The top 5 things to do in Edinburgh

There are some must-do activities that everyone needs to tick off their Edinburgh bucket list
There are some must-do activities that everyone needs to tick off their Edinburgh bucket list
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Get out and about and experience the best of Edinburgh firsthand.

Whether you live in Edinburgh or are just visiting, you need to tick these must-do things off your bucket list, writes Gillian McDonald.

Climb an extinct volcano

Arthur’s Seat and the Salisbury Crags are an impressive group of hills right in the middle of the city.

The hills were formed around 340 million years ago, when an extinct volcano was eroded by a glacier, leaving the distinctive craggy shape.

These days, it’s a fantastic spot for taking in a panoramic view of the city, and it’s well worth the hike to the top on a sunny day.

READ MORE: 16 of the best things to do in Edinburgh at night

Sample Scotland’s national drink

You can’t visit Scotland without trying whisky, and Edinburgh is full of places to enjoy a dram and learn more about the spirit.

Head to The Scotch Whisky Experience for a variety of tours and tastings, or become a member at the exclusive Scotch Malt Whisky Society club.

For a more relaxed approach, seek out the whisky bars and pubs which are a favourite haunt of locals, such as The Bow Bar, where they serve over 300 types of single malt.

Soak up culture at a festival

Edinburgh is best known for its world-famous Fringe Festival in August, but no matter what time of year you’re in the city, you’re sure to find a festival to suit you.

Festivals range from the educational to the entertaining, with events as varied as the Edinburgh International Science Festival to the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival.

Keep an eye out for smaller festivals too, such as Hidden Door, which showcases the work of local artists, musicians and creatives in abandoned spaces throughout the city.

Eat at the city’s best restaurants

Edinburgh is a great destination for those who love food and drink, as there are hundreds of fantastic restaurants to choose from.

The city is home to four Michelin star eateries, serving up incredible fine dining cuisine - these are a must-visit if you’re looking for a memorable dining experience.

If you’re on a budget, though, there are plenty of places serving up delicious street food, local produce and flavours from across the world.

READ MORE: Video - Scotch Whisky Experience begins sign language tours in Edinburgh

Scale the Scott Monument

The gothic Scott Monument is one of the most prominent landmarks in the city centre, standing at just over 200 feet tall.

Climb the 288 steps of the tower and you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of central Edinburgh.

The structure, which is dedicated to Sir Walter Scott, is the largest monument to a writer in the world.