Being at the tail-end of the Edinburgh International Festival, we thought it would be a good idea to put together a short list of some of our favourite destinations to visit that don’t involve the Festival and – bonus – are free!
Royal Botanical Garden Edinburgh
Get out and enjoy nature by visiting the Royal Botanical Gardens, around a 30-minute walk north of the city centre, these incredible gardens are not to be missed. With over 100,000 plants and 10 greenhouses, it is packed with beautiful scenery and a shedload of information for you to enjoy. Pack a picnic and head to the gardens where you can feed the squirrels, explore 70 acres of plantlife and relish in the 350 years of history.
Scottish National Gallery
Immerse yourself in culture by visiting the Scottish National Gallery. Comprised of the National Gallery Building and the Royal Scottish Academy Building, it's home to one of the best collections of fine art in the world displaying such artists as Botticelli, Raphael, Titian, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Monet, Van Gaugh. Take your time perusing each exhibition before refuelling with a well deserved cup of coffee in their lovely cafe.
National Museum of Scotland
With countless displays and interactive exhibitions, the National Museum of Scotland is one of those destinations that you cannot miss when visiting the capital. With plenty to see and do for every age there really is no excuse for skipping it. It also makes for a great pit stop if you happen to get caught in the rain. Just remember, don’t go on an empty stomach as they enforce is a strict ‘no picnicking’ rule!
A controversial landmark amongst Edinburgh residents: you either love or hate the Scottish Parliament building but you can’t deny that the architectural design is incredible. Although getting in a slight faff with thorough security measures, once you’re in, you can take a self- guided tour around the parliament and learn all about the world of Scottish Government – trust us: it’s more interesting than it sounds!
Edinburgh’s resident extinct volcano, Arthur’s Seat, is the ideal destination to take in the beautiful city views. Standing 251 metres high, reaching the top take a little bit of determination, a comfy pair of shoes, and a cosy jacket (because it’s always freezing cold at the peak!). If you time it right, you can head up in time to catch the sunset so why not take a blanket and a bottle of fizz with you to really make the most of the experience?