Take a moment to zone out from all of life’s stresses and gaze upwards at night. The perfect way to learn more about the constellations and planets is to experience The Royal Observatory, Edinburgh (ROE). This astronomical institution can be found at the tip of Blackford Hill (the original observatory can still be found on Calton Hill in the city centre). Check out the Public Astronomy Evenings and delight in seeing sensational views of the entire city. A visit here will leave you feeling over the moon.
Avid climbers brace yourselves. The Edinburgh International Climbing Arena is the largest indoor climbing wall in the entire world. This haven is situated in a disused quarry; the sheer magnitude of the place can be overwhelming to any newcomer. Just zone in, take advantage of the added adrenaline, and find the best climbing path.
Take a trip down memory lane and enter into a bygone past when films were in black and white. The Dominion has been one of the crown jewels of Edinburgh since its grand opening all the way back in 1938. Architect Thomas Bowhill Gibson designed the building in an art deco style and what he created was a streamlined, modern masterpiece. Catch a screening of your favourite movie and enjoy the luxury of this comfortable and beautiful independent cinema.
The Dominion Cinema, Newbattle Terrace, Edinburgh, UK, +44 131 447 4771
The fact that Edinburgh may not always have the most sweltering summers doesn’t mean that the idea of ice cream should be a figment of the imagination. S Luca’s has long held the reputation of being the crème de la crème of ice cream places in the city. The Nutella is utterly delectable and the iconic Irn-Bru flavour is totally addictive. Don’t forget to ask for a 99 Flake. This parlour is a great place to grab a bite to eat, too.
S Luca, 16 Morningside Rd, Edinburgh, UK, +44 131 446 0233
It is no secret that Scotland is riddled with history. Delve deep into The Edinburgh Dungeon to explore the sometimes chilling past. Careful though, this is not recommended for the faint hearted. Tackle your deepest, darkest fears and prepare to shiver from all the tales. Hearts will race and blood pressure will rise as visitors are taken on an immersive adventure led by a cast of highly talented actors. Learn the nitty gritty details about the notorious duo Burke and Hare and build up an appetite to discover the cannibalistic ways of Sawney Bean. The special effects, shows, and rides are to die for.
The Edinburgh Dungeon, 31 Market St, Edinburgh, UK, +44 871 423 2250
Need a quick escape from city life? Sing ‘oh we do like to be beside the seaside’ upon setting foot on glorious Portobello Beach. Portobello is just a quick bus ride away from the middle of Edinburgh. Stretch those legs along the picturesque promenade and check out any events that have a habit of springing up. Those with an interest in architecture will love the Georgian and Victorian buildings. Lots of gift shops, pubs, and restaurants are dispersed throughout this area, too.
It can at times be refreshing to switch gears and feed the soul by staring at some beautiful art. Expect to witness a stunning array of works from the 1900s until now at the Scottish National Gallery Of Modern Art. Allow the sweet sound of silence to restore the mind and let the selection of installations, video work, paintings, prints, and sculptures do the talking. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words. Get close to a Picasso and a Matisse. Admission is free (with the exception of certain exhibitions) and don’t forget to see both buildings.
It is easy to get lost in concrete and cobblestones. Seek refuge in nature and venture to the top of Arthur’s Seat. Expect to be transfixed by the wondrous panoramic views of bonnie Edinburgh, The Firth of Forth, and beyond. Even seasoned Scots know that a trip to this glorious throne is time well spent. From the ruins of St. Anthony’s Chapel to the three surrounding lochs, explore all 650 acres. Pack a picnic, watch the sunset, and save some spare bread for the swans.
Feel like an adventure? Get on over to Edinburgh Waverley Railway Station and hop on a magnificent steam train. With a glass of bubbly in hand, steam along the newly built borders railway line. Absorb the stunning scenery from the comfort of the vintage carriages. From the Kingdom of Fife to the quaint Scottish Borders, pick a stop and explore away until the heart is content. This fine locomotive is equipped with all bells and whistles. All aboard!
Edinburgh Waverley Railway Station, Edinburgh, UK, +44 845 711 4141