22 Fun Things To Do in Edinburgh for Adults
Edinburgh is a beautiful city to explore, with many exciting things to see and do.
There is so much to choose from, it’s hard to find the best, so to help out we’ve chosen the most fun activities for adults (both indoor activities and outdoor activities) that Edinburgh has to offer:
The Scotch Whisky Experience
The tour starts with a fun and informative barrel ride where you find out about the whisky distilling process and the history of the whisky-producing areas of Scotland. Then you’ll continue into the blending room, view the World’s largest collection of Scotch Whisky and lots more (including a tasting session).
You can also take a tour which includes a whisky tasting and meal, where the whisky is paired with the best of Scottish cuisine.
Camera Obscura & World of Illusions
The Camera Obscura, which is on the top floor of the building, allows you to see a live view of Edinburgh - the Old Town, the New Town, the shops along Princes Street and Princes Street Gardens, the Scott Monument, Calton Hill and more - using only daylight and mirrors.
The image is displayed on a table in the middle of the room, and the guide will tell you all about the different parts of Edinburgh that you can see.
You’ll love the illusions such as the severed head, where you are served up on a plate for dinner, the Ames room, where you can shrink and grow instantly, the kaleido tunnel and even a light harp.
Edinburgh Chihuahua Cafe
Book a 50-minute session at the cafe, and you can enjoy soft drinks and cakes (no bacon sandwiches as that would be torture for the dogs!) whilst cuddling and snuggling up to the cutest chihuahuas.
If you look on the cafe’s website you can find out the dogs’ names, photos and personalities in advance.
You must remember to book - they can’t accommodate walk-ins as they need to consider the welfare of their dogs and not over-crowd them.
Honey Pot Creative Cafe
There are many different wonderfully creative activities available as drop-in sessions every day at The Honeypot (with help from the staff of course).
Activities such as Ceramic Painting, Glass Fusing and Clay Modelling are available every day.
On special days (phone to check) you can even do Canvas and Wood Decorating, T-shirt painting and Bath Bomb Making.
Alternatively, you can join one of the fun organised classes and courses at The Honeypot, such as Christmas Lino Printing, Stained Glass Night, a 6-week Fused Glass Course, or a Paints, Pots and Prosecco night (bring your own prosecco!).
Greyfriars Bobby and the Kirkyard
Greyfriars Bobby was a faithful dog who guarded his master’s grave in Greyfriars Kirkyard for 14 years. He became a favourite of the people of Edinburgh, who even paid for his dog licence so that he wasn't taken away by the dog-catcher.
When Bobby died he was buried outside the Greyfriars Kirkyard, close to where his bronze statue stands now on the intersection of King George IV Bridge and Candlemaker Row (opposite the Greyfriars Bobby pub). Bobby was also given a gravestone inside the Kirkyard.
The Greyfriars Kirkyard itself is a lovely tranquil spot in the centre of Edinburgh - the perfect place to escape from the hustle and bustle for a while. You can even view inside the Greyfriars Kirk on most days.
Whilst at the kirkyard you can search for other famous graves - the poet William McGonagall, the Scottish architects William and John Adam (who designed and built many stately homes and grand public buildings in Scotland) and the gravestones which are said to be the inspiration for many of the names in the Harry Potter books.
Just an easy bus ride from the centre of Edinburgh, Portobello has a wonderful golden 2-mile long sandy beach, where you can play, stroll and swim.
There’s a grand promenade lined with lovely old Victorian buildings, where you’ll find the charming Victorian swimming pool and the Portobello Kayaking and Sailing Club.
There is a great choice of cafes and bars for delicious food and refreshments on the promenade, and there are often volleyball competitions and triathlon events at the beach.
If you want to do some shopping, you can always nip into the Portobello town centre where there are shops and restaurants.
Maison de Moggy
The hour-long sessions are led by the cats - if they want to snooze rather than cuddle then they are allowed to.
You can get to know the cats before your visit by checking the Maison de Moggy website - there are photos and personal profiles of all of the cute cats you will meet!
Sightseeing Cruise on the Maid of the Forth
You can take a 1.5 hour sightseeing cruise, where you’ll cruise under all three fort bridges, and view some amazing wildlife.
If you prefer a longer cruise you can take the 3-hour Inchcolm Island trip where you have 1.5 hours cruising and 1.5 hours ashore on the Island.
For an exhilarating ride, take the wildlife watching trip on the high-speed Rib. In just one hour you’ll enjoy speeding around all three bridges, and three of the Islands - Inchgarvie, Inchcolm and Inchmickery - watching the wildlife and learning from the experienced guides.
It has everything a visitor could want - hotels, restaurants, cafes, beautiful old buildings, high-quality gift shops, independent shops and a public execution site!
There are great views up to Edinburgh Castle from the Grassmarket area, and some very quaint cobbled streets. You can eat outside in the cobbled area in the Grassmarket and just soak up the atmosphere - there are lots of bars, cafes and restaurants that will suit all budgets.
If you’re in Edinburgh on a Saturday, you’ll be able to visit the Grassmarket Market, which has a great range of stalls selling bread, cakes, meat, fish, fruit & veg, cheese, charcuterie, sweet treats and preserves.
Alternatively, you can go to the Edinburgh Farmer’s Market on nearby Castle Terrace which sells organic meat, fresh fruit & veg, freshly baked breads & pies. Both markets have street food and arts and crafts for sale.
Ferry Brewery Tour
It was established in 1851 and has been making delicious beers ever since.
You can tour the working brewery throughout the year on Saturday or Sunday - you just need to email them to book your place.
For only £15 you will tour behind-the-scenes at the brewery, learn all about the brewing process and the history of the brewery, feel, smell and taste the hops and malts, and then take part in a tasting session of the finished product.
You can have two half pints (of different beers) or a full pint of your favourite to taste during the tour and a beer to take away, all included in the price of the tour!
Climb Arthur's Seat
There are a couple of different paths that you can use to get to the top of Arthur's Seat. On the way up you can pass a couple of small lochs and a ruined chapel, depending on the route you choose.
If you climb to the summit (251 metres above sea level) you will be rewarded with fantastic 360-degree vista, with stunning views of Edinburgh city, the Firth of Forth and the Forth Bridges, and Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile leading down to Holyrood Palace.
It’s quite a hike to the top, but well worth the effort for the invigorating, magnificent views - you would not believe that you are in the centre of a city!
Don’t forget your windproof jacket - it can get a little chilly at the top!
Hint: there are many great panoramic views and photographic opportunities from halfway up as well as the top.
Xtreme Karting Edinburgh
The easiest way to experience the thrill of karting is to book a practice package for you and your friends - a package consists of two or four ten-minute driving sessions and allow you to become familiar with the karts.
If you want to race against each other, you can take part in the Open Race sessions, and if there are 8 or more in your group, you can book an exclusive session where you take over the whole track for 3 sessions (a practice session, a qualifying session and a final race).
Edinburgh Gin Distillery Tour
You’ll learn all about the history of gin in the UK, and find out how Edinburgh Gin is produced.
The Real Mary King's Close
In your hour-long tour you’ll find out all about 400 years of Edinburgh’s rich history (some of it very dark!), and the stories of the residents of Mary King's Close over the years.
The Royal Exchange Coffee House is on-site, where you can enjoy local Brodies coffee and a nourishing snack before or after your tour.
Fore Play Crazy Golf
They have an Edinburgh-themed indoor crazy golf course, featuring Greyfriars Bobby and the Scott Monument!
If you want refreshments whilst you are playing, there is a terrace with deckchairs and garden games for your cocktails or you can choose from two different bars.
If you have a stag-do, hen-do or party to arrange, you can book a great night out at Fore Play.
The Chocolatarium Chocolate Tour
The knowledgeable guides will tell you all about how chocolate is made - you’ll see and touch the fruits of the cacao tree, see how chocolate is made from cocoa beans, and taste smooth and creamy warm chocolate.
The Chocolatarium is really easy to find - just near the bottom of the Royal Mile on Cranston Street.
Treasure Hunt Edinburgh
The Treasure Hunt is like a What’s App group, where everyone joins in on their phones to solve clues and follow treasure maps whilst exploring the most interesting parts of Edinburgh - some of them the famous spots and some of them not so well known.
The tour/game is self-guided so you can go at your own pace, and stop for a cuppa to enjoy the view or soak up the atmosphere whenever you want…
Edinburgh International Climbing Arena
If you’re new to climbing you can book a group taster session with your 4 - 8 of your friends, and learn the ropes! In this great 90-minute session your instructor will show you how to get started on your climbing adventure.
Escape Reality Edinburgh
escape from Alcatraz
find a Caribbean pirate’s treasure,
escape from a science lab before you become part of the experiment
find a vampire who has killed your close friends!
Bridge 8 Hub
Bridge 8 hub is an urban outdoor activity centre on the west side of Edinburgh, only 20 minutes from the city centre.
If you want to have a go, contact Sean at Bridge 8 Hub to plan your next exciting Edinburgh outdoor adventure!
Lane 7 Edinburgh
A night out at Lane7 is not just an ordinary night out at the Ten Pin Bowling alley. There is superb bowling of course, but there’s so much more!
Black Axe Throwing Co
At Black Axe Throwing Edinburgh you can book a session with your mates and have a great time comparing your axe-throwing skills!
A session lasts for an hour and consists of:
- Safety Briefing
- Learning the Basics
- Advanced Throws
- The Big Competition
You’ll be allocated a friendly instructor who will show you how to throw, will keep score during the competition and will take photos of you with your axes.
The Stand Comedy Club
Their famous weekly Red Raw night is the beginners' showcase - you can catch the stars of tomorrow today!
The Stand Comedy Club in Edinburgh is in historic York Place, in the New Town - just round the corner from the new St James’s Quarter shopping development.
We hope you’ve been inspired by the fun activities in Edinburgh and found an exciting one to try - you can always try more than one of course!
Check out our other articles on Edinburgh:
For more great ideas on what to do in Edinburgh, check out our main Things to do in Edinburgh page.
If you're visiting with a loved one, our Romantic Things to do in Edinburgh has lots of fun things to do in Edinburgh for couples.