One month ago we gave you tips on what to do in Edinburgh on a nice spring day but what if it rains while you are here? If it does, don’t you worry. Just be prepared so you don’t waste a minute in this incredible city!
It’s always good to check the forecast before your arrival day. Do that 2 days before and not a week before, Edinburgh weather is very dynamic and you can only have a reliable prediction 3-2 days in advance. Take the wind into consideration, even if you have a good umbrella it might not take the strength of the wind up here. Do not forget to bring your raincoat if the forecast is rain! Click here for the BBC Forecast.
If this text is putting you off, don’t let it! Edinburgh has lots to do regardless the weather!
10+ Things to Do in Edinburgh When The Weather is Bad
1. Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle is an attraction that should not be missed. It is better to go on a clear sunny day because it offers one of the best views in town. Moreover, you have to walk from one building to the other during your visit but if you don’t have another day in Edinburgh, visit Edinburgh Castle even if it is raining as there are lots of things to see indoors. Just don’t forget to bring your umbrella so you don’t get wet while walking from one place to the other.
2. Royal Mile and its attractions
There are many attractions on the Royal Mile that are indoors. Following are some of them:
The Scotch Whisky Experience: a good opportunity to learn about whisky, its origins and aromas. Taste some nice whisky and admire the world’s largest collection of Scotch Whisky with its almost 3,500 individual bottles.
The Writers’ Museum: located in a historic property built in 1622 in Lady Stairs Close. Dedicated to Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson, the three greatest writers in the history of Scotland. The museum presents 3 collections named after each writer with personal objects, manuscripts, photographs, possessions and, of course, books. Admission is free (donations are welcome).
The Real Mary King’s Close: going down the Royal Mile on your right you will see Mary King’s Close just before the City Chambers. The Mary King’s Close and some other Closes were buried with the construction of Cockburn Street in 1853. Mary King’s Close was re-opened to the public in April 2003 as a historically accurate example of life in Edinburgh between the 16th and 19th centuries. Join a tour to see how life was on those Closes during that period, learn about the people who lived, worked and died there (and now haunt it).
St. Giles Cathedral: considered the Mother Church of Presbyterianism and contains the Chapel of the Order of the Thistle. Its interior is as beautiful as its exterior. It is definitely worth a visit.
3. Visit one or more of Edinburgh’s Pubs
Going to the pub for lunch or dinner should be part of any trip it doesn’t matter the weather! Most of the pubs on Royal Mile offer a nice gourmet pub menu and quality range of ales and drafts.
Continuing down on Royal Mile on your right you will see this friendly and cozy pub. It is indeed a small pub and it tends to be busy all the time so it is advisable to call and book a table if you want to eat there.
154 High Street, Royal Mile Tel. 0131 225 7064
The Mitre Bar: part of the Nicholson’s pub chain, it is famous for the ghost of a 17th century bishop. Quality pub food and great atmosphere.
131-133 High Street, Royal Mile Tel. 0131 652 3902
The World’s End: continuing even further down on the Royal Mile, you will find this pub on a corner on your right hand side. It is called the World’s End because this pub reused the foundation of the Flodden Wall (built in 16th century) that marked the outer limit of what was Edinburgh at that time. A gastro-pub with a cozy atmosphere. Delicious and fresh pub food. Fine wines and cask ales.
4 High Street, Royal Mile Tel. 0131 556 3628
These are just some examples of pubs, there are many other options on the Royal Mile and surroundings.
4. The Palace of Holyroodhouse & The Scottish Parliament
The Royal Mile will take you to the Palace of Holyrood and Scottish Parliament building.
Visit the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Although it is nicer on a sunny day where you can stroll around its gardens and from there enjoy the beautiful views of Arthur’s Seat, it is a great indoor activity as well. It is still the Queen’s official residence in Edinburgh. Mary Queen of Scots lived in the palace for many years, and married Lord Darnley in the abbey. It is in these very walls that Mary witnessed the murder of her secretary Rizzo. Admission is severely restricted when it is being used, so it is always best to ensure that you will be allowed entry (although part of the grounds, and the Abbey ruins are always open to tourists within the opening hours).
Just next door is the Scottish Parliament, a modern building designed by the Catalan architect Enric Miralles.
You can see Parliament in action or explore it on a free guided tour that lasts one hour and usually includes a visit to the Debating Chamber. Please note that booking in advance is advised and may be essential for First Minister’s Question Time on Thursdays and for guided tours. For more information please click here.
5. Dynamic Earth
Just around the corner from the Scottish Parliament you will find the Dynamic Earth, a state-of-the-art science museum dedicated to Mother Earth with interactive exhibitions and activities about earthquakes, volcanoes, icebergs, rainforests and dinosaurs. It is a perfect indoor activity for all ages. Make sure you don’t miss the Full Dome Experience! Click here for more information.
Other attractions that you could visit on a rainy day: