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How to Spend 2 Days in Edinburgh

How to Spend 2 Days in Edinburgh

Two days in Edinburgh allow you time to thoroughly soak up the city’s atmosphere and most famous sights—such as Edinburgh Castle and the Old and New Towns—while also delving deeper into its fascinating and turbulent history. Here’s how to spend 48 hours in the Scottish capital.

Day 1: Explore the Old Town and Castle

**Morning:**Get your bearings while checking off some of Edinburgh’s major sights around the medieval Old Town with a private or group walking tour. A private half-day tour by car lets you see even more in a shorter time, or, for more flexibility, you can create your own itinerary with a hop-on hop-off bus tour.

**Afternoon:**Perched atop an extinct volcano, Edinburgh Castle dominates the city’s skyline and is home to Scotland’s Crown Jewels. Take a closer look at the city’s most important landmark by exploring the castle on a private or group tour, or independently with advance-purchased skip-the-line tickets. 

**Night:**Delve deeper into the history of the Old Town on an evening tour that introduces you to colorful stories about Edinburgh’s dark past. Some tours take visitors into the eerie Blair Street Underground Vaults then to a pub for a dram of whisky; others go farther through the underground vaults and into Greyfriars Kirkyard. Afterward, you can lighten the mood by embarking on a pub crawl.

Day 2: Combine Innovation and Tradition

**Morning:**Avoid the long lines at one of Edinburgh’s most popular attractions by booking skip-the-line entrance to the Camera Obscura and World of Illusions. Enjoy hands-on exhibits and marvel at the original, Victorian-made virtual reality, which was created 150 years ago.

**Afternoon:**Now that you have thoroughly explored the Old Town, experience the contrasting architecture of the elegant New Town—together, they are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Walking tours take you to top attractions such as Princes Street and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery while your guide tells related tales of secret Edinburgh societies and inventions of the Enlightenment period.

**Night:**Conclude your visit to the capital with a traditional Scottish evening. Joining a storytelling supper gives you a rich taste of the country’s heritage and culture as you listen to folk tales recounted by a skilled and entertaining storyteller while enjoying whisky, haggis, and traditional cranachan dessert.

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7 Tours and Activities

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City Sightseeing Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

City Sightseeing Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

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1322
An Edinburgh bus tour is the perfect way to hear commentary on city sights and get a panoramic overview. This City Sightseeing tour of Edinburgh lets you hop on and off at several strategically placed stops as many times as you like. Board the open-top double-decker bus and travel the entire route, or stop at Edinburgh Castle, the National Museum and many more. Buses depart regularly and tickets are valid for 24 hours from first use.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
From
$21.69
From
$21.69

Small Group Royal Mile Walking Tour with Optional Entry to Edinburgh Castle

Small Group Royal Mile Walking Tour with Optional Entry to Edinburgh Castle

star-4.5
602
See the best of medieval yet modern Edinburgh on this walking tour with optional skip-the-line access to Edinburgh Castle. As you walk, listen as your guide shares the history of this formidable city with ancient Roman roots and UNESCO-listed pockets. Explore atmospheric cobbled walkways along the Royal Mile, breeze into Edinburgh Castle to witness royal opulence (if option selected), and pass iconic locations like St. Giles Cathedral, Parliament Square, and John Knox House.
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  • 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$26.38
From
$26.38

The World Famous Underground Ghost Tour
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

The World Famous Underground Ghost Tour

star-4.5
1665
Edinburgh is known for its dark past, and this evening walking tour is the original one to showcase the city's historically sinister and spooky side. Discover the hidden ‘wynds’ (alleys) and closes of the Old Town as you learn their mysteries and horrors; visit the ghost-ridden Greyfriars Kirkyard; and explore the city’s underground vaults to uncover their spirits and secrets. Your tour is led by a creepily costumed guide.
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  • 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$18.98
From
$18.98

Camera Obscura & World of Illusions Entrance Ticket

Camera Obscura & World of Illusions Entrance Ticket

star-4.5
1303
Guarantee entrance to one of Edinburgh's most popular attractions, and skip the ticket line by pre-booking your admission to the Camera Obscura and World of Illusions. Choose your allotted time slot and get ready to enjoy the spectacle of mind-bending illusions and hands-on exhibits.
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  • 2 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$24.40
From
$24.40

Small Group Ghost Tour incl. Underground Vaults & free drink in Megget's Cellar
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Small Group Ghost Tour incl. Underground Vaults & free drink in Megget's Cellar

star-4.5
284
Edinburgh is notoriously one of the most haunted places in the UK, making it a prime destination for ghost-hunters. Dare to discover the city’s dark side on this evening tour and visit the eerie Blair Street Underground Vaults, follow in the footsteps of the infamous Edinburgh Mob, then settle your nerves with a dram of Scotch whisky in Megget's Cellar.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$29.32
From
$29.32

Private Half-Day Tour of Edinburgh in a Mini

Private Half-Day Tour of Edinburgh in a Mini

star-5
75
Short on time but still want to experience Edinburgh’s UNESCO-listed gems? No problem! Jump aboard a classic Mini Cooper for a private half-day tour of Edinburgh and zip around the sights in style. Hop out along the way to admire Edinburgh Castle, take in the views from Arthur’s Seat and stroll down the Royal Mile, then explore the lively Grassmarket and visit the waterfront neighbourhood of Leith. Finish your adventure by tucking into a delicious lunch or dinner (depending on option selected) of typical Scottish cuisine.
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  • 4 hours
From
$338.88
per group
From
$338.88
per group

Royal Mile Guided Walking Tour in Edinburgh

Royal Mile Guided Walking Tour in Edinburgh

star-5
553
Explore famous landmarks and hidden secrets in Edinburgh on this walking tour. Explore Edinburgh’s famous Royal Mile with a guide, and gain insight into famous writers and inventors who have called the city home. Hear tales of Scotland's national bard—Robert Burns—and discover top landmarks such as St. Giles’ Cathedral and the National Galleries of Scotland. Capture Edinburgh through the eye of your camera as you go, and find out what makes this ancient city tick.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$45.44
From
$45.44