Edinburgh is a magical city, with a cross between ancient Europe and medieval England, there are so many amazing things to do there.
Ive been to Edinburgh twice. The first time, I fell in love, the second time, I became obsessed. From the people who live there, to the amazing activities and places you get to experience there. Each time I have visited Edinburgh, I have enjoyed new and exciting things, not experienced before and I can’t wait to go back again, hopefully next year (hint hint). So, I jumbled up all the great things I have done in Edinburgh, on both visits and now I am sharing with you my six favourites.
Walk the Royal Mile:
I recommend you do this in both the day time and the night time, as you will see and experience two sides of the Mile. In the day time the streets are alive with the hustle and bustle of market places, sometimes parades (depending on what time of the year you’re visiting) and at night, the well lit up street transports you back in time to medieval Scotland. With bagpipes playing on the streets, ancient pubs filled with drunk Scots and gas lamp lit alleyways which provide plenty of photo ops.
Of course, a visit to Edinburgh is not a a real visit at all, without a visit to the grand castle. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed. With hundreds of secret corridors to explore and a bucket load of ancient dwellings to admire, you will find it difficult to leave Edinburgh Castle. And not just because it’s a castle, but because of its history. Definitely give yourself the day to explore, so you’re not rushed. You will want to spend some quality time there, as the views from the castle looking out over the city of Edinburgh are pretty awe inspiring – make sure you have plenty of camera memory for photos.
Edinburgh is a real hub of places to eat, and depending where you are staying in the big city, there are many great selections scattered around. Definitely visit Grassmarket Square, located right under the mound where Edinburgh Castle sits. It’s very pretty here, filled with trees decorated with thousands of fairy lights and plenty of restaurants to choose from, like Italian, French and traditional pubs. Just outside of the city, in Leith, along the Water of Leith (Shore Street to be exact), is another of my favourite places to eat. Think old fisherman’s village meets medieval. There are boats everywhere and plenty of seafood restaurants, all decked out with nautical memorabilia. Just down from Edinburgh Castle on Johnston Terrace is a delicious Thai restaurant called Thai Orchid. It’s a little pricier than the other places I mentioned, but really worth it for a treat. Of course most of these places I have recommended are more for night time. For the day time, head to George Street in the main part of Edinburgh, or take a troll along Cockburn Street or Victoria Street, which is dotted with lovely cafe’s and boutique shops.
Edinburgh Vault Tour:
Whether you a fan of ghost tours, or just like your history, definitely sign up for a tour of the underground Edinburgh Vaults. Ive done this twice now and both experiences were very memorable. The first tour I did was a late night ghost tour, and the other was more of a historical afternoon tour with a slice of ghost. Both tours were equally as good and amazing and I recommend anyone who is visiting Edinburgh to take a tour. The story behind the vaults is truly fascinating. Check out my previous blog here for more info on the Ghost Tour I had there.
Shopping, cocktails and cafes:
Of course if you are looking for something a little more modern, but still with a twist of medieval, then you will want to take a stroll along George Street in Edinburgh’s New Town. Here you will find boutique shops to explore, along with plenty of cafe’s to enjoy hearty breakfasts and light lunches. At night George Street comes alive with trendy upbeat cocktail bars and love music to help you unwind from all your exploring.
Take some time out from the city, in the city. Yes, you read that correctly. Between old Edinburgh and new Edinburgh is Princes Street Gardens. And depending on what time of year you are visiting, these gardens are either fields with beautiful markets, or a festive Christmas fair. It’s a massive park and has plenty to offer, especially during the day. From beautiful gardens to ancient monuments, there is bound to be something you will fall in love with at these gardens, so definitely pop that one on the list also.