It’s easy to see why people fall in love with Scotland’s capital city. From the history-soaked cobble streets of the Old Town to the glorious elegance of the Georgian New Town, Edinburgh deserves its reputation as one of the most compelling cities in the world.
Your airbnb is booked, you’ve got your transport sorted, now all you need to do is plan you want to do when you get to Edinburgh. Before you get completely stuck into your Lonely Planet travel guide, let us help you out. From wonderful places to visit, to the best cafes and pubs, check out our city break guide to Edinburgh.
WHAT TO SEE/DO:
If you want to learn about the history of Edinburgh in a fun and amusing way, head to Camera Obscura. This unique experience has delighted and intrigued people for over 150 years and we think it’s a ‘must-do’ on any visit to Edinburgh. If you’ve had one too many scotch whiskey’s the night before, maybe refrain from some of the optical illusions though, trust us.
You may have noticed if you regularly read the blog that we are a huge fans of escape games. So naturally we checked out one of Edinburgh’s finest: Escape Hour. Now, we don’t want to give too much away, but the game itself was excellent, full of puzzles and hidden clues and kept us on our toes.
With the help of some hints here and there, we managed to retrieve the crystal (after successfully navigating a room of alarmed lasers) with 1 minute to spare. Smashed it. Whether you are a first timer, or escape game enthusiast, be sure to give Escape Hour a go.
The beautiful Edinburgh castle can be seen from many spots around the city. But if you want to do more than simply admire the stunning fortress, why not grab some tickets to check out what’s on the inside. Tickets are less than £20 and include a guided tour (or audio tour if you prefer) of the grounds. Edinburgh Castle is rich with history, so if you’re on the hunt for a cultural activity, this is it.
WHERE TO EAT:
The ideal spot to cure a hangover. Come here for breakfast and sample Cult’s range of locally sourced cakes and pastries. For smoothie lovers give the mixed berry smoothie a go. I can honestly say it was the nicest smoothie I’ve ever tasted.
If you’re a big soup lover, Union of Genius -Edinburgh’s first soup cafe- is the perfect lunch spot. Typically there’s around 4/5 different soups on the menu, which come with your choice of bread. It’s small, but there’s a wonderful window seat and even if you have to get it to take out, we promise you’ll be happy with the hearty meal.
If the Royal Mile is getting a bit too much, head to Love Crumbs to unwind with a cup of loose leaf tea. According to their website, things have changed a bit in the past year for the West Port cafe, but we were none the wiser. It had a calming atmosphere, gorgeous decor, tasty food and exceptional service.
WHERE TO DRINK:
Any bar that has comfy chairs, an open fire, an extensive cocktail menu, a chilled out atmosphere and great service is a 10/10 in my eyes and Under the Stairs had all of the above and more. In fact, we loved it so much, we came back twice.
Tucked away down a little cobbled street just off the Royal Mile is a wonderful pub called the Jolly Judge. It’s the perfect place to sample a hot toddy or relax by the fire after a day of exploring the city.
This Lothian Street bar is bursting with cool. The walls are adorned with a curious collection of wares, from boar heads to bird cages and the ceiling is covered in hanging cuddly toys. Behind the bar you’ll find a bold cocktail menu with a fantastical variety of original concoctions, our personal favourite was ‘The Ricky Martini’.
Have you been to Edinburgh? Let us know what you got up to there! @tweetjanes