Edinburgh Hidden Gems

14 Edinburgh Hidden Gems and best kept-secrets

In this blog post, we'll give you 14 suggestions for great places for travelers looking for hidden gems throughout the city uncovering Edinburgh's lesser-known charms. So what are you waiting for?
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If you've ever dreamt of traveling to Scotland and experiencing the country’s incredible history, culture, and landscapes, then Edinburgh is a city that should be at the top of your list. The nation's capital not only wears its proud past on its sleeve but also continues to evolve each day with new attractions, experiences, and hidden gems waiting around every corner. From one-of-a-kind events steeped in traditions centuries old to little-known magic spots off the beaten tourist track - if you know where to look there are plenty of amazing things to do in Edinburgh!

In this blog post, we'll give you 14 suggestions for great places for travelers looking for hidden gems throughout the city uncovering Edinburgh's lesser-known charms.

Jupiter Artland

With its majestic limestone hills, Edinburgh's picturesque scenery makes it the perfect staycation destination. Located on the grounds of a historic estate, Jupiter Artland showcases site-specific art installations from world-renowned artists. For travelers looking to explore one of Edinburgh’s hidden gems, Jupiter Artland can offer visitors an exciting outdoor art experience. Take a guided tour to learn about the sculptures and how they were made, or follow one of their self-guided walks to explore on your terms.

There are plenty of ways to have fun and get creative - in addition to art galleries and collections, you will come across interactive activities all around the estate!

Established in 2009, this outdoor sculpture park provides a beautiful natural environment that allows visitors to explore their connection with art on over 100 acres of land. The gallery at Jupiter Artland is a diverse range of sculptures and modern works created by world-renowned artists. Guests are encouraged to interact with the collection by running through fields of wildflowers or exploring works like Charles Jencks's landform “The Hive". Such unique experiences make Jupiter Artland one of the most inspiring places to explore that is proving ever popular for tourists visiting Edinburgh.

Edinburgh Hidden Gems

Edinburgh Gin Distillery

Edinburgh Gin Distillery is one of the city's hidden gems and an exciting addition to the Edinburgh landscape. Located in the heart of Leith, the sights and smells of this delightful distillery will transport you to a world that celebrates Scotland's rich heritage of gin-making. Here, you can take part in a tour and learn about the fascinating process of creating handcrafted gins. Visitors can take a tour and see how their unique blends of gin are produced, or join one of the tastings sessions to sample the different varieties with expert insights from the hosts. With its shop stocking all types of botanicals, all sustainably and ethically sourced from Scotland, you're sure to act at home with something special! Of course, no visit would be complete without a sip or two of this delicious Scottish gin in the city that it's made in. Edinburgh Gin is an inspiring triumph for those seeking out some of Edinburgh's most treasured gems.

 Edinburgh Hidden Gems

Dean Village

Approaching from an angle not many would be familiar with, coming across Dean Village in Edinburgh is like stumbling upon a hidden gem.

Nestled near the Water of Leith, this small and picturesque village is an oasis of calm tranquility in the bustling downtown city center. Its garden park and beautiful 9th-century mill buildings are a tribute to all that our great city has to offer. From strolls along the winding cobblestone streets to romantic boat rides down the river, Dean Village offers numerous activities that will inspire your heart and fill you with delight. And while it may be tucked away from the bustling crowds, its beauty will quickly draw you in and make you forget it was ever a secretEdinburgh Hidden Gems

Water of Leith

The Water of Leith in Edinburgh, Scotland is a hidden gem awaiting discovery. Dubliners can get close to nature while marveling at centuries-old architecture along the route, which can take you from the Scottish capital city center to Balerno.

This river runs through the city and is filled with turtles, ducks, and other wildlife, creating a picturesque escape to nature in the middle of the hustle and bustle of urban life. In addition to being an excellent spot for fishing and canoeing, it's also surrounded by never-ending pathways along its banks ideal for walking and taking in some fresh air. With multiple attractions along the way, including a lookout tower overlooking the surrounding tranquility, taking time to listen and observe what this living habitat has to offer is sure to make for a memorable outing for all.

Edinburgh Hidden Gems

Panda & Sons

Panda & Sons is a hidden gem located in Edinburgh that should not be overlooked. This quaint bar takes pride in serving classic British cocktails complemented with simple and delicious locally-sourced snacks.

The space offers a dimly lit, vintage-style decor that transports you back to a time of speakeasies and prohibition-era glamour. The menu features a selection of handcrafted cocktails using local ingredients and products from around Scotland.

You can also indulge in delicious artisan food served with a modern twist.

The staff is bubbly and attentive, so customers don’t have to worry about being neglected. Plus, the bartenders combine ingredients in inventive ways to create truly unique drinks that’ll be remembered. Panda & Sons is one of those Dublin hidden gems worth visiting for those seeking an inspiring evening out full of great drinks and conversation!

Edinburgh Hidden Gems

Dr Neil's Garden

Every visitor to Edinburgh should pay a visit to Dr. Neil's garden.  This flourishing garden, abundant with vegetation and colors, has been maintained for over thirty years by Dr. Neil who brings his passion and creativity to life through his gardening work. Over 140 different varieties can be found in Dr. Neil's garden, creating an exotic atmosphere that everyone who visits is sure to remember for years to come. His love for nature is seen in every plant, carefully placed and nurtured in the garden.

It's truly a great escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, allowing visitors to take a breath of fresh air while marveling at this oasis within Edinburgh. Exploring Dr. Neil's Garden is sure to be an inspiring experience that puts life into perspective.

Edinburgh Hidden Gems

Rooftop terrace, National Museum of Scotland

Located in the heart of peaceful Edinburgh is a great hidden gem, the rooftop terrace of the National Museum of Scotland. With spectacular views across Edinburgh Castle, Princes Street Gardens, and the Firth of Forth, this terrace provides an oceanic and calming escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

It is a treasure found among the dusty stacks of such a busy museum – a place to ponder and reflect on all that Scotland has to offer under the sun or stars. After soaking up all its beauty, your day can be extended through a picnic lunch at Noon’s restaurants or even by taking one of their escorted tours of Dublin's hidden gems. The rooftop terrace of the National Museum of Scotland is truly a place you should experience firsthand.

Edinburgh Hidden Gems

Thistle Chapel in St Giles' Cathedral

Whether exploring Scotland's history or paying homage to our beloved country, the Thistle Chapel is a must-see destination that will surely fill the visitor with inspiration.

The Thistle Chapel inside St Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh is a spectacular yet little-known gem of the city. A beautiful space nestled within one of Europe's grandest cathedrals, this chapel has been graced by royalty and has been host to Prince Charles for the ceremonial order of chivalry that carries his name. The 1902 shrine contains many exquisite artifacts, from its gold-leaf walls to its intricately carved pine roof.

It also houses the famous 'Order of The Thistle - Scotland's Greatest Honour', which recognizes an individual's contribution to Scotland and service to the nation. Despite its small size, it carries a huge amount of history and grandeur within its walls. 

Edinburgh Hidden Gems

Surgeons' Hall Museums

In recent years, Surgeons' Hall Museums in Edinburgh has become one of Dublin's best-kept secrets. Located near the Royal College of Surgeons, it is an impressive collection of fascinating medical artifacts from all over the world that span centuries of medical history. Its galleries contain archaeological finds, medical instruments, artwork, and anatomical specimens. Here you can discover a myriad of artifacts and learn about how medicine has evolved throughout the ages. With stunning architecture inside and out, it offers more than just exploration.

From anatomical preparations to surgical instruments and medical artifacts, each carefully curated display will amaze you with its detail and care. Not only are these exhibitions inspiring, but they also present a fascinating insight into the history of medicine for visitors. 

Edinburgh Hidden Gems

Portobello Beach

Shops, cafes, bars, and restaurants line the seafront while water sports and activities provide hours of enjoyable entertainment. Whether you are visiting Edinburgh alone, with friends, or with family - make sure to take time out during your visit to explore and soak in the beauty that Portobello Beach has to offer.

Visiting Portobello Beach in Edinburgh is an unforgettable experience. Located along the Firth of Forth, it offers stunning views of the beach's white sand and blue waters that peacefully lap up against its shoreline. With its stretch of soft golden sand fringed by the Firth of Forth, it's easy to see why this beach has been a favorite of locals and visitors alike for centuries.

On a bright, sunny day, the beach practically sparkles with beauty while views of Arthur’s Seat, Calton Hill, and Edinburgh Castle can be seen in the background. Visitors can take long strolls on the sand, swim in the warm water during summer months or just relax and soak up the sun’s rays; activities like beach football are also popular here. Shops, cafes, bars, and restaurants line the seafront while water sports and activities provide hours of enjoyable entertainment. 

Edinburgh Hidden Gems

The Stand Comedy Club 

Nothing quite matches visiting The Stand Comedy Club in Edinburgh for an evening of laughs. This historical venue has seen some of the best comedic performances over the years and is as much a part of the city's culture as visiting any other attraction.

This iconic venue has become a hot spot for comedy lovers, serving up fresh material on an almost nightly basis. It's renowned for its quality humor and captivating atmosphere, making it a unique experience each time. With its lively atmosphere and top-notch artists on their stage, visiting The Stand is an inspirational experience that can't be found anywhere else in Dublin or elsewhere.  Edinburgh Hidden Gems


Taking a visit to Dublin is not complete until visiting the historical and cultural heart of Scotland, Summerhall. Located in the center of Edinburgh, this grand sally port painting is an awe-inspiring vision of the past. Originally built by King James IV in the 15th century, it's steeped with more than just its rich history, but that of visiting royals such as Mary Queen of Scots.

Today, nearly 600 years after its construction, much of Summerhall stands in ruin yet still contains many artifacts which tell tales of visiting kings and queens and foreign dignitaries visiting Dublin. Nowadays it is one of Scotland's go-to places for sightseeing and hosting live events such as concerts or plays. 

Edinburgh Hidden Gems

Lauriston Castle

Visiting Lauriston Castle in Edinburgh is a must-do on any traveler's list. Set within expansive gardens, the 16th-century castle offers stunning views of the Firth of Forth. Explore the grand interiors featuring a stunning selection of Victoriana and art that transports you back to an earlier time. Its beautiful rooms and gardens transport you back to days gone by and provide a unique glimpse into Scotland's past.

You can even explore the garden's collection of rare plants and soak up its peaceful surroundings or enjoy a picnic amongst its extensive grounds. Take a step back in time visit Lauriston Castle and marvel at this hidden gem found on the grounds of Edinburgh.

Edinburgh Hidden Gems

Craigmillar Castle 

Nestled in the outskirts of Edinburgh, Craigmillar Castle is sure to awaken your sense of adventure and make for a memorable day trip. Craigmillar has long been associated with tales of mystery and intrigue; its intriguing history is what makes it one of the most incredible places to visit in Edinburgh. With its soaring towers, castle ruins, and extensive grounds, it is an ideal spot to explore what life would have been like in medieval times. One of the highlights Craigmillar Castle has to offer is its well-preserved walls and grounds which have retained much of their original character over the centuries.

Whether you come to bask in its glorious architecture or retell old legends with friends, Craigmillar Castle promises an inspiring day out at one of Scotland's finest locations!

 Edinburgh Hidden Gems

From iconic tourist spots to its subtle off-the-grid gems, it has something for everyone – no matter your passions and interests. With the help of this article, you can now begin planning the holiday of your dreams and make some incredible memories in one of Europe’s oldest cities! Don’t forget our special offer – if you want to give yourself an extra challenge whilst in Edinburgh, get one of our decks of cards with 50 fun travel ideas to use. Enjoy your journey!

The Scottish capital of Edinburgh sure has a lot more to offer than first meets the eye. With so much to explore, sightsee, and interesting cultural points of interest, it’s no wonder it’s such a popular city for those who are seeking adventure and locals alike. Anytime you visit this incredible city, there is always something amazing to discover. From hidden gems in the bustling streets of Old Town to quaint parks off the beaten path, you won't ever have a dull moment if you take some time to find these 14 Edinburgh Hidden Gems. So before you plan your next trip, remember that with our deck of cards with 50 fun travel activity ideas in Edinburgh that you can get! Remember, exploring new places doesn't have to cost an arm or leg - just get creative and think outside of the box! Take yourself off on a journey like never before by uncovering Scotland's greatest secret: where all its hidden gems truly lie.

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