Places to Visit in Edinburgh For Free

Edinburgh is an ideal tourist destination but the best thing about it is its many sites and attractions, most of which also happen to be the best in the city, that you can visit for free.  Below are just a few of Edinburgh’s attractions you can see which won’t cost you a pound.


Most of the best galleries and museums in Edinburgh offer free entrance. Scotland’s rich history is evident in a collection of 20,000 artifacts displayed in 36 galleries housed in new and old buildings at The National Museum. Among its famous displays are the Roman Lioness. It also features exhibits on space travel, nature and world culture. It has a restaurant and café.

A view across the city of Edinburgh

The Writers Museum exhibits objects, from books to personal items, that feature the lives of Scottish writers Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Burns. Among its displays are the Robert Burns’ writing desk and a plaster cast of his skull, Sir Walter Scott’s rocking horse and dining table and Robert Louis Stevenson’s riding boots.
The Museum of Childhood exhibits a historical range of toys, games, hands on activities and, objects about health and school days though the ages. It also has a puppet theatre and a museum shop.

The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art has sculpture parks, events and is home to contemporary and modern art. It features Russian, French and British art. Its highlights are works of Picasso, Matisse, David Hockney, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Andy Warhol, Gilbert and George, Antony Gormley, Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst. It also has Eduard Paolozzi’s Vulcan, Richard Wright’s The Stairwell Project and works of Henry Moore, Hamilton Finlay, Richard Long, Rachel Whiteread, Nathan Coley, Charles Jencks and Martin Creed.

The Scottish National Gallery’s three buildings are The Gallery, The Academy and The Gardens Entrance. The Gallery features a fine art collection of the country, including Renaissance masterpieces of El Greco, Raphael, Rubens, Velazquez, Monet, Van Gogh, Degas, Gauguin and Cezanne. There are also works of Raeburn, Ramsay, McTaggart and Wilkie. The Academy plays venue for international exhibits; and The Gardens Entrance, which is beneath The Gallery and The Academy, offers places to eat, drink and shop, and has a cloakroom, IT gallery and a lecture theatre.

The Museum on the Mound is all about the story of money. It has an exhibit about money’s role in design, art, crime, technology, security and trade, and features Scotland’s oldest banknote.
The Scottish Parliament has a free exhibit that features its history, including William Wallace’s 700 year old love letter and a tour of its building.

The highest point in Edinburgh is a large volcanic hill in Holyrood Park called Arthur’s Seat. With several varying paths, its easiest route is the Tourist Path.

Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh

Enjoy Free Fringe which holds comedy and poetry performances. Take guided walking tours, like in the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh’s 70 acres of gardens along the Water of Leith or visit the Fuitmarket Gallery, the Water of Leith Visitor Centre and the City Art Centre. For those who enjoy fishing, it’s free at the Water of Leith.

Guest post by Katharine, a part time blogger and full time daydreamer, wishing I lived the high life sitting back on a yacht somewhere sipping Bollinger and being able to afford my own pair of Jimmy Choo shoes, instead of the daily chore of a 9-5 office job!

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