Are you planning a trip to Edinburgh? Sure, you can’t miss the Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile, dinner in a pub, and whisky tasting, but you also cannot miss the best views of Edinburgh. No trip to Edinburgh would be complete without a climb up Arthur’s Seat or a view from the Scott Monument.
Where to Get the Best Views of Edinburgh
Arthur’s Seat arguably has the best views over Edinburgh. Sure, it’s a hike (literally) to get there, but that’s part of the fun. You have the option of climbing to the top of Arthur’s Seat for the best 360° views of Edinburgh or sticking to the paved path along the Salisbury Crags.
The Edinburgh Castle is the most popular tourist attraction in all of Scotland. Did you know that it also provides one of the best views over the city? The castle sits atop Castle Rock, making it the centerpiece of the city. On your visit to the castle, enjoy more sweeping 360° views over the Edinburgh.
LEARN MORE: Edinburgh Castle: Things to Know Before You Go
The Scott Monument
The Scott Monument is a Gothic tower dedicated to the writer Sir Walter Scott. Located adjacent to Princes Street Gardens, this monument offers an interesting perspective of the city. It’s also a fun, and sometimes crowded, climb to the top on narrow spiral staircases. It’s 287 steps to the top and costs £5 per person.
This spot may come as a surprise. Camera Obscura is located very close to Edinburgh Castle on the Royal Mile. It’s a multi-level building filled with illusions, fun for kids and families. At the very top you can watch the camera obscura show, with its live moving images of Edinburgh projected onto a viewing table via a periscope.
Or, step out onto the rooftop terrace for one of the best views down the Royal Mile.
Calton Hill is a relatively small hill located at the end of Princes Street in Edinburgh. It’s much easier to walk up to the top of this hill compared with Arthur’s Seat. Nelson Monument, a commemorative tower in honor of Horatio Nelson, gets you a little higher for some of the best views of Edinburgh. It is 143 steps to the top for these views.
View of Arthur’s Seat
View down Princes Street
Have you been to Edinburgh? What is your favorite view of the city?
More Information about Scotland
EDINBURGH: Learn about the best things to do and how to plan your time in our 2 Day Edinburgh Itinerary. We also have detailed guides on how to hike to Arthur’s Seat, how to visit Edinburgh Castle, best things to do with kids in Edinburgh, and how to visit Dean Village.
GLASGOW: For ideas on what to do while in Glasgow, read our 1 Day Glasgow Itinerary.
ISLE OF SKYE: We cover how to visit the Isle of Skye in our Isle of Skye Travel Guide. We also have articles about the best things to do on the Isle of Skye and travel itineraries for 1, 2, and 3 days on the Isle of Skye.
EUROPE TRAVEL INSPIRATION: Get more travel ideas in our article 10 Days in Europe itinerary, which has 10 itineraries for your next trip to Europe. If you have less time, we also have an article that lists 25 different ways to spend one week in Europe.
Planning a trip to Scotland? Read all of our articles in our Scotland Travel Guide.
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