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.
- Visit the Greyfriars Bobby monument and grave site of a devoted little dog. For 14 years, Greyfriars Bobby watched over his owner’s grave. This little terrier stole the hearts of the area residents with the loyalty shown for his master. A Disney movie and many books have been written about this loyal dog. View more photos. The gravesite is located in Greyfriars church yard around the corner from Greyfriars Bobby Bar.
- 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
- 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.
- Shop at Scottish designer boutiques or hunt for vintage clothing.
- Try some street food from the many vendors in market square.
- 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.
- 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.
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