We lived in Edinburgh a few months and visited it almost weekly in the years following our departure. That means I know the city very well and I’m always happy to share suggestions for those who want to go visit Scotland’s beautiful capital. There is so much to do – where to start you ask?
Here are my top 10 attractions in Edinburgh:
They are all free and make for a great visit and some special discovery, especially when the weather isn’t on your side. They are very diverse, so there is something for everyone : from the Surgeon’s Hall Museum, to the Writers’ Museums, passing by the Gallery of Modern Art. My personal favourite is the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.
2. Holyrood park / Arthur’s Seat
Having such a park and such a hill in the middle of the city is a definite advantage. Many will picnic, bring their dog or just enjoy the sunshine in the park on beautiful days, and many will hike the famous Arthur’s Seat over New Year’s Eve, on the 1st of May, or just on any other given day to admire the view over Edinburgh.
3. University of Edinburgh and the Meadows
I’m a bit of a nerd and really do enjoy seeing different university campuses – Edinburgh is no different. There are buildings scattered around the city centre and around the Meadows – a large park south of the Royal Mile. It’s relaxing to go for a walk or just picnic or hang out on a nice day.
4. Attend a festival
Along the year and most importantly in August, Edinburgh is a place of festivities and festivals. There is the book festival, film festival, fringe, and many others. August is a very busy month, with the streets packed and the schedules overloaded, but it’s worth the experience of trying to make your way through a crowd to a new interesting show.
5. Visit the castle
I wouldn’t necessarily put this at the top of my Edinburgh list because there are so many cool things to do in the city, but it is a must and it is a great visit! It is massive and full of Scottish history. It takes a lot of time to get through, but thankfully you can also grab an afternoon tea to make it a day out. There are excellent viewpoints from the top too!
6. Go for drinks in New Town
Oh New Town has some lovely streets, some lovely shops and some even better pubs and bars. It’s definitely worth splurging for an outing or two there.
a raspberry kiss cocktail at the #tonic bar last night at my first #girlgoneinternational event #ggi #nightout #expats
A photo posted by Camila (@caminioca) on
7. Eat in Leith
Leith is a district of Edinburgh that is now renown for its Michelin-starred restaurants and delicious food. I had a lovely afternoon tea with some bloggers at Mimi’s Bakehouse and the Brit and I are heading off to The Kitchin in July. It’s definitely worth the trek – if not the short bus ride from the city centre.
8. Walk the entire Royal Mile
As someone who was a resident in Edinburgh, the Royal Mile can be a bit of an obstacle as many tourists walk slowly admiring the Old Town and winding alleys, but it is still something everyone must do once. It is literally a mile, that stretches between Holyrood Palace up to Edinburgh Castle. It’s full of tea houses, pubs, tourists shops and other quirky attractions like the Real Mary King’s Close or the St Giles’ Cathedral.
9. Calton Hill
We used to live right next to Calton Hill and it was always a great treat to head up and enjoy the views, or the sun, or the entertainment as they often have fireworks up there. It’s also much smaller than Arthur’s Seat and so perhaps more feasible for many in terms of fitness and time.
10. Go up the Scott Monument
The Scott Monument is another great viewpoint in Edinburgh and a great memorial to Sir Walter Scott, a famous Scottish writer. It’s not for the faint hearted as the staircases get tighter and tighter the more you climb up the 287 steps.
What would be your favourite in Edinburgh?xx