Edinburgh deserves its accolade of ‘Athens of the North’ – its grand setting, impressive architecture, stately presence qualify the Scottish capital as one of the finest European cities.

On any architectural tour of the city should be:

  • Holyrood Abbey – founded in 1128 by Queen (Saint) Margaret’s son King David I
  • St Giles Cathedral (The High Kirk of Edinburgh) – on the Royal Mile, 12th century, with Gothic details added in the late 14th century
  • The Palace of Holyroodhouse
  • Edinburgh Castle – Built by King Malcolm III Canmore, and his wife Queen (Saint) Margaret.
  • John Knox’s House – from around 1490 is a fine example of the Scottish tenement
  • Gladstone’s Land – from around 1620 (Original building dates to around 1550s, was enlarged and improved by Thomas Gladstone around 1617-1620 & was modified again between 1730s & 1750s)

  • Moray House – c.1628
  • Queensberry House – c.1634
  • George Heriot’s School - 1628
  • Tron Kirk - 1663
  • Canongate Kirk – 1688
  • National Gallery of Scotland – 1850, Classical temple-inspired
  • Cockburn Street – example of Scottish Baronial Style
  • Scott Monument--Built in the mid 1800's.  This Gothic-inspired monument has a seated statue of Sir Walter Scott and his dog, in the spire.  Climb the almost 300 steps to the top for amazing views.  

Noteworthy modern constructions include:

  • Our Dynamic Earth – opposite the Parliament
  • Scottish Poetry Library – Crichton’s Close
  • The Tun – an exciting Allan Murray designed café bar and office development on Holyrood Road
  • Ocean Terminal – part of the redevelopment of Leith
  • Museum of Scotland – next to the Royal Museum of Scotland, in the Old Town
  • The Scottish Parliament – this controversial new building sits opposite the Palace of Holyroodhouse and is home to Scotland's 129 seat legislature. The building, which was completed in 2004, was designed by the Spanish architect Enric Miralles.