10 Cool Things To Do On A Day Out In Edinburgh
Edinburgh is famous the world over for its varied history and one of the biggest annual arts festivals in the world. But once you’ve visited the castle and all the museums, there are still loads of cool and quirky things to do in Scotland’s capital city.
Whether you’re visiting this beautiful city for the first time or looking for something new to do in your home town, here are ten cool things to do in Edinburgh, from ghost tours to trampolining in Edinburgh.
1. Maison de Moggy Cat Cafe
Have a coffee and some yummy cake while petting cute cats - is there really a better way to spend your day? Maison de Moggy is conveniently located just a stone’s throw from the Grassmarket, making it a good place to visit after Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile or any of the other Old Town attractions.
You’ll definitely want to book your visit ahead of time as the cafe is hugely popular. And no wonder: Maison de Moggy is Scotland’s first cat cafe.
2. Ryze Edinburgh Indoor Trampoline Park
If you need a bit of an adrenaline rush or just want to try something new, visit our trampoline park in Edinburgh. Try the Ninja course, learn some cool trampoline tricks or hang from aerial silks.
A visit to Ryze will get you moving, releasing happiness-producing endorphins. You’ll also be able to try countless new things. You’ll be amazed at all the amazing tricks you can learn with just one visit! The fun equipment at Ryze includes a whole host of trampolines as well as foam pits, an air mat for gymnastics, obstacle courses, Walk the Wall and more.
Located in Dalkeith, Ryze Edinburgh is the East Coast’s first trampoline park and has almost 3720 square metres filled with trampolines, foam pits, giant airbags and much, much more - that's over half the size of a professional football pitch! Find out more about all the activities available at Ryze here. Feel free to book in advance to secure your spot, or just turn up and bounce.
3. Real Mary King’s Close
This Royal Mile attraction allows you to explore a street from the 1600s that was covered up and forgotten about for centuries. See homes and alleyways come alive with the stories of the people who lived here and listen to some ghost stories from a guide who takes on the character of an Edinburgh resident from the Renaissance era. The guides at Real Mary King’s Close are professional actors who do a great job transporting you to Edinburgh’s dark past.
Make sure you pay a visit to Annie, a ghost of a little girl and who has a large collection of dolls and other toys gifted to her over the years by visitors. Add your own offering to the collection if you wish as a sign of respect to Annie. Make sure to book your visit to Real Mary King’s Close in advance.
4. Wild West Morningside
This little alleyway is quite the mystery if you just happen to find it one of your jaunts. After all, it’s built to look like a town from America’s Old West and you can easily picture cowboys making their way along the street to the cantina and buying grain for their horse at Ed Newbey’s shop.
In reality, this strange little street was built in the 1990s as a publicity stunt by a furniture company. It’s a great, unusual spot for some cool Instagram pics!
5. Alien Rock
Try your hand at some rock climbing in this old church in Leith. Whether you’re a complete novice or an experienced climber, a visit to Alien Rock is sure to provide you with a fun day out. The vaulted ceiling of this Victorian church provides a truly one-of-a-kind climbing experience.
If you’re an experienced climber, you can just show up and climb but there are also pre-bookable courses available for all ability levels and ages. If you’ve never tried climbing before, make sure to book a 3-hour introduction course before your first visit.
6. Ghost Hunting With Mercat Tours
Not for the faint of heart! These tours will take you through some of Old Town’s most haunted spots. You can take a tour of Edinburgh’s ghostly underground vaults, walk the narrow streets of Old Town while learning about the city’s sordid past or pay a visit to one of the city’s ancient cemeteries.
Pre-bookable tours are available for both adults and kids. While grownups can enjoy a dram of whisky with their ghost stories, kids over five can hear spooky tales of witch trials, ghostly apparitions and life in the 19th century. There are many ghost tours available in Edinburgh, but Mercat Tours is definitely best-known company doing these.
7. Dynamic Earth
This science centre is great for kids and those young at heart! You can travel back in time to experience the Big Bang first hand, admire outer space and explore aquatic life at this quirky attraction.
One of the coolest parts of Dynamic Earth is the ShowDome Cinema, where you can experience film like you never have before. Enjoy 360-degree views thanks to digital dome technology and thunderous surround sound that makes the wonders of nature come alive.
8. Ceilidh at Summerhall
For a taste of Scottish culture and an evening of fun tunes and learning some new moves, Scottish dancing is a must. A ceilidh is a Scottish gathering, typically involving traditional dances and Gaelic folk music.
The Edinburgh Ceilidh Club organises a ceilidh every Tuesday night at Summerhall, a venue right on the edge of the Meadows. Don’t worry if you don’t know the steps - the band gives instructions to all the dances and the atmosphere is relaxed, so there’s no need to sweat about messing them up.
9. Gilmerton Cove
This mysterious network of tunnels underneath the old mining village of Gilmerton is an archaeological mystery. Were the tunnels home to a secret drinking den? Or maybe a witches’ coven? We’re not even sure how old the tunnels are!
Go exploring and come up with your own theories about what went on in this secret underground den. Tours of Gilmerton Cove have to be booked in advance and are available every weekend. Make sure you wear sensible shoes as there’s some climbing involved.
10. Camera Obscura
This one is another good one to do with kids, though people of all ages love the dizzying optical illusions at Camera Obscura. This funky museum is unlike any other in Edinburgh, packed with fun, interactive exhibits. With five floors of mirror mazes, holograms and clever sets where you can see yourself grow, shrink and stretch, a visit to Camera Obscura is sure to blow your mind!
And get the cameras ready - the views off of Camera Obscura’s rooftop terrace are some of the best in the city. There are even telescopes and binoculars available free of charge, allowing you to take a closer look at the Edinburgh skyline.