If you want a good spot to snap some panoramic pictures of Edinburgh, and you don’t fancy hiking all the way up to Arthur’s seat, or you just want a nice space to chill out in Edinburgh, then Calton Hill is a great activity to add to your stack.

What's the best spot in Edinburgh?

Offering some of the best views of Edinburgh, Calton Hill sits a few minutes walk away at the east end of Waverley Station.

There is a clear view of Calton Hill as soon as you exit Waverley station – located a short distance from Edinburgh’s famous shopping street, the usually quiet hill offers a very interesting collection of monuments await you after a short, yet steep walk up the hill. The most fascinating, the National Monument, inspired by Greek architecture and resembling the Parthenon in Athens sits at the centre. Close by is the Nelson Monument, a tower with a free museum and stairs to climb that offer perhaps an even better view of the city. The biggest of the buildings is the City Observatory, which regularly hosts art exhibitions, with a restaurant and viewing terrace which both offer more spectacular views of the city.

Come festival season in August, Calton Hill is host to plenty of events, as well as in April, when you can see the Beltane Fire Festival. Many of Edinburgh’s famous landmarks can also be seen from the hill, such as Arthur’s seat and a fantastic view of Princes Street.

  • Calton Hill is easily accessed by a short walk east of Waverley Station.
  • It takes roughly five minutes to reach the monuments at the top from the south entrance.


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