City Orientation Walk, Edinburgh

Comfortably yet tightly packed on the hilly terrain, Edinburgh – the Scottish capital – is a picturesque city much popular with tourists, in large part, due to its unique architecture comprising medieval (Old Town) and elegant Georgian (New Town) buildings. The cityscape is dominated by Edinburgh Castle, once the seat of the Scottish royals and now home to the country's crown jewels. To see this and other most prominent sights of Edinburgh, follow this orientation walk.
You can follow this self-guided walking tour to explore the attractions listed below. How it works: download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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City Orientation Walk Map

Guide Name: City Orientation Walk
Guide Location: Scotland » Edinburgh (See other walking tours in Edinburgh)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 15
Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.3 km
Author: alexei
1
Grassmarket

1) Grassmarket (must see)

One of the best places for shopping or relaxing over a pint or a meal in Edinburgh is undoubtedly the Grassmarket.

It is a historic market nestled in a small valley so that it is lower than the surrounding street levels. Between 1477 and 1911 it was the most important horse and cattle market in the city, and because it drew large crowds, it was also the place where public executions were held.

According to legend a woman was hanged here and lived to talk about it afterwards! Maggie Dickson...   view more
2
The Scotch Whisky Experience

2) The Scotch Whisky Experience (must see)

What is the difference between “whisky” and “whiskey”? If you don’t know, visit The Scotch Whisky Experience to find the answer to that question and discover a whole lot of other interesting facts about Scotland’s favourite tipple.

This interactive museum is great fun, even for children, who have their own guide – “Peat the Cat”, that will take them on an exciting tour full of fun facts and games. For the adults, the journey through the museum begins with a barrel ride...   view more
3
Edinburgh Castle

3) Edinburgh Castle (must see)

Edinburgh Castle has overlooked the city since the 12th century and is the second most visited building, after the Tower of London, in the United Kingdom. The very history of Scotland is deeply etched into its ancient stones.

The castle stands on top of Castle Rock, the basalt ventilation pipe of an extinct volcano eroded by glaciers. People have inhabited the site since the 9th century BC. The first castle was constructed by King David I of Scotland and it remained a royal residence until...   view more
4
Princes Street Gardens

4) Princes Street Gardens (must see)

Between Edinburgh Castle and Princes Street, renowned for its superb shops, pubs and restaurants, lies the beautiful Princes Street Gardens, a haven of peace and beauty in the heart of the city.

110,000 years ago the area that is now the gardens was formed by glacial erosion, when the basalt bulk of Castle Rock caused a glacier to divide around it, forming a depression at the foot of the rock. For thousands of years this area was marshland and when man came to the region, it formed a natural...   view more
5
Princes Street

5) Princes Street (must see)

Princes Street in the New Town runs from Leith Street to the Lothian Road and offers over a mile of shops, cafés and pubs. It is, in fact, the most important shopping street in the city.

The street was named after two of King George III’s sons: Prince George (who later became King George V) and Prince Frederick. The early 18th century buildings were renovated in the 19th century, and then in the 1960s under the “Princes Street Plan”, some of the buildings were pulled down and replaced...   view more
6
Scottish National Gallery

6) Scottish National Gallery (must see)

No art lover should miss a chance to visit the Scottish National Gallery, which you will find on the Mound, just next to the Royal Scottish Academy.

In 1859 when the building opened the gallery shared the place with the academy. It also housed the Portrait Gallery and the lack of space became a real problem until the Portrait Gallery moved to its new building. But by 1906 more space was needed and the academy moved into the building next door. The gallery was entirely renovated in 1912.

...   view more
7
Scott Monument

7) Scott Monument (must see)

Sir Walter Scott was perhaps Scotland’s best-loved poet and novelist, so it is only natural that the nation wanted to pay him homage. You will find the Scott Monument in Princes Gardens.

When Scott died in 1832 an architectural competition was launched to build a monument in his honour. A great many noted architects submitted their ideas; the winning design was by George Meikle Kemp, a draughtsman who had no architectural experience and who had submitted his design under the name of John...   view more
8
Multrees Walk

8) Multrees Walk

Multrees Walk is a pedestrian shopping area off the east side of St. Andrew Square, Edinburgh, Scotland. Created in 2003 as part of a redevelopment, it links St Andrew Square and St James Shopping Centre and its shops sell luxury goods including clothing, stationery and handbags. The shopping development features a number of brands from across the globe, many of which have located their only Scottish store within the walk. These brands include: Harvey Nichols, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Michael...   view more
Sight description based on wikipedia
9
Nelson Monument

9) Nelson Monument (must see)

Another monument worth visiting while you are on Calton Hill is the Nelson Monument, which was put up in honour of Horatio Nelson’s victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 and his subsequent death from wounds sustained during the battle.

The monument was built in 1815 on the highest point of the hill, on the site where a mast was once used to send signals to ships entering the Firth of Forth. The monument was designed by the architect Robert Burn in the appropriate form of an up-ended...   view more
10
Calton Hill Observatory

10) Calton Hill Observatory (must see)

Sadly the Calton Hill Observatory was closed to the public in 2009 after it was considered unsafe due to vandalism and theft of the roofing materials, but it is worth climbing the hill anyway to see this remarkable building.

The idea of putting an observatory on the hill arose at the end of the 16th century when Thomas Short inherited a 12ft reflecting telescope designed by his brother. The building was designed by James Craig and funds were donated by the University of Edinburgh, on the...   view more
11
Museum of Childhood

11) Museum of Childhood (must see)

If your kids are a bit fed up with visiting ancient monuments and galleries, it’s time to take them to the Museum of Childhood on the Royal Mile.

In the early 1950s, Patrick Murray, a member of the Edinburgh Council, realized that a lot of children weren’t very interested in the museums their parents took them to on cold, wet days. He began to think about a museum dedicated to children and everything that centers around kids – their education, their health and, of course, their toys and...   view more
12
St. Giles' Cathedral

12) St. Giles' Cathedral (must see)

You will find St Giles’ Cathedral, or the High Kirk of Edinburgh as it is also known, on the Royal Mile and you shouldn’t miss a visit to this beautiful church.

The first church to be built on the site was put up in the 12th century but was destroyed by fire and only the central pillars remain. The second church was built in 1385 and over a period of time, many chapels were added, giving the church a rather haphazard appearance. At one time the church boasted over 50 side altars, called...   view more
13
The Elephant House

13) The Elephant House

Established since 1995, The Elephant House in Edinburgh is renowned as one of the top destinations for tea and coffee connoisseurs. Eventually, the place has also become famous through association with J.K. Rowling, author of the bestselling Harry Porter series, who used to come here often, as an emerging writer, and create her early novels while sitting in the back room with a view of Edinburgh Castle. Among other literary names to have frequented The Elephant House over the years have been Ian...   view more
14
Greyfriars Bobby's Statue

14) Greyfriars Bobby's Statue (must see)

Everyone loves a nice, weepy story about love and loyalty, especially if there is an animal involved! In Edinburgh, the people have erected a statue to their favourite four-legged hero and you will find the Greyfriars Bobby's Statue at the south end of the George IV Bridge.

The beginning of Bobby’s history is a little vague: he was either a policeman’s dog or a stray adopted by a “bobby” on his rounds, which would account for his name. The policeman’s name was John Grey and he...   view more
15
Greyfriars Church

15) Greyfriars Church

It is easy to find ancient buildings in Edinburgh as the whole city is divided into two quarters: Old Town and New Town. You will find Greyfriar’s Church in the former.

The construction of the church started in 1602 and it was consecrated in 1630, making it one of the oldest buildings in the Old Town district, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was built on the site of an abandoned Franciscan monastery and took its name from the monks who wore grey cassocks and were called the...   view more

Walking Tours in Edinburgh, Scotland

Create Your Own Walk in Edinburgh

Create Your Own Walk in Edinburgh

Creating your own self-guided walk in Edinburgh is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Famous Squares and Streets Walking Tour

Famous Squares and Streets Walking Tour

While in Edinburgh, discover the popular avenues, boulevards and streets that lead to its most famous squares. While exploring these streets, you can find a copious amount of historic and religious edifices, fashion boutiques, classy restaurants, famous market areas, and other sites. Check out the most popular Edinburgh squares and streets in the following self-guided tour.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 km
Royal Mile Walking Tour

Royal Mile Walking Tour

The Royal Mile is not in fact a street, but the name given to a succession of streets forming a thoroughfare at the heart of Edinburgh's Old Town. The thoroughfare is about a mile long and runs between the famed Edinburgh Castle and the Holyrood Palace. The Mile is home to the Courts, St. Giles Cathedral, the City Chambers, John Knox's house, and also numerous shops and restaurants. Take the following tour and explore the famed Mile at your own pace!

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.9 km
New Town Walking Tour

New Town Walking Tour

The New Town is a central area of Edinburgh, considered to be a masterpiece of historic city planing, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is home to the National Gallery of Scotland and the Royal Scottish Academy, but also to an upmarket range of independent eateries and restaurants, as well as some of the best pubs and bars you will find in Edinburgh. Take the following tour to discover the most popular sights the New Town has to offer.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.0 km
Kids Entertainment Tour

Kids Entertainment Tour

Edinburgh is a city with a thousand and one things for children to enjoy. There are many sources of amusement for children of all ages, from tots to teens, such as playgrounds, toy stores, children's museums, sweet-shops, and wonderful ice cream stores to keep them happy. Take this tour and discover the best kids entertainment venues in Edinburgh!

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 km
Cannongate Walking Tour

Cannongate Walking Tour

The Canongate district takes its name from the main street called the "Canongate" and forms the lower, eastern half of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh's historic Old Town. It contains some other notable public buildings, including Huntly House (now the Museum of Edinburgh) and the historic Canongate Tolbooth (now housing the People's Story Museum), as well as the Canongate Kirk and the new Scottish Parliament building.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 km
Souvenir Shopping

Souvenir Shopping

It would be a pity to leave Edinburgh without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Edinburgh, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 km

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