Scotland’s capital is a cosmopolitan city that’s rich in culture and history. It’s impossible not to be charmed by the beautiful architecture, with St Arthur’s Seat providing a scenic backdrop to the city skyline. Here’s a guide to where to visit, eat, drink and sleep on your visit to this historic and vibrant city.
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What to Visit
Edinburgh is a history lover’s dream. It’s best to start at the famous 12th century castle, where you can enjoy great views over the city spread before you. Next, take a stroll down the Royal Mile and admire the period buildings until you reach the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Once the home of Mary Queen of Scots – the country’s most iconic monarch – you can visit her chambers today as part of the museum.
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Near the palace lies St Arthur’s Seat, the impressive mountain that hovers over the city. The original abbey connected to the palace sits at the top and energetic visitors can enjoy a hike to explore the ruins and more excellent panoramas over Edinburgh.
The Old Town – home to the Scottish Parliament building – is also well worth a visit, whilst the Royal Botanic Gardens make a charming setting for sunny strolls.
If shopping is more your thing, a walk along the shopping Mecca of Princes Street should be top of your itinerary. This is the place to visit the big name stores, but you can find more independent and craft shops in quirky Grassmarket – just the place for Scottish souvenirs and unique gifts.
Where to Eat
Like all good capital cities, Edinburgh has an excellent range of restaurants, from the Michelin starred gourmet establishments to budget student haunts. To treat yourself to a taste of Scotland, head to Kyloe Restaurant & Grill, where all the steaks come from local Aberdeen Angus beef. For fish fans, Ondine is the best place to indulge a love of seafood in the heart of Edinburgh. Take a seat at the amazing Crustacean Bar and fill up on clams and local oysters washed down with champagne.
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Where to Drink
There are a great number of old fashioned pubs in Edinburgh around the Grassmarket and Cowgate areas, and you won’t be disappointed if you head here on a night out. Great music is on the menu at Jazz Bar on Chambers Street, where live bands and a laid back atmosphere make for a fun evening.
A weekend in Scotland wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Scotch Whisky Experience on the Royal Mile. Although the last tour is at 5pm so it’s more an afternoon than evening treat, the fun of sampling different malts and trundling through the factory in a carriage that looks like a barrel can’t be overstated!
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Where to Sleep
On a weekend getaway, a central bed and breakfast in Edinburgh is just what you need. Tania Guest House in Edinburgh is a short stroll from the Royal Mile, so you won’t have to worry about catching the last bus or shelling out for a taxi. The modern rooms start at £30 a night, making this B&B in Edinburgh a bargain so close to the city centre. For a special or romantic city break, try boutique Ritz Hotel, which boasts four poster beds and a cocktail bar.
Alice Woolliams is the Editor for Enjoybedandbreakfast.com, a travel website for accommodation with personality in the UK. The website offers a growing selection of quaint B&Bs, charming inns, small boutique hotels and guest houses. You can find her on twitter @enjoybnb when she’s not travelling the world!
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