Edinburgh City Guide​

Scotland’s historic and cosmopolitan capital is full of interesting things to see and do, with stunning architecture, fascinating history, and breathtaking natural beauty, making it the perfect destination for a visit to the UK.

If you’re looking to experience the adventure and cultural heritage of one of Europe’s most famous cities, choose one of our ferry crossings and travel to Scotland at your own pace in your own car.

Header image credit: Scottish Viewpoint


Why Visit Edinburgh?

Edinburgh is one of Europe’s most fascinating and beautiful cities. Set in the crater of a long-extinct volcano, Edinburgh has deservedly been called the Athens of the North for its majestic castle set on a mighty rock, as well as its classical monuments and buildings, and its cultural heritage.

The Old Town’s winding streets are filled with history, as well as world-class museums and cultural treasures. At the top of the Royal Mile stands Edinburgh Castle, once home of Mary Queen of Scots and her son, the future James I of England, while the elegant New Town shows off 18th century town planning and fantastic shopping opportunities.

Image credit: Scottish Viewpoint

Getting to Edinburgh

Getting There

Our overnight car ferries sail from Ijmuiden to Newcastle, so you’re just a short drive away from the border when you arrive. 

Or you can take in more of the UK on your way north to this vibrant city, with one of our crossings from Dieppe to Newhaven, or Dunkirk and Calais to Dover.

Image credit: Thomas Münter​

What to See in Edinburgh

Home of the world-famous Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Edinburgh Castle is Scotland’s number-one paid-for tourist attraction – and when you visit, you’ll understand why. The Castle houses the Honours, Scotland’s Crown Jewels, as well as the Stone of Scone, a ceremonial alter which has been used in the coronations of Scottish and English monarchs for centuries. You can also find the National War Museum of Scotland, which provides a thrilling look at Scotland’s military history.

At the opposite end of the Royal Miles is the Palace of Holyrood House, along with Holyrood Park. Be sure to make time to climb Arthur’s Seat, the highest point in the park. The hill is easy to climb and rises above the city to a height of 823 feet, providing excellent views of Edinburgh and the surrounding park. The palace is the official residence of the Queen in Scotland, and features many grand rooms. You can also visit the oldest part of the palace and the private chambers of Mary Queen of Scots.

Housing Scotland’s collection of fine art, the National Gallery features works from Old Masters, Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painters, as well as a broad and detailed collection of Scottish art, including Sir Henry Raeburn’s ‘The Reverend Robert Walker Skating on Duddingston Loch’.

The gallery also hosts regular temporary exhibits and offers visitors opportunities to shop, eat and attend free 45 minute lectures at lunchtimes.

There’s also The National Museum of Scotland is packed with a wide variety of collections from natural history to world culture and science, with stunning Victorian ​exhibition halls and exciting modern spaces.


It’s always a proud moment when you’re recognised for your good work, we’re honoured to have been named as Europe's and the World’s Leading Ferry Operator in the 2015 World Travel Awards. We've won these awards for 5 years running.​​