Really get to know Edinburgh with these excellent hands-on experiences you can book in the city.
Travel is all about the experience. Edinburgh provides plenty of opportunities to master local crafts, experience age-old traditions and embark on city-wide adventures. Go beyond the standard sightseeing itineraries and sign up for one of these memorable experiences in the Scottish capital.
Find out just how wild the Scottish Highlands can be on a half-day experience whitewater rafting near Pitlochry. Meet in the centre of Edinburgh and be whisked away to the intrepid wilderness of the Tummel River, where a dam release guarantees lively rapids. A professional guide will help you steer over tumbling waves for a heart-pumping experience in the heart of Scotland’s wilderness.
Embrace Scotland’s cultural soul with a night of food, drink and music. A master piper leads the ceremony while you sample traditional dishes like haggis, neeps and tatties. Watch Scottish country dancers, tap along to folk fiddle music and top it all off with a wee dram. It’s an overview of Scottish culture in a single evening, right in the heart of Edinburgh.
In the Ochil Hills, 45 minutes from Edinburgh, Dollar Canyon carves its way through Scotland’s countryside. Join an adrenaline-fuelled experience canyoning at Dollar Falls. Leaving from the city centre, it’s no time at all before you’re out in Scotland’s natural playground. See the country from a different angle as you’re strapped to a harness and a professional guide takes you down the steep cliff-edges and waterslides.
Discover the best places to party the night away in Edinburgh under the guidance of a local. An organised pub crawl is a great way to make friends with fellow travellers while sampling the best bars and clubs the centre of Edinburgh has to offer. Take advantage of drinks deals in thumping techno clubs, swanky cocktail lounges and grungy live music bars to get the full range of the city’s hotspots after dark.
Ever wondered what it would be like to fend for yourself in a zombie apocalypse? The atmospheric streets of central Edinburgh are the ideal place to let your imagination run wild on a zombie-themed scavenger hunt. Guided by a smartphone app, you’ll be issued challenges taking you all over the city centre. Earn points by picking up survival materials and fending off zombie hordes (disclaimer: no actual zombies, real or costumed, are involved in this experience – making it family-friendly).
Down the narrow alleys of the Old Town lurks Edinburgh’s notoriously grisly history. Unlock the dirty deeds of the past on an evening ghost bus tour through the city centre. Hop on board a vintage bus and listen as a comedy character guide talks you through the creepier parts of the city’s past. Grave robbing, witch hunts and haunted graveyards are all in the cards.
Choose to have your whisky peaty, smoky or sweet with a blend your own whisky course in the centre of Edinburgh. This distinctly Scottish experience combines a whisky tasting session with a chance to make your own concoctions. Try six different whiskies and learn all about hue, flavour and grain before deciding on your perfect match. The best blend of the group takes home a special prize on top of their miniature sample.
Join a professional photographer on a picturesque walk around the Old Town. You’ll be guided to some of the best views in Edinburgh, soaking up history while learning how to frame and shoot the striking architecture and from exceptional vantage points. Your guide will even talk you through the technical aspects of capturing that perfect moment.
The Diageo Claive Vidiz Collection is the largest scotch whisky collection in the world. You can experience it yourself with a privileged private viewing at the Scotch Whisky Experience on the Royal Mile. You’ll be taken through the origins of the 3,384-bottle collection and learn from an expert how to tell the difference between blended, single malt and single grain. In-depth lessons about hue, smell and taste will leave you feeling like an expert.
You don’t have to go far from Edinburgh to find the rolling hills and crags that epitomise Scotland’s rugged wilderness. Experience this majesty on a guided hill walk in the Pentlands, just a short drive south of Edinburgh. Drink in the dramatic views along the hiking trails as you’re guided by an experienced local.
If you want to get to know Edinburgh’s rougher edges, try Dirty Dave’s R-rated Edinburgh Adventure. It’s cheap, it’s irreverent and it’s comedy gold. Follow your guide, Dave, through the streets of the Old Town and learn a little alternative history of the winding cobbled streets from a foul-mouthed Scotsman.
You haven’t experienced Scottish charm and hospitality until someone’s poked fun at you. Spend an evening in a comedy club to get a taste of Edinburgh’s sense of humour. Shows feature well-established comedians who prove that excellent Scottish comedy isn’t limited to the Fringe Festival. If you’re feeling brave, take a seat at the front (and remember if someone makes you the butt of the joke, it’s all in good fun).