Back in December, I visited Edinburgh with my friend Holly for a weekend city break just before Christmas (yes, it has taken me this long to get a post up about it… I am ashamed). It’s safe to say Edinburgh completely stole our hearts, the city’s mix of beautiful architecture, history, and of course our beautiful Airbnb made the whole trip a success. I will have an Edinburgh food guide going up soon, but until then here are a few of the places you definitely shouldn’t miss if you’re planning to visit Edinburgh!
Probably the biggest attraction in Edinburgh is Edinburgh Castle! It’s positioned at the top of the Royal Mile and is worth the visit just for the city views even if you don’t plan on going in! We didn’t get tickets for inside the castle and the queue was too long for us to stand in the freezing cold so we gave this a miss but you can still walk around a restricted area of the castle grounds.
The Royal Mile:
The Royal Mile starts at Edinburgh Castle and stretches all the way down through Edinburgh’s Old Town. There are plenty of attractions in this location, including, Camera Obscura, Scotch Whisky Experience and the Museum of Edinburgh. If you fancy just wandering along without paying the extortionate entry prices for the attractions, it’s home to plenty of little shops, museums and cafes to explore.
Edinburgh’s Old Town:
Although Edinburgh’s Old Town is home to The Royal Mile, it also combines plenty of cobbled alleyways and windy stairway’s to create a labyrinth of unique paths and passages. One of my favourite streets was Cockburn Street, it was like looking at a scene from Harry Potter!
Victoria Street is also located in the Old Town area of Edinburgh but home to some of the most colourful houses in the city. It’s allegedly one of the most haunted places in Edinburgh, but we avoided the ghost tours for a reason, so if you’re into that kind of thing then this is definitely a place to visit. The street will be featured in any of the Harry Potter walking tours that the city has to offer as it is said that this was JK. Rowling’s inspiration for Diagon Alley. It’s also just around the corner from the cafe she began writing the first book in, so on that note…
Harry Potter Walking Tour:
Honestly, even if you’re not the biggest fan of Harry Potter, these tours are a great way to see different parts of the city and areas that you wouldn’t even think to visit. I won’t give too much away for anyone that plans to do one but for the sake of £10/15, they are well worth the money! We booked ours via Airbnb as we had a voucher but you can book plenty of different themed tours online before you arrive.
Calton Hill is right in the middle of the city centre, so if you’re visiting without a car it’s just a short walk away from the main streets of Edinburgh. It offers panoramic views of the city and is a peaceful place to explore for the afternoon!
It’s also home to the Nelson Monument, the National Monument, the Dugald Stewart Monument, the old Royal High School, the Political Martyrs’ Monument, the Robert Burns Monument and the City Observatory, so there’s plenty to do!
The Nelson Monument:
As mentioned, this monument is located at the top of Calton Hill. I believe it cost us just less than £5 to go to the top, which was well worth the loose change just for the beautiful views of the city. With no one in the way to spoil that perfect shot. Although I would note that the only way up/down is a very tall spiral staircase and because of the time of year we visited, it was incredibly windy at the top!
If you’re visiting at Christmas time you won’t miss Edinburgh’s Christmas Market, located in Princes Street Gardens. Set over the whole park, there’s plenty of festivities to be enjoyed! Plus lots and lots of yummy food – we were guilty of spending a lotttt of time here during the weekend, feasting on cheese fondues, hot dogs and festive G&T’s.
So there you have it, some of the main areas we visited during our trip to Edinburgh! I will have another post up all about the places we ate and drank because honestly, that’s what we did for the most part of our weekend!
Have you been to Edinburgh before? Let me know in the comments!