Sometimes the best way to see a city is to ask the locals what to visit and Edinburgh is no exception. There's always something going on in Edinburgh to suit every taste and match every interest, the trouble is that some of the best local attractions and activities aren't highly publicized.
To help you find some of Edinburgh's hidden hotspots we've asked around our team of Edinburgh locals who've been kind enough to give up their favourite places to visit and things to do in Edinburgh.
Here's a few recommendations from the EdinburghRentalCar.co.uk team:
The Edinburgh Dungeon
The Edinburgh Dungeon can be found on Market Street and reflects some of the most horrifying aspects of Scottish history. There is a dark maze found under the dungeon which is thought to be haunted and not many people are brave enough to head in there. According to one of the guides, a boy disappeared without leaving a trace about a century ago and two maniacs have been killing and selling dead bodies for £12 each. All these spooky stories and many more are told by the dungeon's guide. Are you brave enough to delve in to the darker secrets of Scotland?
The Holyroodhouse Palace is located at the end of the Royal Mile. It is one impressive structure that previously served as the official residence of Queen Mary, the Queen of Scots. Today the palace is used by the royal family when in Edinburgh. Even if access inside the palace isn't allowed at the time of your visit, you can still admire the complexity and the beauty of the construction. If you want to see the interior of the palace make sure you check the opening times before heading there.
St Giles Cathedral
If you're religious or have a passion for architecture you should definitely pay a visit to the Saint Giles Cathedral. This cathedral is one of the oldest buildings in Edinburgh: the construction was finished in 1120. In 1911 the Thistle Chapel was added, as well as the greatest chivalrous order, the Thistle Chivalry Home. Today the cathedral features beautiful coloured stained glass. For an unforgettable experience we recommend you visit the cathedral during Christmas or the Easter holidays.
In our opinion Edinburgh Zoo is a great place to relax, especially if you have kids. The zoo was opened for the first time in 1913 but since then a large number of animals have arrived and the zoo has expanded. A good thing is that the zoo takes part in many conservation programs, encouraging the protection of certain species. At the moment, Edinburgh Zoo is the home of almost 1000 animals, including birds, rare mammals and reptiles. Inside the zoo you can buy gifts and souvenirs or you can dine in the restaurant. Don't miss the penguin parade though!
Scotch Whisky Experience
For those of you who want to try something a bit more 'spirit-full', the Scotch Whisky experience might appeal to you. Located nearby to Edinburgh Castle, inside you'll be taught how Scotch Whisky is made, and you'll hear some stories told by the locals. The atmosphere is very welcoming and every visitor will feel like a true Scot after drinking the first dram. In addition you'll meet the Master Blender, a local 'ghost' and you'll have the chance to taste some of the oldest and finest spirits.