Scotland’s capital has appeal for just about everyone, and with great connections to the city by road, train, and plane, there are few excuses to make for why Edinburgh shouldn’t be your next city stop bucket list. And with its world-famous Fringe Festival coming up in August, now is the perfect time to work Edinburgh into your travel plans.
Still, need some convincing? Here are some reasons why Edinburgh should be next on your list.
From Edinburgh Castle on Castle Rock to Holyrood Palace, the Scottish Parliament buildings, and numerous churches and cathedrals, there are so many places waiting in Edinburgh for you to snap your selfies in front of. Grab yourself a map from any of the Visitor Centres around the city or even the airport or Waverley Station, and plan out where you want to head first so you don’t miss a thing.
A History Lesson
Before hitting the ground running, familiarise yourself with Scotland’s and the Old Town of Edinburgh’s history. The city still has its original medieval street-planning for you to explore, and Mary King’s Close beneath the Royal Mile takes you through hidden streets dating back to the 1600s. Parts of Canongate date back as far as the 1100s, and the National Monument of Scotland is a memorial to the Scottish soldiers and sailors who died fighting in the Napoleonic Wars.
And for those who have more, shall we say, nerdier history interests, JK Rowling sat at The Elephant House off of George IV Bridge and wrote the manuscripts for Harry Potter and the name that inspired Lord Voldemort’s code name, Tom Riddle, can find the grave at Greyfriars Kirkyard.
So as you can see, whatever your history preference, there is bound to be something for you!
The Water of Leith is one of the most stunning green spaces you will find in Edinburgh, adding to the river that finds its way out to sea via the Firth of Forth. Holyrood Park and Arthur’s seat will get your heart racing for both the exercise to get to them and their spectacular views, and a climb up Calton Hill provides a glimpse of the Edinburgh city skyline that is like no other.
Learners of all Kind
Maybe, you’re a non-native English speaker and you want to pick up some authentic Scottish English while you’re in town. You can always pick some up at Edinburgh’s School of English and plan to stay for a while. Alternatively, you could pick up some Survival English through online classes with Listen & Learn.
Edinburgh was deemed by UNESCO as an official city of literature and writing, so for those English language and linguistics enthusiasts out there, you can feel free to let your inner literary spirits fly! Also, be sure to check out the local museums, such as the Museum of Scotland, Our Dynamic Earth, the Museum of Childhood, and the Writers’ Museum.
Regardless of what you want to learn about, there’s something in Edinburgh for everyone!
Princes Street is the main shopping street of the capital, and there are various shopping centres sprawled around the city if you want something familiar to head for. Edinburgh has a wonderful scene for independent shops that you will find down hidden streets, bringing you everything from handmade tableware to one-off items in fashion boutiques.
Food and drink
It wouldn’t be a trip to Scotland without sampling some whisky, and the Scotch Whisky Experience on the Royal Mile is a great place to start. Then head over to the old town and look for Restaurant Martin Wishart, a Michelin Star restaurant that has been winning best restaurant awards for more than a decade. Edinburgh has just about every cuisine that you can imagine, though if you are looking for something that is a little more traditionally Scottish, then head for Arcade Haggis & Whisky House, Monteiths, or The Witchery by The Castle.
In short, there are so many things to see and do in Edinburgh that, chances are, you won’t fit it all into a weekend—spend the time and take to the streets of Edinburgh!