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How to Spend a Rainy Day in Edinburgh

How to Spend a Rainy Day in Edinburgh

The Scottish capital is no stranger to wet weather, but you don’t have to scuttle your plans if the skies open up. From hilltop castles to underground vaults, here are the best ways to dodge the drizzle during your stay in Edinburgh.

  • Check out historic Edinburgh Castle or Holyrood Palace, taking advantage of skip-the-line tickets to get out of the rain faster.
  • Take a turn around the city’s free-to-enter art institutions, including the Scottish National Gallery, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, and Royal Scottish Academy.
  • Keep dry while sightseeing on a tour with transport included—from hop-on hop-off buses to black cabs, there are plenty of ways to check off the city’s top sights without needing an umbrella.
  • Enjoy the warming taste of whisky on a full-day tour to the region’s famous distilleries, or get cozy in the city’s best bars and pubs for an intimate experience of Scottish culture.
  • Admire views of a rainy Royal Mile from the warmth of a restaurant, and tuck into classic Scottish grub such as haggis or deep-fried Mars bars.
  • Catch a traditional show of Scottish dance, music, and costume at the Jam House—a great option if it's too damp to enjoy the open-air military tattoo or you’ve arrived out of season.
  • Join a tour of Edinburgh’s 18th-century underground vaults, or keep little ones dry and distracted at family attractions such as Camera Obscura and World of Illusions or Edinburgh Dungeon.