Here’s a list of 15 places in Edinburgh, Scotland where every person and especially all the architects should visit to see the architecture of the city.


Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, with its spectacular collection of medieval and classic architecture, including numerous stone decorations. This is the very reason for people calling it the liveliest city of Europe.

It is not only beautiful because of its architecture but also because of its fantastic position. The view falls on all sides- green hills, the hint of the blue sea, the silhouettes of the buildings and the red cliffs. A city that calls you to explore it by foot – narrow streets, passageways, stairs and hidden churchyards on every step will put you away from the main streets.

Its old town was declared as the UNESCO Heritage site.

The following list includes the 15 places in Edinburgh, the most beautiful architecture pieces of the city which every architect must have on their to-visit list

1. Edinburgh Castle

No matter how one reaches the city, Edinburgh Castle is a must-visit destination. The location is located at a volcanic hill with sharp cliffs that have been cut by glaciers which gives it the perfect advantage of defending itself from all directions in case of an attack.

2. Calton Hill

Calton hill is situated beyond the east end of Princes Street and included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Scottish Government’s headquarter base is at St. Andrew’s House on the steep southern slope of the hill. The Scottish Parliament building and many other notable buildings are located at the hill.

3. The Scottish National Monument

As early as 1816, the Highland Society of Scotland called for the construction of a national monument to commemorate the fallen in the Napoleonic wars. In January 1822, a proposal was put forward to ‘erect a facsimile of the Parthenon’.

4. Nelson’ Monument

The Nelson Monument is a commemorative tower in honor of Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson, located in Edinburgh, Scotland. It is included in the list of 15 places in Edinburgh because it is situated on top of Calton Hill and provides a dramatic termination to the vista along Princes Street from the west.

The Royal Navy’s White Ensign and signal flags spelling out Nelson’s famous message “England expects that every man will do his duty” are flown from the Monument on Trafalgar Day each year.

5. The Palace of Holyrood house

The Queen’s official residence in Edinburgh and the home of Scottish royal history. The Queen stays at the Palace during Royal Week each year.

6. Scottish Parliament Building

Since September 2004, the official home of the Scottish Parliament has been a new Scottish Parliament Building, in the Holyrood area of Edinburgh. Some of the principal features of the complex include leaf-shaped buildings, a grass-roofed branch merging into adjacent parkland and gabion walls formed from the stones of previous buildings. Throughout the building, there are many repeated motifs, such as shapes based on Raeburn’s Skating Minister.

7. National Museum of Scotland

The National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, Scotland, was formed in 2006 with the merger of the new Museum of Scotland, and the adjacent Royal Scottish Museum. The exterior, designed in a Venetian Renaissance style, contrasts sharply with the light-flooded main hall or Grand Gallery, inspired by The Crystal Palace.

8. Royal Mile

The Royal Mile is a succession of streets forming the main thoroughfare of the Old Town of the city of Edinburgh in Scotland. From the Castle gates to the Palace gates, the street is almost exactly a mile (1.6 km) long and runs downhill between two significant locations in the royal history of Scotland, namely Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace, hence its name.

9. The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

It is a must-see venue for modern and contemporary art. It comprises two galleries, one on either side of Belford Road, and a fantastic sculpture park.

The lawn at the front of Modern One was landscaped to a design by Charles Jencks. Modern One is housed in a neoclassical building, which was designed by William Burn in 1825. Modern Two was originally built in 1833 was converted into a Gallery.

10. Victoria Street

Victoria Street in the Old Town has to be one of the most photographed locations in the city. Its gentle curve and colorful shop-fronts make it a favorite spot for tourist photos, postcards and TV adverts.

Victoria Street was built between 1829-34 as part of a series of improvements to the Old Town, with the aim of improving access around the city.

11. Writers’ Museum

Edinburgh being the land of the writers, it wouldn’t be surprising to come across a writer’s museum. All Potterheads can pull up their hats to find the inspiration for J.K. Rowling’s description for the harry potter fiction land right in front of their eyes.

12. The Hub

The Hub is a public arts and events building in the center of Edinburgh, Scotland. Located at the top of the Royal Mile, it is a prominent landmark as its tall gothic spire is the highest point in central Edinburgh, and towers over the surrounding buildings below Edinburgh Castle.

13. North Bridge

North Bridge is a road bridge and street in Edinburgh linking the High Street with Princes Street, and the Old Town with the New Town. The current bridge was built between 1894 and 1897. A previous North Bridge, built between 1763 and 1772, stood until 1896.

14. St Andrew Square

Dominating the center of St Andrew Square is the fluted column of the Melville Monument, commemorating Henry Dundas, the first Viscount Melville. The Melville Monument is surrounded by St Andrew Square Gardens, recently redesigned and opened to the public.

15. Firth of Forth

And last but not the least, architectural marvel in the list of 15 places to visit in Edinburgh, is The Firth of Forth (Scottish Gaelic: Linne Foirthe). It is the estuary (firth) of several Scottish rivers including the River Forth. It meets the North Sea with Fife on the north coast and Lothian on the south.

Inchcolm Abbey is a medieval abbey located on the island of Inchcolm in the Firth of Forth in Scotland.


Currently, a student of architecture, Charul Chhabria's inquisitive mind is trying to create a picture of radically vast architecture through her avid imagination, visual curiosity and demand for logic. She is aspiring to achieve her ambitions through an adventurous yet beautiful journey that “architecture” takes her on. Topics of interest- Architectural design, Spatial design,Sustainable architecture, Semiotics in architecture, Technology and architecture.