Edinburgh Travel Guide

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

Edinburgh Highlights

  • Pro
    scotlandscotour profile photo

    scotlandscotour says…

     Castle, Royal Mile, Volcanoes, Cobbled Streets, Festival, Museum, Arthur's Seat - the volcano in the city 

  • Con
    scottishvisitor profile photo

    scottishvisitor says…

     Like most historical cities you will have to share Edinburgh with lots of fellow tourists 

  • In a nutshell
    scotlandscotour profile photo

    scotlandscotour says…

     Scotland, at its best (and worst). Fantastic, unique and the best of the UK but ... allow 2 days then head for the countryside and fresh air. 

Edinburgh Things to Do

  • Arthur's Seat

    Arthur's Seat is the main peak of the group of hills which form most of Holyrood Park. The hill itself rises above the city to a height of 250m. It provides excellent panoramic views of the city. Many claim that its name is derived from the myriad legends pertaining to King Arthur, You can watch my 3 min 01 sec Video Edinburgh Arthur's Se

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  • Castle

    Castle Rock is a volcanic plug upon which Edinburgh Castle sits. Its height is 130 metres above sea level and 80 metres from the surrounding landscape. It has misterious rocky cliffs to the south, west and north. You can watch my 3 min 53 sec Video Edinburgh Castle Rock out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.

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  • Royal Mile

    Facing St Giles cathedral in the Royal Mile, there's a statue identified as "Duke of Buccleugh" that, for me, meant... no one. Trying to identify him, I read that he was Walter... something... Scott, and that obviously mean something for me (and everybody else in the world). reading more, I notice that... it was a coincidence - sir Walter Scott...

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Edinburgh Hotels

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Edinburgh Restaurants

  • Deacon Brodie's Tavern

    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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  • The Elephant House

    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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  • The Witchery By The Castle

    the surroundings where surreal, like stepping back in time, food was second to none, i had the venison myself and it melted in my mouhtm would definately come again...all in all the witchery made my trip to edinburgh a worth while on, try it!!! venison

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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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  • Rose Street

    Dirty Dick's was established in 1859. Before you think that the name sounds like something you could catch on a stag-weekend or a naughty holiday to Thailand, here's the story: Dick was an old lad in the 1850s who cleaned-up the mess (dung) that the horses left behind all along Rose Street. This job earned him the nick name of 'Dirty Dick'....

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Edinburgh Transportation

  • From Edinburgh to Manchester

    In a couple of months, when the advance fares go on sale, I will be looking for a train ticket from Edinburgh to Manchester.Virgin runs the route between Edinburgh and Manchester, they don't sell tickets until 13 weeks before travel but I'm seeing some fares as low as 13£ for a one way ticket.http://www.virgintrains.co.uk/First Pennine also runs...

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  • Lothian Buses

    I had to get from the city centre to Leith earlier this month, and downloaded an iPhone app to help me end up where I wanted to be.It's great. Told me what bus to take, where the nearest bus stop was, when the next bus would be along etc. Ideal. I was even able to track my progress on a map, and be aware when my stop was coming up.It's free. Highly...

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  • Autobuses - Lothian - Buses

    We did the transport from hotel to the airport , and we considered that the ride is certainly not too expensive, especially if you divide by 5 or 6 people. For other transport we used the municipal buses with the daily ticket fare , that cost 3.50 Pounds and allows unlimited travel, while a single trip ticket cost 1.5 PoundsThe ticket can be bought...

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Edinburgh Shopping

  • heritage stuff

    A Scottish craft shop. OH ordered a length of tartan for her mum's Christmas present, and the owners did a great job in (1) helping her to choose something and (2) sourcing it (original choice was discontinued, so we had to find a suitable alternative).Friendly, patient, knowledgable & helpful, but not pushy. Kilts, tartan material, accessories......

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  • Souvenirs & fashion in the shadow of the...

    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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  • yummy

    A very specialist place. My OH has been a customer several times, but I've always stayed outside to avoid temptation.Last week she bought me a wee sample - chocolate fudge. Delicious. I may be converted.Helpful, pleasant staff. Fudge. That's all. Not sure. I've never paid.

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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

  • 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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  • Souvenir shops

    Just a small shopping related warning. It seems that every other shop in Edinburgh is a souvenir shop of some kind, especially on the Royal Mile as you approach the castle. I noticed that these shops often sell the same branded items eg. shortbread, honey, haggis, tea etc. For some reason though, there is a great discrepancy in the price of some of...

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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

  • Pack for the Unpredictable Weather!

    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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  • Bring a warm coat to wear over your warm...

    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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  • Bill Bryson - Notes from a small island

    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...

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Edinburgh Off The Beaten Path

  • 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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  • 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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  • Arthur's Seat

    This is Arthur's Seat, the highest protrusion rising above Edinburgh in Holyrood Park, as seen from my son's kitchen window on South Oxford Street. For some more views, please see my Views of Edinburgh travelogue.

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Edinburgh Sports & Outdoors

  • rugby, world cup etc

    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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  • Edinburgh Rugby

    Edinburgh has one of the two professional rugby teams in Scotland, and it plays at Murrayfield - the national stadium.Like the Glasgow team, it has a solid history of non achievement. Crowds are a sparse 4-5,000 in a stadium which holds 60,000+.Until today, that is. The team reached the quarter final of the European Cup (which it had done once...

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  • Scotland Rugby Union

    Murrayfield is the HQ of the Scotland Rugby Union. Tickets for games are available for most games and the SRU website is quite informative. Get there early and enjoy the atmosphere (and a beer or two) by the famous old clock.Last match was seeing us beat the Barbarians 19-66. Champagne rugby at it's best.

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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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  • Miscellaneous

    > Edinburgh was founded in the 7th century, but it was not until c. AD 950 that the city, referred to at this time in the Pictish Chronicle as "oppidum Eden", fell to the Scots and finally remained under their jurisdiction. During this period of Germanic influence the city's got its Germanic suffix 'burgh'. > The city sprawls over a...

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  • Princes Street

    Princes Street is the major shopping stroll in Edinburgh. I vividly remember wandering around, having lunch at the Burger King, going into Menzies to buy some Smarties in those paper tubes (which we didn't have at the time in Canada - our Smarties came in rectangular boxes). I loved going down a side street and up a staircase into some neat record...

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