Spoil yourself with our guide to the top things to do in Edinburgh for the perfect day out.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, a thriving, elegant city and a leader in cultural and academic excellence for centuries; Edinburgh is such a magnificent city that it deserves to be seen in style. To reflect that, we’ve prepared some luxury suggestions to help you enjoy a VIP experience in Edinburgh.
Things to see and do
Whether you’re already a whisky connoisseur or just curious to learn more about Scotland’s national drink, you won’t want to pass up a visit to the world’s largest collection of Scottish whiskies. The Scotch Whisky Experience offers a variety of different tours and ‘nosings’ to suit your tastes, and for something extra special, you could even arrange for a private tasting session. Or how about setting sail on Edinburgh’s Union Canal for a Gin Tasting Cruise? Hosted by Summerhall Drinks Lab, guests can sample five different gins from around the country and learn more about their history and production, all while enjoying a leisurely cruise along the water.
As the King’s official residence in Edinburgh and once home to Mary Queen of Scots, it doesn’t get any more luxurious than The Palace of Holyroodhouse. A private guided evening tour (25 guests minimum) takes place after-hours and offers the chance to see some of the rooms not normally open to the public. Or explore life aboard the high seas with a trip to Queen Elizabeth II’s former floating palace, The Royal Yacht Britannia. Now permanently berthed at Leith, visitors can explore five decks of this sumptuous floating palace with a multi-language audio guide, from the State Apartments to the engine room.
If you have a sweet tooth, why not indulge it with a trip to The Chocolatarium. The knowledgeable and friendly guides run a number of delectable experiences, including the opportunity to taste and make your own truffles to take home. If you fancy taking your senses to a new level, the COCO Chocolate Connoisseur Evening could be just the thing. Taking place at COCO Chocolatier in South Queensferry (just 30 minutes by train from Edinburgh) guests see the process from bean to bar and finish the evening with some delicious liquor and chocolate pairings.
For sport fanatics, Edinburgh offers something quite special. For the rugby aficionado, a guided tour of Scottish Gas Murrayfield Stadium, the home of Scottish rugby, is an absolute must. Explore behind the scenes of the famous stadium and see the pitch where fierce battles have been fought. Tickets can be purchased here. If golf is more your game, Edinburgh and the Lothians are blessed with a number of top-class courses. Tee-off at what is considered to be one of the oldest courses in the world, Musselburgh Links, play a round at Muirfield, the host of 16 Open Championships, or try your hand at Prestonfield Golf Club with its stunning backdrop of Arthur’s Seat and Duddingston Loch.
Animal lovers will be in their element with the chance to get up and close to their favourite creatures with Edinburgh Zoo’s Keeper Experiences and Magic Moments. Specially designed for younger budding zoo keepers, they also offer junior and mini keeper experiences. Or why not release your inner adventurer with a trip to Go Ape at Dalkeith Country Park. Suitable for all the family (children should be over 1m in height) get ready to feel the adrenaline as you explore the forest canopy via a treetop rope course.
For more ideas on how to have a great family trip to Edinburgh have a look at our Guide to Edinburgh’s Top Attractions
Food and Drink
After you’ve had an action-packed day exploring, a spot of light refreshment in the shape of afternoon tea is called for. Enjoy delicate sandwiches, scones and cream and a selection of mouth-watering pastries within the stunning 19th century Colonnades at the Signet Library; enjoy a Scottish-inspired menu while looking out onto Edinburgh Castle and Princes Street Gardens at Scott’s on Princes Street or head to the Forth Floor Restaurant and Brasserie at Harvey Nichols for a more contemporary take on proceedings.
Discover more appetising choices in our Guide to Afternoon Tea in Edinburgh
If it’s fine dining you seek, Edinburgh will not disappoint. Not only is it home to 5 Michelin starred restaurants, but the city is filled with a selection of mouth-watering restaurants that offer a memorable dining experience – from the magical interior of The Witchery to the sumptuous surroundings of Rhubarb Restaurant.
Get ready to get your taste buds tingling in our Guide to Fine Dining in Edinburgh
Relaxation and pampering
If you want to relax in style, then you really are spoiled for choice in Edinburgh. With a 19m infinity-edge pool and mineral-rich rooftop hydropool, Sheraton Grand Hotel’s One Spa is one of the city’s most luxurious spa experiences. Whether you’re looking for an indulgent leisurely treatment or a quick pedicure, PURE Spa & Beauty have all your pampering needs taken care of, while at Waldorf Astoria Spa they offer a range of treatments that’ll make you feel like a million dollars.
Explore more relaxing and pampering experiences in our Guide to Edinburgh’s Top Spas
Looking for a luxury hotel with 5-star facilities? Whether you want the nautical touch of Fingal, a 5-star floating hotel, sophisticated rooms with equally glamourous dining at Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian or timeless class with contemporary features at Gleneagles Townhouse, in Edinburgh, you’re in for a treat!
Discover more in our Guide to Luxury Accommodation in Edinburgh
Or how about an exclusive retreat for the ultimate family getaway? Relax and spend quality time together at 15th century Dundas Castle, explore great turrets and grand reception rooms at Barnbougle Castle or admire unspoilt views of the surrounding East Lothian countryside from 17th century Gilmerton House.
Learn more in our Guide to Accommodation in Edinburgh and start planning your next break.
Enjoy great family days out in Edinburgh with our entertaining list of activities to keep the kids amused!
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