Edinburgh Travel Guide

  • Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh
    Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh
    by spidermiss
  • Views from the castle
    Views from the castle
    by slothtraveller
  • Exterior (2)
    Exterior (2)
    by gordonilla

Edinburgh Things to Do

  • Castle, including National War Museum...

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    Definitely worth seeing if you are in the city. The castle towers above the city, affording visitors panoramic views to the north, south, east and west. It's history is turbulent and tragic and definitely worth looking into while there. Go in the morning or book your tickets in advance online. This way you'll avoid the massive lines of tourists...

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  • Arthur's Seat, Holyrood Park and...

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    Whenever I am in Edinburgh I try and do this hill. 5 minutes from the city centre but when you are on it it's a world away from the cars, noise and pollution that comes with any city. The views are exceptional and the history of the hill is also interesting. Definitely worth checking out.

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  • Calton Hill

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    The Scottish National Monument is enigmatic but unfinished. It was intended to be something much grander - a homage to the Parthenon, a Scottish Valhalla to inter the greatest people in the land. But it was never completely funded, and despite several attempts, nobody seems to have the will, drive or imagination to finish it.

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Edinburgh Hotels

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Edinburgh Restaurants

  • The Witchery By The Castle

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    I had a very disappointing meal at the Secret Garden yesterday, so much so that this is the first time I've been compelled to comment on this site. My starter was a bit of a disaster. Although it tasted fine, the waitress dragged a napkin through it before I had chance to start eating it (pea veloute) whilst pouring my drink. She neither...

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  • Deacon Brodie's Tavern

    3.5 out of 5 stars

    Located on the Royal Mile just a few minutes from Castle Hill this fine looking pub/restaurant is the one of the best places to eat if your looking for great food at a reasonable price with relaxed friendly surroundings and great decor.A good varied menu from local dishes to international and a fine selection of ales and wines.Snack and have a...

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  • Elephant House

    3.5 out of 5 stars

    The Elephant House bills itself as "The Birthplace of Harry Potter", because this is where the author J.K. Rowling often "mulled over a coffee writing her first Harry Potter novel." They have a nice view of Edinburgh Castle out the back window, and up front there are some computers with internet connection which used to cost £ 1.00 for thirty...

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Edinburgh Nightlife

  • George Street

    Stylish bar on corner of St Andrews Sq/George St that has a stunning world map of the wine growing areas painted on the ceiling. The food is good and the wine is so valued that it's in a vault in the basement. Smart casual

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  • Grassmarket/Victoria Street

    Sitting on a bench and drinking a pint in the exact same spot where for the past 5 centuries weary travellers and merchants have sat, drinking a pint just as I am now... that's what the pubs in the beautiful heart of Edinburgh are all about. Even if you're not in the mood for a drink or food, the White Hart Inn is more than a pub, it’s an...

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  • Cowgate

    This is the club for you if you are after some rock! Downstairs is a jukebox (the Pixies! Metallica! Awesome!) and upstairs they have a DJ. We ended up there on Monday though, which is when they have rock karaoke- good for a laugh, especially cause their drinks are so frickin cheap! Black.

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Edinburgh Transportation

  • Lothian buses

    The day I decided to go to Craigmillar Castle I purchased an all day bus pass for 3.50£. You can buy the ticket in advance as it's a scratch off ticket where you scratch the month and day of use. Each single ride was 1.50£ so you need to ride three times or more to make it worth the money. In addition to the ride to and from Craigmillar, I also...

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  • Edinburgh Airport

    Despite serving the capital, Edinburgh's airport is only the second busiest in Scotland after Glasgow's Prestwick. Still, with around 10 million passengers a year, it's one of the busiest in Britain and Europe. It's a popular hub for a number of budget airlines running short trips to the UK and mainland Europe - Flybe, Ryanair, EasyJet and Jet2.com...

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  • Tram

    Edinburgh is the proud owner of a brand new tram system. With an estimated cost of around a billion pounds for just a single line it has proven ferociously expensive, and it's little surprise trams are a rarity on British streets. The tram system is well integrated with the Lothian Bus system, so if you buy a DAYticket for 3.50 you can use both...

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Edinburgh Shopping

  • Princes Street

    There are quite a variety of shops along Princes Street--a few higher-quality souvenir stores (I bought a Heathergems necklace at a reasonable price in one) and some higher-end clothing stores like H&M, Boots, Topshop, Marks & Spencer, etc. My favorite part of shopping along that street, however, was the beautiful Princes Street Gardens right...

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  • The Royal Mile

    Well, the Armouries used to have a shop to themselves, but they've since been moved to the top of the Royal Mile, inside the tartan weaving mill. As such, it's now more of a department within a shop, and has lost some of its character. This is made up for though in the knowledge of its staff (at the time of writing, i'm one of them :p), who will...

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  • Ocean Terminal Shopping Centre

    The Ocean Terminal shopping centre is situated in Leith 2 miles from Edinburgh city centre. This is a large shopping centre with shops such as Marks and Spencer, New Look and BHS. There are many different shops here as well as a restraunt area with a few different food counters selling a variety of food. There is also a patio are over looking the...

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Edinburgh Local Customs

  • Eating / Drinking

    When I told one of my friends I was going to Edinburgh, he said "You must try haggis!" I asked him what it was, but he told me (ironically) that I'd better just ordered it in a restaurant in Edinburgh. I looked the meaning up in the Longman dictionary, which read: "haggis: a food eaten in Scotland, made from the heart and other organs of a sheep...

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  • Miscellaneous

    In Leith there is a monument to the whalers, showing a harpoon that was used to hunt whales. This want to remember that they used the fat of whales to illuminate the lighthouse which guided the sailors En Leith hay un monumento a los balleneros , que tienen un arpón de los que se usaban para cazar ballenas Con ello quieren recordar que...

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  • Men In Kilts

    now you can't come to Scotland and not try the nation's second favourite drink - Irn Bru (Iron Brew). it's made fae girders (not really but it's supposed to give you super human powers - just like this piper has .... hmmm)

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Edinburgh Warnings and Dangers

  • Average British City

    Forget Trainspotting - that was a work of fiction set a long time ago during the horrors of the 80s with its junkies and AIDs. Forget Scotland's reputation for toughness - that's Glasgow. The people of Edinburgh are a softer lot - more refined and accepting. I even saw a man walking around proud and unmolested in an England football jersey. There...

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  • Plan ahead-August is a giant festival

    Normally I don't plan any trip this far ahead, it was only because I wanted to get tickets to Highclere Castle (aka Downton Abbey) that I was. When I did start looking at adding a couple of days in Edinburgh to my trip I discovered that almost all of the festivals in Edinburgh are held at the same timeEdinburgh Art Festival: 31 July - 31...

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  • No Photos

    This is the signal that does not like to many travellers , as we do not understand this prohibition, because when you take pictures without flash it does not create any damage to the site or discomfort to other visitors and in addition if you do not take pictures you are not going to buy more post cards.I think with the pictures of the tourists, it...

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Edinburgh Tourist Traps

  • Tours Etc.

    There are many walks that claim to show you 'Underground Edinburgh,' but only one shows you the part of the city that was buried many years ago: Mary King's Close. Other tours will dub themselves as "underground," but only show you vaults under a bridge (South Bridge). You will not be allowed to take any photos or videos, but they will try to...

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  • Shopping

    Like any capital city there are plenty of traps to allure the eager tourist. Watch out for the overpriced shortbread biscuits, tartan everything (can you find YOUR clan?) and plenty of whiskey themed gifts. I managed to go home with all three!.

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  • Royal Mile

    Unless you want something typical Scottish to eat and pay for it don't eat at the restaurants on the Royal Mile. They are very expensive and if you never had any Scottish food before and are not sure, this is not the place to try it.

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Edinburgh What to Pack

  • Combined Suggestions

    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...

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  • Shoes

    A small back pack would be useful for drinks & snacks on the go 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 None required you can buy anything you need in local shops/chemists, but if you are on...

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  • Clothing - Winter

    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.

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Edinburgh Off The Beaten Path

  • Many Miles From Edinburgh...

    There were several bonny sections of gorse, as pictured, near where we started, at Flotterstone. This is about 7 miles/11km south from the centre of Edinburgh. There is a small visitor centre here, with basic maps, and a pub, the Flotterstone Inn. This is an old rural inn, though I am sure the farmers of 100 years ago would have choked on their...

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  • Old Town - General

    Edinburgh is a beautiful city with an enticing, yet often very dark history. Just as most old European cities, every street corner tells a story of murder, intrigue, execution, plague & poverty, etc... (and I love that kind of stuff!) A small enclosed section in the Grassmarket marks site where the gallows used to stand. Those of higher rank...

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  • Surroundings

    A self guided audio tour in 15 languages is offered on the Royal Yacht Britannia. Adult price is £9.00 children £5.00 Over 60's £7.00. Opening times are April - October 9.30 - 4.30 November - March 10.00 - 3.30 Pre booking is recommended in August Tel. 0131 555 5566 We didn't take the tour - but if you have an interest in the Royals & want to see...

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Edinburgh Sports & Outdoors

  • Rugby

    Rugby internationals at Murrayfield - always a big occasion, but especially for world cup games. People descend on the city from all over the country to meet up with old friends and support the national team. I haven't been for years, but before the family commitments came along, I was a "hard core" regular! Update! Went to see Scotland v France...

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  • Walking

    Hollyrood Park which belongs to the Monarchy but is accessable to all with no gates or restrictions. The park is 650 acres of unmanicured hill just raw nature as nature intended. If the weather is fine go for a walk here and see Arthur's Seat, a long ago extinct volcano which erupted under the sea when Scotland was many miles from where it is today...

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  • Football

    The jambos (jam tarts = Hearts) play their football at Tynecastle and have been giving the Old Firm (Celtic & Rangers) a run for their money in the last two seasons. Bank rolled by lithuanian Vladamir Romanov they have made their way through 3 managers last season, finished 2nd in the league and won the Scottish Cup. To date this season there has...

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Edinburgh Favorites

  • Edinburgh Castle

    I think that edinburgh's castle is just amazing:his position is great and you can have a great view of all the city.You can walk inside it and return back of centuries thinking at the Bravehearth movie and at medieval period.It's a classical touristic thing but i think you can't asbolutely miss it The panoramic view is amazing..and just that is...

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  • Royal Mile

    There are numerous small streets that lead away (north and south) from the Royal Mile. Antique maps of the Old Town actually show the city resembling the skeleton of a fish with the castle as the head and the narrow streets on either side as the ribs. These are called "closes" and "wynds" (rhymes with kind). But what's the difference, I hear you...

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  • Old Town - General

    In the 19th century, Edinburgh university specialized in anatomical research, but obtaining bodies to dissect was difficult. This shortage resulted in "Resurrection men" (body snatchers) raiding graveyards to unearth semi-fresh bodies and selling them to the medical professors. William Burke and William Hare were both Irish immigrants, but they...

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Explore Deeper into Edinburgh
Greyfriars Kirk or Church including Greyfriars Bobby grave and memorial
Things to Do
Scott Monument
Things to Do
Tours
Things to Do
Royal Mile aka High Street
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Camera Obscura
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Holyroodhouse Palace and Abbey
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Rose Street
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South Queensferry
Off The Beaten Path
Arthur's Seat
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Dean / Stockbridge
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Hard Rock Cafe
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Princes Street
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