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How to Get Off the Beaten Path in Edinburgh

How to Get Off the Beaten Path in Edinburgh

Edinburgh’s top attractions are popular for good reason. When the year-round crowds of Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile get too much, take a trip off the beaten path to some of these laid-back locations.

Royal Botanic Gardens

A haven of tranquility, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is one of Europe’s oldest botanic gardens. Established in 1670, the garden covers an area of more than 70 acres (28 hectares) and features elegant Victorian glasshouses, a giant water lily pond, and a rock garden.

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

Just west of Dean Village, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art is just far enough from the city center to feel more secluded than Edinburgh’s other galleries. The galley showcases its collection of modern and contemporary art in two neoclassical buildings and across landscaped grounds. It’s also the starting point for a tranquil walk along the Water of Leith. 

Dunbar’s Close Garden

The perfect antidote to the crowds of the Royal Mile, Dunbar’s Close Garden is tucked away at the end of the Old Town close to the Scottish Parliament Building. Laid out in the style of the 17th century, the garden has winding pathways; herbs, flowers, and shrub gardens; and several benches where you can sit in and enjoy the calm.

Gilmerton Cove

Located beneath the streets in the south of Edinburgh, Gilmerton Cove features a series of mysterious sandstone chambers and passageways. Their purpose has puzzled Edinburghers for more than 200 years—come up with your own theories by taking a tour.

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City Sightseeing Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

City Sightseeing Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

An Edinburgh bus tour is the perfect way to hear commentary on city sights and get a panoramic overview. This City Sightseeing tour of Edinburgh lets you hop on and off at several strategically placed stops as many times as you like. Board the open-top double-decker bus and travel the entire route, or stop at Edinburgh Castle, the National Museum and many more. Buses depart regularly and tickets are valid for 24 hours from first use.
  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation