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Group on The Close | Courtesy Of The Real Mary King's Close
Group on The Close | Courtesy Of The Real Mary King's Close

The Most Unusual Tourist Attractions In Edinburgh

Picture of Tori Chalmers
Updated: 9 February 2017
With such a vibrant history and rich heritage, it is no surprise that Edinburgh is a magnet for tourists. Amidst the city’s busier attractions lie many splendorous, lesser-known sights and secret hideaways that demand to be explored. Most importantly, there are stories that must be told. Mix it up a bit and discover the most unusual tourist attractions in Edinburgh.

Maison De Moggy

Touring the castle and the Royal Mile can be exhausting. Take a breather, let the mind and body rest, and feed the soul by sharing a cuppa with some cats at Maison De Moggy, Scotland’s very first cat cafe. Enter into a dreamland where felines and humans exist together in perfect harmony. Watch the clever cats as they slink around in their custom-made environment and choose from an array of locally produced teas, coffees and scrumptious cakes. Although not the conventional touristy thing to do, a trip to the cat cafe is wildly therapeutic and satisfying.

Maison De Moggy, 17 West Port, Edinburgh, Scotland +44 131 629 5530

Surgeon’s Hall Museums

The museums at Surgeon’s Hall are undoubtedly one of the finest collections of cabinets of curiosities out there. Take your pick from The Dental Collection, Wohl Pathology Museum (home to the largest and most historic collections of surgical pathology in the world), and the History Of Surgery Museum. Expect a vast collection of medical-related artifacts, bone and tissue specimens, artworks, and a range of exhibitions that will make the mind boggle. Owned by the College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (an alliance which formed in 1505), this place is most definitely worth a visit.

Surgeon’s Hall Museums, Nicolson St, Edinburgh, Scotland +44 131 527 3434

The Real Mary King’s Close

The closes of Edinburgh serve as a reminder of times past. Found nestled underneath the city, these hidden passageways and streets were once a bustling hub for traders and residents. The Real Mary King’s Close resurrects these prevalent historical spaces and preserves a rich history. Explore the newly renovated closes, named after prominent Edinburgh resident Mary King, and be transported back to the 1600s with riveting stories and fascinating tours of the vicinity. Expect to be shocked, informed and intrigued with this unique and accurate depiction of events.

The Real Mary King’s Close, 2 Warriston’s Close, High St, Edinburgh, Scotland +44 845 070 6244

The Maid Meets Characters Of The Close | Courtesy Of The Real Mary King’s Close

The maid meets characters of the Close | © Courtesy Of The Real Mary King’s Close

The Museum Of Childhood

Delve deep into yesteryear and explore the fascinating collection of children’s toys and memorabilia at the Museum of Childhood. Not only is this museum a welcomed blast from the past, but it also happens to be the very first museum in the world dedicated to the history of childhood. Put the technology down for one moment and gaze at the little tin soldiers, trains, and spinning tops. Oh how times have changed. See history from the mind of a child, and appreciate the impressive collection, which dates all the way back to the 16th and 17th centuries.

The Museum Of Childhood, 42 High St, Royal Mile, Edinburgh, Scotland +44 131 529 4142

Camera Obscura

Welcome to the house of fun that is Camera Obscura. Delight in the explosion of colours, shapes and illusions, and investigate every space in this labyrinth. Hold on to your head as you witness weird and wacky tricks of the mind. At the top of the tower is where the real action happens. Listen to the vivacious guides as they fill your brain with enthralling photography facts and spectacular images. Catch a glance of Edinburgh from a different perspective and feel what its like to be an eye in the sky.

Camera Obscura, 549 Castlehill, Edinburgh, Scotland +44 131 226 3709