A trip to Scotland is incomplete without visiting Edinburgh, a delightful capital city that is an equal blend of mystery and charm. While the surrounding natural vista is breath taking, the cobbled passageways and the striking architecture makes a walk through the city a rewarding experience. While the daylight hours are best spend visiting the castles, parks and museums, the night brings alive the mysterious side of the city that has been related to many haunting ghost stories.
If you are travelling to Edinburgh for a weekend, here are a few points to help you plan out your trip in the best possible way.
Visit the main castle
The castle dominates the skyline of the city and is a must-visit destination for tourists travelling to Edinburgh. The castle was built in the 12th century on the castle rock that was formed many thousand years ago from volcanic action. The castle holds the crown jewels used during the coronation of the Scottish rulers including the crown, the sword, and the sceptre. It also contains the chamber of Queen Mary and the great banquet hall. The top of the castle also provides the best views of the city and is definitely a must visit on a clear day. To avoid the queues, purchase your tickets online and plant your visit during the early hours of the day.
Walk along the Royal Mile
This historic street connects the castle with the Palace of Holy Roodhouse, and passes through the colourful areas of the old town. The area is bustling with colourful shops and cafeterias while eye-catching works of medieval architecture will keep attracting your attention from every nook and corner. The famous Grassmarket area which was used for executions in the medieval periods is a frequented by tourists and locals alike.
Enter the St. Giles’ Cathedral
This is a cathedral that played an important part in the history of Scotland. It was founded in the year 1124 and the Gothic architecture is stunning from every aspect. Visit the Thistle Chapel which was built in the year 1911 for the intricate detailing and the colourful heraldic symbols.
Check into the National Museum of Scotland
With its diverse range of collection, this museum is a great place to learn about the history of Scotland from the age of the dinosaurs to the modern era. There are Natural world galleries and the World Cultures galleries that will keep you engrossed with various items from around the world. There is also a science and technology section with interactive displays that speak about the progress of technology through time.
Take a glimpse into a dark period in the Real Mary King’s Close
The story of this subterranean place is woven into the multiple legends that abound in Edinburgh. This is a maze of alleyways below the Royal Mile and the Edinburgh’s High Street, named after Mary King, a widow who resided here. The close was inhabited during the sixteenth and the seventeenth century. The visitors get a glimpse of the dark side of Edinburgh during the period that was ravaged by black plague and criminals.
Explore the royal lifestyle in the Palace of Holyroodhouse
Originally founded as an Augustinian monastery in 1128, the palace is now the official residence of the British monarchy. Every year the Queen visits the palace to celebrate various events upholding the Scottish culture and traditions. Walk through the apartments and throne rooms decorated with various classic paintings and furniture, each of which has a tale associated with it. The surrounding gardens are a lovely place to capture the best views of the palace through a lens.
Get lost in the illusions at Camera Obscura
This is a fun-filled destination that blends the best of visual illusions with modern technology to provide an exciting experience for all ages. From the sensational visual effects to getting lost in a mirror maze, this is five floors packed with some fascinating exhibits.
These are some of the destinations that you can include in your weekend trip to Edinburgh; a city that constitutes the heart of the enigmatic charm of Scotland.