History & Culture Guide

Scotland’s inspiring, hilly capital is the place to be. With its enchanting castle rising above the city, extinct volcano and striking architecture in both the medieval Old Town and sophisticated Georgian New Town, it is clear to see why Edinburgh is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here are ‘the places’ we feel are a must visit during your stay…

Edinburgh Castle

Looming above the city, Edinburgh Castle is recognised all around the world as an icon of Scotland. Discover how the original building has been extended and altered over the years. Explore St Margaret's Chapel, the oldest part constructed in the 12th century, the Great Hall added by James IV in the 15th century, the Half Moon Battery built in the 16th century and finally the Scottish National War Memorial erected following the First World War. Guided tours are also available if you wish to learn even more about the relics on display, such as the Honours (Crown Jewels) of Scotland and the Stone of Destiny.

National Museum of Scotland

Whether your interests lie in Scottish History, Archaeology, Art and Design, Natural Sciences, Science and Technology or World Cultures, the National Museum of Scotland has something for you. Expect to be mesmerised by the astonishing jawbone of a sperm whale and the incredible T-rex skeleton cast which is a towering 12metres high. Enjoy interacting with the technology and transport displays and pouring over the elegant collection of jewellery commissioned by Mary Queen of Scots. You can even see the world’s most famous chess pieces, a celebrity sheep and a coffin shaped like a Mercedes!

Edinburgh Zoo

Home to over 1,000 rare and exquisite animals from around the world, including the UK's only koalas and giant pandas, Edinburgh Zoo should not be missed. Set on a leafy hillside, it is the perfect place to enjoy some fresh air and watch the fascinating animals. See Meerkats, chimpanzees and penguins and learn all about the Zoo’s conservation breeding programmes. Also make sure you look out for when the educational talks and animal-handling sessions are taking place throughout the day, so you get to experience a close encounter with the more friendly species.