Bagpipes and booze!
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Edinburgh is famous for its great whisky and historic cobblestone streets. Yes, the Scottish capital is said to be rainy and grey at times (or most of the time), but is it still worth visiting? We’re here to tell you what Edinburgh is really like, and the best things to do to make the most of your time there!
Stunning sights - There’s absolutely no doubt about it, Edinburgh is packed full of absolutely incredible sights to see. From Edinburgh’s ancient castle to the Scott Monument, the charming Holyrood Palace and Edinburgh’s huge selection of museums, there will always be something else to see in this city.
If you love a walk and a great view, take the walk up from the city centre to Arthur’s Seat. It takes 45 minutes to an hour to get to the top, and it is all uphill, so if you’re planning a slow, relaxing break with as little movement as possible, this may be one item on the checklist you want to miss out.
But if you're happy to get some exercise, this is a little bit of countryside amongst the bustle of the city, and a really nice activity. Also, a little tip from personal experience, if you don’t have proper footwear, don’t risk going anyway when the weather has been rainy. The hill gets muddy, slippery and very easy to fall down…
Explore the old town - The old town of Edinburgh is something you just can’t miss. Although the main street of the old town is one straight road, the Royal Mile, there are winding paths coming off either side of this street, so you could spend all day wandering up and down, getting a little bit lost, and finding your favourite shops, cafes and bars along the way.
Even without any of the main attractions, Edinburgh would be a beautiful city. The buildings that line the streets of the old town are very picturesque, even when the skies are grey and the weather feels pretty miserable.
We could’ve spent all day just going in and out of gift shops, coffee shops, whisky shops, and pubs, and been completely satisfied. Sometimes the best parts of your trip aren’t when you head out on an adventure, but you just enjoy the atmosphere of what’s on your doorstep! This was definitely the case for us in Edinburgh.
Escape the rain - Of course, it wouldn’t be a trip to the Scottish capital without a bit of wind and rain. So, Edinburgh provides plenty to keep you entertained if it isn’t quite the weather for a walk up to Arthur’s Seat! This city is packed full of museums, some free, and some paid. A great free option to warm up is the National Museum of Scotland, which has 7 floors of both Scottish and International exhibitions to enjoy. There are some brilliant interactive activities for kids (or those who are a child at heart) and even a roof terrace to look over the city if the sun comes out for a while!
If shopping ‘til you drop is more your thing on a rainy day, you can head through the old town to see gift shops and local products. Then there’s Multrees Walk for high-end, designer shopping, and St. James shopping centre for a massive range of high street shops, all under one roof.
Or, you can opt for our favourite rainy day activity and spend your time between lots of cosy cafes and pubs. The best coffee/brunch spot we found was La Viola Cafe and Bistro, where we had delicious food in a beautiful setting. If you go, you have to try the "Hangover Omelette", but you’ll be spoilt for choice for food and drink across the city.
Spend your afternoon testing out lots of different pubs across the city. Our absolute favourites were The Inn on the Mile where you can find live music on an evening, and The Bon Vivant, where you’ll find 80 different whiskys to try! This bar even has a beautiful shop next door, so you can purchase a bottle of your new favourite drink and take it home to share with friends and family (or hide from everyone and enjoy it all by yourself).
Don’t be afraid to try a Wetherspoons too and save some money - The Standing Order is a converted bank and a really interesting spot to enjoy an affordable drink.
Edinburgh makes up for its often gloomy weather by offering something to do for every visitor, whether your favourite activity is a hike or shopping for a new designer handbag. The stunning old town is something everyone should go and experience. If it’s only a drive or a train ride away - what’s stopping you? Go and experience Edinburgh, and have the best time!
Getting there: Edinburgh is easy to get to from most parts of the UK via road and rail. There are regular trains and even coaches from lots of major cities. You can even fly to Edinburgh from London, Birmingham, Bristol and Southampton!
Cost of living: To say Edinburgh is a capital city, it certainly doesn’t match the prices of London. However, it is still more expensive than your average city. As with everywhere, it depends where you go.
Pint Price: In the centre of Edinburgh, a pint of beer is normally £5-6
Ready to go?
-Find things to do, tours and experiences in Edinburgh with GetYourGuide here