Where to Find the Best Views in Edinburgh
In the hilly city of Edinburgh, elevated viewpoints are plentiful, but it’s not just nature’s summits that offer birds-eye view of the city. Several buildings and monuments with high-up observation decks also overlook the pretty-as-a-picture Old Town. Here are the best places to gaze out upon the Scottish capital.
Roosting atop the craggy volcanic cliffs of Castle Rock, Edinburgh Castle’s lofty position yields far-reaching views across the city and Firth of Forth. The battlements, from where soldiers would have kept watch for invaders, offer the best views.
Huff and puff your way up almost 300 steps to get to the top of this Gothic monument in Princes Street Gardens. The open-air 360-degree platform at the top offers uninterrupted views out to Edinburgh Castle.
The highest point in Holyrood Park, Arthur’s Seat delivers one of Edinburgh’s most Instagram-ready vistas. Hop-on hop-off buses typically stop at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, and from there it's a steep hike up to the top. Some tours drive passengers up to Dunsapie Loch, which offers a shorter and less strenuous route to Arthur’s Seat.
Camera Obscura and the World of Illusions
Observe the Royal Mile streetscape from the rooftop lookout at Camera Obscura and the World of Illusions. Telescopes help visitors hone in on specific sights, from Arthur’s Seat to Princes Street Gardens.
St. Giles Cathedral
In the heart of Edinburgh, St. Giles Cathedral offers limited day-of rooftop tours. As part of a tour, you ascend to the top of the working church's bell tower to view Edinburgh’s storybook Old Town from on high.