Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital has a little bit of everything you need and much more for a city break in Scotland. Below I have detailed a little helpful advice on visiting Edinburgh plus 20 reasons to visit this great city.
Getting around Edinburgh:
Edinburgh is a relatively small city and very easy to get about especially to see the main attractions around the city centre. Edinburgh for the second year running has been voted best city in UK for travel links- Lothian buses all have Wifi and most city centre bus stops have live bus arrivals information helping you to plan your next move. There is also a tram - ideal for tourists as it runs from Edinburgh Airport to the centre of town and, hopefully, one day all the way down to Leith. Lothian Buses app is also very good to help you plan your time in Edinburgh.
For first time visitors to Edinburgh I would suggest you take a bus tour around the city to get your bearings and to see what part of the city interests you most. Walking around Edinburgh can be quite tricky as it is hilly but if you plan your day well enough this should not be an issue. Checking out the Old Town start at the highest point, Edinburgh Castle, and wander down the Old Town until you arrive at Holyrood and the Scottish Parliament at the foot of the Royal Mile. Make sure your explore all the little closes on the way in particular near the top nip into James Court where you will find a great wee bar The Jolly Judge! It really is worth trying to explore all these little lanes you never know what you will find! For example down The Royal Mile at The Canongate you will find Dunbars Close Garden, a perfect tranquil spot in the heart of Edinburgh to recharge the batteries.
Top tips for visiting Edinburgh:
1. Many of Edinburgh’s main attractions are FREE: National Museum of Scotland, St. Giles Cathedral, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh, National Art Gallery, National Gallery of Modern Art, National Portrait Gallery and the Scottish Parliament to name a few!!
2. Use Lothian buses and download their app - make sure you have the right money for the bus as no change is given! For trams you pay before you get on and can use credit card.
3. Take at least one Black Cab taxi – there are a lot of characters to be found driving Edinburgh Taxis plus they are a mine of local information.
4. Explore all the small lanes, alleys and closes in the Old Town you never know what you might find - down Old Fishmarket Close is a fantastic Restaurant and Whisky Bar, Michael Neave, great value lunch and a wonderful a la carte dinner.
5. Take in the views of Edinburgh from at least one of the following: Edinburgh Castle, Arthur’s Seat, Calton Hill and The Scott Monument on Princes Street Gardens.
6. Go on a ghost tour around Old Town Edinburgh.
7. Although we have less rain in a year than Rome and New York I would always recommend carrying a light weight rain coat with you!
20 reasons to visit Edinburgh:
Edinburgh is such a beautiful city with so much to offer visitors. Below I have listed just 20 reasons to visit this wonderful place.
1. Explore the dark and mysterious Old Town of Edinburgh.
2. The awe inspiring Georgian New Town.
3. Edinburgh’s fabulous visitor attractions including: Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace, Scottish Parliament, Royal Yacht Britannia, National Museum of Scotland and so many more.
4. Wonderful selection of Art Galleries and Museums most with free access.
5. Views to die for from Edinburgh Castle, Carlton Hill, Arthur’s Seat & The Scott Monument a climb not to miss.
6. Great designer shopping along George Street and Multrees Walk.
7. Awesome selection of traditional Scottish bars as well as Champagne, Gin and Wine bars to cover all tastes.
8. Outstanding selection of restaurants to choose from, food from across the globe as well as some excellent Scottish restaurants with Michelin Stars.
9. Parks and Gardens to explore – Visit Princes Street Gardens early morning at the weekend before the city awakens, stunning setting with the Castle above. Holyrood Park leading to Arthur’s Seat – here it’s hard to believe when here you are only 5 minutes from the heart of the Old town of Edinburgh.
10. Visit our latest attraction The Queensferry Crossing – now three bridges span across The Firth of Forth to Fife.
11. Edinburgh’s weekend food markets include: Edinburgh Farmers Market every Saturday at Castle Terrace below the Castle, Leith Market Dock Place Leith and Stockbridge Market Saunders Street.
12. Edinburgh city of literature perfect for Book lovers.
13. Edinburgh Lane Sales date back over 100 years. Ramsay Cornish hold weekly Lane sales every Thursday from 11.00 don’t be late they won’t wait!! Everything from antiques, jewellery, paintings and all sorts of knick knacks.
14. The Water of Leith walkway is 12 miles long and runs right through the middle of Edinburgh certainly worth adding to your list of things to do. Visit Rosleaf Bar down Leith for one of Edinburgh’s best brunches (http://www.roseleaf.co.uk) After breakfast or lunch go for a stroll up the Water of Leith for as far as you like, Stockbridge is a great place to get off the walkway, around 45 minutes depending on your speed!
15. Villages within Edinburgh - like Stockbridge apart from The Sunday market Stockbridge has a fantastic selection of restaurants, bars, cafe’s and lots of quirky little shops. Dean Village, Leith, Marchmount and Morningside are also a few other places worth visiting.
16. The beaches of Cramond and Potobello or slightly further afield to Gullane ideal for a long Sunday stroll.
17. Explore Scotland: Edinburgh is located in central Scotland so it is possible to make a day trip from Edinburgh to Loch Ness, there are many tour companies to choose from, I would highly recommend Rabbies Tours.
18. Edinburgh Festivals – the world famous Edinburgh Festival during August is a great time to visit Edinburgh but there are many festivals on at different times of the year. Edinburgh International Science Festival, Scottish International Story Telling October, Edinburgh International Children’s Festival and Leith Festival to name just a few.
19. Christmas and New Year in Edinburgh is just magical – there is so much going on during December and in to January.
20. Last but not least our hotels – check out here our Edinburgh properties.
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