Things to do for free
- · 1. Climb Arthur's Seat
Right in the centre of EdinburghArthur's Seat, the main peak of a group of hills just east of the Old Town. Formed by an extinct volcano, you can get there easily from the Royal Mile (the Old Town's main thoroughfare) - just take a right once you get to the bottom and walk towards the opposite the palace of Holyrood. the walk to the top takes approximately one hour.!! Great views at the top
2. Go on a free walking tour
. Sandeman's Free Walking Tour is exactly that - totally free. The tours last around 3 hours and depart from the Starbucks on the Royal Mile at 11am and 1pm. sights such as Edinburgh Castle, St Giles Cathedral, the Grassmarket, the original 'Hogwarts' and more. Once the tour is finished your guide will ask you for a tip. You simply tip what you feel is deserved.
Location: 180 St Kilda Road
Opening hours: Daily 10am - 5pm, closed Tuesdays
- · 3. Go museum-hopping on the Royal Mile
The Royal Mile is dotted with four free museums. One of these is the Edinburgh Writers Museum (Lady Stair's Close, off Royal Mile) which celebrates the lives of three of Scotland's most famous writers - Robert Burns (poet - writer of New Year's Eve poem/song Auld Lang Syne), Sir Walter Scott (author or Rob Roy) and Robert Luis Stevenson (author or Treasure Island). The others are the Museum of Childhood (42 High Street, Royal Mile) which was the first museum in the world to specialise in the history of childhood, the Museum of Edinburgh (142 Canongate, Royal Mile) which is a maze of historic rooms crammed full of iconic objects from the capital's past, and The People's Story (Canongate Tolbooth, Royal Mile) which is dedicated to telling the history of Scotland's capital, and it's people.
4. Stroll along the Royal Mile
What is the 'Royal Mile' ?
It's four streets that connect to make one long stretch that lasts for approximately (you guessed it) one mile. It begins Castlehill at Edinburgh Castle which is a small section of the mile. After this is Lawnmarket which is a part of the road with with touristy
Next the main part of the Royal Mile - High Street. This is where you'll find St Giles Cathedral and the Tron Kirk among other things. Then at the bottom is Canongate which is where you'll find free museums, some good pubs and the city's royal palace, the Palace of Holyrood House.
Free live music in Whistle Binkies
Located at the junction of High Street (Royal Mile) and The Bridges, Whistlebinkies is arguably the best place to catch live music of up and coming bands in Edinburgh. What's great about it is that it's free entry, seven nights a week. From Sunday to Thursday it's free in for the entire night, while on Fridays and Saturdays it's free in before midnight. To find out more Whistlebinkies website.
free entertainment everywhere (in August)
In August six festivals take place. These include the Military Tattoo, the Edinburgh Book Festival - the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, most of the shows staged are ticketed events, there's non-stop free events taking place too. For more information visit the official Edinburgh festivals website as well as the Edinburgh Fringe Festival website.
- · 7. Visit St Giles Cathedral
Also known as the High Kirk of Edinburgh, St Giles' Cathedral dates back to the 1120s. Within the cathedral there are over two hundred memorials honouring different Scots along with a notable collection of stained glass windows. You can't miss this imposing building on the Royal Mile and, as you'd expect from a place of worship, it's free to enter.
8.Take in the Old Town
Exploring on foot, particularly in the Old Town. You can spend ages walking through lanes and alleys, and exploring the Cow gate and Grass market.
- · 9. See the statue of 'Greyfriar's Bobby' and walk through Greyfriars Kirkyard
One of Edinburgh's most famous tales surrounds 'Greyfriar's Bobby', a small Skye Terrier who became famous in the 19th-century Edinburgh for spending 14 years guarding the grave of his owner, John Gray. Today there's a statue of Greyfriar's Bobby at the corner of Candlemaker's Row and St George's Bridge. Due to the story, you should definitely pay a visit and get your photo taken beside it. Just across the road from it is Greyfriar's Kirkyard, a graveyard where you'll find large tombs and graves of notable Scots like Allan Ramsay (poet) and Henry Mackenzie (author).
10. Visit the National Museum of Scotland
Found on Chalmers Street directly across the road from Greyfriar's
The National Museum of Scotland. This huge museum has everything to interest every one for hours ,and a great view of the Old Town from it's roof terrace
- · 11. Tour the Scottish Parliament for free
Located at the bottom of the city's historic Royal Mile is the award-winning building for the Scottish Royal Parliament. As well as being the centre of Scottish politics, it is also a visitor attraction, where you can learn about Scotland's political history, watch live debates as well as marvel at it's unique architecture. Tours of the building are free, you just need to book in advance. You can do this via the Scottish Parliament website.
- · 12. Go to a comedy improvisation show
Edinburgh's best known comedy show is called The Stand and is found on York Place (No. 5 to be precise). Every Sunday afternoon a free improvisation show called "Whose Lunch Is It Anyway?" is staged. Hosted by Stu and Garry, it's the perfect way to nurse a horrible hangover.
- · 13. Check out and explore Princes Street Gardens
A great way to relax and eat your packed lunch and admire the view of the castle
- · 14. Climb Calton Hill
impressive views - Calton Hill. Just walk to the east on Princes Street Gardens until you see a laneway on your left. Walk up and within 5 minutes you'll be enjoying an aerial view of one of the world's most beautiful cities.
15. Visit the city's art galleries
Edinburgh has got three free art galleries , the best known is the National Gallery on The Mound, rightin the middle of the city. There is also National Portrait Gallery on Queen Street in the New Town also the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art on the outskirts of the city on Bedford Road.