Whether you spend a week or two exploring Scotland or a long weekend in the city, the capital of Edinburgh is the perfect place to begin. And thanks to new daily flight service on American Airlines, running April 2-Oct. 31, it’s even easier to get there. Ready to go? Here are five must-dos.
1. Edinburgh Castle dates back to the 12th century. And thanks to its location atop Castle Rock, it affords sweeping views of the city. Be sure to see the crown jewels exhibit, which includes the scepter given to James IV by Pope Alexander VI.
2. If a castle doesn’t get you close enough to royalty, pay a visit to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Queen Elizabeth II’s official Scottish residence, part of which is open to the public.
3. Enjoy the spring weather by taking a stroll through the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, which encompasses 70 acres and is nearly 350 years old. If you’re lucky, you’ll see an impressive display of rhododendron in bloom.
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4. From Calton Hill, you can view the Burns, Nelson and National monuments and take in panoramic views of the city. Pack your sneakers.
5. National Galleries Scotland is home to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and features incredible modern and contemporary pieces. And admission is free.