We are all individuals, we all enjoy different things so the following list are my suggestions on getting to know a little bit of Edinburgh. So many visitors try to cram everything into their holiday when visiting Scotland and the same goes for Edinburgh. You could take days to explore this wonderful city. So here is a little bit of help, 10 great things to see, do and enjoy in one day or more in Edinburgh.
1. Early morning take a stroll through Princes Street Gardens before the city kicks into life, open from 7.00. Truly magical with the Castle looking down on you, hard to believe you are smack bang in the centre of Edinburgh. Should you be about on Saturday start off with a visit to Edinburgh’s Farmers Market. Weekend’s are best especially Sunday.
2. Head down towards Leith, Leith Walk is not your usual tourist spot but you will certainly get a real taste of the not so touristy Edinburgh. On your way nip in for a coffee to Caffè Bar in Valvona & Crolla. I bet you cannot walk out without buying something from the shop. Valvona & Crolla.
3. Carry on down to Leith and visit The Royal Yacht Britannia, fascinating insight into the Royal family. Not into Royals the boat itself is amazing. www.royalyachtbritannia.co.uk
4. Light lunch at Fisher’s – quite simply great fish served in a lovely small bistro restaurant. Go for a bowl of lovely mussels and a wee glass of Chablis, best to book! Fishers in Leith.
5. Normally I would say after lunch take a stroll up the Water of Leith to Dean Village just over 3 miles so not for everyone but the walk shows a real part of Edinburgh. Just now there is a lot of flood defence work going on so not the quietest walk so maybe leave this for now. So instead take the hop on hop off bus up to Edinburgh Castle. For the historians amongst you then go for the Castle otherwise take time to enjoy the fantastic views across Edinburgh from the Esplanade. Not so easy during July and August due to the stands for the Tattoo.
6. Walk down the Royal Mile explore all the small closes, find the Royal Mile’s hidden gardens. The Royal Mile like all major tourist destinations does have quite a few tacky shops but also many small unique shops. As a general rule the closer you are to the Castle the more touristy the shops! A good website so you can see what interests you check out Royal Mile Closes click on any close to find out more details.
7. To start your journey down the Royal Mile a suggested pit stop is the Jolly Judge, a great wee bar near the top of the Royal Mile. It used to be my local when I owned a restaurant on Victoria Terrace. The Jolly Judge
8. One thing I find fascinating in Edinburgh are the old cemeteries in and around the Old Town. A couple worth a special mention are Greyfriars Kirkyard (only the brave visit at night) and Old Calton Burial Ground.
9. Time for early evening drink to blow away the cobwebs. Edinburgh has so many bars to choose from, traditional bars to modern cocktail bars. Not being a great cocktail fan I tend to prefer more traditional bars like The Bailie and Kay’s Bar by Stockbridge, however if you prefer cocktail bars head for George Street there are many to choose from. A popular haunt these days is Tiger Lilly.
10. Time for dinner – Edinburgh is blessed with some great restaurants covering all budgets, all tastes and most countries in the world. One on my favorites just now is in the old Oloroso now a Thai restaurant Chaophraya located on top floor overlooking George Street with great views across Edinburgh. If you like Thai food then this is the place for you. When booking ask for a table in the Glass cube for great views of Edinburgh Castle.
I hope you like my suggestions. Have you any of your own let me know?
I will be adding plenty more ideas shortly on Edinburgh and of course other parts of Scotland.