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10 Must-See Tourist Attractions for Visitors to Edinburgh in 2024.

At 1st Focus Homecare, we love our city and wanted to share with you some of our favourite spots for visitors and tourists.

The city really is steeped in so much history that we could probably list a hundred different places for you to visit, but for now, we have selected our top 10.

Edinburgh Castle and it’s Unique History

Edinburgh Castle is one of the most beautiful pieces of architecture in our town, and as locals, we are very proud of its heritage which can be traced back to the twelfth century.

tourist attractions Edinburgh 2024

St Margaret's Chapel was designed around the Norman era and has the distinction of being the oldest surviving building in Edinburgh. To step inside will transport you back in time.

Edinburgh Castle itself sits at the peak of Castle Rock and was a fortress that played a key role in many battles throughout the history of the Scottish military.

Now a fantastic tourist attraction, the castle holds the Scottish Crown Jewels, which are still used today in many important ceremonies.

One of the things you’ll most enjoy about our sacred landmark is the incredible views and vistas that can be seen at sunset and is a fantastic place for those who love photography with scenic views of the Firth of Forth and the historical Arthur’s Seat.

Make sure not to miss the enactments of battles from the past, which happen on a weekly basis.

National Museum of Scotland

When you step into the National Museum, you really are stepping into a storybook of Scottish history. However, this is not just a museum based around Scotland, as the museum holds pieces from across the world.

tourist attractions Edinburgh 2024

As well as the Lewis Chessmen, which is an old medieval chess set, you can see the goddess Artemis who hailed from ancient Greek times and as a visitor to Edinburgh, you can take advantage of these wonderful artefacts.

The public collection here is open to the public based on free admission.

The building itself hails from the Victorian era but was extended in 1998 giving it a mix of the old and the new. It now boasts hundreds of items covering diverse subjects like relics from the natural world, science, technology, art and design, and of course many items from various world cultures and Scottish history and archaeology.

Sit at Arthurs's Seat

If you ever want to experience the feeling of being transported back in time, then Arthurs Seat is the place to visit. This amazing natural peak is 823 feet high at its highest point and is popular with tourists for its amazing views over the city.If you only do one thing in Edinburgh then you must do this one.You will be sitting atop an extinct volcano that is recorded to have erupted hundreds of millions of years ago. It offers spectacular vistas of the city and the surrounding hills and countryside and is thought to be one of the most visited tourist destinations in Scotland.

tourist attractions Edinburgh 2024

This is a walker's and hiker's dream as there are several official trails and hikes to explore, and part of Holyrood Park has steep connections to royal ancestry.

Myths are told of the peak being named after the legendary King Arthur.

Palace of Holyrood House

Scotland is of course steeped in Royal History with the British monarchy having a residence at Balmoral in Scotland, but the Palace of Holyrood House is another location frequented by the royals when they are undertaking official engagements in Scotland.

tourist attractions Edinburgh 2024

The Scottish people hold the palace in high regard as it was once the home of Mary Queen of Scots.

The interior of the palace lends itself to the Gothic style and period and was originally constructed in the early 16th century. The opulence can be seen in the many paintings, antique furniture and huge tapestries that adorn the walls, which of course, make it one of the most sought-after places to visit for tourists to Edinburgh.

The Palace is fully open to the public apart from periods when it is being used by the royal family. 

Royal Yacht Britannia

Another huge part of the British monarchy is the Royal Yacht Britannia which was originally sent to sea in 1954 and remained an active part of the royal family’s holidays and business and state trips right up until 1997 when it was finally decommissioned.

At that time there were a lot of public calls for the boat to be scrapped due to the large cost of maintenance to the public taxpayer.

However, it played a huge role in the reign of Queen Elizabeth as she used this not just for holidays but also trade missions which were estimated to have brought in billions of pounds in trade to the United Kingdom.

What many will not know is that Brittania was actually a serving vessel in the Navy, and not just a floating palace for the royals.

With five decks, visitors can now flavour the opulence of this amazing vessel and be transported back in time to sit and go where royalty trod.

Scottish National Portrait Gallery

For those of you who have a passion for art, our city has one of Europe’s most amazing portrait art galleries, well we are a little biased.

The National Portrait Gallery was opened more than 135 years ago back in 1889 and features a frieze (broad horizontal ribbon) covering famous Scots throughout history.

The gallery houses many permanent displays but also holds temporary art exhibitions on regular occasions for visitors. This provides a mix of the modern and historic.

The main focus of the gallery is on Scottish history, culture and society, with many famous Scots from all walks of life depicted on its walls.

The experience for visitors is enhanced with many interactive displays, and the use of various multimedia tools provides visitors with a unique peek into the lives of famous Scots since passed. Even the famous Scottish actor Ewan McGregor (of Trainspotting fame) is depicted in the gallery.

Portobello Beach

Away from the amazing culture, art and history of the city, one must take the opportunity to soak up the sun at Portobello beach which is located a short ride from Edinburgh city centre.

The beach stretches along the Firth of Forth and is highlighted by a promenade from the Victorian days which will transport you back in time.

The beautiful sandy beach is a great place to catch some sun, is safe for bathing, and provides a lovely place to take a leisurely stroll.The promenade is filled with gift shops, restaurants and cafes where you can sit and while away the hours relaxing or reading your favourite book.

There are local markets to visit and lots of local activities taking place on a regular basis, including the now-famous Portobello Beach Volleyball Tournament.

Shop Till You Drop on Victoria Street

One of our most famous streets and one of the most iconic in Europe with its winding twists and turns and its colourful buildings.

tourist attractions Edinburgh 2024

For those of you who do not know, the street was a huge part of the filming of the comedy movie “Eurovision” with Wull Ferrel and Rachel McAdams where Ferrel was seen tearing through the streets in a mini with a group of American tourists.

But away from the movies, Victoria Street is famous for being the most photographed location in Edinburgh with its bustling array of shops, cafes and restaurants.

The architecture is original and dates back to the Victorian era in the 19th century, hence the name Victoria Street.

The street also caters for fans of the Harry Potter films with many saying that the film’s Diagon Alley was based on the street after J K Rowling had visited the city.

Some great fashion shops are mixed in with great restaurants and even whiskey-tasting venues.

The Edinburgh Dungeon

For fans of ghosts, ghouls, and general spookiness, then the Edinburgh Dungeon is a must-visit attraction.

This is a fantastic interactive experience with scary rides with special effects, and some great theatrical shows with storytelling that will send chills through your bones. The sets at the Edinburgh Dungeon are incredible.Visitors will be taken back in time and will be transported to the grim, murky and downright despicable acts of Burke and Hare, who robbed graves, as well as witch trials.Don’t miss out on two amazing rides including the underground river boat ride and the drop dead ride which is an adrenaline-crazed free fall ride.

This attraction is not for younger children but is great for families with older kids and teenagers. Rides such as the Drop Dead Ride, a free-fall drop that simulates the experience of being hanged, and the Boat Ride, which takes visitors through the murky waters of a haunted underground river, will deliver an exciting element to your experience at the Edinburgh Dungeon.

The Edinburgh Chocalatarium

Most of us like a little bit of chocolate now and again and the Edinburgh Chocalatarium is a real outside-the-box tourist attraction.

You can take advantage of educational interactive tours showing the journey of the humble cocoa bean to the finished product of a delicious chocolate bar.

The best part of this tour is that you’ll get to make your own chocolate bar, from picking the flavours and ingredients, right through to the design as well.

You’ll get to taste different types of chocolate, including some luxurious and very rare chocolates. Not only that, but you’ll learn some interesting facts and figures about chocolate products and your personal guide will answer any questions that are not covered on the tour.


In this post, you have learnt ten of the best attractions for visitors to Edinburgh, and as our home city here at 1st Focus Homecare, we wanted to pick out the ones that we love personally and places we love to take our seniors.

The attractions above range from free up to £30 per ticket, and you should check the websites of each attraction to find out updated prices and opening times.


Q1. Can you visit Arthurs Seat if you are wheelchair-bound?

A1. A standard push wheelchair is not really viable as the trails can have quite high gradients. If you have an electric mobility scooter, then that will allow you some access.

Q2. What are the best times to visit Portobello Beach?

A2. Of course, summer is usually quite crowded, but you may find it better to visit later in the day from 4 pm onwards. It is also less busy near the end of August and into early September.

Q3. Is visiting the Royal Yacht Britannia free of charge?

A3. No, you will need to purchase tickets. A family of two adults and three children can purchase a group ticket for £50 with a standard adult ticket at £19.50 and a standard child ticket at £9.25. Under fives go free and there are discounted rates for students, OAP’s and of course military veterans.

Q4. Who are First Focus Homecare?

A4. 1st Focus Homecare is a local Edinburgh-based business that provides care at home and senior care services in Edinburgh.


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