Free Things to Do in Edinburgh
Free Edinburgh Tourist Attractions
Edinburgh is brilliant for tourist attractions with loads of places to spend your time and your money. Lots of visitors to Edinburgh though are on a budget and all these £8 or £9 entrance fees do add up. So here are a few free Edinburgh tourist attractions to make a visit to Edinburgh a little bit more manageable.
This is a fantastic free attraction in Edinburgh. The National Museum is a delightful blend of old and new buildings with a huge collection of articles of National and International significance. Excellent cafe and restaurant. Admission Free!
Arthur’s Seat (Holyrood Park)
OK, this one is exposed to the elements, but the summit of Arthur’s seat is the highest point in Edinburgh and is easily walkable in 30-60 minutes by most people in good health. The views from the top are exceptional. In Paris or New York you have to spend a fair whack to get to the top of the Eiffel Tower or Empire State. In Edinburgh you get the best view in the city for nothing. Admission Free!
Gallery of Modern Art
Superb Modern Art Gallery just on the edge of the Dean Village in Edinburgh’s west end. From the manicured, scuplted grounds to the regularly changing exhibits, the whole gallery is well worth visiting. Admission Free!
Visit the seat of government in Scotland. You have to pay if you want the guided tour, but you can visit and have a look around for nothing. You can even sit in the public gallery and watch the debates going on. Admission Free!
Right in the middle of Edinburgh you’ll find the superb National Gallery. They have some very important works in there and though it’s not the largest gallery in the world, some of the paintings in there will stick in your mind for a long long time. Admission Free!
Hidden in a Close between the Royal Mile and The Mound you’ll find Edinburgh’s Writers Museum. Telling the story of RL Stevenson, Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and others, it is a fascinating way to while away an afternoon. Admission Free!
Museum of Childhood
Another museum off the Royal Mile, the Museum of Childhood will take everyone back to their younger years. Loved by adults and children alike. Admission Free!
Surgeons Hall Museum
Edinburgh’s medical history has been documented in many written formats but none of these will prepare you for a trip to the Surgeons Hall Museum. If you have any interest in medicine, or indeed the macabre, then a trip to this free Edinburgh attraction is a must.
Royal Botanic Gardens
Nestled at the back of Stockbridge, the Botanics is a must-see attraction in Edinburgh. It is simply georgeous but all done very scientifically (as you would expect in Edinburgh).
Walk the Water of Leith
The Water of Leith is a small river that winds its way, mostly unseen right through the middle of Edinburgh. The walk along it offers you a really different view of the city and brings a touch of peace away from the bustle of the city center streets.
Get into Edinburgh Castle and Other Attractions Free
This doesn’t happen every day but it is possible to occassionaly get into Edinburgh Castle for nothing. Follow Doors Open Day and for a few days a year, many of Edinburgh’s top attractions and civic buildings open their doors and invite you to visit. In the past we have been to both Edinburgh Castle and Edinburgh Zoo completely free.