Edinburgh Experience City Observatory Calton Hill The first observatory in Edinburgh was built in 1818 by the famous architect William Playfair and it was commissioned by the Edinburgh Astronomical Institution. However, it was replaced by the Royal Observatory in 1890 which was a lot bigger and closer to the city centre. Today, the City Observatory is located on Calton Hill in Edinburgh and it shows a 3D multimedia film which lasts around 20 minutes and shows images of Edinburgh and its rugged countryside. The observatory is open to the public on Fridays at astronomically special times. Edinburgh Guide Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.