Free in Edinburgh

A great day out in Edinburgh doesn't have to break the bank.

National Museum Of Scotland Trex

Visiting Edinburgh on a shoestring? It can be done! Experiencing the best of what Scotland's capital has to offer doesn't have to cost you a single penny. Read on and discover the best free things to do in Edinburgh...

Royal Botanic Garden

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Dating back nearly 350 years, The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is a jewel in the heart of Edinburgh and one of the world’s leading botanic gardens.

Spend the day wandering around the 70 acres of beautiful grounds and relaxing in nature, learn about the garden's rich and diverse Living Collection and enjoy an abundance of plants from around the world.

Known locally as The Botanics, be sure to take time to visit the Rock Garden, Woodland Garden, the Chinese Hillside, Rhododendron collection and the Scottish Native Plants Collection and unwind in the garden’s calming tranquillity.

Entry to the gardens is free, a time-slot ticket must be booked in advance online. Special events are chargeable.

Arboretum Place, Edinburgh EH3 5NZ


Dunbar Close

Dunbar CloseEscape the hive of activity of The Royal Mile.

A wander down the narrow cobbled Dunbar’s Close opens out into a surprisingly tranquil and elegant 17th century-style garden, with lush trees and elegant shrubs.

Donated to the City of Edinburgh by the Mushroom Trust in 1978, it is believed the close was named after David Dunbar, a writer who, in 1773, owned tenements on either side of this close.

Canongate, High Street, Edinburgh, EH8 8BW

Holyrood Park

Holyrood Park

Enjoy a 650 acre slice of the Highlands, right in the city centre of Edinburgh. For a real panoramic view of the city, scale the 823ft of Arthur's Seat, where you can see for hundreds of miles around on a good day.

While Holyrood Park is undoubtedly dominated by its one main summit, there are plenty of other features to explore too. Take a wander around Queen's Drive and take in three lochs, or visit the charming ruins of St Anthony's Chapel. 

National Museum of Scotland

Grand Gallery At The National Museum Of Scotland Copyright National Museums Scotland Main

With four levels of exhibits featuring everything from the natural world, world cultures, science & technology to art, design & fashion and Scottish history, a trip to The National Museum of Scotland offers a whole world of discovery for all the family.

Start your visit in the beautiful Grand Gallery and marvel at the massive skull of Moby the whale; travel back in time as you explore the Scottish galleries; or why not explore centuries of creativity and innovation in the Fashion and Style gallery – whatever your interests, you’re bound to find something in this awe-inspiring museum to capture your imagination.

Free entry, advance online booking required. Some special exhibits are chargeable.

Chambers Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1JF

Museum of Childhood

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Both adults and children can enjoy a trip down memory lane and discover a range of bygone games and toys of the past at the Museum of Childhood

With interactive exhibitions including a puppet theatre and dress up area, a trip to the museum is one to be enjoyed by all the family.

42 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1TG

LOVE Gorgie Farm

LOVE Gorgie Farm Site Photo

This free-to-enter attraction, LOVE Gorgie Farm brings a slice of countryside to the heart of the city.

This unique outdoor resource is the best place in Edinburgh to learn about farming hands-on. Head along and meet all the animals including chickens, ducks, cattle, pigs, sheep and goats, and take in all the sights and smells of the herb and sensory garden. A perfect day out for all the family. 

51 Gorgie Road, Edinburgh EH11 2LA 

The Scottish National Portrait Gallery

Scottish Portrait Gallery Creative

A spectacular building both inside and out, The Scottish National Portrait Gallery is a lovely attraction to loose a couple of hours in. Even before you reach any of the artworks on display, we challenge you not to be mesmerised by the grandeur of the Great Hall, featuring a mural of prominent figures in Scottish history such as James Hutton, Bonnie Prince Charlie, Mary Queen of Scots and many more. 

Head into the gallery and you'll get lost in hundreds of famous portaits including Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and even more recent figures like Alan Cumming.

Entry is free of charge, but there may be a cover fee for some exhibitions. Check out the National Galleries of Scotland website to find out what's happening. 

1 Queen Street, Edinburgh EH2 1JD

The People's Story Museum

Peoples Story Sign (1)

The People's Story - as the name suggests - tells the story of the regular people of Edinburgh, not just the great and the good. Pay a visit to this museum to get a real flavour of day-to-day life in in the city throughout the 18th to 20th centuries. 

Learn about crime and punishment, crafts, trade and the culture of Edinburgh. If you really want to get under the skin of the city, this is the place to visit. 

163 Canongate, Edinburgh EH8 8BN 

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

Scottish National Gallery Of Modern Art No Miracles

Walk around 15 minutes from the city centre and you'll find the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art - two striking galleries set in an expansive sculpture park. On a good day, a walk around the grounds may be enough to scratch your cultural itch, with works such as Landform by Charles Jencks, Master of the Universe by Eduardo Paolozzi, and There will be no Miracles Here by Nathan Coley (pictured). 

Discover even more by stepping into galleries Modern One and Modern Two, which boast a fascinating schedule of exhibitions throughout the year, showcasing the best of modern and contemporary art. 

Entry is free of charge, but there may be a cover fee for some exhibitions.

75 Belford Road, Edinburgh EH4 3DR

Scottish National Gallery and The Royal Scottish Academy

National Gallery

Did you know that you can access one of the best collections of fine art in the world, without spending a single penny? 

It's hard to miss the Scottish National Gallery and the Royal Scottish Academy (RSA) complex on Princes Street, which is completely free to enter. Step inside the RSA and explore delightful architecture and contemporary art exhibitions that change throughout the year (some may charge a cover fee).

Then, hop next door to the Scottish National Gallery and marvel at some of the greatest art in the world, including works by Rembrandt, Van Gogh and Monet. 

The Mound, Edinburgh EH2 2EL 


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