Calton Hill, Edinburgh, United Kingdom

A Weekend in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is one of the top highlights of Scotland. Authentic, vibrant, and fascinating. Find out what you can do in a weekend in this magical city.

If that’s the first time you are visiting Edinburgh, be prepared for the sensory overwhelm that you will get: unique architectures, astonishing streets, delicious smells and food, the sound of the bagpipes in the background create a magical and medieval atmosphere. No wonder why it is one of the UNESCO world heritage sites.

Edinburgh is in the north-east of Great Britain, capital of Scotland is one of the most touristic cities in the UK. If you have more spare days you could take in consideration to visit the beauty of Scotland with an on the road tour. Here if you are interested on 8 days itinerary around this amazing land.

green grass on mountain under white cloudy sky
Photo by Bjorn Snelders on Unsplash

How to reach Edinburgh?

If you fly to Edinburgh there are public transports that connects the airport with the city center, and they only take 30 minutes.

The Airlink 100 is the best option, the service is really frequent also during night time. You can find it immediately out of the arrival area and you can get a return ticket for just £7,50.

By car – the city is well connected with the main cities of the UK such as Glasgow (M8), Manchester (M6, A702) and Leeds (A1).

Where to sleep?

Edinburgh offers so many affordable accommodations and I really recommend to choose an accommodation close to the center, so you will be able to visit the city on foot.

O2GO Travel is a new travel search engine that compares the best and cheapest flights and hotels. The profit made by this company will be invested into reforestation projects that will help to offset the CO2 emissions of our journey.

Where to eat?

If you are the kind of traveler that loves to try the local cuisine (here our guide about the Scottish food), here are some places that you should try.

In the Grass Market The Alba bistro and the Beehive inn for a lunch and beer are highly recommended.

For a fast lunch and dinner, the go-to place is Oink, where you can find a really delicious Scottish hog roast. There are different Oink restaurants around the city, you can find one in the old town in Victoria Street.

For dinner, Howies Restaurant in Victoria street and The Abbot Sford Restaurant in the new town, both of them offer traditional Scottish dishes such as haggis.

What to visit in 2-3 days?

Edinburgh is not a really big city and it is really simple to find most of the attractions in the center between the old and the new town. You can visit the entire city easily by foot without running around or rushing.

Here the main places to visit in Edinburgh.

Scott Monument

This is for sure the first monument you will see if you take the bus from the Airport.

The famous Scottish writer is Walter Scott, really loved in Scotland and for this reason there are different monuments dedicated to him around the city. The most important and the tallest monument in the world  dedicate to a writer is located in Princes Street.

brown concrete building during daytime
Photo by Adam Wilson on Unsplash

Princess Street Garden

Next to the Scott monument there is this lovely garden, perfect for a relaxing walk where it is also possible to observe the amazing castle from below. The Ross fountain is a really popular spot where to take pictures with the castle in the background.

Curiosity: this area used to be the cradle of the Nor Loch (Nor Lake) used as defensive barrier for the castle.

The Edinburgh Castle

This is for sure the most popular attraction in Edinburgh. It is located on a massive rock and it dominates the skyline of the entire city. It is possible to visit its treasures inside buying the ticket here. You will find out a lot about the Scottish history and you will be able to have a great view of the city.

gray concrete castle
Photo by Jörg Angeli on Unsplash

Royal Mile

Directly connected with the castle there is this street, the Royal mile, the main street during the middle age. It is nice to have a walk and to be surrounded by the beautiful architecture, the colours, the shops, the museums and the hidden spots where to admire the city from above.

Colton Hill

Another memorable place to visit is Colton Hill, another panoramic point where other attraction are located. It is possible to admire all the city and the sea looking towards North.

Here you can find the Old observatory House, the Playfair monument, the National Monument and the Nelson Monument.

building and sky
Photo by Peter Cordes on Unsplash

Harry Potter places

Edinburgh is also famous for being the birth place of the famous wizard Harry Potter. The writer J.K. Rowling was inspired by the places of this city. Moreover, she started and ended the saga here in Edinburgh in some of the coffee shops and hotels.

The Elephant house is pretty famous for being the coffee shop where Rowling started her book about her budding wizard.

The Balmoral hotel is where she finished the last book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Some attractions remind some places inside the famous saga. For example, the colorful Victoria street reminds the magic Diagon Alley, the George Heriot School would be Hogwarts and some names from the Greyfriars’s Kirkyard cemetery has some tombs with really well noted names that we find inside the books and movies of Harry Potter.

Edinburgh offers tour about all the curiosities around the Harry Potter world, you can find them here.

cars parked near multi-color buildings
Photo by Jonathan Ricci on Unsplash

Grass Market

This is the most popular square of the city. It has been the center of the market for centuries, and the center of the night life because of its pubs and restaurants. It is possible to admire the Castle from another prospective in this spot.

Greyfriars bobby statue

This is a really cute monument of a dog. It was built in the loving memory of Bobby, a dog who spent 14 years in front of its owner’s grave till it died.

Arthur’s Seat

Really close to the Holyrood Palace, the residence of the Royal British Monarch and the modern architecture Scottish Parliament, there is a really ancient extinct volcano called Arthur’s Seat.

Photo by Swati Kedia on Unsplash

Circus Lane

In the middle of the Stockbridge neighborhood there is this little pearl. It is a really narrow street with colorful and beautiful buildings immerse in green plants and flowers. A really picturesque place.

brown and white concrete building
Photo by Chloe Frost-Smith on Unsplash

Dean Village

brown concrete building near green trees during daytime
Photo by micheile dot com on Unsplash

In conclusion, from Circus Lan following the river Water of Leith is possible to reach Dean Village, a really peaceful place far away from the traffic of the city center. This is a really green area full of vegetation and buildings built with red bricks.

Enjoy the journey in this amazing and magical city!