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Free Things to do in Edinburgh

Following on from our recent article about free things to do in Edinburgh on St Andrews Day we wanted to give you a reminder of other pastimes in Edinburgh that won't break the bank.

If you've decided to visit Edinburgh, and you're working from a shoestring budget, it's worth knowing that our capital, with its sprawling topography and rolling landscapes has many sight-seeing attractions that are free to the public.

As we know the city is a renowned tourist hotspot and it's not hard to understand why. Edinburgh's world heritage site alone spans over 1.76 square miles and boasts some of the finest architectural landmarks in the UK. With also over a hundred parks to ramble through, plus its 70km of traffic-free, cycle zones, there's a huge choice of things to do in Edinburgh for free. Here are some of our favourites.

What can you do for free in Edinburgh?

  • All the Museums!
  • Climb Arthur's Seat
  • Free Walking Tours

All the Museums!

Edinburgh is home to an eclectic and diverse number of art museums that house works from modern day enthusiasts to classics from earlier centuries. A visit to The Scottish National Gallery Of Modern Art should definitely be on any list of things to do in Edinburgh for free. This impressive gallery is situated in a picturesque parkland and is divided into two buildings; Modern One and Modern Two. Modern One's collection spans the twentieth century and displays a number of masterpieces by well-known artists like Matisse and Picasso. Modern Two proudly boasts a recreation of Eduard Paolozzi’s studio. The artist kindly donated some of his pieces to the gallery for exhibition.

The Royal Mile is also home to a selection of off-beat museums that don't charge an admission fee. Chief among them is the ‘Edinburgh Writers Museum’ which pays homage to the lives of literary giants like Robert Burns, Robert Luis Stevenson and Sir Walter Scott. The National Museum of Scotland is by far the most interesting though. It charts the history of the city as well as hosting a fine display of nature’s finest and it also delves into diverse world cultures.

Climb Arthur's Seat

Other things to do in Edinburgh for free include a climb up to Arthur's seat; the remains of a number of ancient hills which are said to have formed as a result of the now extinct and dormant volcano just east of the main city. It’s easily accessible via the Royal Mile route and the climb does demand some fitness levels but the view from the top is worth the effort. The origin of the Arthurs Seat name is one which has been a subject of much debate but one legend/myth/tale is that the name comes from a connection to King Arthur himself.

Free Walking Tours

The best way to see Edinburgh in all its glory is to walk around it. With all the incredible sights to be seen we think it's definitely worth the ramble however if you don't fancy wandering about alone, you might prefer a guided tour instead. Sandeman's Free Walking Tour is available to all and there's no charge involved. The tours usually take about two and a half to three hours to complete and the meeting point is at the Starbucks coffee shop on the Royal Mile at 10am, 11am and 2pm.

What are your favourite things to do in Edinburgh for free? Let us know @ReserveApts!

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