The medieval, hilly city of Edinburgh is filled with impressive sites – the imposing peak of Arthur’s Seat, Calton Hill topped with monuments and memorials, and of course, viewable from almost every part of the city, the grand Edinburgh Castle.
The city truly comes alive during August where it hosts The Fringe Festival - the largest arts festival in the world.
How to get there:
Buses run daily from major cities in the UK – check out Megabus or National Express for schedules and tickets. Scottish Citylink and Megabus connects Edinburgh with other Sottish cities, with tickets going for as little as £2.
Trains run hourly between Edinburgh and London’s Kings Cross station, but make sure you book in advance – tickets go for as little as £25, or £126 on the spot. Trains also connect Newcastle, York, Inverness and Glasgow.
The airport is located around 10km out of the city, and is connected by an express bus service running every 10 minutes. The bus leaves from Waverley Bridge (near Princes Street and the main rail and bus stations, taking 25 minutes. Tickets cost £4.50 one way or £7 return.
How to get around:
Edinburgh is an easily walkable city, though if you need, you can hop a local bus. Check out all routes here.
Where to eat:
LOVE this sandwich store, they have plenty of fresh options to make your own roll starting at £3.95. They also offer amazing breakfast deals, like 5 items (bacon, haggis, hash brown, scrambled eggs etc) for £4.95 or a breakfast roll and coffee for £3.50.
Bangers & mash, Sheppard’s pie… All your favourite British meals dished up for around £5-7. Engine Shed: Located right next to Arthur’s Seat, this is the perfect vegetarian café to refuel on delicious vego meals after your hike. Mains cost around £4-5.
If you’re a Harry Potter fanatic, you’ll want to swing past here – JK Rowling used to write here, overlooking the Edinburgh Castle. Pretty touristy, but still serves up a good pastry and coffee.
Where to stay
Thanks to the vibrant summer festival scene, hostels are abundant here. Kick Ass Hostels is one of the largest hostels in town and feels a bit like a maze, but has all the comforts of a good hostel – clean rooms, large kitchen, top-floor bar and great café out front.
An idea of costs for one day in Edinburgh
£49 per day
- Hostel: £10
- Breakfast deal from Graze: £4
- Entry to Castle: £12
- Lunch at Engine Shed: £4
- Souvenir: £3
- Dinner & beer at Monster Mash: £12
How long to spend in Edinburgh
Edinburgh is a small, cosy town, and can be comfortably explored in 3 days.
What to see and do
Edinburgh Castle is built high on an impressive extinct volcano called Castle Rock. This rock has been inhabited since around 850 BC, and there has been a royal castle on the site since at least the 12th century. You can buy tickets online (£17) or at the door (£18.50). Entrance to the castle is from 9.30am to 4pm.
This deeply eroded remnant of an ancient volcano has stunning views back over the city – the hike to the summit, a small 251 metres, will take around 45 minutes.
Enjoy a 360° panoramic view of Edinburgh, andstroll around the many iconic monuments on Calton Hill; The National Monument, the Nelson Monument, the Dugald Stewart Monument and the City Observatory.
This colourful, cobblestone street curves around butches, cafes and souvenir shops, was said to be JK Rowling’s inspiration for Diagon Ally.
The Royal Mile
The Royal Mile is the busiest part of Edinburgh, with bagpipe players, performers, walking tours and a whole range of souvenir-type shops lining the streets. This is the place to go if you’re looking to find trinkets to take home.
The National Museum of Scotland
This Museum is free to enter and has a huge collection of history, art, science and fashion to keep you occupied for a rainy day.