The 11 Best Views of Edinburgh

Edinburgh is an old city, medieval in many ways, and its streets go up and down between cobblestones and buildings that have stood still in time.

There are alleys and corners that attract travelers. But few have stopped to think from where the best photos can be taken. Where you can see the best sunsets. Where can you go for dinner or a drink with the best views.

If you go to travel to edinburgh I'm sure you already have many plans. But did you think from where you can have the best views?

Keep in mind that not all these activities can be done if there is bad weather. Scotland It is a place where you have to prepare. But don't worry, for that you can read What to do in Edinburgh when it rains.

You should also keep in mind that almost all these activities are outdoors so it is better that you know what to wear on a trip to edinburgh.

I recommend you take a look at 20 things to do in Edinburgh to get an idea of ​​other activities for your trip.

But now we are going to what we came here, to talk about where the best views of Edinburgh are.


Rooftop of the national museum – free

I'm going to start with a place that not even many locals know about: The rooftop of the National Museum of Scotland.

Views from the National Museum of Scotland.

The national museum is so impressive and has so much to see that very few people go to the top.

I don't blame them, because it's so entertaining that I had to visit it several times before going to the rooftop.

But I recommend you go there because It's freeIt has a small garden and you can see the city in 360 degrees.

Keep in mind that it has a quota of people allowed so if you go on a weekend you may have to wait. It is not a long wait because, as I told you, not many visitors go.

For me this is one of the places where you have the best views of edinburgh.

Locals' Favorite Thai Restaurant – Average Price

The restaurant Chaophraya It is on Castle Street, a street that leads right in front of the castle. That is already a point in favor.

Views from the Chaophraya restaurant.

The next point in favor of this site is that it is located on the top floor of a building, so you have amazing views.

Best of all, it is one of the places where you can have the best views of the castle. My advice is to go at night to see the castle illuminated. The views of Edinburgh at night they are very worthwhile, especially the castle.

Two things to keep in mind:

It is quite a noisy place with loud music at dinner time. It's good if you're going to drink something instead of eating.

The prices are not very cheap and you can pay about 15 pounds for a few noodles. Calculate that you can eat for about 20 to 30 pounds per person.

Nelson Monument – ​​free

Perhaps you saw the typical photo of Princes Street from above that includes the clock on the Balmoral Hotel tower.

Views from Nelson Monument.

This image has been taken from one of the most emblematic monuments of Edinburghthe Nelson Monument.

What happens with this site is interesting: many people go there but few take photos of the monument.

It is a tower that, if it is open, you can sometimes climb. If it is closed, you can climb just a few steps to take one of the most beautiful photos of the city.

To get to the Nelson Monument you just have to go to Calton Hill and there look up to see the tower in the form of a very tall circular column.

Arthur's Seat – free

It is one of my favorite places in Edinburgh. I think I go there at least once a week.

Ascent of Arthur's Seat.

Some reasons to climb Arthur's Seat, one of the seven hills of edinburgh:

  • It has the best views of Edinburgh and surroundings.
  • You connect with nature in the middle of the city.
  • It's quiet.
  • You do some sport.
  • If there is sun you can go for a picnic.
  • It is the highest point of the city.

My advice is to go early and prepare to walk. There are people who have told me that it is not an easy walk while others do it by running.

I think it's not easy but it's not that complicated either. So take it easy.

For me the best of all is that it is about the highest point in edinburgh. Also from there you can see other nearby towns and enjoy incredible sunsets.

Scott Monument – ​​very cheap

Located in the middle of Princes Street it is visible from all sides.

Scott Monument at sunset.

It is the second largest monument in the world dedicated to a writer, the Scotsman Sir Walter Scott. It draws the attention of visitors not only for its height, but for the beauty of the Victorian Gothic style.

In addition to seeing it from below and taking really beautiful photos, it has offered the possibility of climbing to the top for many years. The price was 4 pounds.

At the time of writing these suggestions the Scott Monument stood Closed until further notice. My advice is to stop by and see if it's open when you travel to Edinburgh.

Castle Hill – free

With that name, you may have already realized that it is the hill where Edinburgh Castle is located. In addition to having one of the main attractions of the city, it has very good views.

Views from Castle Hill.

Visit the edinburgh castle It has a cost of around 20 euros. But go to the entrance and walking through its esplanade is free.

Not only will you have the castle at your feet, but you will be able to walk to see the city "in two parts".

Calton Hill – free

If you look at the cover of the guide that you will have bought to travel to Edinburgh, it is surely taken from Calton Hill.

Calton Hill
The views from Calton Hill are postcard

The best pictures of edinburgh they are made from there.

Please don't miss it; she stops doing other things and goes there to watch the sunset. You're going to thank me.

Why are the views of Edinburgh from Calton Hill so spectacular?

  • It is the most famous hill in Edinburgh
  • One of the most visited
  • The main postcards are made from there
  • You can see the best sunsets from there
  • There are important monuments
  • has a great story
  • You can see the city and the entrance to the North Sea
  • It is very central
  • It's not difficult to go up, it's just a walk
  • The main events such as New Year's Eve are held there.

If you want good views of Edinburgh, go to Calton Hill.

Breakfast with a view – medium high price

It's so secret that not even the locals know it exists. Best of all, it is in a very busy area but they have managed to make it almost hidden.

The Lookout - Eating Breakfast in Edinburgh
The Lookout is not the cheapest option but wow how is it eaten

The restaurant Lookout It is one of the most modern restaurants with one of the best views in Edinburgh.

At the top of Calton Hill (yes, I really like that hill) it offers always fresh food and an open kitchen.

On one side you can see the cooks preparing the dishes, on the other you can see the castle, Princes Street and the Old Town.

If you are looking for a place where to eat breakfast in edinburgh I highly recommend the Lookout by the Garden's Cottage. It is not the cheapest, but it can be a place for a special moment.

Harvey Nichols – high price

Harvey Nichols is a small shopping center located where the street of expensive stores begins. you will imagine that prices are not the cheapestbut you could treat yourself.

Views from Harvey Nichols

To the point, the people who go there are pasta, but a great drink with a view will not make you poor.

The bar located on the top floor of the building is the typical one where people are very well dressed and if you want you can go to have a drink on the balcony.

Below you can see St Andrews Square and in the distance the city center, the castle and other buildings. To the other side you can see the entrance of Edinburgh's outlet to the North Sea.

Keep in mind that it is better to reserve a table on the balcony before you go, otherwise you will be having a drink in a bar without being able to see much.

Johnnie Walker – mid price

I put it here because I want you to have many options but it is not one of my favorite sites.

It is located in a recently opened building located at the beginning of Princes Street.

To reserve a table they charge you 5 pounds. Tables cannot be held for more than 1 hour and 45 minutes. The tables are only inside the bar which is on the roof top and you could be outside only if the restaurant decides for the good weather.

Why isn't it my favourite? I must admit to Johnnie Walker that he is one of the most famous international names in Scotland but he does not represent what the whiskey culture of this country really is.

If you really want to go to drink whiskey in Edinburgh look at these recommendations.

If you want to have a more complete experience look Visit Distillerythe most comprehensive guide to distilleries in Scotland.

As you may have noticed, I have recommended the best views of Edinburgh from above. Although it is not a city with big buildings, I think there are places that you should not miss.

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