10-Day Itinerary in Edinburgh

Are you planning a trip to Edinburgh and want to make sure you don’t miss any of the city’s top attractions? Look no further! In this ultimate guide to spending 10 days in Edinburgh, we’ll give you the best recommendations for a memorable vacation in Scotland’s capital.

10-Day Itinerary in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a city that seamlessly blends history, culture, and natural beauty. With 10 days at your disposal, you’ll have the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in everything this enchanting city has to offer.

From exploring iconic historical sites like the Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse to delving into Scottish culture, indulging in local cuisine, and embarking on unforgettable day trips, this itinerary has it all.

Discover the must-visit attractions in Edinburgh, get insider tips for a 10-day stay, find the best places to eat, and explore popular day trips from the city. We’ve also included top-rated hotels for a comfortable and enjoyable 10-day experience in Edinburgh.

Key Takeaways:

  • Immerse yourself in Edinburgh’s rich history by visiting iconic attractions like the Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
  • Explore Scottish culture and indulge in whisky tasting at the Scotch Whisky Experience.
  • Experience the city’s natural beauty and wildlife at Edinburgh Zoo and its surrounding parks.
  • Take a breathtaking day trip to the Isle of Skye and discover its stunning landscapes and historical sites.
  • Immerse yourself in Edinburgh’s cultural gems by visiting its world-class museums and art galleries.

Day 1 – Exploring Edinburgh’s Historical Sites

On your first day in Edinburgh, start exploring the city’s historical sites. Begin at the

Palace of Holyroodhouse

, the official residence of Her Majesty The Queen in Scotland. Visit the

Historic Apartments of Mary, Queen of Scots

and the

State Apartments

, which house the magnificent Great Gallery. Afterward, head to

Edinburgh Castle

, an iconic fortress perched on an extinct volcano. Explore the castle grounds, visit

St. Margaret’s Chapel

, and enjoy panoramic views of the city from the castle walls. End the day by walking along the

Royal Mile

, a historic street lined with shops, pubs, and attractions.

Day 2 – Immersing in Scottish Culture and Whisky Tasting

On day two of your 10-day itinerary in Edinburgh, get ready to dive deep into the rich tapestry of Scottish culture and indulge in the world-renowned Scottish whisky. Start your day at the iconic Scott Monument, a breathtaking Gothic tower that pays tribute to Sir Walter Scott, one of Scotland’s most celebrated historical writers.

Next, make your way to the acclaimed Scotch Whisky Experience, a must-visit for whisky enthusiasts and those curious to learn about the country’s beloved spirit. Here, you can immerse yourself in the history and production of Scotch whisky through interactive exhibits, guided tours, and engaging whisky tastings.

Scotch Whisky Experience Highlights:

  • Discover the fascinating process of whisky production, from malting to maturation.
  • Learn about the different types and regions of Scottish whisky, uncovering the nuances of flavor and character.
  • Embark on a sensory journey with a guided whisky tasting, savoring a selection of Scotland’s finest drams.
  • Browse the extensive collection of whiskies, including rare and limited editions, and find the perfect bottle to take home as a memento.

After a delightful whisky experience, take the opportunity to explore Edinburgh’s vibrant nightlife, where you can find a multitude of traditional pubs, bars, and live music venues. Immerse yourself in the convivial atmosphere, mingle with the locals, and perhaps try some of Scotland’s signature dishes, such as haggis or Cullen skink, to complete your cultural immersion.

End your day two of exploration and sensory delights, savoring the essence of Scottish culture and the world-famous Scotch whisky.

Day 3 – Discovering Natural Beauty and Wildlife at Edinburgh Zoo

On the third day of your 10-day itinerary in Edinburgh, it’s time to immerse yourself in the natural beauty and wildlife this city has to offer. Start your day at the renowned Edinburgh Zoo, a must-visit destination for animal lovers of all ages.

Edinburgh Zoo is home to a wide variety of fascinating creatures, from playful pandas to adorable penguins. You’ll also have the chance to see majestic elephants and many other incredible species. The zoo offers interactive exhibits and educational programs, allowing visitors to learn about conservation efforts and the importance of protecting wildlife.

During your visit, make sure to catch the animal feedings, where you can observe and learn more about the zoo’s residents. It’s a fantastic opportunity to get up close and personal with these incredible creatures.

After exploring Edinburgh Zoo, take some time to venture into one of the city’s stunning parks. Whether you choose to visit Holyrood Park with its iconic Arthur’s Seat, a dormant volcano, or the tranquil Royal Botanic Garden, you’ll be surrounded by the city’s natural beauty. Take a leisurely stroll, breathe in the fresh air, and enjoy the peaceful ambiance of these picturesque green spaces.

Day three of your Edinburgh adventure offers a perfect blend of wildlife encounters and serene natural surroundings. It’s a fantastic experience for families, so don’t hesitate to include it in your 10-day itinerary, especially if you’re looking for family-friendly activities in Edinburgh.

Day 4 – Day Trip to Isle of Skye

On day four of your Edinburgh itinerary, embark on an unforgettable day trip to the picturesque Isle of Skye. Known for its breathtaking landscapes and natural wonders, Skye is a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers.

Start your day by crossing the Skye Bridge, connecting the mainland to the island. As you step onto Skye, you’ll be greeted by awe-inspiring scenery and a sense of tranquility.

Begin your exploration of Skye with visits to some of its top attractions. Marvel at the dramatic rock formations of the Old Man of Storr, an iconic landmark that offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Take a hike through the Quiraing, a unique geological formation with stunning vistas and hidden caves.

Continue your journey to the enchanting Fairy Glen, a serene and mystical landscape that feels like a fairytale. Explore the lush green hills, miniature waterfalls, and whimsical rock formations that make this place truly magical.

For a touch of history, visit Dunvegan Castle, the oldest continuously inhabited castle in Scotland. Explore the castle’s rich heritage, beautiful gardens, and the famous Fairy Flag.

No trip to Skye is complete without experiencing the Fairy Pools. These crystal clear blue pools, fed by cascading waterfalls, offer a serene and peaceful setting for a relaxing stroll or a refreshing dip.

Throughout your day trip, be sure to take in the breathtaking scenery of the Cuillin Mountains, which dominate the island’s skyline. As you drive along the scenic routes, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of rugged cliffs, sparkling lochs, and rolling green hills.

After a day of exploration, return to Edinburgh, carrying with you memories of the stunning landscapes and natural wonders of the Isle of Skye.

Day 5 – Exploring Edinburgh’s Cultural Gems

Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Edinburgh on day five of your itinerary. This city is home to a plethora of museums, art galleries, and cultural attractions that will captivate your senses and leave you with a profound appreciation for Scotland’s artistic and historical legacy.

1. National Museum of Scotland

Start your day by visiting the renowned National Museum of Scotland, located in the heart of Edinburgh. This impressive museum showcases a vast collection that spans across various disciplines, from natural history and science to art and design. Explore the exhibits that delve into Scotland’s ancient history, including the intriguing archeological finds and artifacts from the Picts, Celts, and Vikings. Marvel at the impressive array of decorative art, textiles, and fashion, and don’t miss the chance to see “Dolly,” the famous cloned sheep, in the Science and Technology gallery.

2. Scottish National Gallery

After immersing yourself in history, make your way to the Scottish National Gallery, located on the Mound. This iconic institution houses an extensive collection of Scottish and international art, ranging from masterpieces by renowned European artists, such as Rembrandt and Van Gogh, to a comprehensive showcase of Scottish painters, including Sir Henry Raeburn and the Scottish Colorists. Marvel at exquisite landscapes, portraits, and contemporary works in this gallery that truly celebrates the beauty and diversity of art.

3. Explore Charming Neighborhoods

After indulging in art and history, take a leisurely stroll through Edinburgh’s charming neighborhoods, such as Stockbridge or Leith. These areas are known for their vibrant arts scene, local shops, cafes, and galleries. Browse through boutique stores that showcase unique Scottish designs and craftsmanship, or sip a cup of coffee at a cozy cafe while immersing yourself in the local atmosphere. Don’t forget to check out the numerous art galleries scattered throughout these neighborhoods, where you can discover emerging local artists and add a unique piece to your collection.

Embrace the cultural vibrancy of Edinburgh as you explore its world-class museums, appreciate its artistic treasures, and dive into the rich heritage that has shaped this extraordinary city.

Day 6 – Uncovering Hidden Gems and Local Cuisine

On day six of your 10-day adventure in Edinburgh, it’s time to venture off the beaten path and discover the city’s hidden gems while indulging in the local cuisine. From picturesque residential areas to unique architectural wonders, this day will take you on a journey of exploration.

Unveiling Hidden Gems

One of the hidden gems you won’t want to miss is Dean Village. Located just a short walk from the city center, this picturesque residential area will transport you back in time with its tranquil atmosphere and old-world charm. Take a leisurely stroll along the Water of Leith Walkway, which runs through Dean Village and offers stunning views of the surrounding nature.

As you wander through Dean Village, keep an eye out for secret gardens tucked away behind stone walls, hidden alleyways that lead to unexpected delights, and unique architecture that showcases the history and character of the area.

“Dean Village is a hidden gem that offers a peaceful escape from the bustling city center. Its quaint streets and charming buildings make it a favorite spot for photographers and nature enthusiasts alike.”

Another off-the-beaten-path attraction to explore is the Surgeons’ Hall Museum. Located near the University of Edinburgh, this hidden gem houses a fascinating collection of medical artifacts and specimens. Discover the history of surgery and medicine through interactive exhibits and learn about Edinburgh’s prominent role in medical advancements.

Savoring Local Cuisine

No visit to Edinburgh would be complete without indulging in the city’s renowned local cuisine. As you uncover hidden gems, take the opportunity to dine at local eateries and sample traditional dishes. One must-try dish is haggis, a savory pudding made with sheep’s heart, liver, and lungs, mixed with onions, spices, and oatmeal. Accompanied by neeps (mashed turnips) and tatties (mashed potatoes), haggis is a staple of Scottish cuisine.

For a taste of Scottish seafood, head to one of Edinburgh’s seafood restaurants and try dishes like fresh oysters, smoked salmon, or Cullen skink, a traditional Scottish soup made with smoked haddock, potatoes, and onions.

“Edinburgh’s local cuisine is a true reflection of its rich heritage and traditions. From traditional Scottish dishes to fresh seafood, there’s something to satisfy every food lover’s palate.”

To end the day on a high note, immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Edinburgh’s lively pubs. Enjoy a pint of local beer or sample a selection of Scottish whiskies while soaking in the friendly ambiance and perhaps even listening to live traditional music.

Hidden Gems Local Cuisine
Dean Village Haggis
Surgeons’ Hall Museum Scottish seafood
Secret gardens Cullen skink
Hidden alleyways Local beer and Scottish whiskies

Day 7 – Day Trip to Historic Sites Near Edinburgh

On day seven of your 10-day itinerary in Edinburgh, take a break from the city and embark on an exciting day trip to explore the historic sites nestled in the beautiful Scottish countryside. These captivating sites offer a glimpse into Scotland’s rich history and culture, providing a truly immersive experience.

Rosslyn Chapel

Begin your day trip by visiting Rosslyn Chapel, a hidden gem located just a short drive from Edinburgh. This magnificent chapel is renowned for its intricate carvings and mysterious connections to the Knights Templar. Marvel at the detailed stonework that adorns the interior and exterior of the chapel, showcasing symbols, biblical scenes, and occult imagery. As you explore this fascinating place, let your imagination run wild and embrace the sense of mystery that surrounds Rosslyn Chapel.

Linlithgow Palace

Continue your journey to Linlithgow Palace, the birthplace of Mary, Queen of Scots. These majestic ruins once served as a grand royal residence, showcasing the architectural splendor of the 15th and 16th centuries. Wander through the historic halls, admire the stunning views from the tower, and imagine the extravagance of the royal court that once thrived within these walls. Immerse yourself in the rich history of Scotland as you explore the palace grounds and learn about the events that unfolded within its majestic walls.

Stirling Castle

Conclude your day trip at Stirling Castle, an iconic fortress that played a pivotal role in Scotland’s fight for independence. Perched high on a hill, Stirling Castle offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Step inside the castle and delve into its turbulent history, from battles fought by legendary figures like William Wallace and Robert the Bruce to the lavish Renaissance royal court of Mary, Queen of Scots. Explore the grand halls, visit the Royal Palace, and immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Scottish history that echoes through the corridors of this magnificent castle.

By venturing on this day trip, you’ll not only witness the grandeur of Scotland’s historic sites but also gain a deeper understanding of the country’s rich cultural heritage. Let these awe-inspiring locations transport you back in time as you discover the stories and legends that have shaped Scotland’s identity.

Remember to wear comfortable shoes and bring your camera to capture the beauty of these remarkable sites. Be sure to check the opening hours and any visitor guidelines before your visit.

Historic Site Description
Rosslyn Chapel A captivating chapel known for its intricate carvings and mysterious connections to the Knights Templar.
Linlithgow Palace The birthplace of Mary, Queen of Scots, featuring stunning ruins that showcase Scotland’s royal history.
Stirling Castle An iconic fortress with panoramic views, steeped in Scottish history and legends of independence.

Embark on this unforgettable day trip from Edinburgh and immerse yourself in the enchanting history and breathtaking beauty of these historic sites near the city.


In conclusion, a 10-day itinerary in Edinburgh provides the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich history, vibrant culture, and breathtaking landscapes of this captivating city. From exploring iconic historical sites like the Palace of Holyroodhouse and Edinburgh Castle to indulging in Scottish whisky at the Scotch Whisky Experience, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

With ample time to venture beyond the city limits, you can also take day trips to explore the natural beauty of the Isle of Skye or uncover the hidden gems near Edinburgh like Rosslyn Chapel and Stirling Castle. Additionally, don’t forget to savor the local cuisine and sample traditional dishes throughout your journey.

Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover, or food enthusiast, Edinburgh offers a diverse range of experiences that will leave you with unforgettable memories. So pack your bags, follow this 10-day itinerary, and get ready for an incredible adventure in the heart of Scotland!


What are the must-visit attractions in Edinburgh during a 10-day trip?

Some must-visit attractions in Edinburgh include the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh Castle, and the Royal Mile.

What are the best places to eat in Edinburgh during a 10-day stay?

Some of the best places to eat in Edinburgh include local eateries where you can try traditional dishes like haggis, neeps, and tatties.

Can you provide some insider tips for a 10-day stay in Edinburgh?

Sure! Some insider tips for a 10-day stay in Edinburgh include exploring hidden gems like Dean Village and enjoying the vibrant atmosphere of the city’s pubs.

Are there any popular day trips from Edinburgh that can be taken in 10 days?

Yes, there are several popular day trips from Edinburgh that can be taken in 10 days, such as visiting Rosslyn Chapel, Linlithgow Palace, and Stirling Castle.

What are some top-rated hotels for a 10-day stay in Edinburgh?

Some top-rated hotels for a 10-day stay in Edinburgh include The Balmoral Hotel, The Witchery by the Castle, and The Scotsman Hotel.

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