Hello travel babes!
Over the holidays I had the fortune to take a short trip to one of my favorite cities in the world-Edinburgh. Best known as the capital of Scotland, Edinburgh is full of gorgeous sights and tons of really interesting history. Now, I’ve actually been to Edinburgh before-about 4 years ago. I’ll be pulling from both experiences to give you what I think are the best & most interesting things to do in the lovely city of Dùn Èideann.
Probably the most recognizable attraction in Edinburgh, the castle is my favorite place in the city. Right when you walk through the gates, it feels like you’re transported to another time. Within her walls you can peep the Mons Meg, Prisons of War, The Royal Palace, St Margaret’s Chapel, and the Scottish Crown Jewels. The castle is full of history and the staff there is really knowledgeable and can answer most questions you have. It’s a really cool site, and functional in that it’s still an operating military garrison. If you’re in the city, you absolutely must check it out!
Camera Obscura & World of Illusions
Looking for something hilarious and super fun to do? Go no further than the Camera Obscura and World of Illusions. Inside you’ll find trippy mirrors, light illusions, and a stunning rooftop view of Edinburgh. If you’re there before 4pm, you’ll get an appointment to go up to the Camera Obscura -a Victorian-era moving picture that will give you a unique view of the city. It’s a great place for kids and adults alike, and a really unique experience!
You all know I am not an outdoorsy girl-and I will forever complain about this hike. But if I’m honest, I’m glad I actually did it. Depending on how good you are at hiking, and the pace you set, it’ll probably take a couple hours of your day. I definitely recommend hiking right to the highest point-the view is like nothing else. It’s close to the city-about 1 mile east of Edinburgh Castle. It can be climbed from almost any direction, but the easiest is from the east, where a grassy slope rises above the Dunsapie Loch. From the summit you can see all over the city and even out to the North Sea. It’s a once in a lifetime view and shouldn’t be missed!
National Museum of Scotland
A truly extensive and impressive collection of history, nature and culture, you can find all kinds of exhibits at this awesome museum. It’s got everything from natural sciences to art & fashion, to Scottish history & archaeology. You could easily spend half a day in the museum-so do your research and find out what you’re most interested in first. It’s also really great for kids, as a lot of the exhibits are interactive and really quite fun. My favorite part is the natural history bit, because I just love looking at all the animals, but the fashion section is also really cool!
Greyfriar’s Bobby & Kirkyard
A small statue with an adorable story, Greyfriar’s Bobby commemorates a Skye Terrier who spent 14 years guarding his owner’s grave until his own death in 1872. You can read their whole tale here. They are both at rest in Greyfriar’s Kirkyard, just down the road from the statue. The pub that takes this loyal pup’s name is actually very good- if you care to stop in for a bite. If you do go down to the Kirkyard (also called the Churchyard) you can view some really interesting and really old graves. It’s rumored that the grave of Thomas Riddell inspired the given name of J.K. Rowling’s infamous villain in Harry Potter.
Where to Eat
There are so many amazing places to eat in Edinburgh, but I’ll list my favorites below:
- MUMS Great Comfort Food– a cheeky little diner with amazing breakfast! The pancakes are to die for.
- The Elephant Room – honestly more of a spot for the ambiance, this is where J.K. Rowling began writing her famous Harry Potter series. It sounds weird, but don’t miss the bathroom graffiti! The food was so-so but their tea & baked goods are pretty good!
- Divino Enoteca- if you’re looking for a fancy and delicious dinner, don’t miss this place, located in Old Town. Boasting Italian fare & wines for days, it was absolutely fantastic.
- Holyrood 9A– Their gourmet burgers are ridiculous and make it so hard to choose just one (go with the Bloody Mary). And the warm and cosy interior, paired with tons of craft beers & ales make this an ideal place to enjoy a more casual dinner. And definitely try the Haggis Bon Bons-when in Scotland, amirite?
- Filling Station– Located on the Royal Mile this place has massive portions and an extensive menu. The burger choices are great, but if you want to try a few, go for the sliders! If you’re really hungry, go for the FS Double Burger, it’s gigantic.
Edinburgh is an amazing city & should definitely be added to your travel bucket list! Have you been to Edinburgh? What are your favorite things about the city? Where should I go next time I’m there? Let me know in the comments below!
As always, thanks for reading & stay golden!