10 completely free things to do in Edinburgh

No matter what your interests are, there's something free and to do in Edinburgh
No matter what your interests are, there's something free and to do in Edinburgh

You don't have to spend money to have a good time in Edinburgh.

While entry to popular tourist attractions like Edinburgh Castle and Camera Obscura can be expensive, there are plenty of local sights that won't cost you a penny to visit, and free activities to keep you entertained.

National Museum of Scotland

It's astounding, but entry to the enormous National Museum of Scotland is completely free.

While there are occasionally some special exhibitions you have to pay to see, the bulk of the fascinating items and interactive activities here won't cost you a penny.

Visitors of all ages will be entertained for hours, by everything from the story of early human life to tales of Scotland's industrial heritage.

Visit: Chambers Street, EH1 1JF - nms.ac.uk
Gorgie City Farm

Hidden in the Dalry area of Edinburgh, there's no entry fee at Gorgie City Farm, although visitors are encouraged to make a small donation to go towards the upkeep of the farm, if they wish.

Meet the animals (from sheep and pigs to hamsters that are just visiting) and wander the gardens, where staff grow vegetables that are sold on-site, and where wild insects and birds live.

Visit: 51 Gorgie Road, EH11 2LA - gorgiecityfarm.org.uk
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

Off the beaten track in the New Town, the modern art gallery is free to visit, and worth the trip for its breathtaking grounds and beautiful building alone.

Inside, though, you'll find an ever-changing collection of stunning modern art.

In the past, free exhibitions have included work from the likes of pop art extraordinaire, Roy Lichtenstein.

Visit: 75 Belford Road, EH4 3DR - nationalgalleries.org
Scottish Parliament Building

As bizarre as it might sound, visitors are welcome to step inside the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood and tour designated areas of the building at their leisure.

If you want to see and learn more, book yourself on to one of several guided tours, which are also free of charge.

Visit: EH99 1SP - parliament.scot
Leith Links Outdoor Tennis and Bowling Green

If you're in the area and have access to either tennis or garden bowling equipment, you can play for free on Leith Links whenever you like.

Open all year round, both the modern tennis courts and the well-maintained bowling green are in great condition.

Visit: 7 Links Place, EH6 7EZ - edinburghleisure.co.uk
Scottish National Gallery

Housed in a stunning neoclassical building that looks onto Princes Street, the Scottish National Gallery collection is free for anyone to enjoy.

Full of inspiring works dating back across the centuries, art lovers will be able to spend many contented hours here.

Visit: The Mound, EH2 2EL - nationalgalleries.org
Free walking tour

There are many fascinating guided tours of Edinburgh to choose from, but the Sandemans free walking tour is a great option that won't cost you a penny.

The tour stops off at many famous Edinburgh spots, including Greyfriar's Kirkyard and St Giles' church, where your guide will tell you more about each location's history.

Visit: 124 High Street, EH1 1SG - neweuropetours.eu
Scottish National Portrait Gallery

Another gallery, but this one was the first purpose-built portrait gallery in the world, and a stunning piece of architecture in its own right.

One of the city's very few red sandstone buildings, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery stands out in Queen Street, luring art-loving visitors in.

From marble busts to modern portraiture, there's a style to keep everyone happy on display here.

Visit: 1 Queen Street, EH2 1JD - nationalgalleries.org
Summerhall

Open to the public and home to an atmospheric bar and a cosy coffee shop, former veterinary school turned arts space Summerhall is always a fun place to be.

Wander the historic halls for free, and keep your eyes peeled for regular unticketed workshops and cultural events on a whole host of interesting topics.

Visit: 1 Summerhall Place, EH9 1PL - summerhall.co.uk
The Stand Comedy Club

Head to the famous Stand Comedy Club at lunchtime on Sundays for regular event, Stu & Garry's Free Improv Show.

A taste of the free Fringe outside of August, the experienced resident comedy duo are guaranteed to get a giggle out of you.

Visit: 5 York Place, EH1 3EB - thestand.co.uk