Friday, July 3, 2020

Things to do in Edinburgh, Scotland

Planning a European vacation? I’ve got a few recommendations on things to do in Edinburgh, Scotland after our trip there.

A few weeks ago, hubby and I headed down to Edinburgh, Scotland for a bank holiday weekend. What is a bank holiday, you might ask? Here in the UK, everybody refers to a national holiday as a bank holiday. It’s pretty funny, and it took some getting used to when people would ask where we were going for a bank holiday, but now we’ve got it figured out.

We made the holiday into a four-day weekend in Edinburgh during the Festival Fringe.The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the largest arts festival in the world and goes on for three weeks every August. Since we booked our flight so late, the hotel prices were through the roof. But it all worked out because we barely spent any time in the hotel!


On our first day, we went to five different shows. Each day there were more than 1,100 performances! When we weren’t watching a show, we were eating. (What else is new?) We walked an average of twelve miles a day, so I wasn’t too worried about our caloric intake. After that we continued to George Heriot’s School, aka the school that Hogwarts is based off of. We ended our night with some delicious Indian food at Kismot and then hopped on over to the Abbey Bar for a whiskey tasting. I mean, you’ve got to do that while you’re in Scotland, right? (PS: The Abbey has fantastic breakfast as well!)

Whiskey Tasting

On our second day, we walked around the city some more and spent the rest of the day in Old Town, just going through all the buildings, stopping at various coffee shops, and buying a few mementos. We also checked out the optical illusion museum, Camera Obscura, which looked like a popular spot for families with children! After a bit of shopping, we hiked Arthur’s Seat to get a fantastic 360-degree view of Edinburgh. This was just absolutely beautiful. I would highly recommend bringing a light rain jacket in case it rains on you and heading up there well before sunset. It’s nice to watch the sunset but not so nice to hike down in the dark. After the long hike, we glamorously ended our day at the movies, like the old souls we are. We may or may not have watched Bad Moms.

Arthur's Seat

On our third day, thanks to {the points guy}, we went to the Stockbridge Market. This place is just magical and relatively tourist free! Filled with old stores, new stores, open markets, delicious coffee shops, and—strangest of all—dogs! It really seemed like everybody who lived there owned a dog. We picked up some cold brew and then hit the shops. I definitely bought a woolen cable-knit sweater. Felt good to check that off of my bucket list! We ended our day back in the city center because we were craving a healthy smoothie after eating so many yummy carbs! Check out Hula Cafe if you just need a change of pace from the bread and street foods.

Cableknit Sweater

On our last day, we started at the train station, funny enough. You can leave your bags there so that you can go and explore without having to lug your luggage! We then headed over to the Edinburgh Castle and didn’t even have to wait in the ridiculous line because we’d bought our tickets online. Make sure to do that as well as the audio tour. Then we headed back to London via train, which I can’t recommend enough! Why do I recommend the train? One, it didn’t matter how much your luggage weighed. Two, I was able to carry liquids in containers bigger than 100 mL, praise the Lord. Three, we got to see the countryside, which was absolutely everything a beautiful countryside should be.

Edinburgh Castle

I definitely suggest whiskey tasting, trying haggis (ew), walking everywhere, buying a cable-knit sweater, attending the Festival Fringe, enjoying the international food that’s everywhere, and trying to imitate Scottish accents. If you’ve got any suggestions, comment below!

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