Things Edinburgh is famous for include Edinburgh Castle

7 Things Edinburgh Is Famous For

There are many things Edinburgh is famous for like its literary heritage, historic cobbled streets and striking architecture. Not to mention its world-famous whisky walks and festivals. Want to know more about ‘Auld Reekie’, the capital city of Scotland? Here are just some of the things Edinburgh is famous for.

7 Things Edinburgh Is Famous For

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle is a historic fortress built high up on a hill and dominates the city’s skyline. The castle has suffered many sieges but now tourists besiege its grounds and roam its marvellous rooms. Make sure you leave time to visit the Argyle Battery, as the panoramic views of the city from there are breathtaking.

Things Edinburgh is famous for include Edinburgh Castle

The Royal Mile

Exploring Edinburgh on foot is the best way to uncover the many secrets hidden in the city’s streets. Rambling down the Royal Mile, which runs from the Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, is a fascinating walk through history. The five streets that make up the Royal Mile are Castlehill, Lawnmarket, High Street, Canongate and Abbey Strand. As you walk this famous area in the Old Town you’ll pass the Scottish Parliament Building, Canongate Kirk and St. Giles’ Cathedral.

Edinburgh's Royal Mile

Literary History

Edinburgh looks like it is straight out of a fairytale but that’s not its only literary connection. It was in this city that the world’s first circulating library was established and the first-ever copy of the Encyclopaedia Britannica was published. Its train station is named after a novel, ‘Waverley‘. There is a massive gothic monument in Princes Street Gardens dedicated to Sir Walter Scott, the writer of ‘Waverley‘. As if that wasn’t bookish enough, the Edinburgh International Book Festival is one of the world’s largest public celebrations of the written word.

Scott's Monument Edinburgh

Arthur’s Seat

For a wonderful panoramic view of the city of Edinburgh, head to Holyrood Park and hike up the extinct volcano. Yes, you read that right. You’ll find an ancient volcano in the heart of Edinburgh. Arthur’s Seat is its highest point. You can walk the looped route in about 2 hours. At the top, the reward for your effort is some terrific views. There is also a large and well-preserved fort at the top dating from around 2000 years ago. How about that? A hike with a helping of history too!

Things Edinburgh is famous for include Arthur's Seat

Whisky Heritage

Edinburgh is home to some terrific bars and pubs where you can try a dram or two of its famous whisky. But the history of whisky in the city goes deeper than that. It was here, during the 19th-century, that whisky production really took off thanks to its transport links, warehouses and whiskies blending businesses. This included the Distillers Company Limited (DCL), which evolved into drinks giant, Diageo.  To learn more about Edinburgh’s whisky past and present, head to the Scotch Whisky Experience or take a tour of one of the city’s distilleries. You could also do your own walking whisky tour and just go from bar to bar having a nip in each establishment.

Edinburgh whisky


Striking Architecture

Edinburgh is a beautiful historic city with wonderful character thanks in part to the striking contrast between its medieval Old Town and Georgian New Town. Princess Street divides the two areas. Both the Old and New Town are UNESCO World Heritage Sites with around 1,700 buildings of special architectural or historic interest. Admire the gothic architecture of St. Giles Cathedral, the postmodern style of the Scottish Parliament complex, the over-hanging gables of Huntly House built in 1570 and the medieval style of John Knox House.

Edinburgh striking Architecture


Edinburgh Festivals

One of the things Edinburgh is famous for is throwing a great party! Throughout the year loads of festivals take place across the city. One of the most well-known of these is the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, which is the world’s largest arts festival. This takes place in August every year. Edinburgh’s New Year’s festival, known as Hogmanay, hosts one of the largest street parties in the world. People come from all over the globe to ring in the new year in the Scottish capital.

Edinburgh Fireworks


Melanie May

Melanie is an intrepid solo traveller, endlessly curious about people, places and food. She is a fan of slow travel and loves exploring the world by mouth, discovering a culture through its food. Having backpacked her way around the world she turned her wanderlust into a career and is now a full-time travel writer.

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