When I lived in St Andrews I kept thinking I would go visiting Edinburgh, it was only a 1-hour train journey from my little town after all. Would you believe it took me almost 4 months to go visit Edinburgh? And that was because a friend from home came to visit. Then it took me another 4 months to return to Edinburgh. I’m a terrible tourist, am I? St Andrews was just that lovely though…but I digress as always!
Edinburgh is lovely and I wished I had gone more often while I stayed in Scotland, but then again I am most probably moving to Edinburgh in a few months so I have lots to discover when I’m back in Scotland (and lots more to share with you guys). Here is a taster of the great things that Edinburgh has to offer, accompanied by some photographs.
What I know most about Edinburgh is the area between Waverley and Haymarket stations, the Royal Mile and obviously, the airport. While these don’t encompass everything that Edinburgh has to offer, it does include a lot of amazing things (excluding the airport, that’s pretty boring)! Whether you get to experience some of its many cafes and restaurants (lots more options than in St Andrews – my second visit to Edinburgh had for sole purpose to stuff my face with sushi), go for an historic visit or to attend one of Edinburgh’s various events, there is so much fun to be had and so much to discover in Scotland’s capital.
When you arrive it is usually around Waverley (bus from the airport/cross country trains and buses all arrive in the area) and that is right in the middle of the old town and new town. The new town is cool for shops and restaurants. You can take a stroll along George street or Princes street. You can even find the Honeydukes candy store! Yes that’s right! …to tell you the truth I didn’t explore the new town more than that and that is where my knowledge ends.
Edinburgh is historic. Uphill from the new town, the old town also conceals many treasures. You can learn so much about the history of the city and it is so easy to get lost there. There are so many hidden wynds and staircases. After countless visits to Edinburgh I still found new ways to get around and new path to explore. The Royal Mile forms one of the most important roads of Edinburgh. At on one end you can find the Edinburgh Castle and on the other the Holyrood Palace (and Queen’s Gallery, which is really worth a visit!). Visiting Edinburgh Castle is an absolute must (I recommend purchasing a Historic Scotland membership, which gives you ‘free’ entry to most of Scotland’s castles and allows you to skip the obnoxiously long queues). It gives insight on the town’s history and also has amazing views over the city.
You can also visit (usually for free) the multiple museums of the capital. You can go up the Scott Monument. Explore the Princes Gardens. In late November-December, you can catch the Christmas Market. Grab a glass of mulled wine and walk around the stalls and rides. In the summer months, you can probably catch some of the amazing shows at the Fringe Festival. Edinburgh is so lively! While it is smaller than Glasgow, it doesn’t lack in personality.
Despite being the capital it is a smaller city than Glasgow. It also has the feel of a large town. Which I say not in a pejorative way but in a ‘I can live there without hating people’ way. I come from a big city and love having everything available to me. However, after living in a small coastal town, I found that I also love the peace and quiet it brings. Edinburgh is the perfect mix between the two. While it has the buzz of a big city, with tourists, pubs and events happening all the time, it also has a quaint feel. It’s walkable, bewitching and an absolute must to visit.
Have you ever visited Edinburgh? xx