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Free things to do in Edinburgh: Budgeting tips for Scotland explorers

Despite of being considered as pricey, there are many free things to do in Edinburgh, as well as many Edinburgh attractions that are suitable for couples.

8 most interesting free things to do in Edinburgh

Scottish National Gallery – One of top free things to do in Edinburgh

The Scottish National Gallery is one of Edinburgh’s tourist attractions for free. It houses the national collection of Scotland fine art from the early Renaissance to the end of the 19th century. Wandering here for an hour, you will be able to admire masterpieces from Raphael, Velázquez, Vermeer, Monet, Cézanne, and Van Gogh. For a country the size of Scotland, the collection has all the rights to be one of the best in the world.

Royal Botanic Garden

The Edinburgh Royal Botanic Garden is one of the world’s finest botanic gardens. The Garden, only a mile from the city center, is a family-friendly Edinburgh tourist attraction that offers fantastic views of the capital’s skyline, including Edinburgh Castle. Visitors enjoy walking around this 72 acres of beautiful, awe-inspiring landscape.


St Giles Cathedral

On the list of free things to do in Edinburgh, you can’t miss St Giles’ Cathedral, the beautiful church building on the Royal Mile. The cathedral itself has played an important role in Scotland’s religious history. St Giles’ Cathedral is in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town, on the High Street section of the Royal Mile. It only takes a ten-minute walk from the Castle.

Museum of Childhood

The Museum of Childhood was the first museum in the world dedicated to the history of childhood. Patrick Murray was the original creator of the collection. The Museum of Childhood showcases the history of British childhood through exhibits of toys, books, games, learning, childcare, and clothing. It attracts over 200,000 visitors each year. Two toys that stand out to visitors are a dollhouse with 21 rooms and over 2.000 objects inside, and a miniature butcher’s from the 1980s with a small butcher inside. It first opened to the public in 1955, and in 1957, it relocated to its current location on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile.


Dean Village – ideally free thing to do in Edinburgh

If you want to get away from Edinburgh’s bustling center, head down to the picturesque Dean Village and discover the ideal place to spend a peaceful afternoon. The breathtaking beauty of the small town makes you feel as if you’ve stepped into a real-life fairy tale.

National Gallery of Modern Art

The National Gallery of Scotland is a stunning neo-classical structure. It includes works of art by a variety of well-known artists. The museum is located in the city center, near Princes Street, and the entry is totally free of charge.

Visiting Portobello Beach is one of the best free thing to do in Edinburgh

Portobello Beach has 2 miles of award-winning sandy beach and provides a refreshing escape from the hustle city. The prom is dotted with ice cream parlors, arcades, and beach-side cafes and bars. It is the ideal place to spend an afternoon to blow away the cobwebs. It is just 20 minutes from Princes Street and is one of the most enjoyable free thing to do in Edinburgh.


St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral

St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral was built in the late nineteenth century in the city’s ‘New Town’. It is a rare example of a Catholic cathedral in the Gothic style from the nineteenth century with its three gothic spires visible from all over the city. This Edinburgh attraction is close to downtown Memphis, Tennessee.

What are best things to do in Edinburgh for couples?

With its stunning architecture, beautiful backdrops, and many secret spots ideal for a date, Edinburgh named one of the most romantic cities in the world. Below are some of the most romantic things to do in Edinburgh for couples.

  • Explore Linlithgow Palace
  • Chocolate sampling
  • Get lost in the charming Dean Village
  • Watch the sunset on Calton Hill
  • Explore the Royal Mile’s tiny alleys
  • Whisky tasting
  • Take in the view of Edinburgh Castle
  • Immerse in the romantic Outlander series
  • Cross the causeway to get to Cramond Island
  • Picnic in the Princes Street Gardens
  • Take a walk through the Royal Botanic Garden

Hope you have in mind some of Edinburgh attractions to plan the date with your loved one.

Tips to save money when travelling to Edinburgh attractions

Although many popular Edinburgh attractions are free to visit, the Scottish capital remains one of the most expensive cities in the UK. However, if you follow these tips, you won’t have to spend a fortune on experiences.

  • Edinburgh city itself is very walkable. However, if you want to get around faster, you can hire a bike which is an inexpensive option.
  • Get an all-in-one pass for the main railway lines that run through the country to save money on train tickets.
  • If possible, book your travel and accommodation early. Usually, operators release tickets at least 6 months in advance. After that, the price slowly rises until the day of travel.
  • Use voucher apps like Voucher Cloud to automatically find the nearest restaurants and the latest available discount vouchers to save money on your meal.

Now that you know what exciting things to do in Edinburgh without spending too much, here are some more ideas for free things to do in other cities, such as Calgary, or Sydney. Hope you have fun saving your money.

Maris Lopez
Maris Lopezhttp:////
Hey there! I'm Maris, an American girl who is passionate about adventure, the outdoors and all things travel!


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