Should You Visit Edinburgh?

Is Edinburgh worth visiting?

Yes, there are many reasons to visit Edinburgh. Everyone should experience this amazing city, and we loved our stay here. During our first trip to Edinburgh in the spring of 2023, we fell in love with its world renowned old town that's filled with cobblestone streets, iconic architecture, and plenty of shops for Harry Potter enthusiasts.. We've been back several times since then to experience it even more.

Whether you're a traveling as a family, a couple, or a backpacker, this city has a lot to offer. Any local will tell you what makes it special is the terrific museums and great music.

Edinburgh is loved by visitors for many reasons, and is routinely on national "best of" lists, including VOGUE's Best Places to Travel in 2023.

Edinburgh is a city that is grounded in history and architecture. The Old Town is filled with beautiful churches, cobblestone streets, and great restaurants. Looking over the city from a hilltop is the famed Edinburgh Castle. There are also countless museums around town as well the popular Harry Potter Trail.

Edinburgh Edinburgh

6 Reasons to Visit Edinburgh

1. Museums

The most famous sights include the Edinburgh Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, and the National Museum of Scotland. There are also kid-friendly museums like Camera Obscura.

2. Music

In addition to a wide range of live music venues, there are also a number of music festivals held in town.

3. Historical Sights

The city's Old Town attracts international visitors who come to see the Edinburgh Castle, the quaint streets, and the many shops and cafes. The Royal Mile is a popular area with pubs and souvenir shops. It connects the castle to the Scottish Parliament.

4. Theatre Productions

It's fun to see a live performance or attend one of the festivals in town.

5. Nightlife

With so many students, the nightlife stays very active. There are a wide range of bars and clubs to choose from as well as some of the country's oldest pubs. Tourists tend to frequent the Old Town area, but you'll find more locals if you head to the student and university areas.

6. Shopping

Head to Princes Street in the New Town to visit department stores and other name brand shops. Nearby George Street has more boutique style shops and less crowds. In the Old Town, Victoria Street is filled with Harry Potter shops and tourist stores where you can pick up a kilt or Edinburgh sweatshirt.




Expert Advice from Local Travelers

We're asking our community members and registered users to contribute their experiences about Edinburgh.

Why would you recommend Edinburgh to budget travelers? Or, why not?

We caught a tour of the Scottish Highlands from Edinburgh. It's the cheapest and most affordable way to see the area if you don't have your own car.

Mackenzie
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Jan 1 2024

The architecture and food is amazing! There are a number of affordable places to stay and there's a great energy to the city!

Julie
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Nov 3 2023

it's easy to get around with the tram or buses, so we never even had to take a taxi.

syd_24258
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Oct 22 2023

What makes Edinburgh a budget-friendly destination? Or not?

There are tons of affordable hotels and airbnbs outside of the old town. We had a two bedroom apartment with a kitchen and tons of space. We could also quickly reach the old town by tram or bus.

sam_c_28
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Aug 8 2023

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Is Edinburgh worth visiting in the Summer?

You'll find the weather to be very nice here during summer with average temperatures around 14°C (58°F).

The peak season for travel is summer in Edinburgh, so expect to see more tourists than usual. This is an extremely popular destination, and in the high season it's busier than usual as this is when most people are able to travel. Expect large crowds of tourists, longer lines, and higher prices for hotels. On the other hand, you'll find that everything is open and you'll have a wide array of activities, things to do, and places to eat.

You'll also find it quite easy to get around on foot, because this is a very walkable city, especially in the nice weather. This is a great time of year to browse the museums, enjoy the city's energy, and admire the historic sights. Also, you can check out the nightlife.


Summer Weather in Edinburgh
Avg Temp
(°C/°F)
Avg Rain
(mm/inches)
July 14°C (58°F) 56 mm (2.2 in)
August 14°C (58°F) 58 mm (2.3 in)
September 12°C (54°F) 63 mm (2.5 in)

Is Edinburgh worth visiting in the Autumn?

Autumn is the shoulder season for travel in Edinburgh. As a very touristy destination, even in the shoulder season you'll see plenty of tourists when you visit. However, good prices and deals are to be found at this time of year.

The weather in Edinburgh can be quite cold during autumn, and averages around 10°C (49°F). But be prepared for much lower temperatures, too.

Autumn is a great time of year to explore the numerous museums and landmarks around town. They are fun for the whole family as well great for couples. Soaking up that old town charm in the autumn is one of the favorite activities of visitors. The quaint scenery combined with the weather this time of year is quite nice. You'll find plenty to do during autumn, as you'll be able to take in the beautiful scenery, browse around the old town, and spend time at the museums. Also, you'll be able to admire the quaint atmosphere, discover the big city activities, and listen to some live music.


Autumn Weather in Edinburgh
Avg Temp
(°C/°F)
Avg Rain
(mm/inches)
October 10°C (49°F) 67 mm (2.6 in)
November 5°C (42°F) 54 mm (2.1 in)
December 4°C (39°F) 64 mm (2.5 in)

Is Edinburgh worth visiting in the Winter?

This is the low season for travel in Edinburgh. This is an extremely touristy destination, so in the low season you'll still see plenty of other travelers when you visit, but less than other times of the year. Good deals are to be found on hotels and tours because it's not the best time of year to visit.

The weather in Edinburgh can be quite cold during winter, and averages around 3°C (38°F). But be prepared for much lower temperatures, too.

During this season it's fun to experience the museums and landmarks, the theatre, and the historic old town. Also, you can experience the nightlife, the live music, and the big city activities.


Winter Weather in Edinburgh
Avg Temp
(°C/°F)
Avg Rain
(mm/inches)
January 3°C (38°F) 61 mm (2.4 in)
February 3°C (38°F) 41 mm (1.6 in)
March 5°C (41°F) 58 mm (2.3 in)

Is Edinburgh worth visiting in the Spring?

The weather in Edinburgh can be quite cold during spring, and averages around 7°C (45°F). But be prepared for much lower temperatures, too.

Spring is the shoulder season for travel in Edinburgh, which means slightly less visitors than in the peak season. As a very touristy destination, even in the shoulder season you'll see plenty of tourists when you visit. However, good prices and deals are to be found at this time of year.

The city this time of year is absolutely beautiful. Admire the gardens, parks, and fantastic architecture, too. Soaking up that old town charm in the spring is one of the favorite activities of visitors. The quaint scenery combined with the weather this time of year is quite nice. This is a great time of year to browse the shops, wander through the museums, and appreciate the quaint setting. Also, you can take in the beautiful scenery, admire the historic sights, listen to some live music, and grab some drinks at a bar.


Spring Weather in Edinburgh
Avg Temp
(°C/°F)
Avg Rain
(mm/inches)
April 7°C (45°F) 40 mm (1.6 in)
May 10°C (49°F) 46 mm (1.8 in)
June 13°C (55°F) 50 mm (2 in)

Things to Consider Before Visiting Edinburgh

Food: Edinburgh doesn't top the list for most foodies. The city has some unique but famous dishes to try including haggis and black pudding. For slightly less intimidating options, check out the cullen skink, porridge, or smoked salmon. There are many fish and chips shops to choose from as well as a diversity of ethnic restaurants including Indian, Thai, and Ethiopian.

Lots of Tourists
Edinburgh sees a high number of visitors every year, which means you might have to wait in line and deal with large crowds during your visit.

The Cost
Depending on your budget, schedule, and travel style, Edinburgh might be an expensive destination for you. You can find out the travel costs for Edinburgh here or see if Edinburgh is expensive here.

Related

What is Edinburgh most famous for?

Edinburgh is most famous for its medieval Old Town, the Royal Mile, and its influence on the Harry Potter series. People visit this impressive city for its great museums, music, and historical sights. It's also known for theatre productions, nightlife, and shopping. It is often described as ancient, charming, character-filled, vibrant, and gothic.


What is the most famous sight in Edinburgh?

The most popular sight in Edinburgh is The Edinburgh Castle. You can see prices and costs for this and other sights in Edinburgh on our travel costs page.

Or, see tickets, activities, and tours for The Edinburgh Castle and other attractions here.

How touristy is Edinburgh? Is it a popular city to visit?

Edinburgh is a very touristy city that attracts travelers from around the globe. Here are some of the most popular activities and tours. (Prices in US Dollars)


    • Edinburgh Full Day Walking Tour With Castle Included: $124
    • Edinburgh Old Town: Historical Guided Walking Tour in German: $21
    • Private Photography & History Tour of Edinburgh With a Local: $291
    • 1-Hour Historical Walking Tour Discovering Edinburgh's Old Town: $23
    • Public guided tour of Edinburgh at a minimum price - in French: $39
    • Private one hour Harry Potter walking tour: $123
    • Bespoke Itinerary Planning from an Experienced Tour Guide: $65
    • Edinburgh Private Walking Tour in Spanish: $193

    How long should I spend in Edinburgh?

    The ideal length of time for a trip to Edinburgh is two to five days. Since Edinburgh has a variety of activities such as museums, music, and historical sights, most people need this much time to see and do everything here.

    If you have a specific amount of time for your trip, see our advice about how much time to spend here: Should I spend 1, 2, or 3 days in Edinburgh?, Should I spend 3, 4, or 5 days in Edinburgh?, and Should I spend 1 or 2 weeks in Edinburgh?.