Edinburgh on a Budget: 10 Free and Fabulous Things to Do

Explore Edinburgh on a Budget

Discover 10 Free and Fabulous Things to Do in Scotland’s Capital.

From historic sites to hidden gems, plan your wallet-friendly adventure!

Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, effortlessly weaves together a tapestry of rich history and modern vibrancy.

From the iconic Edinburgh Castle on Castle Rock to the storytelling Royal Mile, the city captivates with medieval charm. Experience a temperate maritime climate with mild summers (59-77°F) and cool winters (34-45°F).

Accommodations, ranging from historic hotels along the Royal Mile to modern options, cater to diverse preferences and budgets.

For British and USA visitors, Edinburgh Airport (EDI), conveniently accessible via the Airlink 100 bus just 8 miles from the city center, serves as the gateway to this captivating city.

Explore the Royal Mile

Wander along the historic Royal Mile, which stretches from Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyrood house. Admire the architecture, street performers, and shop for souvenirs in the numerous unique shops.

Travel Guidelines: The Royal Mile is easily accessible by foot from various parts of the city center. Use public transportation or walk to the starting point at Edinburgh Castle.

Visit Holyrood Park

Enjoy the natural beauty of Holyrood Park, located at the end of the Royal Mile. Hike up Arthur’s Seat for panoramic views of the city, or explore the park’s other walking trails and landmarks.

Travel Guidelines: Holyrood Park is within walking distance from the Royal Mile. Wear comfortable shoes, and consider public transportation or walking to reach the park. Ensure you follow any guidelines related to park usage and adhere to safety measures.

National Museum of Scotland

Discover Scotland’s rich history, culture, and natural heritage at the National Museum of Scotland. The museum is free to enter, although some special exhibitions may have an admission fee.

Travel Guidelines: Located in the city center, the National Museum of Scotland is easily accessible. Check the museum’s website for any updates on opening hours and health and safety protocols. Public transportation is recommended.

Scottish National Gallery

Art enthusiasts will appreciate the Scottish National Gallery, home to an impressive collection of European paintings. The permanent collection is free to explore, showcasing works from artists like Rembrandt, Titian, and Van Gogh.

Travel Guidelines: Situated near Princes Street, the Scottish National Gallery is easy to reach by public transportation. Check for any admission policies or health safety measures on the gallery’s website before visiting.

St. Giles’ Cathedral

Marvel at the stunning architecture of St. Giles’ Cathedral on the Royal Mile. You can enter for free and explore the beautiful interior, including the Thistle Chapel.

Travel Guidelines: St. Giles’ Cathedral is centrally located on the Royal Mile. It’s easily accessible by foot. Check for any special visiting hours or guidelines related to the cathedral’s operations.

Calton Hill

Climb Calton Hill for breath-taking views of the city skyline, Edinburgh Castle, and Arthur’s Seat. This is a great spot for photography, especially during sunrise or sunset.

Travel Guidelines: Calton Hill is a short walk from the city center. Wear comfortable shoes, and consider visiting during off-peak times for a more peaceful experience. Follow any local guidelines regarding outdoor activities.

Scottish Parliament Building

Take a free tour of the Scottish Parliament Building, located at the end of the Royal Mile. Learn about the political process and the architecture of this modern building.

Travel Guidelines: The Scottish Parliament Building is located near Holyrood Palace. Check for information on guided tours and any entry requirements. Plan your visit in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines.

Princes Street Gardens

Relax in the Princes Street Gardens, located in the heart of the city. Enjoy a leisurely stroll, have a picnic, or simply take in the scenic surroundings.

Travel Guidelines: Princes Street Gardens are centrally located. Enjoy a leisurely walk or find a spot for a picnic. Be mindful of any posted guidelines for park usage and maintain social distancing.

Museum on the Mound

Delve into the history of money and banking at the Museum on the Mound. Admission is free, and you can explore exhibits on currency, economics, and more.

Travel Guidelines: Situated in the city center, the Museum on the Mound is easily reachable on foot or by public transportation. Check for any visitor information, including potential restrictions or safety measures.

Free Festivals

If you visit during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August, you’ll find numerous free performances and events throughout the city. Keep an eye out for street performers, comedy shows, and open-air performances.

Travel Guidelines: If visiting during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, plan your itinerary in advance, and check for any festival-related guidelines. Be aware of the crowd sizes and follow any health and safety recommendations in place during the event.

We try to make Edinburgh on a Budget blog based on research and our knowledge. Please let us know your thoughts and for more information about Scotland please the following link

Don’t forget to take your camera to capture your memories!