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Our 12 best things to see in Edinburgh

Visit Edinburgh Castle - Wherever you are in the city, this great medieval fortress perched on ancient volcanic rock is visible for miles. It’s a microcosm of local history: this was the site of Mary, Queen of Scots home, headquarters of Cromwell’s invading army. Today it hosts the Military Tattoo during the Edinburgh Festival

Take an Edinburgh Ghost tour - Edinburgh’s gothic landscape of spooky catacombs, dungeons and dark alleyways of cobbled streets means that the city is the setting for many ghost stories. The Ghosthunter tour from Mercat Tours is one of the best

Visit Arthur's Seat - Enjoy the climb up to Arthur’s Seat through Holyrood Park, once a royal hunting ground, and you’re rewarded with sweeping city views. This 251m summit is a dormant volcano which last fizzed into action 335 million years ago, and is also the site of an Iron Age hill fort

Visit the Royal Museum - See treasures from the edges of history and trace Scotland's story from fascinating fossils to popular culture

Walk the length of Princes Street, and shop till you drop - one of the major thoroughfares in Scotland, with world class shopping and the fabulous Prices Street Gardens

Take in one of the Edinburgh Festivals - Festivals include Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Edinburgh Hogmanay, Edinburgh International Book Festival, Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Edinburgh Mela and the Edinburgh International Science Festival 

Go to a show at Edinburgh Playhouse - The Edinburgh Playhouse has 3056 seats and is the largest theatre in Scotland

Celebrate New Year with Edinburgh’s fabulous Hogmanay street party – The Edinburgh Hogmanay party is the largest New Year event in the world... a four day festival of fun and festive activities

Edinburgh Zoo - With the all new Giant Panda attraction, Edinburgh Zoo is the perfect place to visit.  Founded in 1913 by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, Edinburgh Zoo is one of the most significant zoos in Europe

Enjoy the Edinburgh Nightlife - When the sun goes down, Edinburgh really gets its second wind

Admire history on the Royal Mile - the reason to visit the Royal Mile isn’t necessarily for the shopping - visit the Royal Mile for the old town authenticity of the city. This is where Edinburgh really impresses, where the old buildings, untainted by the cold façade of modernism transports visitors into a world of the past

The Royal Botanic Gardens – This place means many different things to different people. The majority of visitors come to see four magnificent gardens each year seek to revel in the beauty of 15,000 species of plants from around the globe