Your Essential guide to planning the best Edinburgh holiday in Scotland

Edinburgh, a wondrous fusion of old and new, is Scotland’s most visited city. The capital of Scotland has it all: the nine volcanic hills that shape its skyline, the Queen’s palace, a world-class botanic garden with its own library that holds a collection of almost 4,000 rare books dating back to the 15th century and two castles.

There are a wealth of third-wave coffee shops, sandy beaches where you can see pink-footed goose from Iceland who stop off here for an autumn feast, 35 museums located in historic listed buildings and even a hidden lighthouse right in the centre of Edinburgh.

Edinburgh is also the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature and a host to the largest art festival in the world. If that’s not enough – Rosslyn Chapel (from “The Da Vinci Code”), the Bass Rock, once described by Sir David Attenborough as ‘one of the 12 wildlife wonders of the world’ and The Forth Bridge, one of Scotland’s major landmarks, are all just a short ride away from the city.

On my last solo trip to Edinburgh, which now seems like an eternity ago, there was rain, cancelled plans and a couple of blisters. But it was still perfect for me because visiting Edinburgh was all about finding new expressions and refreshing old experiences.

Scotland’s second-largest city Edinburgh is a trendy destination for travellers who wish to see a new part of the world, it’s a city with an ideal blend of culture, fun, history and nature.

As you walk around Edinburgh where dark facades invite you to discover what’s inside, it doesn’t take much to imagine knights in shining armour and dragons looping over the castle walls.

“This is a city of shifting light, of changing skies, of sudden vistas. A city so beautiful it breaks the heart again and again.” – Alexander McCall Smith


Things to know before you go

With the wet, grey and windy weather aside, Edinburgh is a dynamic and open-minded city and sort of perfect city too. So perfect in fact that it is the second visited city in the whole of the UK – every year, around 4 million people arrive eager to take delight in exploring its uniqueness.

  • Crowds | That’s why one of the first things you have to expect in Edinburgh is crowds. And crowds come with congested tourist attractions, expensive accommodation and long queues at the airport. Trying to get through the swarms of tourists on the Royal Mile during the August festival can be quite an overwhelming experience. Nevertheless, you can avoid a distressing visit by planning ahead and doing your research.
  • Local lingo | Local slang in Edinburgh takes some time to get used to. Scots are distinct in many ways one of which is their strong accent.  For example, in Glasgow, you’ll hear the word ‘weans’ and in Edinburgh, you’ll more commonly hear ‘bairns’ – both meaning small children. Scots also use colloquialisms. Instead of saying ‘go away, they would often say ‘oan yer bike pal.’ Before you go, learn the definition of a couple of local jargons such as: ‘Shan’ – terrible, bad, disappointing, ‘Barry’ – good, ‘Ken’ – know, ‘Reeking’ – drunk and/or smelly, ‘Braw’ – brilliant and ‘Chum’ – accompany, ‘Scran’ – food, ‘A Kirk’ – a church and  ‘Burn’ – a stream.
  • Currency | The official currency in Scotland is the pound sterling (GPB and £) and the most common banknotes are £5, £10, £20 and £50.
  • Walking is the best way to see the city |  Skip the car and explore Edinburgh on foot – thanks to cities central layout and the new tram lines that locals love to complain about driving around and finding parking will only lead to frustration.
  • Always plan ahead | Fringe Festival and Hogmanay party are the two most significant events in Edinburgh’s calendar. Anyone that plans on visiting – book your accommodation well in advance as the prices shoot up!
  • Cockburn Street is pronounced CO-burn Street.

How to get to and around Edinburgh

 • Flights | The easiest way to get to Edinburgh (EDI) is by plane. Edinburgh Airport, situated just 15 kilometres from the city centre, is very well connected with Europe, Turkey and the USA. It’s the busiest airport in the country, so use Skyscanner to find a convenient flight.

  • Trains | Edinburgh’s railway station that has been operating since 1846 has fast rail services to London. If you live in the UK, taking the train from London, Leeds or Liverpool to beautiful Edinburgh Waverly Station is another great option if you are not in a hurry. The road to Scotland takes you through York, Durham and Berwick before you arrive in the centre of the city.

  • Airlink 100 | The best way to get into the city if you arrive by aeroplane is by Airlink bus which travels all the way to the Waverly Bridge. The buses run 24 hours, leave the terminal every 10 minutes and take around 30 minutes to get to the city. Tickets cost £.4.50 for the single and £7.50 for the return journey.

  • Walking | Once in Edinburgh,  which by the way is an effortless city to navigate with the New Town one and Old town on the other side – you have several options. You can wander around on foot, use a bicycle or choose the bus or tram. Many of Edinburgh’s major attractions are located within walking distance from each other that’s why it’s best to wear comfortable shoes and explore the city on foot.

  • Taxis | You can also use one of the black cabs (with the yellow light switched on), which you can pre-book or simply hail down,  to explore Edinburgh. Central Taxis and City Cabs are two of the most reliable.

  • Buses | Lothian buses run throughout the city and can take you to attractions like Royal Yacht Brittania and Edinburgh Zoo. Unlimited bus and tram tickets cost £4 for adults and £2 for children. Download their mobile app for live departure times and daily updates.

*Our Crossings Tip: Lothian Buses do not offer change, so have the exact amount of money when purchasing tickets from a bus driver.


When to visit Edinburgh

The impossible question – what is the best time of the year to visit Edinburgh?

Weather is unpredictable throughout Scotland with June, July, August and September being the warmest month with the most amount of daytime. Edinburgh is relatively cold throughout the year, so be prepared for variable weather by wearing layers and by bringing your umbrella.

Choosing when to visit will have an impact on your trip as every travel season comes with its own pros and cons. Deciding when to visit will also largely depend on what type of traveller you are because families, young adults, business travellers and domestic visitors all want different experiences.

In general, Edinburgh is one of those European cities you can visit all year round and don’t fear missing out on its food and arts scene – restaurants, shops, tourist attractions and music venues are all open even when the tourists leave.

If you can’t decide when to book your holiday to Edinburgh, consider these four simple questions to help you to make the most with your time and budget:

  • Entertainment – what’s on
  • Cost of staying in Edinburgh
  • Weather and climate
  • Accommodation availability


Edinburgh’s Travel Seasons

HIGH SEASON: JULY and AUGUST

With average high temperatures around 19’C, summertime is the warmest time of the year in Edinburgh and it’s also a high season in tourism.

The advantages of travelling in high season to Edinburgh – plenty of festivals, blooming gardens, good weather, long days and its when the most tourist attractions are opened. The disadvantages – high coasts, chaotic airports and large crowds of visitors.

SHOULDER SEASON: MAY and JUNE, SEPTEMBER and OCTOBER

Shoulder season is the best time to visit Edinburgh with May being the driest month. It sees a drop in visitors compared to the summer month, yet it is still lively. Rhododendrons begin to blossom in spring and autumn arrives with fantastic colours.

The Braemar Gathering, the most famous of Scotland’s Highland games are held in September.

LOW SEASON: NOVEMBER trough APRIL

From mid-October to mid-April the weather is miserable, but the accommodation is much cheaper, and you’ll mingle with fewer tourists in cosy pubs.

Edinburgh rarely gets extreme temperatures during the low season, but it’s cold and dreary and the days are so short; think 4 pm sunsets. You have to pack more clothes than it is summer, yet it’s the time of Christmas markets and Hogmanay celebrations and if you are lucky you could also see snow.


Where to stay in Edinburgh

On your first trip to Edinburgh, you will most likely spend time visiting top tourist attractions, and that’s why staying central is a good choice. Edinburgh is a relatively compact city with the New town and Old town being the most central areas.

You can also look into staying at one of the hotels/hostels located at West End or check out the once-thriving port of Leith – all very well linked to the city centre.

Depending on your length of stay Stockbridge with its two artisan cheesemongers and an award-winning bookshop, a coastal suburb of Portabello, Brustfield and the Meadows are all very trendy neighbourhoods worth booking your stay.

  • Edinburgh’s Old Town that encompasses Royal Mile is an excellent choice for accommodation if you plan on visiting major tourist attractions and like to be centrally located. Don’t dismiss it for being touristy, after all – it’s an official UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995 where some of the city’s oldest attractions are located.  Here you’ll find a great variety of museums, the Scottish parliament building and    Edinburgh castle among many others. Grab a coffee or freshly baked cakes at locals favourites Lovecrumbs, Mary’s Milk Bar or Brewlab.
  • Edinburgh’s New Town is another area you can look into staying as there are loads of shops, restaurants and tourist attractions to explore and visit. Blessed with beautiful Georgian architecture, high-end boutiques and fancy cocktail bars. It’s where Scottish National Portrait Gallery and Edinburgh Playhouse is located as well as beautiful Charlotte square and Gorge street. You’ll love a false bookcase doorway at Panda and Sons bar or enjoy your coffee fix at Artisan Roast. 

Where to go for a meal in Edinburgh

From the sushi and deep-fried mars bars to fish and chips – a staple dish in Scotland – Edinburgh is a foodies haven. Scotland’s finest dishes can be found throughout the city as well as plenty of trendy cafés, upmarket dining rooms, casual bistros and Michelin-starred restaurants.

Once in Edinburgh, why not try Scotland’s traditional dishes such as Cullen Skink – a traditional Scottish soup made with potatoes, smoked haddock and onions. Or Lorne sausage, often known as square sausage or sliced sausage, is a local delicacy made with beef, pork, or both.

Scotland’s national dish is  Haggis-made of heart, liver and lungs mixed with onions, suet, herbs and spices all packed into a bag made of sheep stomach. It’s a classic for the locals but can be daunting to visitors; give it a try anyway, it is said to be delicious.

For vegetarians |  Fear not if you prefer plant-based dishes – as Edinburgh has just been named the UK’s Most Vegan-Friendly City, you’ll find plenty of super cool cafes and restaurants throughout the city catering to vegetarian/vegan needs.

For seafood |  Fish and chips is a nation’s favourite you can sample at the seaside or at the takeaway in the city. Don’t forget to add a special chippy sauce – made from dates, salt and spices and available in all the decent shops around Edinburgh –  when ordering fish and chips.

For breakfast & brunch | You’ll find plenty of trendy spots for that all-important first meal of the day. While the hotel and B&B breakfast is convenient, make sure you dedicate one morning or early afternoon if you love lie-ins, scanning local cafes and fresh bakeries.


Top things to do in Edinburgh

Travellers looking for traditional Scotland, Edinburgh is it. Whether you are looking to marvel at world-class museums or sample its cuisine or nightlife

  • Dynamic Earth | Visiting Dynamic Earth, situated at Holyrood Rd, is taking a journey through time and space with cleverly created interactive galleries, visual effects and movies at its 360′ planetarium cinema.
  • Surgeons’ Hall Museum | Explore the history of medicine in an award-winning museum and enjoy lots of interactive exhibits. The museum is very interesting although a bit gruesome, not many people will have a stomach for it – there’s a room with all body parts and lots of pathology specimens here in jars.
  • National Museum of Scotland | A very remarkable museum, located at Chambers Street, with excellent exhibits about science and technology, the natural world, design and fashion all in one building. You can watch the Millennium Clock chime the hour and travel back in time with Scottish history.
  • Edinburgh Castle | Edinburgh Castle is a wonderful place to explore and learn about history throughout various displays, see the Crown Jewels and marvel at the city below. It’s one of the most visited attractions in Edinburgh, it can get hectic during the peak season, so plan your visit accordingly.
  • Free Stuff | If you are on the budget, there are loads of things you can do in Edinburgh for free.  Visit Greyfriars Graveyard, see Scottish Parliament, hike Arthur’s Seat, explore Botanical Gardens, see all of the Harry Potter sites, visit Dean Village and many more.

Great day trips from Edinburgh

The Scottish capital is a perfect starting point for a day trip. Book an organised tour and head into Highlands or choose a multi-day trip along NORTH 500 to be inspired by the variety of scenery, adventures and places to explore because there is more to Scotland than guidebooks will tell you.

  • Loch Ness | The most popular day trip from Edinburgh, usually around 12+ hours long, takes visitors through the varied landscapes of the famous Scottish Highlands with an opportunity to see Glen Coe, Highland Cows and Loch Ness.
  • Rosslyn Chapel | A fantastic full-day tour where you get to travel over the UNESCO–listed Forth Bridge to visit Rosslyn Chapel, Stirling Castle and Dunfermline Abbey. Highlights of the trip – Wallace Monument and Abbey Kirk.
  • Hadrian’s Wall | A great trip to see the UNESCO World Heritage Site Hadrian’s Wall as well as visiting  Northumberland National Park, the Irthing Valley and the Southern Uplands.
  • Stirling Castle the secret to staying warm while visiting countries with freezing temperatures are to wear a warm hat that covers your ears. Travel to Stirling to see one of the most important and largest castles in Scotland. Sitting atop Castle Hill, beautifully restores Stirling Castle offers fantastic views of the surrounding area and lots of Scottish history.
  • North Berwick | A little seaside town, best known for Scottish Seabird Centre and Bass Rock makes for a lovely day trip from Edinburgh. Jump on a train, and within half an hour you’ll be walking on the beach.

*Our Crossings Tip: If you prefer to travel independently, there are loads of little day trips you can plan using public transport.  We would recommend – St. Andrews, Stirling Castle, Glasgow and South Queensferry.

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Now, over to you!

Have you been to Edinburgh? Let us know in the comments below!

Let us know if you are plotting a visit to Edinburgh and have travel-related questions!

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Our Crossings follows the daily adventures of Latvian expats living in Sligo as they surf and explore the world

73 thoughts on “Your Essential guide to planning the best Edinburgh holiday in Scotland

  1. An excellent article of a city I love and have visited many times as a student! Then it was particularly helpful that there were so many free and amazing places to visit. The Scottish National Art Museum quickly felt like a second home to me, I was there so often and the view from Arthur’s Seat is stunning … on a clear day! 😀 Your brilliant post has me wanting to return to Edinburgh as soon as possible!

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    1. Thanks so much. I love Edinburgh, it’s one of my favourite cities and I can’t wait to go back once the pandemic crisis is over which I very much hope, will happen soon. When it comes to Edinburgh, steeped in history, it’s a city unlike any other with plenty of amazing tours, monuments and sights to uncover. Also, places like the Isle of Skye, the famous Stirling Castle and Loch ness, are easily accessible as day trips from Edinburgh. Thanks for reading and have a good day. Aiva 🙂

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    1. Hi, Marion, I am glad to hear that Edinburgh is one of your favourite cities, because it’s mine, too.  Edinburgh is a beautiful city to explore at any time of the year, and I can’t wait to go back again, this time with our toddler in tow just so we can show her a city we once called our home. Just like everyone, we are waiting for the whole Brexit thing to finalise and for the pandemic crisis to come to an end, and who knows, maybe next time we’ll travel to Scotland, we’ll visit an independent country. Thanks for reading and have a good day. Aiva

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  2. Ahhh, the home town of my forebears, Aiva. We first visited Edinburgh on our 1977 honeymoon and were able to visit with some cousins, as well as explore the city on our own. It is a wonder to explore. We next went back in 2008 with our grown boys and still managed a visitive with an aging cousin, as well as one of my son’s friends who was living there at the time. My advice on accommodation, is do not stay anywhere near a bar, as the Scots are noisy when they leave the bar late. I would also recommend climbing Arthur’;s Seat on a clear day. The views are trmenedous and the exercise invigorating. Stay well and thanks for the memories. Allan

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    1. Thanks so much for sharing your experience, Allan. And yes, I agree with you – anyone visiting Edinburgh must climb Aturs Seat if the weather is good. I usually tackle the red route where you can follow an ancient lava flow to the top, and go back by Salisbury Crags.

      When it comes to Edinburgh, I’ve always proclaimed my love for this beautiful city. From the cobblestones of the Royal Mile to the quaint atmosphere of Dean Village, Edinburgh is a fantastic and culturally significant city worth visiting and exploring over and over again. One of the things I love most about Edinburgh is the variety of emotions I get to experience on every visit. Excitement, amazement, joy and belonging is just a few of them. Can’t wait to bring Ericeira over one day, Edinburgh has a wide range of excellent attractions which are perfect for delighting and stimulating children of all ages. Have a very wonderful day! Aiva

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    1. Thanks so much for reading and interacting, Mark 🙂 A charming combination of old and new, Edinburgh surely features as one of the best places to visit in the British Isles. Edinburgh has a special place in my heart and I could never get enough of everything this beautiful city has to offer. Believe it or not, but after re-visiting Edinburgh 11 times now, I still haven’t had the opportunity to see everything. Have a nice day! Aiva :)n

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  3. It sounds magical and fabulous, historic, cultured and trendy! Edinburgh has it all and you make it so enticing, and with lovely pics as well. Beautiful post Aiva, great info and quite an interesting read. All the best to you!
    FBC

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    1. Thanks so much, Francisco.  Edinburgh is known as one of the most haunted cities in Europe, so there are plenty of spooky and witchcraft stories as well as lots of green spaces, beautiful gardens and incredible bookshops. Hope you get to visit Edinburgh one day! Thanks for stopping by and have a good day. Today is an important day in Ireland – thousands of retailers are finally opening their doors to customers after almost five months of closure. 🙂 Aiva

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      1. I have heard a lot about Edinburgh’s haunted places, especially the cemetery of Greyfriars and yes, I would love to visit, hope to one day in the not too distant future…wow! Finally opening after five months! Well I wish them all the luck in the world. Here we are almost back to normal, curfew at midnight, bars close at 2330 hours and we can travel anywhere we want withing Spain and actually I am beginning to see more and more tourists every day, especially in the beaches where they say all the hotels are full to capacity. The only problem is that a lot of young people do not have any self-respect and they are creating huge illegal parties in the streets and on the beaches without masks, without social distancing and the government fears that may continue to spread the virus. Oh, and this past weekend we were able to go to the football match for the first time here in Valencia, but I am not a fan of the Valencia CF but of Barcelona FC and lamentably in Barcelona one cannot attend the matches yet and lamentably we lost…
        All the best Aiva,
        cheers!
        FBC

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  4. What a great guide for visiting Edinburgh. I love the Old Town architecture and your photo of the rounded street bordered by the stone buildings, but you really had me at Stockbrige’s cheesemongers 🙂 I visited Edinburgh as a child so have very vague memories of the castle. Time to visit again – maybe next year. Maggie

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    1. Thanks so much, Maggie! No visitor will be short of things to do in Edinburgh city. From Edinburgh Castle that affords some of the best views of the city to the National Museum of Scotland’s Grand Gallery displaying items from around the world – the Scottish capital is a real treasure box.

      At its core, Mellis is a cheese lover’s heaven, and as I qualify as one I always make sure to visit the Stockbridge cheesemonger where the cheese bench is a carefully curated selection of artisan & farmhouse cheeses from the British Isles and beyond. I love the farmhouse cheeses as they differ from mass-produced factory cheese because the milk comes from a single herd rather than several different sources. Thanks for stopping by and have a lovely day. Aiva 🙂 xxx

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    1. Thanks so much, Meg! Edinburgh has long been one of Europe’s most beguiling historical cities, and everyone that has a chance to visit will find many amazing things to see and do. Thanks for stopping by and have a nice day. Aiva 🙂 xxx

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  5. I was planning a trip to Edinburgh in May 2020 but you know what happened with those plans! Hopefully I can reschedule, perhaps for 2022. I’m glad to hear that shoulder season is the best time to visit as that is what I seemed to discover from my research as well.

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    1. We were planning a proper, two-week road trip around Scotland in May 2020, but just like you, ended up cancelling it. As we live a 40-minute plane ride away, we can always go to Edinburgh for a weekend. Just have to wait for international travel to resume.

      And, I have to say, Edinburgh is one pretty special city – from underground towns to rooftop terraces and hidden alleyways, you’ll feel as if stepping into a dreamy scene. Thanks for reading and I hope you have a great day. Aiva 🙂 xxx

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  6. Your interesting article is a good summary of the notes to take before going to Edinburgh. I failed to do this and on my trip to Scotland I soon realised that I had underestimated the influx of tourists to the capital. For lack of reservations I went to explore the back roads, Loch Ness, and other lochs with their ancient castles. I know I’ll have to come back. Thank you for the guide.

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    1. Thanks so much for reading. Edinburgh is such a bucket list destination and such a fantastic city to explore that deserves at least one encounter if not more. Having lived in Edinburgh for three years, we had a chance to experience everything that the city has to offer, the Fringe festival and Hogmanay included. And I have to say it’s unlike anything we’ve experienced so far. It’s certainly crazy busy and even messy at times, but it leaves a lasting impression. Thanks for stopping by and have an amazing day ahead! Aiva 🙂

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  7. Thank you for the amazing guide Aiva, I have heard only great things about Edinburgh!
    Haggis sounds so similar with one of the Romanian dishes called “drob” made with lamb, pork, or chicken offal. I remember we ate something similar in France as well, years ago, but we didn’t really speak French, so I don’t remember the name🙂
    Have a great week ahead! Christie, xx

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    1. Hi, Christie 🙂 One of the most beautiful cities in all of the UK, Edinburgh rises from the wide Firth of Forth to a high, rocky pinnacle crowned by the stone walls and towers of Edinburgh Castle. And I was so lucky to call it my home for three consecutive years! But as I am vegetarian, I never tried traditional haggis, but I have to say that a vegetarian one, made with carrots, mushrooms, oatmeal, onions and pine nuts is absolutely delicious. Thanks for stopping by and have a nice day. Aiva 🙂 xxx

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    1. If you are a traveller who is also a fan of Harry potter then better add the beautiful place of Edinburgh to your bucket list. This is considered as the birthplace of the Harry Potter was written by author JK Rowling. It is believed that the magical world of Harry Potter was inspired by the streets of this place. Often you get to see places that have quite a relevance to what you’ve seen in the movie. 

      When it comes to local slang – in Scotland, locals speak English, but they have their own dialect, which means a set of different words that aren’t used in England. It took me a while to fully understand what someone whos born and bred in Scotland was saying. Thanks for stopping by, Rebecca and have a nice day. Aiva 🙂 xxx

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          1. The psychology behind the characters is clever and there is a lot of humor to it. Definitely not just for kids! My husband and I read them all aloud to each other years before our child was born!

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  8. This is a wonderfully comprehensive guide to Edinburgh, Aiva. I have never been and knew little about the city until reading your post. I love that it’s a walkable city with a year-round arts scene. I’m intrigued by Cullen Skink and would definitely give that a try. Your photos are beautiful and the one of Victoria Street is especially appealing to me. Cheers from Vancouver! Caroline

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    1. There are so many reasons to visit Edinburgh and its wide-open spaces and wonderful buildings are some of them. Edinburgh has some unique buildings ‐ and I’m not just talking about the Scottish Parliament with its bamboo-covered windows. Dynamic Earth, just across the street, is housed in a cross between the Millennium Dome and a Bedouin tent, set against the dramatic backdrop of Arthur’s Seat.

      Calton Hill at the end of Princes Street is topped by an unfinished ‘Parthenon’, designed as a monument to the casualties of the Napoleonic Wars, as well as two observatories and a monument to Nelson in the shape of an upturned telescope. Thanks for stopping by and have a nice day. Aiva 🙂 xxx

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  9. What an extensive post on Edinburgh! I only had two nights in the Scottish city, and timing wasn’t great, as I went in the dead of December that coincided with Christmas (festive, but places weren’t open), as well as stayed with a Couchsurfing host WAY outside of the city center. I didn’t do a ton there, but I really do hope to return to Edinburgh, hopefully in the warmer months, and for at least two extra nights to get a better feel for it. I appreciate you sharing your recommendations on food and sites in town, and I’ll be using this as reference for my next trip over!

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    1. My last trip to Edinburgh was in the dead of December, too. The flights were cheap and the Christmas festival was on, yet the weather was miserable and the days were so short. Luckily I could escape to museums and those cosy corner coffee shops, but I was still constantly freezing! But then again, I was blown away by the city’s festive atmosphere and was delighted to see the snow which rarely happens in Edinburgh. During my three years in Edinburgh, I worked as a bartender in the restaurant and was extensively exploring its food scene. I couldn’t recommend specific restaurants and cafes in this post, because the city is only now slowly opening and no one really knows which of the establishments survived the pandemic crises. Some of my favourite restaurants closed their doors for good at the beginning of the year, but I really y hope to stumble upon new ones next time I visit. Thanks for stopping by Rebecca and have a good day. Aiva 🙂 xxx

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  10. One of your best city guides, Aiva. Even though I know the city well I stayed with you to the end, and I agree, it’s a fascinating and exciting mix. The skirl of the bagpipes on Princes St sends shivers! 🙂 🙂

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    1. Thanks so much, Jo. Dominated by a lofty castle and renowned for its mixture of high culture and cosmopolitan cool, Edinburgh is Scotland’s historic capital. It’s one of those beautiful European cities with a warren of cobbled streets and alleyways which are lined with towering tenement buildings, churches and atmospheric vaults. Thanks for stopping by and have a nice day. Aiva 🙂 xxx

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  11. Amazing guide Aiva, thank you. I visited Edinburgh back in 2013, but it was before I got in to photography or blogging so I took no photos at all! Part of me is happy about that as I enjoyed every second in the moment, but a bigger part is gutted I have nothing to remember it by. It gives me a good excuse to return soon 🙂

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    1. I know what you mean about not having photos from your trip. I lived in Edinburgh in 2003 and back then we had no smartphones, Instagram or fancy DSL cameras and therefore, I don’t have many photos from my time there, hardly a handful which I really regret. But then again, we were always in the moment without any distractions and I think that’s one of the reasons why I have such fond memories from living in Scotland. Last year, when cleaning out storage space on my PC, I accidentally deleted all my photos from the last trip to Edinburgh, which is a perfect excuse to return once more. Thanks for stopping by and have a nice day. Aiva 🙂 xxx

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  12. I got a good laugh at reading some of the local lingo. Edinburgh looks like a wonderful place to visit. I would love to make my way to Scotland someday. The hiking and scenery looks incredible. Plus, it would also be neat to visit some of these charming towns and cities like Edinburgh.

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by. Edinburgh is a hilly yet compact city that offers lots to see and do. Declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the city boasts its iconic landmarks and monuments like anything else. I am certainly looking to go back again one day. And, I have to say that Scots are distinct in many ways, one of which is their strong accent. You could be forgiven for mistaking a strong Scottish accent for a foreign language. For example, in Glasgow, you’ll hear the word ‘weans’ and in Edinburgh, you’ll more commonly hear ‘bairns’ – both meaning small children. Scots also use colloquialisms. Instead of saying ‘go away, they would often say ‘oan yer bike pal.’ I think their language is incredibele. Wishing you a very good day ahead. Aiva

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        1. I’ve heard that Outlander is an entertaining show with very developed characters, but I haven’t watched it yet. I know there’s a new release on Netflix about an immortal Scottish swordsman who must confront the last of his immortal opponent called The Highlander. The movie was made in 1986 and as I haven’t seen it in years, might give it a go this weekend. Aiva 🙂

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  13. As my wife and love travel by trains, we look forward to visiting lovely Edinburgh on our next UK trip. It helps us to do this because we have no bairns to look after.

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    1. I am glad to hear you are planning on visiting the Scottish capital, and I hope your plans come through. Edinburgh has pretty much everything a traveller could ask for, apart from decent summer weather. Centuries of history, beautiful architecture, a great dining scene, tonnes of good pubs, lots of arts and culture, lovely green spaces, the works. It’s very safe too and easily walkable. Thanks for stopping by and have a nice day. Aiva 🙂

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    1. Thank you, Marie 🙂 It might be best known for its summer festivals and Hogmanay parties, but Edinburgh’s got a lot to offer at any time of the year, and I can’t wait to go back. Hopefully at the end of the year for my 40th Birthday! Take care 🙂 Aiva xxx

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  14. I have been to Edinburgh, but not for nearly long enough – basically a day and an overnight. My goal is to get back there someday. Fortunately, with all my in-laws in England, I have a fighting chance. Beautiful pics you took, and you also had me googling “third wave coffee shop.” I’d never heard that term before!

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    1. I once read that Edinburgh has more coffee shops than any other town in the UK outside of London and one of the highest numbers of cafés per head of population. Keep in mind that it didn’t include sandwich shops that also sell coffee such as Greggs or Pret a Manger, or bars, restaurants or bookshops which also sell coffee-based drinks. I’m not a coffee drinker, but given how much and how often it rains in Edinburgh, they provide a warm shelter from the ever-changing weather conditions. I hope you get to go back to Edinburgh – which is a source of inspiration to filmmakers and writers – to see its many wonderful sights. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day. Aiva 🙂 xxx

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  15. I’ve only been once to this amazing city. This was my first visit to Scotland. I fell deeply in love with the city and the country. I LOVE Scotland, it’s almost eerie how much it felt like home to me. I visited in April, I remember it was Easter weekend and managed to actually get sunny weather! We did a hike to Arthur’s Seat, an amazing experience, and also visited Edinburgh Castle and the Scottish National Gallery, which is simply stunning.

    Oh, this made me miss it so much. I was planning to go back there in 2020, but well… definitely planning a second visit next year 🙂

    P.S. Cockburn Street is pronounced CO-burn Street – it’s a FANTASTIC tip 😀

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    1. As the world’s leading festival city – there are 12 major annual festivals throughout the seasons but most of them are in August when over 25,000 artists populate the city with over 1,000 shows per day – Edinburgh is a charming destination that flaunts both old and new. Writing the post about Edinburgh made me miss it too especially as we had to cancel our two-week road trip around Scotland due to the pandemic crisis.

      I am glad to hear you love Edinburgh, the quaint medieval Old Town can easily win you over with its quaint Scottish pubs and bars, narrow, winding streets and centuries-old buildings. Not to mention the New Town where you’ll find a buzzing atmosphere, plenty of shopping opportunities, beautiful Georgian townhouses and fantastic museums. Thanks for stopping by and have a lovely day. I hope all is well. Aiva 🙂 xxx

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      1. I know it would be busy, but I would love to be in the famous Fringe Festival. It just sounds like something I need to experience in my life☺️ thanks for all the tips, I am desperately missing Scotland and will continue to daydream about the beautiful Georgian townhouses, and the medieval old town! Thank you and have a great week!

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        1. During my three years in Edinburgh, I used to work as a bartender and had a wonderful experience being part of the Fringe Festival mayhem. Yes, it’s busy and crowded, but with comedians, theatre companies, dance troupes and musicians travelling from all corners of the globe., it’s an experience unlike any other. You can see the theatre from Egypt, followed by an Aussie comic and a Korean drum band, think of the airfare you’re saving seeing all this in one city. I am desperately missing Scotland, too. Have a nice weekend 🙂 xxx

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  16. So many great tips here!! I just deferred my study abroad trip to Scotland to the winter/spring of 2022, and I can’t wait to visit Edinburgh. I have heard so many amazing things. I had no idea the chapel from the Da Vinci Code is just outside the city, so I think I will definitely check that out. Eeek I’m so excited!!

    Best,
    Grace

    gracefulrags.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Grace, how are you today? I really hope you get to go to Edinburgh next year and revel in its splendour! I am keen on going back once more and that’s why I keep a close eye on the coronavirus situation in Scotland, including what we can do, statistics and data, how to get tested, links to support and guidance.

      My sole reason for watching the movie and reading The Da Vinci Code was mainly due to the fact that Robert Langdon and Sophie Neveu travelled to London and then to Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland. Although the aerial view of the Chapel in the film was based on a one-sixth scale model, specially created, because the Chapel itself was under scaffolding at the time it was still a sight to see. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day. Aiva 🙂 xxx

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    1. Same here, Pamela, Just going through the photos in my travel archives and writing about Edinburgh makes me want to return, too. We are not planning any big overseas trips for this year, and that’s why a visit to Edinburgh would be more than enough. As we had to cancel our two-week road trip around Scotland last spring, we still have plenty of sterling, pre-planned itineraries and a desire to go. Thanks for stopping by and have a nice day. Aiva 🙂 xxx

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  17. We’ve been twice – neither time for very long. We are huge Harry Potter fans so this last time we did a lot of those sites. We took time to sit in a pub and enjoy a pint or two and listen to the accents! We found the food in Scotland amazing and Edinburgh was right up there. Our May weather was better than our August trip – it’s always a mix up in Scotland! I’d be happy to to back again and explore more for sure and we likely will.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am glad to hear you’ve been to Edinburgh twice, Bernie. I love your idea about sitting in a pub and listening to the quirky Scottish accents and absorbing a cosy vibe. Pubs have been a cornerstone of Scottish society for centuries, and local establishments (or ‘locals’) in particular play a crucial role in communities, serving as default venues for after-work drinks, spectator sports and Sunday lunches.

      I had a fun time writing the post and going through my photo archives as it brought on a wealth of memories.
      From towering snow-capped Munros to mystical lochs, Scotland is a sight for sore eyes, with its scenery synonymous with Scottish national identity and that’s why no memory — despite how glorious — can replace the act of physically being and breathing in Scotland. Thanks for stopping by and have a nice day. Aiva 🙂 xxx

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      1. I find Scotland so fascinating – so beautiful but so sparse. Little pockets of people here and there (kind of like the Canadian prairies) with so little signs of “change” in many ways. I never tire of going there!

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        1. I find Scotland fascinating, too, Bernie. Especially knowing that the official animal of Scotland is the Unicorn. With its white horse-like body and single spiralling horn, the unicorn is a symbol of purity, innocence and power in Celtic mythology. Legend also tells that their horns can purify poisoned water, such is the strength of their healing power. How amazing is that! 🙂

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  18. That brought back so many lovely memories, Aiva. I lived in Edinburgh when I was a nanny so lived in a rather grand house. I had just met Teddy so he would travel to Edinburgh to court me. North Berwick and Cramond were our favorite spots. Later I worked for a non profit whose headquarters were in Edinburgh and traveled from Aberdeen for monthly meetings. Great post and laughed about Cockburn… K x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Kerry. I bet you have many amazing stories from your time in Scotland. Do you have any travel posts on your blog about Edinburgh? Would love to read one! 🙂 Writing about Edinburgh and flickering through my photo archives brought up many memorable moments. As I lived there for three years, I grew to love the wide streets and Georgian mansions of the New Town, the characteristics of Scottish people and its spine-tingling ghost stories. I once read that Scots are actually the most friendly people in Britain, and I can certainly vouch for that. Cheers and have a nice day. Aiva 🙂 xxx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It never occurred to me write a blog about Edinburgh although I have enjoyed visiting it. Perhaps if I visit in the future I will look at it with new eyes. Teddy’s uncle was a tour guide in his retirement. Glasgow wins the prize for the friendliest in Scotland but I am just biased…😊 K x

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  19. Great post! I went to Edinburgh once for a very short (too short) weekend with my mum and sister, when I was living in the UK. Even though it was cold and raining, I loved the city and found it absolutely stunning. I wish I had stayed a bit longer but next time I go I’ll make sure to take your guide with me! Thanks for sharing 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you kindly, Juliette. Edinburgh is a vibrant and welcoming city bursting with character, personality and great experiences. No matter when you visit, you’ll find world-class visitor attractions, unique neighbourhoods, stunning architecture, an ever-evolving food and drink scene. And not to mention those unmissable day trips. With fantastic travel links, combining the excitement of an Edinburgh city break with a day trip to some of Scotland’s most scenic spots has never been easier. The beauty of Loch Lomond, the history of Stirling and the sandy beach of Ayr are all within easy reach from the centre of Edinburgh by public transport. Thanks for stopping by and have a nice day. Aiva 🙂 xxx

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  20. After reading your post, now I know all the more normal things to see and do around Edinburgh! My son and I have been there twice – once for Hogmanay New Year’s festival while we were doing a driving trip around the UK, and then during Fringe festival while driving around Scotland. What wonderful experiences! Nice to see your shot of Victoria Street without the crowds.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am glad to hear you had a chance to experience two of the biggest festivals in Scotland because nothing beats New Year’s Eve in Edinburgh. Experiencing Hogmanay and ringing in the New Year along with thousands of party-goers from all corners of the globe is a celebration to remember and so is the Fringe Festival.

      Even after all the trips, I have yet to embark on a haunted Edinburgh tour where I could discover cities dark and bloody past, from the Great Scottish Witch Hunts to the Burke and Hare murders and learn about the haunting stories of the Wizard of West Bow, the Grey Lady, George Mackenzie and more. I might work up the courage to do so on my next trip. Thanks for stopping by and have a nice day! Aiva 🙂

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  21. Scotland is beautiful and full of adventures. I got lucky enough to see parts of it just before the pandemic. Hope to revisit it one day. Thanks for sharing this. Happy weekend.

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  22. Great guide. I have lived in and near Edinburgh for quite a few years and you have captured it well. One additional slang to mention is that “juice” does not mean juice but rather pop like Coke or Irn Bru. One additional suggestion is to visit the secret bars like Panda & Sons or Hoot the Redeemer

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