Free things to do in Edinburgh | A day out for under £15

Edinburgh day out for under £15

Free things to do in Edinburgh and a day out that won't break the bank

You don't have to break the bank to see the best of the city - there are lots of free things to do in Edinburgh. Here's the best of free Edinburgh and a day out for £15.

Edinburgh is Scotland's capital city, and one of Britain's most exciting tourist destinations. There are 2 sides to Edinburgh - the historic Old Town with the medieval Edinburgh Castle and cobblestone alleys, and the elegant but classic Georgian New Town.

See the sights


Edinburgh is one of the most picturesque cities in Europe, and to appreciate it fully, you'll need to get up high. Want to know what it feels like to stand on top of a volcano crater? Get out in the fresh air and climb Arthur's Seat, the highest in a group of hills that make up Holyrood Park. Or for more fabulous views from another angle, climb the grassy slopes of Calton Hill. Take a look at the Anthenian acropolis and enjoy jaw-dropping views across the city.
Total spend: £0

Lothian buses

Lothian Buses have excellent routes through the capital and beyond, linking up all the main attractions. The best bit? An all-day ticket costs just £2.50. Most of the city centre buses take you along the famous Princes Street and past Edinburgh Castle.
Total spend: £2.50

The Royal Mile

Take a stroll down the cobbled streets of the historic Royal Mile. You'll pass first-class visitor attractions and wander through the city's famous 'closes'.
Total spend: £0

Visit our Cheap and Free Britain pages for more ideas on free things to see and do.

Free Edinburgh attractions & events

Museums & galleries

Edinburgh has a huge range of museums and galleries, and lots of them are free to enter! Visit the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Writers' Museum, Museum of Edinburgh and many more without spending anything!
Total spend: £0

UNESCO World Heritage Site

Edinburgh's beautiful Old and New Towns have been awarded UNESCO World Heritage Status twice over. The city is home to 4,500 listed buildings - the highest concentration in the world - so take a walk around and soak up the stunning architecture.
Total spend: £0

Portobello Beach

That's right, a beach! Right in the city! Just like Barcelona or Rio Di Janeiro. While Edinburgh might not have the climate of Barcelona and Rio, the activities on offer like blow-karting and kite-surfing are second to none. But if you're not in the mood for strenuous activity, it's a fantastic place to relax at any time of year.
Total spend: £0



Edinburgh is the home of some of the world's best festivals, and the festival period is a great time to visit. The city buzzes with a party atmosphere and there are usually lots of free performances and festival-related events happening all around the city. Don't miss the Edinburgh International Film Festival (June); Edinburgh International Festival and Edinburgh Festival Fringe (August); Edinburgh Art's Festival (August); and of course, the best New Year's Eve party in the world - Hogmanay.
Total spend: £0


Picnic in Princes Street Gardens

Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city centre and enjoy a picnic or coffee in Princes Street Gardens, just seconds from the main street. Enjoy views of Edinburgh Castle as you refuel for your next adventure - Marks & Spencer is close by for all your picnicking needs! And if you're in the mood for something hot, the Edinburgh Mosque kitchen on Potterrow serves authentic, filling and delicious curries at lunch times, too.
Total spend: £5

Elephant House Café

This café on the George IV Bridge may look like an ordinary coffee shop, but it's actually quite famous. The Elephant House has been a place of inspiration to writers such as J.K. Rowling, who sat writing much of her early Harry Potter novels in the back room overlooking Edinburgh Castle. Authors Ian Rankin and Alexander McCall-Smith are amongst the other authors that have also frequented The Elephant House throughout the years. So grab that table in the back room and let the creative ideas flow over a coffee and cake.
Total spend: £5

Total day spend: £12.50

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