10 Free Things To Do in Edinburgh

Travel guides are useful for tourists, but when it comes for budget conscious backpacker, it’s local recommendation that gives you the best information. That’s why; we are really pleased to share with you our top 10 tips for free things to do in Edinburgh – the capital of Scotland!

1.Watch the sunset on Calton Hill

Calton Hill can be easily accessed. You can get there in less than 5 minutes, and enjoy a lovely view over the city. Find yourself a nice spot out of the wind. I would recommend east side of the Royal Observatory. Grab some food and maybe a small bottle of wine, and relax!

A view from the Calton Hill

A view from the Calton Hill

2. See free exhibitions at the Summer Hall

Summerhall is a place where modern art and science talk to each other through exhibitions, workshops and events. You can’t miss this one! Also, if you are keen to spend few extra pounds, you can enjoy sampling local beers at Summerhall’s cool and quirky The Royal Dick bar. Cheers!

SummerHall by Anna Michna ( me)

Free exhibitions at Summer Hall

3. Take a seat on the top of Arthur’s  Seat

Walking up the Arthur’s Seat is a challenge worth taking, the view towards the city and Firth of Forth is breath taking, and you will be burning calories, not money.

A view from Arthur’s Seat

A view from Arthur’s Seat

4. Visit Scottish National Galleries

If you love art, Edinburgh is a place to be! All Edinburgh museums are in the city centre and can be easily reach on foot. Only the Modern Art Gallery is a bit further, but you can get there by a free Gallery Bus. Edinburgh offer a free admission to all, however, some exhibitions are ticketed though.

Scottish Gallery of Modern Art

Scottish Gallery of Modern Art

5. Cramond to Forth Road Bridge via John Muir way

Get yourself comfortable shoes for this one! Start off at Crammond beach and follow the green John Muir Way signs. You will be passing some incredible waterfalls of Almond River, Barnbougle Castle and your end point is a lovely town of South Queensferry. And if you’re tired to walk back, just hop on the bus back to Edinburgh.

Cramond Village

Cramond Village, Secluded beach along John Muir Way and A rail bridge across Firth of Forth

6. Enjoy free shows at Fringe Festival

For the four weeks in August Edinburgh turns in into a mad hive of shows, theatres, exchibitions  and anything that has a word ‘art’ attached to it. Luckily, a lot of them are free! Head to the Royal Mile to see some crazy street shows, or check Free Fringe for free venues, or simply go with the flow, get lost in the crowds, meet new people and embrace the craziness of Fringe.

Free Fringe Show on the Royal Mile

Free Fringe Show on the Royal Mile

7. Find hidden passages on the Royal Mile

The Royal Mile is the most preserved and beautiful part of the Old Town. You’ll always find it crowded with tourists from all over the world. So if you want to avoid the obvious, and go more off the beaten path, explore its unique collection of secret closes, gardens and wynds. Enjoy!

Royal Mile

An old graveyard of the Royal Mile and One of the Royal Mile’s hidden closes

8. Party for free at Cowgate

If you want to get the taste of Edinburgh’s nightlife, head to Cowgate. The cool crowd usually hangs out in Sneaky Pete’s or Bongo Club. Both usually offer a free entry weekdays. For free weekend entry pop in to the Three Sisters or Opium.

A cowboy themed party

A cowboy themed party

9. Take a Free Tour around the city

Free tours are really cool option to learn more about Edinburgh’s famous witch hunters, body snatchers, ghosts and even spots that were inspiration for the famous Harry Potter. They start at 10am, 11am or 2pm leaving from Tron Kirk on the Royal Mile.

Castle Hill building and An old building by the entrance to Holyrood Park

Castle Hill building and an old building by the entrance to Holyrood Park

10. Catch a glimpse of a red sunset

Edinburgh has some of most amazing sunsets. If weather is nice, the whole sky can literary turn red, and the view is so incredible that you almost think that it’s surreal!

Sunset seen from the George Street

Sunset seen from the George Street


Start Packing now!

Edinburgh is a great city to be explored on a budget. There are many things to do in Edinburgh for free, or close to almost free. Embrace it! Pack your camera, food, put comfy shoes on and let yourself go with the flow…


Anna and Egle pic for About UsGuest post by Eat Train Dressup

Anna and Egle are the partners in crime behind a travel & lifestyle blog called Eat Train Dressup. While Anna is getting lost somewhere off the beaten path, the sensible one – Egle is writing about cool outfits, awesome diets, and all things beautiful. Both fascinated by Edinburgh haunted tales, its rich architecture and an artistic spirit. Anna and Egle left their homes in Poland and Lithuania and settled in their new home – Edinburgh. Special thanks to  Cawa , Eryl, Estrode, PartickDown for letting us use their CC images.

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Travel blogger and tourism graduate from Bulgaria, working in the field of Digital Marketing and PR for travel brands.

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