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Top FREE Activities in Edinburgh

VisitScotlandAmandaVisitScotlandAmanda Member, Administrator, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
A fun day out in Edinburgh doesn't need to cost you a penny! We are spoiled for choice with things to see and do (both indoor and outdoor) that are not only free, but well worth your time. 

I've narrowed down my selection to a top 5 but I know there are plenty more as well. Let me know your top 5 in the comments! 

1. Arthur's Seat

This is my favourite walk in Edinburgh and one I always take all my visiting friends and family on. I like to walk up both the Arthur's Seat summit and the Crags. It's beautiful any time of year (I went in winter once and got snowed on at the top!) but my top tip would be to go first thing in the morning to avoid the crowds and enjoy the Edinburgh scenery to start your day.

2. Greyfriar's

I have a bit of a soft spot for wee Bobby, a terrier who mourned at his masters grave for 14 years. Read more about him here and make sure you pay him a visit, leave a stick at his grave and snap a pic or two!

3. The Royal Mile & Old Town

Edinburgh Old Town is not only picturesque and full of hidden gems, but there's always something happening. Whether it's street entertainers putting on a show, a bag piper or Festival events, the old town is full of life and a great place to wander around taking it all in. I like to walk along the mile and up to the castle to enjoy the city views on both sides, then through the close and down onto Victoria Street and the Grassmarket for picture perfect views and interesting shops to look at. 

4. The Meadows

One of the things I love most about Edinburgh is the amount of green space we have available. The Meadows are particularly great in spring and summer. In spring if you time it right, you might get to see the cherry blossoms in full bloom, transforming the Meadows into a pastel wonderland. In summer it's the perfect place to have a picnic with friends and lay out in the sun for hours. Or if you're a bit more active, the Meadows are a great spot for a work-out or kicking a ball around with friends or your dug!

5. National Museum of Scotland

Entry to the National Museum of Scotland is free and open all year around except for Christmas day.  Not only is this site a top 10 UK visitor attraction, but it's also one of the most visited museums in the world - why not see for yourself why it's so popular?

What are your favourite FREE activities in Edinburgh?
Kiwi gal, relocated to Scotland. 


  • VisitScotlandMurielVisitScotlandMuriel Member, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    Hi @VisitScotlandAmanda

    Thanks for your post about doing free things in Edinburgh and I love them all!
    I also love going down to Cramond - which is not very far from my house on a beautiful sunny summer evening!! Wonderful views indeed! 
    Cramond is a conservation village by the sea. There has been evidence of a roman settlement there and you read find out more about it from an information board!!
    There is an island you can walk to at low tides, but please be careful about the tide coming in and check tide times on the board before you set foot on the causeway. The river Almond comes into the sea there too and you can walk along a path by the river - I'm still talking about making it to a restaurant called the Cramond Brig many years on!!  :D
    There is also a fantastic walk along the seafront which eventually takes you to Granton (another area by the sea).
    Here are a few pictures taken a couple of weeks ago:

  • annecorrannecorr Member
    A fabulous post and very prescient as we are going to Edinburgh in October - I really want to visit the museum there.
  • VisitScotlandAmandaVisitScotlandAmanda Member, Administrator, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    @annecorr let us know if you need any further tips or advice!
    Kiwi gal, relocated to Scotland. 
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