Edinburgh is one of the most historical and exciting cities in the UK. It is steeped in history, yet at the same time has a youthful and lively feeling, partly due to the University. There is an enormous amount to do and see, and Edinburgh is also a great starting point for exploring The Lothians. However much time you have in this wonderful city, we are sure that it will be an experience you won’t forget.
Edinburgh is a reasonably large city with nearly half a million residents, so luckily this means that there is an excellent, and very efficient, public transport system. If you arrive into the airport, you can either choose from a tram or bus that will take you into the city centre, and they operate a 24 hour service. Once you are in the heart of the capital, both buses and trams can take to all the interesting spots on your itinerary for very reasonable fares.
It’s very tough to decide what to recommend to do in Edinburgh, as there really is so much. However, there a few sights that shouldn’t be missed, here is our pick of the best.
Start your day with a 30 minute walk up an extinct volcano. The total height of the rock is 251m, so if you are not in the mood for a walk, there is also the option to drive and cycle around the steep hillside. Either way, wrap up warm and aim to be there for sun rise, to make the most of this natural beauty
It is possibly the most photographed sight in Edinburgh and dominates the cityscape, but don’t let its popularity put you off. The castle has housed royalty for centuries and retains its regal charm. Make sure you experience the beauty of the Crown Jewels and marvel at the historic importance of the Stone of Destiny. Finish your tour by heading down to the ancient dungeons, before hearing the shooting of the One O’Clock Gun.
Dividing the Old Town and the New Town these beautiful gardens are the perfect spot to enjoy an afternoon stroll. In the Summer, take a picnic and wile away the hours in these tranquil gardens. They are also the perfect place to start your exploration of the Old Town which is a World Heritgae Site
Edinburgh has so much to offer, from spectacular museums to theatres and comedy clubs, as well one of the most famous festivals in the world. Whatever genre you prefer, there is definitely something for everyone.
During August the streets, and in particular The Royal Mile of Edinburgh comes alive with street performers and acts from every imaginable genre. The brochure for the event is 400 pages long so that gives you an idea of the diversity. However, don’t be daunted, as the best way is just to jump in with both feet and enjoy the electric atmosphere. Many famous actors have been discovered at the Fringe. We recommend that you download the Fringe App before arriving to help you organize your time.
Scotland has had such a intersting history dating back from the primeval age , so it feels only right to pay homage to the country’s culture and learn more. The National Museum of Scotland houses superb collections that tell you about the nation’s history, and also some great special exhibitions. Entry is free, although some special displays may cost a small fee. Make sure you head up to the roof gardens for the vista across the city.
Next, delve beneath the surfass of Edinburgh, and learn more about the mysterious past of the city. Hidden beneath Edinburgh’s Royal Mile are streets that seem to have been frozen in time since 17th Century. Join a guided tour to listen to ghostly stories of Edinburgh’s past on this fascinating subterranean walk.
Like any capital, Edinburgh, has a vast selection of bars and restaurants where you can enjoy a nice dinner or drink. However, here are some recommendations, that take you away from the touristy locations and allow you to experience the best the city offers.
Who needs a menu? No-one who heads to Aizle. Instead of a traditional menu, this forward-thinking Scottish Neo-Bistro just offers diners a list of ingredients instead. It is up ot you to cross off what you don’t like. From that list, prepare to be amazed, as the chefs concoct a 5-course taster menu made from locally sourced, seasonal produce. The concept is fun and innovative, plus there are some excellent cocktails to accompany your meal. (107-109 St. Leonard’s Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9QY)
The Whiski Rooms, combines that traditional pub feel with a hint of sophistication and class. The menu blends classic dishes with a sense of modernity, and is well-known across the city as top notch restaurant. The main attrction here is the opportunity to choose from over 300 malt and blended whiskies. There are regular events, including whisky tastings, so it worth checking in advance so that you don’t miss out. (4 - 7 North Bank Street, Edinburgh, EH1 2LP)
There are plenty of hotels to choose from in the city, suitable for any budget. Here are two of recommendations for excellent places to call home, while you are staying in the Scottish capital
Location, Location, Location- that is the first impression of this hotel, which is located in one of the best streets in Edinburgh. The building itself is also impressive, as it was first designed over 200 years ago by a local architect called Robert Adam. The rooms are all about comfort and elegance, and the staff pride themselves in delivering truely Scottish hospitality. (19-21 George Street, EH2 2PB)
Prepare yourself for a very special stay at this pretigious five-star hotel. Allow your own personal butler to attend to your every need, from carrying your cases to arranging theatre tickets. As you would expect, the rooms are finished to the highest standard. Don’t forget to ask you butler to reserve you a seat in the dining room for afternoon tea. ( 34 Great King Street, EH3 6QH)