Image by Gwilym Sims-Williams

Old College – Oasis of calm

Bang in the middle of Old Town, Old College is the kind of building that makes you stop, stare, and gawp at its majesty as you walk in.

Maybe I’m exaggerating, but not by much. Despite it being open to the public, the main entrance on South Bridge is so imposing that few non-students venture past the gates to the central lawn, which is surrounded by benches and honey-coloured flagstones. Professors and students move around between lectures (on the hour), but the immaculately-kept courtyard is generally empty, and the towering walls block out the city’s noise.

If you fancy a rest from your intrepid wanderings, you couldn’t ask for a better spot: bring a coffee, kick back on one of the many wooden benches, and soak in the atmosphere. The place is a godsend during the August Fringe festival, when the rest of the city is crawling with tourists. Old College is also home to the Talbot Rice art gallery, which is free to the public and has a few interesting exhibitions on every year.

Offline Edinburgh tips? Get our iPhone / Android app!

Full Edinburgh map?
See spots nearby?

Get our 100% offline app now!

For just €3.99/$3.99

Details about this spot



68 South Bridge, Edinburgh

Opening Times

08:00 - 21:30 daily


Last Changed Date: 2016-05-19 11:45:13 +0200 (Thu, 19 May 2016)