike up Calton Hill (about 200 m) just before sunset to enjoy the impressive views of Arthur’s Seat. Visit the Burns Monument (1759 Regent Rd, Edinburgh EH8 8JQ), a circular building made of stone that commemorates Scotland’s iconic poet and lyricist, Robert Burns. 

This is why Edinburgh is so famous!

A must-read before visiting Edinburgh. 

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hours itinerary in Edinburgh Scotland things to do sightseeing and attractions

To conclude, Edinburgh has so much to show the keen traveler. If you have more than 3 days available, have a look at our article on the city itself. It will easily keep you busy for a week, and longer, if you extend your trip.