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Rainy Edinburgh: 6 Fun Things to Do

We recently spent three days in Edinburgh out of which it rained two and a half. Of course, a visit to Scotland would not be complete without a rainy day, but it still puts a damper on things. While we still managed to get in some sightseeing during light drizzles, these soon turned into downpours. So we had to find fun things to do in Edinburgh in bad weather. And there is plenty of things to do in rainy Edinburgh! Don’t believe us? Just read on and check out our map of all the spots at the end of the post!

Bad Weather Activities in Edinburgh

Fact is, in Edinburgh, it rains on about 130 days of the year, which means you’ll have a 30% chance of encountering rain. But don’t let that discourage you from visiting! Edinburgh is beautiful any time of the year and even if it rains, you will find plenty of things to do.

Edinburgh Castle

If you are into history, this is the place for you to be on a rainy day. Alright, climbing up castle hill in Edinburgh on a rainy day is a bit of a challenge, but it’s worth it. There has been a royal castle on this hill since the 12th century and today Edinburgh Castle is the most visited tourist attraction in Scotland. The castle is open to visitors year round (except on December 25 and 26), unlike many other historic sites. The entrance for adults is 17 GBP, but is a small price to pay to visit such an impressive castle!

Where? Castlehill (you honestly can’t miss it)
Click here for more information on Edinburgh Castle.

rainy day activities in edinburgh castle

Scotch Whisky Experience

This place is without a doubt the most fun thing we did during our stay in Edinburgh. It doesn’t matter whether you like whiskey or not, this will entertain you regardless. You will learn about the process of whiskey making, its history, and the whiskey producing regions of Scotland. This is followed by a whiskey tasting. Their guides are super knowledgeable and cater to any level of whiskey enthusiasm. The silver tour is their most popular package and costs 15.5 GBP. It includes the one hour tour, one whiskey sample, and a tasting glass which you get to keep.

Where? 354 Castlehill
Click here for more information on The Scotch Whisky Experience.

rainy day activities in edinburgh scotch whisky experience

Edinburgh Museums

One simple way to fill your afternoon is to wander into any of Edinburgh’s wonderful museums. Personally, we would have enjoyed the Scottish National Museum, but we only had the chance to visit the Scottish National Gallery. Not only are they both free, they are also amazing. The national gallery houses some beautiful French impressionist pieces (amongst others) which I marveled at for several moments.

Where? The Mound (National Gallery), Chambers St (National Museum)
Click here for more information on the National Gallery.
Click here for more information on the National Museum.

rainy day activities in edinburgh national gallery

Join Dumbledore’s Army at the Elephant House

If you are a Harry Potter fanatic like me or only have a faint appreciation for the novels like Mihir, you’re going to have fun here. The Elephant House Cafe is where J.K. Rowling wrote the first two books of the series and is a popular spot for tourists today. Dry off your wet socks, grab a cup of coffee, and head to the toilet. The bathroom walls at the cafe are covered in graffiti dedicated to J.K. Rowling and the Harry Potter novels. Join thousands of others and join Dumbledore’s army ๐Ÿ™‚

Where? 21 George IV Bridge
rainy day activities in edinburgh elephant house

Retail Therapy at Jenners

Do you need a breatherย fromย all the culture? Why not soothe your nerves with retail therapy at Jenners, Edinburgh’s iconic department store. It is open every day and carries anything from perfumes, to designer bags and electronics. Pick up your favorite souvenir here ๐Ÿ˜‰

Where? 48 Princes St
Click here for more information on Jenners Department Store.

rainy day activities in edinburgh jenners shopping

Spend an Evening at the Pub

No visit to Edinburgh can be complete without an evening in the pub. There’s plenty of pubs to choose from in the Old Town and you won’t have troubles finding one that you like. So order a pint and settle in ๐Ÿ™‚

Where? Everywhere! Have fun!

rainy day activities in edinburgh pub

Map of the Best Things to Do in Edinburgh

Now, what do you think? Did we miss any fun rainy day activities in Edinburgh? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below! Let’s stay in touch!

About Jacky

Hello there, fellow globetrotters! I’m Jacky, a passionate travel blogger with an insatiable wanderlust. With several years of experience in online marketing, I leverage my expertise to ensure that you get the best travel advice, tailored for the digital age. My travels have taken me to over 30 countries, and I love sharing those experiences with readers like you. Besides traveling, my other loves are my beloved cats, architecture, art, science fiction, coffee, and all things cute. My travel tips have been featured on and in the EasyJet Traveller magazine.

13 thoughts on “Rainy Edinburgh: 6 Fun Things to Do”

  1. Some great rainy day ideas here. We are heading to Edinburgh later in the year so it will be good to have some ideas tucked up my sleeve! Loving the Harry Potter idea.

  2. Lovely to see Jenners in there; to me, it’s less of a shop and more of an experience. And as for bars, I’d be tempted by the Cafe Royal, with its beautiful tiled walls and interesting food. We’ve been known to stay there a while.

  3. Scotland is my favourite place in the whole wide world and I spent a bit of time in Edinburgh during summer (although it was still absolutely freezing!). I saw lots of comedy at the Edinburgh festival. That’s a good way to spend a rainy summer evening ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I’m so excited to visit Edinburgh for the first time this coming week! Your guide came at the perfect time, thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. The Elephant cafe was opened after JK Rowling wrote the first HP book. The real cafe was on Nicholson street. It was owned by her brother in law. Thereโ€™s a plaque high up on the wall.

  6. Such wonderful ideas for a rainy day in Edinburgh! I love the Whisky Experience – it’s such a great preparation to really appreciate visiting a distillery somewhere else in the country! Another thing I’d add is the Botanical Gardens – the glasshouses are such a great getaway on a rainy day!

  7. Great suggestions! I was really surprised by Edinburgh’s museums – way better than I expected! I’ve also STILL never got a drink in the Elephant House despite passing it many times. I just want to see all the toilet graffiti haha. It’s a shame it rained so much on your visit, but hopefully you’ll get back there and see lots more! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Great post! I am planning a trip to Edinburgh and Glasgow next month. I will definitely check out the elephant house because I am a huge Harry Potter fan and already checked out all HP spots in London ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for sharing!

  9. I still cannot believe we missed seeing Edinburgh while we lived in London. That was a major mistake. It looks like such a fun city…even in the rain! I love your tips in here. Definitely saving for when we finally make it back to Scotland, because chances are it will be raining. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Hah! Rain in Edinburgh, oh yes indeed! It’s an incredible city but definitely a wet one.

    I bet that cafe is super happy with all the business it’s going to do for just about forever.

    Whiskey / whisky – technically different if you’re an aficionado.

  11. Ha! I need to visit the Elephant House, how cool! I literally only had an afternoon in Edinburgh when I went as I was visiting a friend but Camera Obscura right next to Edinburgh Castle is a fun place to visit!

  12. Funny I am headed to Edinburgh tomorrow and it is probably going to rain. We are planning on visiting Holyrood Palace. If we get more time, I would love to go to the museums.

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