It’s no secret that Edinburgh boasts one of the most beautiful skylines in the world. So if you want to take in our magnificent cityscape from a new angle, there’s no shortage of unique vantage points to try! Here’s some of our favourite spots to find the best views in Edinburgh.
The Nelson Monument is a tower built in honour of Vice Admiral Nelson to commemorate his victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Designed to look like an upturned telescope, it sits upon the highest point of Edinburgh’s Calton Hill, 171 metres above sea level. In 1853 a time ball was added to the mast of the tower, which drops at precisely 1pm every day to coincide with the 1 o’clock gun. For just £5 entry, you can climb the 143 steps to the viewing gallery and enjoy dramatic views along Princes Street.
National Museum of Scotland
The National Museum of Scotland is a must-do on any visit to Edinburgh, with its stunning Victorian architecture and over 20,000 fascinating artefacts. Though the grand entrance hall is eye catching in itself, the real gem is the rooftop terrace up on the seventh floor. Here you’ll find not only the best views of Edinburgh Castle and the Old Town, but it’s also the perfect spot for a rooftop selfie!
One of the ‘seven hills’ upon which Edinburgh was built, Blackford Hill is a 164 metre hill located just outside of the city centre. While most tourists will head towards Arthur’s Seat, this hill offers a climb that is a little less demanding but with similarly impressive views across the south side of the capital. Popular amongst both runners and dog walkers, it has a much more local feel about it and with the Royal Observatory perched proudly at the top; it’s an ideal place for a spot of star-gazing!
St Giles’ Cathedral
See the Royal Mile from above with a guided rooftop tour of St Giles’ Cathedral. For a small donation, your own personal guide will lead you up a series of spiral staircases to the rafters of this historic landmark, where you can take a closer look inside the bell tower and the famous crown spire. Bookable in advance, these tours last around 20 minutes and offer incredible views of Edinburgh’s Old Town and beyond.
Sitting proudly next to Edinburgh Castle, the Camera Obscura and World of Illusions is the city’s oldest purpose-built tourist attraction, housing six floors of tricks, puzzles and optical illusions. However, the real jewel in its crown is the rooftop terrace, which offers magnificent views of the Royal Mile. Grab a free pair of binoculars, for an even closer look at some of Edinburgh’s most famous landmarks!
Just minutes outside the bustling city centre, Inverleith Park is a vast green oasis hidden in the heart of Edinburgh. Though often overlooked in favour of Princes Street Gardens or the Meadows, on a hot summer’s day there’s no better place for a picnic or a game of tennis. The park boasts fantastic views of Edinburgh Castle, making it a popular viewing spot for the Edinburgh Festival fireworks.
The Scott Monument is a towering spire dedicated to the life of Edinburgh-born writer, Sir Walter Scott. Standing at over 200 feet tall, it sits opposite the Jenners department store on Princes Street and is a prominent feature in Edinburgh’s iconic skyline. With nearly 300 steps to the top, the climb is not one for the faint-hearted! The ‘Gothic rocket’ as it is affectionately known, was designed by George Meikle Kemp and features a series of viewing platforms, allowing spectators to admire the views from multiple altitudes.
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