Edinburgh Castle is one of Scotland's largest castles and one of the country's most popular visitor attractions. There is lots to see and do and it is worth planning what to see in advance to get the most out of your day at the castle.
It is possible to arrive at the castle and buy tickets on the day but you can skip the queues by pre-booking your tickets online. Pick up an audio guide on arrival and see the castle at your own pace.
Most visitors to the castle start their visit at the drawbridge and gradually make their way up. Avoid the queues and see the Scottish Crown Jewels without the usual lengthy wait by climbing the hill to Crown Square and then working your way back to the entrance.
One thing you're not going want to miss is the daily firing of the one o'clock gun on the Mills Mount Battery. Dating back to the times when ships out at sea needed an accurate method of setting their clocks, the firing attracts big crowds. Watch from further up the hill for the best view of the proceedings.
Book hotels near Edinburgh Castle for a location in the heart of the old part of the city, with plenty of other things to see and do very close by. Whether your interests are historic, artistic or retail-focused, Edinburgh has plenty to keep you occupied.
Although strictly speaking it's not quite a mile, the street between the castle and Holyrood Palace is Edinburgh's most historic. It is easy to spend the afternoon exploring the small alleyways off the main street, browsing in the shops, watching the street performers and visiting buildings like St Giles' Cathedral.
Just five minutes' walk from the castle, the National Museum showcases Scottish history from ancient times to modern feats of technology and engineering. Don't miss the famous Lewis Chessmen, dating from Viking times and the huge mammal collection in the natural history section.
Find all about life in the 1600s in the former home of a prosperous merchant, Thomas Gladstone. Book your guided tour in advance to experience the house and in particular the expensively painted Renaissance ceilings.