Ask anyone about Edinburgh and they’ll reel of a list of top attractions, from the stoic walls of Edinburgh Castle to the leafy grounds of Princes Gardens. But take a step off the well-beaten tourist trap and you’ll discover some of the more unusual things to do in Edinburgh. We’ve put together a list of ideas to get you started.
Take the Plunge at Portobello Beach
Once a popular beach resort, the soft sands of Portobello Beach still attract hardy swimmers who brave the cold waters of the Moray Firth for a dip in the great outdoors. On sunny days, the long stretch of coastline is a great place for a picnic, and if you’re brave enough to try open water swimming, this is a good place to start.
Sit Yourself Down on Arthur’s Seat
Overlooking the city, Arthur’s Seat is a rounded hump of a hill that somewhat resembles the bulky forehead of a giant sperm whale. It’s easy to climb (so city folk don’t mind the challenge). If you can make it to the top just before dawn you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful sunrise view of Edinburgh City.
Get Scrubbed Up at a Turkish Bath
Scotland’s capital city might be the last place you’d expect to find a Turkish bath, but they have one nevertheless. Just on the city outskirts, near Portobello Beach, you’ll find the first (and probably, only) Turkish baths in the capital. It’s a taste of Middle Eastern flair and tradition amid the sea-front takeaway shops and arcade galleries.
Set Yourself on Fire at the Beltane Fire Festival
Definitely one of the more unusual things to do in Edinburgh, the Beltane Fire Festival takes place on the last evening of April to welcome in the new harvest cycle. It’s made up from a series of entertainments and events, including a flaming procession that leads its way down Calton Hill. It’s probably better to leave the firethrowing to the professionals though.
Other Unusual Things to Do in Edinburgh
Edinburgh is an unusual city, and the list of things to do is almost endless. Why not book a weekend break or a mid-week special and come and explore everything it has to offer. Have a look at our rates and offers and book direct with Parliament House Hotel for the best prices online.Book Now