Take a free map of Edinburgh at the Tourist Information Centre. The map includes the locations of the main sights and is good for orientation purposes, especially when exploring the city on foot.
The Main Tourist Information Centre of Edinburgh is located at Princes Street 3; just in the heart of the city centre.
Bring your umbrella or rain jacket - it will rain during your visit - that's a promise!
Wool is the best thing to wear to keep the damp away from you.
Bring nice warm sweaters - it gets chilly in the evenings no matter what the season.
SHOES - On Cobblestone
Unless you don't mind breaking your ankles don't wear high heeled boots or shoes in Old Town...that is unless you know how to walk on cobblestone.
If you're like me and refuse to hem pants - thus having no choice but to wear a shoe with a heel - just make sure that your heals have rubber on the bottom of them to grip the stones.
How do I know this? I wore inappropriate footwear with hard leather soled heels the last time I went to Edinburgh. Regrettably, every time I crossed a cobblestone street I would inadvertently launch into a terrifying performance of "Riverdance meets the Highland Fling on Busy Street". Arms and legs flailing about - like a spastic marionette!
It wasn't pretty - don't let this happen to you.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Ahem...ladies...if you like internal feminine protection with an applicator - bring it with you. They must have them with applicators in Scotland but twice I've been visited by Aunt Martha while visiting Scotland and both times I couldn't find any at all.
Was that subtle enough ladies?
Photo Equipment: If you're taking pictures in Scotland - don't get cheap film. Some days everything is gray and overcast - you want a good film that will pick up the subtle colours in stonework etc.
Notes from a small island by Bill Bryson tells the story of Bryson's last trip around Britain before moving back to the States after almost 20 years on the British island.
The book is packed with interesting and funny stories about travelling as it really happens. By reading the book you get a nice insight into the life of the British people and their peculiarities. Some places Bryson visits on his trip are: Bradford, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Llandudno, London, Porthmanog and Thurso.
This book is definitely a must-read for everyone before or after a trip to Britain.
Luggage and bags:
Backpack (don't fill completely - leave room for stuff/items you pick up along the way)
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Comfortable shoes (like sneakers)
Dress in layers
Miscellaneous: Bottle of water and something to snack on Believe me - wandering around you'll lose track of the time, so it's always good to have some food with you.
Luggage and bags:
A small back pack would be useful for drinks & snacks on the go
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: As I said good & comfortable walking shoes = Edinburgh is a great City for walking
In summer a light rain jacket which can be packed away or quickly retreved in preperation of a quick rain shower
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: None required you can buy anything you need in local shops/chemists, but if you are on prescribed medication be sure to bring it with you.
Photo Equipment: I always carry a disposable camera just in case the digital one gets the hiccups
Miscellaneous: For an independent traveller an up to date guidebook is essential. I often used The Rough Guide - Britain. It covers information for all budgets on the best places to stay, eat and drink in England, Wales and Scotland. Many recommendations and practical tips on exploring the countries make this book an useful travel companion.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: These flowers really stood out to me because they are so brilliant and most of my stay in Edinburgh the clouds were gray. Bring raingear and expect to wear it at least half the time. Try not to have a big umbrella, it will get in the way while you are walking.
I come from a cold winter climate so I was fine with a Columbia mid weight jacket layered with a fleece pullover. When I climbed to the top of Edinburgh Castle and Calton Hill, I was very glad I had a hat and gloves. Good walking shoes are essential, Edinburgh is a great walking town but you will be going up and down a lot and some of the pavement is uneven. Umbrellas do not seem to be widely used but that doesn't mean you shouldn't bring one, it drizzled in the late afternoon each day I was there.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Nothing out of the ordinary
Photo Equipment: Bring lots of film or memory, the views here are fabulous
Miscellaneous: Money matters-ATM machines are available at the airport and in town, credit cards widely accepted
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: We were greeted, on leaving the train at Edinburgh, with a very cold wind, and we all did our best to pull jackets or sweaters from our luggage. (This was in May.) The weather was very crazy there. It was at different times cloudy, sunny, cloudy & raining, sunny & raining, very windy, chilly yet sunny, and even hailing...and that was all in the course of an afternoon! Make sure you prepare with some sturdy shoes and a warm and waterproof jacket, and maybe even an umbrella.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Make sure to take plenty of warm clothes when going to Edinburgh. Even if the sun is shining, the wind can be cool. And always take an umbrella or a raincoat with you, especially if you go out for a long day!
Trainers for all the walking you are going to do. remember, Edinburgh is built on 7 hills, so leave the high heels at home.
It is also windy there, and colder, so don't forget a warm jacket and jumper. Take your scarf and gloves too.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: No jabs required, you can get everything you need here in Boots and Superdrug.
Miscellaneous: Weatherwise, it is cold, but not freezing. Avg temperature is about 0-5 degrees celsius.
flat shoes, a lot of the Old Town has cobbled streets, hard on the high heels. Even in the summer bring a sweater or a fleece, or a light rain jacket, it can get cold at night ans light showers of rain
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: just essential medicine that you need personally. There are plent of chemist shops that sell all sorts of medical supplies. If travelling up to the highlands take some midge repellent
Photo Equipment: camera essential. The scenery is amazing. Plenty of place to get photos developed, even one hour places, and you can get your digital photos developed as well
Luggage and bags:
Nothing big is recommended unless you like to carry it up steps, and there's LOTS of steps in Edinburgh.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Sturdy shoes. Most of all the Old Town is cobblestone.
A good sweater and jacket for winter is fine as long as you layer.
An umbrella or something to cover your head is advisable in the winter time, just remember to keep a good hold on it near the castle as it's very windy there.
Photo Equipment: A good digital camera or a nice SLR is a must. There's lots of pictures to be taken in Edinburgh.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Edinburgh on New Year's Eve was one of the coldest nights I've experienced, and that was not due to lack of clothing. I was layered up in pretty much every clothing item I had packed, including huge fleece lined water- and wind-proof ski jacket, and I was still frozen. So my message is to never underestimate how cold it can be.
Luggage and bags:
Small luggage with space bags. Backpack for airplane with a change of clothes, all medicine, camera equipment, small book and music for in flight, and enough space to stow your purse girls!
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Unless you are going to Europe to catch a man/woman, pack light. Buy a few quality items that are wrinkle resistant, can be washed in the sink and hung to dry, convertible clothing (pants to shorts, jacket to vest, etc.), comfortable walking shoes
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Make sure all medicines are in their original packages. Some airlines will not let you on with a plastic bag full of pills! Take a portable hair dryer, curling iron, shaver, etc., with a converter kit! NECESSITY!
Photo Equipment: I bought a lined bag from Travelsmith.com. It was wonderful. I brought an Advantix camera and 33 rolls of film. Everyone laughed at me until they got there with their 5 or 6 rolls and them had to pay $10 for 1 roll of film. HA! This time I am taking a digital camera with an extra storage unit.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Take an umbrella and/or hat, and a light. lined raincoat. It NEVER rained a single day in the 2 weeks we were in England/Scotland. The locals said we were good luck!
Miscellaneous: Always wear your backpack or purse in front of you on the tube (in London). There are a lot of pickpockets who target Americans!