A Short Guide to The Best Attractions Along The Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Scotland

The primary emotion that washed over me once the hissing doors of the Airport shuttle bus closed behind my back and my feet hit the wet pavement was pure adoration.

Edinburgh is a ridiculously good looking city and there is plenty to stimulate the senses as you mander between Edinburgh’s Old Town attractions and the elegant Georgian New Town’s squares and some of the cities neighbourhoods.

You’ll find plenty to discover at any time of the year – spring arrives with the trees flaunting their pretty gowns, summers come with an abundance of world-famous festivals, autumn is a storytelling and harvest time and winter offers Christmas magic.

Having visited 90+ cities and towns around the world, I can confidently say that there aren’t many streets in the world that are a tourist attraction in their own right but Edinburgh’s Royal Mile easily takes that title on account of its fascinating mix of architecture, tourist attractions and plenty of history on display.

When visiting Edinburgh you’ll likely find yourself on the Royal Mile at some point and I can’t imagine a better introduction to the city than a walk straight down the spine of the old town.

As you meander up and down the gently sloped road and take in the medieval high-rise tenement buildings, pop in the museums and lose yourself in its dimly lit alleyways known as closes, you’ll get a chance to get a glimpse of the city’s Medieval architecture and its fascinating past.

Fun Fact: The hill of the royal mile is actually an extinct volcano and the slope was formed by the retreat of an ice age over 325 million years ago.  

Moubray House is one of the oldest buildings on the Royal Mile.

A short Guide to The Best Attractions Along The Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Scotland

If you are planning a trip to Scotland’s capital and wondering about what this beautiful European city has to offer, keep on reading!

After spending three days in Edinburgh, our hearts and souls were happy, and we came up with a couple of things worth seeing on its famous Royal Mile. Below is the list we managed to complete while exploring it and can recommend every single of them to make your visit more fun!

It doesn’t matter whether you visit Edinburgh in spring, summer or in December for its famous Christmas markets, one thing for sure, you’ll have a great time!


What is the Royal Mile?

In short – the Royal Mile is Edinburgh’s most famous street that runs through the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town. While most visitors see it as simply a means to walk between the castle and the palace, the road has plenty of history and is an integral part of Edinburgh’s heritage.

There is also a variety of shops, pubs and restaurants that sell the best merchandise and food that Scotland has to offer such as genuine Scottish cashmere, Harris Tweed clothing and premium Scotch whisky.

The Royal Mile is divided into six areas, each very different from the other.

It starts with Castlehill and Castle Esplanade, located closest to Edinburgh Castle which is the oldest part of the Royal Mile being where the city was originally founded.

It then continues on to Lawnmarket, High Street, Canongate and Abbey Strand that connects the end of Canongate, where Parliament Square is located, to the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

You’ll find plenty of Scottish souvenir shops on Royal Mile

Things to know before you go

How long is the Royal Mile | Peculiarly, its length which measures 1.81 km is approximately one Scots mile long, which is longer than an English mile but hasn’t been used since the eighteenth century?

Where does the Royal Mile start and end | The Royal Mile Edinburgh starts at the entrance to the Edinburgh Castle, an impressive fortress on top of Castle Hill. And at the other end, it ends at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, which is the official residence of Her Majesty the Queen in Scotland. 

Best way to visit | While you can easily walk down the mile on your own, you could consider a guided tour to learn more about the history. The tours are reasonably priced and are a fantastic way to discover many stories of the murders, plagues and riots that were part of everyday life in the Old Town in years gone by.

How long does it take | You can easily spend half a day up to a full day on this road – depending on how many attractions you wish to visit.

What to bring | Bring good walking shoes as Edinburgh is a super walkable city and easy to get around on foot. Also – it can be quite chilly in the city, even sometimes in summer. No matter what time of year you visit, pack a cosy cardigan.

Edinburgh is a city that loves its morbid past

Top Tourist Attractions

The Royal Mile is Edinburgh’s most famous street where some of the cities most popular tourist attractions can be found.

Start your day at Edinburgh Castle, the city’s symbol and the most visited attraction, that’s located at the top of Royal Mile and can take up to three hours to explore. explore its fourteen chambers that are linked to the sad story of Mary Stewart, see the crown jewels and hear the one o’clock gun

At the Camera Obscura, visitors can experience six floors of interactive displays with exhibits that showcase optical illusions including holograms, a mirror maze and a spinning vortex tunnel.  This attraction is great for families of all ages and there is also a rooftop terrace to enjoy 360-degree views of the city.  

The Real Mary King’s Close  | unveils the dark history of Scotland. It’s almost like taking a step back in time and hearing the stories from the people themselves.  You can venture beneath the streets of Edinburgh into an underground maze where the stories of the city’s past residents are showcased through a series of exhibits and displays.

Palace of Holyroodhouse | is filled to the rafters with priceless works of art and royal memorabilia and also features a separate art gallery from the royal household as well as a superb café and gift shop.

The Scotch Whisky Experience | a very popular tourist attraction on The Royal Mile that celebrates Scotland’s whisky traditions with tastings, a whisky barrel ride and guided tours.

Scottish Parliament | Constructed from a mixture of steel, oak, and granite, the complex building sits at the foot of Edinburgh’s famous Royal Mile in front of the spectacular Holyrood Park and Salisbury Crags.

Edinburgh Castle is one of the most exciting historic sites in Western Europe

Secluded Gardens and Alleyways

While many of the main attractions are on the main street, it is worth it to break off and check out the little alleyways known as closes. Peaking into dimly lit back alleys and side lanes, it’s easy to imagine Edinburgh in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Many of them are very narrow and you can walk right by them if you’re not paying attention. 

Closes were usually named after a memorable occupant of one of the apartments reached by the common entrance, or a trade plied by one or more residents – you can often find bronze plaques on a wall that will explain the name of a close, which might go under variant names such as “wynd” or court.

Brodie’s Close | named after Deacon Brodie, who was a respected citizen by day and burglar by night. Deacon Brodie was the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde”.

Mary King’s Close | during a plague outbreak in the middle of the 17th century, Mary King’s Close was used as a quarantine to contain the spread of the disease. The ghosts of those who died here are said to still haunt the place.

Advocate’s Close | is particularly popular with tourists due to the fantastic views it offers of the Scott Monument and some of Edinburgh’s central buildings.

The Old Town in Edinburgh is a captivating warren of historical wonders.

Amazing Museums

Some of the best things to do on the Royal Mile are the incredible museums along the way. 

The People’s Story Museum is about the working class in Scotland from the 18th century through the 20th. This museum is unique because the exhibits are formed from oral and written history from the people themselves.

The Childhood Museum is great for children of all ages.  It’s a mixture of toys and hands-on exhibits to enjoy. The collection was originally established by Patrick Murray, an Edinburgh Councilor who was a passionate collector of toys and childhood memorabilia.

If you’re interested in learning more about the city of Edinburgh, then the Edinburgh Museum is for you. You will see Greyfriars Bobby’s collar and feeding bowl and the National Covenant, signed by leaders of the Presbyterian Church in Scotland in 1638.

The Writers Museum housed in the beautiful mansion called Lady Stair’s House, Museum commemorates the lives and works of three of the greatest Scottish writers: Sir Walter Scott, Robert Burns and Robert Louis Stevenson.

The printing press on which Sir Walter Scott’s novels were printed, his dining table, Robert Burn’s writing desk and Stevenson’s fishing rod and smoking pipe are among some of the important objects housed in the museum.

John Knox House | a fascinating mediaeval building constructed in 1470 and named after the famous Protestant reformer John Knox who lived there for a short period in his life

Writers Museum s located in Lady Stair’s House on the Royal Mile.

Heaps of History

Though much of the Royal Mile is now a touristy mall filled with tartans, shortbread, and restaurants catering to tourist needs, it’s still packed with history as it has retained many historic buildings for visitors to explore – Gladstone’s Land, The Writers’ Museum, Mary King’s Close, the Tron Kirk, John Knox House and the Museum of Edinburgh.

Founded in the 12th century, bordering a marsh and clustered around its castle fortress for safety, Edinburgh in its early days built upward instead of out — creating a crowded warren of five- or six-story apartment dwellings, many of which still exist for visitors to see.

If you keep a watchful eye out you might see several brass cobblestones embedded into Edinburgh’s streets which mark the boundaries where the original Flodden Wall – built in 1560 as a defensive measure against a potential English invasion – once stood. Searching for them is a fun way to keep yourself occupied while walking through the Old Town.

While you try to locate the remains of the wall, keep an eye out for the Heart of Midlothian, a pattern of coloured cobbles, which mark the place where the old Tolbooth stood, also used as a prison.

The medieval Old Town and the Royal Mile where you can see bagpipe players was named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995.

Churches and Cathedrals

The modest Canongate Kirk was founded for the residents of Canongate that had previously worshipped in the Abbey Church until King James II converted the Church into a Chapel for the Order of the Thistle. It’s the Royal Family’s favourite church. When they stay in Edinburgh, you’ll see them in attendance, on the front rows that are reserved for them.

The Canongate Kirkyard – home to some of the most fascinating parts of the city’s history – is the last resting place of many famous and interesting people and it was favoured by the infamous Burke and Hare who dig up the fresh graves and sold the corpses to the medical school.

Across the street from The Real Mary King’s Close is the St. Giles’ Cathedral which was founded in 1124 by King David I.  Saint Giles is the patron saint of lepers and cripples, and of Edinburgh. St. Giles’ cathedral, a place of worship for all the Scottish, is where you can find the beautiful Thistle Chapel with its adorned tower.

St Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh.

Traditional Pubs

Edinburgh is a city full of bars and pubs where you can always have a refreshing beer, a whisky or something quick to eat and there are plenty of them set on Edinburgh’s historic Royal Mile.

The World’s End Pub | which is sited on the border of the infamous Flodden Wall. The pub is a nice wee place to stop off for a quick dram or two before crossing the road and exploring John Knox House next to the Scottish Storytelling Centre.

Deacon Brodie’s Tavern | just a short walk from Edinburgh Castle, Waverley Station and George IV Bridge, the wonderful tavern is spread over two floors with a restaurant occupying the upper floor.

The tavern is named for William Brodie, the prototype of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Jekyll and Hyde character. Born in 1741, Brodie led a dual life – a deacon and respectable man by day, and by night, a passionate gambler and criminal who was eventually apprehended and hanged in 1788.

The Mitre Bar | Inside this traditional bar is much larger than you think it is from the outside; as you enter, you can see it stretched way back into the building, leaving sufficient space for everyone to find a comfortable spot to park themselves. The place is so full of character and, just as any other respectable venue in Scotland, has a ghost of its own, in the cellar.

Although the Tolbooth building has been in place since 1591, the actual tavern was established here only in 1820. The whole complex underwent renovation in 1879 and what it looks like today was created back then. This is yet another pub that looks smaller on the outside than it is inside until you actually pass through the door to find it stretched way into the back.

No shortage of places to go after dusk.

Where to stay on Royal Mile

After a day of exploring what’s new, rediscovering what’s old, and making unforgettable memories, take comfort in knowing you have a great place to stay in one of the hotels or hostels along the way.

From modern luxury and family-friendly hotels to quiet bed and breakfast and budget-friendly hostels, you have an option to choose from the dozens of hotels in the heart of the city.

Or you can choose to stay in comfort and live like a local in one of the unique vacation rental properties like we did during our stay.

One of many quiet courtyards on the Royal Mile.

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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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80 thoughts on “A Short Guide to The Best Attractions Along The Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Scotland

  1. I must admit it wasn’t until around a decade ago when I finally learned about Edinburgh. Sure, I had heard about it before, but because a close friend of mine was obsessed with studying there and told me how beautiful the city was (based on the internet sources he found), I began paying more attention to this Scottish city. The more I read about it the more interesting it becomes. And this post of yours reminds me of that.

    I had no idea that Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde were inspired by a real person! Thanks for pointing that out.

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    1. There are a few cities more intriguing than Edinburgh. Having live in the Scottish capital for three years and exploring every nook and cranny of it, I could recommend visiting it if you have a chance! With its old historic buildings, small alleys, cosy pubs and Cafés, it feels like home… away from home. And no matter where you are from, with so many nationalities present, you will never be alone. Thanks so much for stopping by and have a good day 🙂 Aiva

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    1. Your comment reminds me that even after several return visits, I haven’t yet been able to make to it the fascinating Rosslyn Chapel where the “da Vinci Code” was filmed. It would be an amazing opportunity to explore some of Scotland’s fascinating history and culture by travelling t Melrose to see its impressive abbey, dating back to the 12th century and learning about the myths of the Holy Grail and Rosslyn Chapel 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and have a good day 🙂 Aiva

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  2. Your photos are beautiful, and this is a great guide Aiva. I thought Mary King’s close was particularly interesting, and I totally agree with you that the whole of Edinburgh is just beautiful. Thank you for sharing this lovely post 🙂 x

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    1. Thank you kindly 🙂 I am fortunate to live only a 40-minute flight away from Edinburgh and can easily go for a day trip. When we lived in Dublin, 10 minutes from Dublin Airport, I would often catch a 6 am flight to the Scottish Capital, see my friends, visit a few landmarks, have lunch and catch the last flight back. I miss those days! Hopefully, we can soon travel freely! Thanks for stopping by and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

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  3. Never been to Edinburgh, but it surely looks like a beautiful place to visit … a city with such a fascinating history! I would definitely like to pay a visit to the castle and some of those pubs! We will remember your guide if we ever have the opportunity to visit Edinburgh 😊.

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    1. You would love to explore Edinburgh, it’s a city unlike any other. Many different cultures, nationalities and ethnicities are melting together and creating the unique multicultural vibe of Edinburgh. Reflected in the diverse art scene, infamous Festivals, vibrant fairs and markets the city deserves its title “the beating heart of Scotland”. No matter where you are from, or when you come to visit, there is always something going on. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

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  4. Ahhh, Edinburgh, the city of my forefathers. We stayed in the outskirts of central Edinburgh on our 1977 honeymoon and were successful in meeting a few relatives. In 2008, we came back with the kids and stayed just off the Royal Mile. A great place to stay, except for all the pub and drinker noises. One of my son’s friends was living in Edinburgh on the last trip and we did and saw a lot, including hiking up Arthur’s seat. Would love to go back again. Thanks for the memories Aiva. Have a great week. Allan

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    1. Hi Allan! I am glad to hear you have plenty of wonderful memories from exploring Edinburgh – walking up Arthur’s Hill is not very challenging, although it is quite steep at times and I usually stop a few times to catch my breath, but once on top, the reward is a breathtaking scenic view of the entire city, probably the best viewpoint in Scotland. You can even see the ocean from up there! I was delighted to be back in Edinburgh and wander around its cobbled streets. It was a fantastic way to ring in the end and the start of yet another decade lived on the Planet Earth – I was finally able to see my friend, show Ericeira around and have a truly memorable time. Not to mention being on a plane first time in three years! Thanks for stopping by and have a nice day 🙂 Aiva xx

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  5. Edinburgh is also one of my favourite cuties Aiva and a place I return to frequently. The Royal Mike is a real treasure trove of history and charismatic buildings and I never tire of sauntering down from the castle to Holyrood. Your guide is very informative and I enjoyed reading it. Marion xx

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    1. Thanks so much, Marion. I am glad to hear we share a mutual love for Edinburgh – there’s so much to love about it! One of the things I like the most about Edinburgh has to be its location as it is undoubtedly one of the best in the country. Close to the Scottish Highlands, the sea and other cities like Glasgow, there are plenty of ways to spend your free time outside the city centre. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

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  6. This was such a beautiful and nostalgic post! I first visited Edinburgh in 2009 while studying abroad in the UK. We stayed at the University and I spent a lot of time in the pubs haha I also remember looking out my window every day at Arthur’s Seat and finally hiking up it. That was probably my favorite memory of Edinburgh. Thanks for sharing this list- it made my day! 😊

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    1. Hi Casey, I am glad to hear that you’ve been to Edinburgh, it’s definitely one of my favourite cities to explore as the proud Scottish capital boasts stunning architecture, endless winding streets, full of flowers, and majestic castles. I hope you had a great time studying in Brittan. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

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    1. Thanks so much, Maggie. I was delighted to be back in Edinburgh to celebrate my birthday – it’s a city I love and adore because Edinburgh is not only one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, it is a city with a fantastic position. The view falls on all sides – green hills, the hint of the blue sea, the silhouettes of the buildings and the red cliffs. It is a city that calls you to explore it by foot – narrow streets, passageways, stairs and hidden churchyards on every step will pull you away from the main streets. Thanks so much for stopping by and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xxx

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  7. I visited Edinburgh many years ago but it remains one of my favourite cities. So glad to hear that the Museum of Childhood is still around. It’s a fascinating place that brings back many childhood memories. The Royal Mile had plenty of shops that sold quality souvenirs- I wonder if that has changed. I also spent some time wandering in those intriguing closes. And of course, the castle. Time for another visit!

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    1. I am glad to hear that Edinburgh is one of your favourite cities, too. I was beyond excited to be back in the Scottish capital with my family by my side – exploring the winding paths and cobbled streets of Edinburgh’s Old Town was the perfect urban adventure. We didn’t visit the castle but opted to try the weird and wonderful Camera Obscura and the World of Illusions and see the Royal Mile from its rooftops! Thanks for stopping by and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

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    1. Thank you, Linda 🙂 Edinburgh is a very charming city indeed and the Royal Mile is a historical and cultural playground begging to be explored offering visitors plenty of attractions to choose from. I still find it quite fascinating that Castle Rock is a volcanic plug in the middle of Edinburgh upon which Edinburgh Castle sits. The rock is estimated to have formed some 350 million years ago during the early Carboniferous period. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

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  8. How nice to have the time to poke in and out of these so interesting spots along the Mile. I missed most of them. I spent three days there some years ago, but it was during the Fringe Festival and so many wonderful distractions! Enjoyed this post.

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    1. I am glad to hear you had a chance to enjoy the Fringe Festival, Ruth! I moved to Edinburgh at the end of August and little did I know that my arrival was on its last day when the celebrations culminate! The sensory overload of sights and sounds and the busyness of the city is still etched deep into my memory, especially the blasting fireworks – I fell hard for the city right there and then! Thanks for sharing and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

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  9. Excellent piece and one that reminds me there is so much stuff I haven’t checked out, despite having been to Edinburgh around a dozen times. Next time, I’m going to make my trip count and this serves as a great guide. The pubs really are something else, though sadly one of my favourites, Jekyll and Hyde, is long gone.

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    1. Hi, Leighton – I am so glad there are other people who had a chance to visit Edinburgh a dozen times – every time I announce to my family and friends about yet another trip to Edinburgh, they are curious about why I wanna go back once more – but there’s heaps to see and do and I only live 40-minute plane ride way! Yes, The Jack and Jill pub is permanently closed, it was a fun place to stop by, especially the loo hidden behind a bookcase. Sadly, as I discovered on my last trip, many of my favourite shops/pubs and cafes were closed due to the shortage of staff or pandemic crises. Hopefully, there’s a chance for some of them to reopen again – Edinburgh’s best vegetarian restaurant Hendersons closed its doors after being in business for 20 years, but I was reading that they plan to reopen, just in a different location. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

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  10. It’s too bad naive college me didn’t know all of this when I visited Edinburgh 16 years ago. The things you learn once you start traveling a lot, and discover how to research a locale. I’ll have to keep all this in mind when I inevitably drag the husband over to Scotland sometime in the future!

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    1. I made the same mistake while living in Edinburgh for three years – twenty years ago I was too young, too careless and too preoccupied with working in a bar and having fun that exploring Scotland and its beautiful cities wasn’t really on agenda! Gladly, as we live nearby, I can pop on a plane and go for a day trip whenever I wish to do so! Thanks for sharing and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

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  11. I had a brief stay in Edinburgh, but I definitely visited the Royal Mile! I checked out the Museum of Childhood and had lunch (haggis and whiskey) at one of the pubs. My short visit certainly did not do the Scottish capital justice, so I’ll have to return for a longer period of time! Thanks for sharing this gem of a place, Aiva. 🙂

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    1. Hi Rebecca – I am glad to hear you’ve been to my favourite city and even tried haggis- haggis is very good, delicious actually, especially when cooked as authentically as possible. I know there are plenty of vegetarian options too but I haven’t tried any of them. Definitely next time! Thanks for stopping by and have a lovely day. It’s finally nice and sunny in Sligo 🙂 Aiva xx

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  12. I am planning on going to Edinburg in September, before a London-NYC cruise. I have a friend who works at the Royal Scots club and is giving me a deal. SHe’ll probably take us around the city too, but I’ll keep these suggestions in mind if we strike out on our own.

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  13. I was within easy reach of Edinburgh up on the north east coast, Aiva. A pleasant journey by train. I suppose I’m surprised that I didn’t go more often, but there were always other places to visit. Lovely city though, and this is a good guide.

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    1. Hi, Jo 🙂 Jetting off somewhere new is the ultimate adventure, but it’s also rewarding to return to places you’ve been before. As one of my friends live in Edinburgh, I happen to go back many times and don’t even see it as a vacation anymore – it feels like going home. What I usually do, I go at different seasons, this way the same city can feel like a different place. Thanks for stopping by. I hope all is well ❤ Aiva xx

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  14. You have done a good job of listing what is interesting in this part of the city. Edinburgh was one of my first destinations in Europe, at the time I didn’t know how to travel and I didn’t see as much as you did. A revisit is too long overdue.

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    1. Thank you kindly. I lived in Edinburgh for three years and explored very little of it – just a day trip here and a train ride there. I was in my early twenties and jetting off to the Canary Islands seemed more exciting than dwelling on Scottish History! Sometimes we are so focused on catching them flights and seeing the world that we don’t take the time to appreciate our own cities. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

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    1. I hope you get to do it one day, Mark 🙂 Edinburgh is the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature and if you are into creative writing and books, it’s a must! There’s an endless amount of independent book stores, plenty of book events and festivals to keep every bibliophile happy and content 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xxx

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  15. Aiva, this is probably one of my favourite posts on your blog! I remember my friend telling me, years ago, that Edinburgh was the most wonderful place she’d visited, and while I did register what she’d said, reading your post has made her statement come alive!

    I love the way you’ve described the city, and the Royal Mile definitely feels like a place you can’t miss. For a city, Edinburgh certainly seems to have a bustling town feel to it, from what I can tell so far, and I hope I get to visit someday! The People’s History Museum and the Writer’s museum sound so fascinating, and going to an old tavern feels like a must!

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    1. Hi, Arshia, how are you doing today? I hope you get to visit Edinburgh one day. Edinburgh is a beautiful city filled with stunning geology. Its diverse landscape is worth seeing, as it transforms from the volcanic Pentland Hills in the south to the seaside resort of Portobello in the East. This is also where Hogmanay, one of the biggest New Year celebrations in Europe pulsates for four days, and the musical extravaganza of the Tattoo hums, drums and marches against the floodlit backdrop of Edinburgh Castle. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day. I hope all is well. Aiva 🙂 xx

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  16. Travelled 90+ cities and towns around the world? Congratulations 🤩 And wish you many more! I can’t wait to be able to travel again too.
    I’ve never visited Scotland but it’s on my bucket list! Thank you for this beautiful trip filled with information! That castle is really amazing! It really is a historic wonder!

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    1. Thanks so much! Instead of frantically jumping from one country to another one, I took the time to visit different cities, making it my mission to slow down and assimilate the atmosphere, observe the people and try street food. I always seem to remember those little moments – like talking to locals or attending the ongoing festivals – far more than the experience of hitting the important museums and monuments. I hope you get to visit Edinburgh one day as its stunning mix of architecture includes medieval tenements, the Old Town and its cobbled wynds; not to mention the Georgian era buildings of New Town. There is plenty of historical charm when it comes to this holiday destination making it an ideal city break to learn more about Scottish heritage. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

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  17. Wow, I never knew all of this history of Edinburgh. It looks like a fascinating place to visit. I can see myself spending the day walking up and down these narrow streets and exploring every nook and cranny!

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    1. Thanks so much, Diana 🙂 The grand Gothic landmarks and cobbled streets in the Old Town make Scotland’s capital a strong contender for the prettiest city in the UK. But it also has a dark side, with tales of witches and grand battles throughout its history. It’s often a good idea to take a guided walk to learn more about Edinburgh’s myths and legends. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

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    1. Thanks so much. The city centre is quite small but it’s also steep. You’ll be getting a good workout as you climb the streets of the Royal Mile in the Old Town. It’s best seen in summer when festivals take place throughout the city and you can explore the gardens and natural spaces that can be found all over Edinburgh. Thanks so much for stopping by and have a good day 🙂 Aiva

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    1. Thanks so much, Glenys 🙂 I hope you get to visit Scotland one day and walk along the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. This steep street in Edinburgh Old Town captures the essence of the city. It’s central to the history of Scotland’s capital as well as the heart of the tourist trade. Historic monuments are pretty much wherever you look, including St. Giles’ Cathedral, Holyroodhouse Palace, and Edinburgh Castle at the top of the hill. Scattered in between, you’ll find souvenir shops, quaint pubs, and a hive of activity. Thanks so much for stopping by and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

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  18. Wow, this is very exciting post. I was lucky to see parts of Edinburg for 2 days before COVID. It was too fast. Everything was a rush. I do remember the castle, the fountain , the beautiful old rich architecture. The countryside was beautiful, so green and pristine. The rivers run abundantly. The bag pipes music hearing in person at its streets, epic. Thank you for a wonderful adventure. It’s magnificent. Take care. Stay safe.

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    1. Thanks so much. I am glad to hear you were able to enjoy some of Edinburgh’s sights and attractions. Surrounded by hills and glorious scenery, Edinburgh is a dream for photographers, as well as keen explorers and ramblers looking for idyllic walks away from any hustle and bustle. I was delighted to bring my family along and show Ericeira the city where her parents once lived. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

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  19. I lived in Edinburgh for a while. It is a fascinating city with amazing medieval architecture. It is so strange to read a travelogue of somewhere I know intimately but you did a great job. I was working long hours so didn’t see all of the museums and would love to see the underground city that was discovered after I was there. Glad you had a great time!

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    1. During my three years in Edinburgh where I worked long but insanely fun 14-hour shifts in a busy bar, I had very little time or desire to explore the cities sights and attractions. I deeply regret it now and therefore make every opportunity to travel back and explore it with a different attitude. Where about did you live in Edinburgh, Kerry? Thanks for stopping by and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

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      1. I lived in Barnton on the edge of the city. Had just met Teddy and we courted at the village of Cramond. Later I attended monthly management meetings in Edinburgh – it took me about 5 hours to get there!

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  20. A fine guide for a fine city! So much history along one Royal Mile🙂 I love castles and churches, and all the historic buildings, thank you for the tour, Aiva!
    Christie, xx

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  21. Now you’ve done it. You’ve got me itching to go back to the UK… and I was just there! 😉 Seriously, though, this is a great resource. I look forward to flying into Edinburgh one day (we’ve always flown into London) to see the city more properly than we did the one time I was there (and then to climb Ben Nevis!). I love the history you provided, especially the stories of the closes.

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    1. Thanks so much 🙂 It was a fantastic, yet a little unnerving experience to be on a plane again. The trip reminded me that travelling is life-giving and mood-lifting! It makes you feel, laugh, cry, and live. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

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    1. No, we didn’t go to the Whisky Bar on High Street. We decided to steer away from the tourist crowds and stopped by restaurants and cafes in Stockbridge. I very much like its village vibe. There are plenty of independent food businesses to try out when you’ve worked up an appetite strolling the Botanical Gardens, from posh cafes to gastropubs. RadiCibus, an independent modern Italian eatery in Deanhaugh Street, is great if you love handmade pasta. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day 🙂 Aiva

      Liked by 1 person

  22. There is so much of Edinburgh we didn’t see during our brief visit there. This is a marvelous write-up on the City and has me yearning for a return trip… and yet another wee dram at the World’s End Pub!

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  23. Edinburgh definitely looks like 3-5 days of tourist interest in so many ways. When you say it’s walkable there, how might one adapt there who has walking limitations and still wishes to enjoy the fun?

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    1. Yes, to thoroughly see all the major tourist attractions, you need around 3-5 days in the city. The majority of the city’s top attractions are concentrated in the city centre and if you’re staying near the Royal Mile, it’s likely that you won’t need to take more than a few buses during your stay. Places of interest that might be best to get to by public transport are the Royal Yacht Britannia, the Royal Botanic Garden, Portobello Beach or Edinburgh Zoo.

      Buses run 24 hours a day and are extremely frequent. Edinburgh trams have one route and 15 stops that link the airport with the new parts of the city. Or you can even use Taxis in Edinburgh. They are very similar to those in London; spacious, comfortable and elegant. The famous black cabs can take up to five passengers besides the driver. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day 🙂 Aiva

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  24. Oh, this article brought back so many nice memories are my very short week-end in Edinburgh a few years ago (too log ago and too short, which means I definitely have to go back!)!! I remember loving the Camera Obscura museum, it was so fun! Me and my sister also did some tour of the Real Mary King’s Close and loved it – it is incredible how there is a whole city under the city! In the meantime, my mum, who was a bit scared of the ghosts ahah, went to the People’s Stories museum and found it really interesting too! Now I can’t wait to go back and see the things you mention here too 😊

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  25. Thank you for taking me back to Edinburgh. It’s one of my favorite European cities. It’s been about 20 years ago since I’ve been but your post did a wonderful job of bringing back those memories. I liked the college vibe of Edinburgh. Although I was 40 at the time I felt like 20 again. Going back to see a Tattoo is a bucket list item of mine.

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  26. I absolutely love Edinburgh and just returned from a trip there (for work) after a long hiatus. Your sentence at the beginning perfectly captures the feel: “The primary emotion that washed over me once the hissing doors of the Airport shuttle bus closed behind my back and my feet hit the wet pavement was pure adoration.” So true! There is NOTHING not to like in Edinburgh. It is the source of so much inspiration – from the past and in the present – and hidden delights that unfold before your eyes. Thank you for the nice roundup of the Royal Mile, where I walked, and walked, and walked… 17 steps last Saturday. You just can’t go wrong there. I’ve about eleventeen blog posts in my head about that trip. 😁

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