There is a lot to do in Scotland's capital city of Edinburgh. There's historic buildings and castles, monuments, galleries, museums, beautiful parks, restaurants, and pubs. While it's ideal to spend at least three days exploring this magnificent city, if you're like us and end up in places for only a short time, you might consider following this itinerary to make the most of your day in Edinburgh:

1) Check out the Scott Monument in the early morning daylight. This monument is a tribute to author Sir Walter Scott and is the largest monument to a writer anywhere in the world. It stands in Princes Street Gardens, opposite the Jenners department store.

2)  Stroll through the Princes Street Gardens. This beautiful park separates the New Town from the Old Town. Look for the floral clock.

3) No visit to the city is complete without a visit to Edinburgh Castle. View the castle grounds, Scottish Crown Jewels (along with the Stone of Destiny), Mons Meg (a huge bombard cannon), the Prisons of War Exhibition and St Margaret's Chapel. Buy your ticket in advance of your trip to skip the line.

4) Stop by The Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre. Take a barrel ride through a replica distillery, view the world's largest whisky collection and taste a dram of Scotch Malt Whisky.

5) Buy a coffee at the Elephant House on the George VI Bridge. This is where JK Rowling wrote the early Harry Potter books.

6) Buy a take-away lunch. We recommend a hog roast roll from Oink on Victoria Street.

7) Find the statue commemorating Greyfriars Bobby across the road from the National Museum. Bobby, a Skye terrier, faithfully guarded over his owner's grave in the nearby Greyfriars Kirkyard for fourteen years. Visit Bobby's grave in the kirkyard.

8) Visit the National Museum of Scotland. Explore the galleries that interest you the most or tour the museum by following the treasure trail on the brochureBe sure to view the life-size cast of the Tyrannosaurus rex, the amethyst geode and Dolly the sheep, the first successful clone of a mammal from an adult cell. There is also a terrific view of the castle from the roof. Entry is free.

9) Stroll down the Royal Mile (High Street). Pause at Saint Giles' Cathedral and find the Heart of Midlothian. Check out the many closes, vennels and wynds. Look for John Knox House, Scottish Parliament and the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

10) Climb Calton Hill or Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh’s dormant volcano, in Holyrood Park. Enjoy the amazing views of the city.

11) Enjoy dinner at a traditional pub. Try haggis if you're feeling adventurous.

12) After dark, take a guided ghost tour. The Real Mary King's Close tour is one of the most popular. Consider buying tickets in advance.

13) Have late-night drinks in the Grassmarket to conclude your day and start planning your next trip to the city.


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