City Break Guide: Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a hilly city which is the capital of Scotland as well as a city that is full of history. A city with it’s medieval old town and elegant Georgian new town with neoclassical buildings which makes it perfect for a city break. I spent three nights in Edinburgh which I found to be enough time to see and do everything that I wanted. 

Edinburgh is a city that is easily accessible by train from different parts of England. For my trip to Edinburgh we opted to drive which took approximately four hours from Liverpool. If you live outside of England/Scotland there are some airlines which fly to Edinburgh. 

One of the main reasons for my visit to Edinburgh was to go the zoo where they are the only place in the UK to have panda’s which unfortunately I was unable to see on the day of my visit. They are also one of the only places in the UK to have koala’s. Other animals at the zoo include giraffe’s, chimpanzee’s, tiger’s and penguins. 

One of the most famous attractions in Edinburgh is Edinburgh Castle which you are able to see from some parts of the city as it sits on castle rock. You are able to enter the castle for a fee where there are additional tours available once inside. Edinburgh Castle is home to the crown jewels which you are able to see on one of the tours. At one o’clock everyday except Sunday’s a gun goes off from the castle which can be heard all over the city. Edinburgh is also located at one end of the Royal Mile.

At the other end of the Royal Mile you can find Holyrood Palace which is the official residence for the Queen in Scotland. Tours of the palace are available. The Royal Mile is a succession of streets such as Lawnmarket where you are also able to find some shops and hotels. 

For panoramic views of the city Arthur’s Seat is the best place to go. This is popular amongst those who like to go hillwalking as it can be found amongst the hills that form most of Holyrood Park. 

Beyond the East end of Prince’s Street is Calton Hill which is a hill that includes monuments such as the nelson monument and the national monument. The headquarters for the Scottish government is located on the Southern slope of the hill and the Scottish parliament building lies near the foot of the hill. Calton Hill is also part of the UNESCO World Heritage site. 

A tour that we did whilst visiting Edinburgh is The Real Mary King’s Close and this is something that I would recommend. It is an hour long you get to see a historic close which is buried under the buildings of the Royal Mile. The name comes from a resident who used to live there in the 17th century before it was partially demolished and buried in the 18th century due to the building of the Royal Exchange. 

On the shopping street of Prince’s Street you are able to see the tall monument known as Scott Monument which is dedicated to the Scottish author Sir Walter Scott. 

On Instagram you may have seen plenty of photo’s of the cobbled curved street with colourful painted shops this is known as Grassmarket and was once home to a livestock market.

Other attractions to visit in Edinburgh include:

National Museum of Scotland

Scottish National Gallery

Royal Botanic Garden

Greyfriar’s Bobby Statue

For my stay in Edinburgh I stayed at Doubletree Hilton which was located a short walk from Edinburgh Castle.  Breakfast was included in with the stay, due to COVID restrictions the cold buffet was help yourself and hot food was ordered from a menu and brought to the table.

Whilst in Edinburgh we ate at two different restaurants for evening meal Chaophraya which is a rooftop Thai restaurant offering views of the castle. We also at The Ivy which is located at St Andrew Square. 

Is Edinburgh a city on your bucket list or have you been before?


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