From the views from Calton Hill where the whole city of Edinburgh unfolds in front of your eyes, to the traditional Castle that seems to come out from an ancient book, Edinburgh has great charm and it is a necessary stop to understand how different Scotland is from England. Food is not the main reason to travel there but Scotland is the home of probably the best whiskies in the world (no offence, other whisky producers!). If you are visiting and feel adventurous, you should try haggis (read further to discover what it is..) and have a morning start with porridge with whisky to get your energies up and explore the Royal mile and the Old Town!
Discover now the 10 tips that will make you wish to book a flight to Edinburgh in Scotland
Scotland – Edinburgh
After London, this is by far the second must-see city in Great Britain, and it will surely take your heart.
Smaller, slower and colder, the Scottish capital will amaze you for its beauty, history, food and people.
1. Calton Hill / Arthur’s seat
Casted within hills, Edinburgh has much to offer from the above.
There are several chances to enjoy an amazing view over the city, like the notorious one from Calton Hill.
But for those with a bit more time and enjoying a short hike, make sure you don’t miss the walk up to Arthur’s seat.
The highest reachable point, it requires around 45 minutes to get there but rest assured that your reward after the hike will be worth it.
The whole town will unfold in front of your eyes, stunning and beautiful in all its elegance.
One of the city’s and Old Town’s most famous landmarks, the Edinburgh castle is just a short uphill walk from the Royal Mile and the city centre. Tickets are required to enter and visit and they can be purchased in advance on their website.
If not too cold, try and schedule your visit towards the end of the day and then get ready for an amazing and romantic culinary experience at the Witchery by the Castle.
For those up for it, the Witchery also has rooms to ensure an unforgettable stay right in the core of the city and its history.
As the capital of Scotland, Edinburgh can offer a vast selection of whiskies.
And if you are into it, the Scottish ones are amazingly good and among the most worldwide famous.
Edinburgh streets are full of shops selling all kinds of bottles and there are options to arrange a serious tasting with food pairing.
Check Out Whisky Rooms .
4. View on the Royal mile
Together with the castle, the Royal Mile is probably the second most visited landmark in Edinburgh.
A succession of streets crossing the Old Town, it runs downhill connecting the castle and Holyrood Palace and is full of shops, restaurants and pubs.
A bit busy and touristy of course but a must see you cannot miss. Especially if you travel around Christmas, you will enjoy the winter lights and the atmosphere of the festivity decorations.
5. St Giles Cathedral
Walking down the Mile from the castle, you will encounter the iconic St. Giles’ Cathedral on your right, stunning in front of you and meeting your way.
Just in time to stop by after your shopping or your coffee break for a bit more of digging into Scottish history.
Founded in about 1124 AC, this cathedral has a real long story to tell.
For those up for it, the St. Giles’ Cathedral website has the full schedule of choir and organ concerts.
6. Old Town
Once on the Royal Mile, just make sure you walk around it to discover the many lovely streets in the old town.
Full of small vintage shops and lovely cafes, it will be a fantastic way to spend a lazy weekend afternoon.
As much as Scotland is a different country from England, main traditions look quite alike and one of this is for sure the Sunday roast.
With a choice of chicken, pork and beef, juicy meat is served with potatoes, veggies, Yorkshire pudding and a consistent dose of gravy.
Don’t miss a Sunday lunch in a traditional pub over a pint if you are anywhere in Great Britain!
For those of you who are adventurous eaters and fancy something special at breakfast, taste the haggis, a savoury pudding containing sheep’s pluck (heart, liver and lungs) minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices and salt, mixed with stock.
Ok, I know, it does not sound enticing, however, it is very traditional and if you approach it with an open mind, it tastes like sausage and gives a kick to a traditional breakfast. If the idea is not rocking your boat, move on to a Scotch egg that is a hard-boiled egg wrapped in sausage meat, coated in breadcrumbs and deep-fried or baked.
You might enjoy that a lot more, but be aware that the name might deceive you as it is not traditional from Scotland!
8. Scot Monument (Princess Street)
After a robust lunch and once done with the castle and the Royal Mile, it is finally time to visit Princess Street, the core and busiest street of the New Town.
A sure destination for tourists and shoppers, it has a bit less charm than the old part of the city but shops and cafes lined up will keep you busy.
On your walk just stop to take a rest in the Princess Street Gardens and take a look of the iconic Scot Monument.
For those into art, the Scottish National Gallery will also just be found at a really short walking distance.
We talked about Scottish traditions melting with the English heritage and the differences you can spot when travelling from London to Edinburgh.
Apart from the accent, there is certainly one thing you will notice, and it will hit you right at the start of your day.
Yes, the Scots do love their porridge but unlike the English, they pour their national pride into it, in the form of whisky of course.
This is not something for all and not for every day, however consider to try this extra boost before starting your stroll around the city, especially at winter.
10. Mulled wine
And talking about winter… There is another traditional hot drink warming up long walks and afternoon shopping tours and it is the delicious mulled wine.
Easy to buy at street booths, it is served hot and spicy and totally resembles the Germanic glühwein.
Equally a well recognisable scent of Christmas markets.