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Edinburgh

Transportation and Accommodations

Getting to/from the airport

Airlink bus – runs every 10 minutes during most of the day, and every 30 minutes at night. It’s a double decker blue bus that picks up from the airport and makes stops until the city center. Find the stop that is closest to your destination and get off there! The ride takes about 30 minutes depending on where you get off.

Getting around

We walked everywhere! There are trams, taxis, and buses, but found walking a great and easy way to see the city. Remember they drive on the other side of the road here.

Accommodations

Staying near the city center will allow everything to be walkable. We stayed near the Edinburgh Castle and Prince Street. Anywhere near the large sights or in Old or New Town is perfect

Things to do and see

Calton Hill

Hill at the end of Prince Street that takes about 5 minutes to walk up (some stairs and then a few different view points). Nice view over the city!

Arthur’s Seat

Larger Hill at edge of city. It overlooks all of Edinburgh. It takes about 15 minutes to get to the top. There are 3 different “tops” so you can do all 3 or just choose the highest one to go up

Prince Street

Busy street in New Town

Royal Mile

Edinburgh Castle at one end and the Palace of Holyrood at the other end. The Scottish Parliament is also up here. It’s a nice street to walk along, with a lot of cashmere shops, pubs, and other small stores.

Edinburgh Castle

Overlooks most of the city; you can spot it from most places in the city. You can go in and take tours, walk around alone, etc. We did not end up going inside but tickets cost 17 pounds and there are a variety of things you can do

George Street

Busy, more upscale shopping street in New Town

Scottish Parliament Building

Located near Arthur’s Seat and at the end of the Royal Mile

Palace of Holyrood

Located near Arthur’s Seat and at the end of the Royal Mile

Holyrood Park
Prince’s Street Gardens

Nice to walk along or grab a drink nearby

Scott Monument

Along Prince Street

Andrew’s Square
Old Town
New Town
The Scotch Whisky Experience

We did the Gold Tour which included the barrel tour about how whiskey is made, the video, the tasting, and the “extra” tasting in the bar. Cool experience, but I hated the whiskey

Dean’s Village and Dean’s Gardens

Very cute medieval feeling area in Edinburgh; does not even feel like part of the city. I loved briefly walking around here and its gardens along the river

Greyfriar’s Bobby

A statue of a dog that is good luck when you rub its nose. There is a pub named after the dog right nearby that was a nice place to grab a drink

Victoria Street

Street with some colorful houses in Old Town area

Grassmarket

Street/area in Old Town with a bunch of restaurants and busy

Rose Street

In New Town, nice Scottish pubs along here

Day trip to Highlands

We did a trip called “Best of Scotland” with Heart of Scotland tours. I would NOT recommend it. The tour group was fine, and I imagine a different tour may be okay, but I hated this tour. I think their tour #1 that goes to the highlands and Lochness would’ve been better. Another commonly used tour group is Rabbie’s, also with about 15 people per trip

Food and Drink Recommendations

Lots of fun pubs in Edinburgh!! My best recommendation would just be to walk around and walk in any that appeal to you. Here are some we strolled into

Greyfriar’s Bobby s
Deacon Brodie’s Tavern

On the royal mile

Rose and Tavern
The Dome

Cocktail bar

Ryan’s

Had a nice lunch with a variety of options near Prince Street

Ting Thai Caravan

Near University of Edinburgh

O’oliviero

Italian in Grassmarket area

Rose and Tavern

On Rose street

Ben’s Cookies

On Prince street

Other Notes

Amount of time needed:

2-2.5 days is perfect

You need 1 day – 1.5 days to see the big sights in Edinburgh. It depends how many of them you actually want to go in (ie Palace, Castle, etc)

Then you also need a day for some type of highlands day trip I think. You really can’t see a lot of the highlands in only one day but you can get a taste for it

Scottish people are wonderful and very nice!

Edinburgh City-wide wifi works surprisingly well in most places