Edinburgh Festival Guide: Essential Attractions

Visit the Castle, march with the penguins or get locked in a gin distillery

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Edinburgh Festival Guide: Essential Attractions

Penguin Parade at Edinburgh Zoo / credit: RZSS

If you're visiting Scotland's capital during August chances are the festival brought you here but that doesn't mean you can't tick off a few of the classic visitor attractions

The Castle
Royal Mile, Old Town
Edinburgh's most-popular postcard vista is still a military base, as well as a World Heritage Site. See the Stone of Destiny and the oldest Crown Jewels in the British Isles; investigate the Prisons of War and the Great Hall; and hear the one o'clock gun, just don't be daft enough to ask what time it sounds.
More info on Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Dungeon
31 Market Street, Old Town
Head beneath the city to journey through Scotland's more gruesome history. Eleven actor-led shows combined with two underground rides bring to life the stories of murderous duo Burke and Hare, cannibal Sawney Bean and half-hangit Maggie. During August you can also take part in Fringe show Deadly Dungeon Murder Mystery.
More info on Edinburgh Dungeon

LockedIn Edinburgh
1 Summerhall, Southside
The capital is home to five escape games but LockedIn Edinburgh at Summerhall is the only one themed and built around a real room, in the former animal hospital. Pit yourself and your team against the clock as you try to solve clues, open locks and discover what Dr C Lions is up to in order to escape the room. There's a second escape room themed around the in-house Pickering's Gin distillery.
More info on LockedIn Edinburgh

National Museum of Scotland
Chambers Street, Old Town
This extensive, and free, museum has galleries dedicated to Scottish history, the natural world, world culture and science and technology. In July the museum opened the doors to ten new galleries showcasing over 3000 objects, many of which haven't been on display in a generation.
More info on National Museum of Scotland

The Zoo
Corstorphine Road, West End
Spread across 82 acres of sloping parkland Edinburgh Zoo is home to all manner of beasts and beasties, with daily keeper talks and hands-on encounters. Look out for lions, meerkats, two giant pandas and a gang of penguins that are allowed out of their enclosure every day for an afternoon march.
More info on Edinburgh Zoo

Win Tickets To Jekyll and Hyde at The Edinburgh Dungeon

Come face-to-face with the real Jekyll and Hyde at the Home of Halloween - The Edinburgh Dungeon.

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