There are so many things to do in Grassmarket. It is a wonderfully charming area to check out. Some of the oldest streets in Edinburgh can be found here. Explore the many cobbled stone streets and alleyways. This is a very lively nightlife area.

“Edinburgh is an experience A city of enormous gifts Whose streets sing of history Whose cobbles tell tales.” – Alan Bold, Scottish poet

The Grassmarket area is located in Old Town Edinburgh just behind Edinburgh Castle. You can peer down at it from the George IV Bridge. In the 14th century, this historic part of Edinburgh was the marketplace for selling cattle and horses. It remained a marketplace until the early 19th century.

Many public executions took place here from the 1660s, including witch trials and the religious hangings of over 100 people in the 1680s.

Things to do in Grassmarket

  • Take a historic walking tour. Free historic walking tour maps are available from the local pubs and shops in the area. You can read or listen to the audio history of the area here.
There so many things to do and discover at the Grassmarket. It is a wonderfully charming area to check out. Some of the oldest streets in Edinburgh can be found in Grassmarket. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

There so many things to do and discover at the Grassmarket. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

Learn about the famous little dog, Greyfriars Bobby. There so many things to do and discover at the Grassmarket. It is a wonderfully charming area to check out. Some of the oldest streets in Edinburgh can be found in Grassmarket. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

Learn about the famous little dog, Greyfriars Bobby.  Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

Learn about the famous little dog, Greyfriars Bobby. There so many things to do and discover in Grassmarket. It is a wonderfully charming area to check out. Some of the oldest streets in Edinburgh can be found in Grassmarket. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

Learn about the famous little dog, Greyfriars Bobby.  Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

  • Candlemaker Row was created after candlemakers were moved outside the main city area in the 16th and 17th century.  Before this time, making candles caused such a foul smell in the city and was a terrible fire hazard. Candlemakers Hall can be found beside Greyfriars Bobby Bar.
  • Visit the Farmers Market on Saturdays
Visit the Grassmarket Farmers Market on Saturdays. Discover things to do in medieval Edinburgh. Explore Old Town and New Town along with the many museums, monument, memorials and galleries of this historic city. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr

Visit the Grassmarket Farmers Market on Saturdays. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

  • Take a walk up Victoria Street to the highest point in Edinburgh. There are many photo opportunities here of the colourful buildings. The spire on the Gothic-designed Hub is 241 feet tall.
Discover Grassmarket things to do in medieval Edinburgh. Explore Old Town and New Town along with the many museums, monument, memorials and galleries of this historic city. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

Discover things to do in Grassmarket medieval Edinburgh. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

  • Shop at Scottish designer boutiques or hunt for vintage clothing.
  • Try some street food from the many vendors in market square.
Grassmarket food vendors. Discover things to do in medieval Edinburgh. Explore Old Town and New Town along with the many museums, monument, memorials and galleries of this historic city. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr

Grassmarket food vendors. Discover things to do in medieval Edinburgh.

  • Check out the numerous pubs and restaurants. You will find one of the smallest pub in Scotland and the oldest pub in Edinburgh. The gallows once stood just east of the White Hart Inn.
Discover things to do at Grassmarket in medieval Edinburgh. Explore Old Town and New Town along with the many museums, monument, memorials and galleries of this historic city. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

Discover things to do at Grassmarket in medieval Edinburgh. The White House Inn is the oldest pub in Edinburgh. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

Fast Facts

  • The candle making trade diminished in 1847 after gas lighting became popular.
  • The White Hart Inn is the oldest and most haunted pub in Edinburgh.
  • The Hub is the highest point in Edinburgh.

Discover more about Scotland

Learn about the rich history of famous Royals at Holyrood Palace

Discover other UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Top 10 things to do on the Isle of Sky

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