Over the past
Edinburgh is a perfect example of old and new, though I am more partial to the old. I love the
It seems everywhere you turn in Edinburgh, there’s a story, even some Ghost Stories.
Being from Scotland and living so close I forget that it’s such a popular tourist destination, it's second in the UK only to London! So to help you plan the perfect trip I've compiled a list of sights to show you the must-sees in our capital.
1. Arthur’s Seat
Situated at the bottom
Obviously it's best to do on a nice sunny day, but since this is Scotland, beggars can’t be choosers. It was quite overcast when I went up but it didn’t affect the views at all.
2. Calton Hill
Another lovely walk with incredible views, it’s a nice escape from the busy city where you can enjoy a picnic looking out over the North Sea.
Interesting fact: The location of “The National Monument” was intended to be a Parthenon to commemorate Scottish Soldiers killed in the Napoleonic Wars. I say intended because they ran out of money half way through construction and just gave up! Apparently it used to be known as “Scotland’s Disgrace”.
3. Scott Monument
I personally just think this is a really cool looking structure. In memory of Sir Walter Scott, you can climb up the 287 steps to the top for £5 admission fee.
4. The Elephant House
If you, like me, are a massive Potterhead and love anything to do with Harry Potter, then it's essential you go to The Elephant House. This is the famous birthplace of the stories as it's where J.K. Rowling wrote much of the early Harry Potter books, not to mention the food is delicious.
it's an obvious tourist trap and can get quite busy with queues out into the street, but well worth the wait.
Have a wee peek in the public toilets (sounds weird I know) to see the thousands of messages for J.K left by fans over the years.
5. Ghost Tours
Edinburgh is known for being extremely haunted, so naturally there are MANY ghost tours you can choose from: daytime, nighttime, graveyard, underground vaults etc.
Wrap up warm as most tours are at night and it can get quite chilly. Even if you’re not into ghosts, the tours take you around cool parts of the city and it’s a chance to learn more about its history. Most tours are around the £15 mark.
6. Royal Botanic Gardens
I’m a sucker for Botanic Gardens. I don’t know why but I just love them. It’s a lovely walk around the actual gardens, but there are also the 28 glasshouses to explore, Inverleith House (which hosts art exhibitions) and a little café for some refreshments.
7. Explore the Old Town
Wander around and take in the city. It has a great atmosphere and the architecture is so amazing you could easily spend all day exploring it.
Bring a guide book with you so you can also read about the history of what you are seeing.
8. The Royal Mile
It's the most famous street in Edinburgh, full of pubs, restaurants and shops and leads from the castle down to Holyrood House. Though very touristy, it's worthwhile seeing as there's a lot of history there. You could then go on to climb Arthur’s Seat as it's right there.
Edinburgh: What To Do and See in Scotland's Capital #traveltips vis @YUndecided
A few other travel tips:
Edinburgh center can be quite pricey. To save money you could walk instead of catching public transport and/or taxis. It’s such a beautiful city so walking around is
Las Iguanas is a Latin American restaurant in George Street. Delicious food, good vibes and lovely staff.
The Elephant House (mentioned above) has lovely food. It’s more of a café vibe but offers anything from jacket potatoes and nachos to burgers and pizzas.
The unmissable spectacle of Hogmanay is one of the biggest New Years Eve celebrations in the world. I’ve never experienced it myself but I hear it’s everything you expect it to be. If you're interested, I would book well in advance as tens of thousands descend onto the streets for the party.
Is Edinburgh on your travel list for a future trip? Which of these places are you excited to see first?
This post first appeared on Young and Undecided and has been republished with permission.