One of my favourite cities to visit in the UK is Edinburgh. I was lucky enough to go to university there and spent around three years living and studying in this gorgeous place. When people visit the UK, they tend to visit London and very rarely explore the other cities and towns we have to offer but if you get the chance, Edinburgh is definitely worth a visit.
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, it has a relatively large airport with international flights, buses from big cities in England and Wales and there is a direct train from London to Edinburgh too. Edinburgh draws a huge amount of tourists and you get a real feel of the Scottish culture around the main tourist attractions too.
So what are my top 5 places to visit in Edinburgh?
This is an historic castle that stands on a huge rock and can be seen from all around Edinburgh. You can visit the chapel inside the castle grounds as well as the crown jewels. There are so many stories about the history of Edinburgh that you can learn from visiting the castle.
Holyrood Palace and Abbey
Royal life is the epitome of British culture and by visiting Holyrood palace and abbey you can get a real feel of royal life. The rooms and grounds are magnificent and give off an air of splendour.
The Botanical Gardens may not be on the top of the list of most tourists in Edinburgh but they are gorgeous to visit, especially when the sun is shining brightly. There are many different plants and trees and it’s nice to have a picnic on the grass.
St Giles' Cathedral
St Giles’ Cathedral is on the Royal Mile, so it’s located in central Edinburgh. It’s a nice cathedral with lovely stained glass windows and statues around the outside.
Scotch Whisky Experience
Of course the Scotch Whisky experience isn’t for everyone but if you are a fan of whisky, it’s a really fun day out. As well as learning about the process of making whisky, you can join a tasting session and sample different flavours of whisky.
One of the things I love most about Edinburgh is that you can easily walk around the city and take in the Scottish culture. You can walk up and down the shopping streets (Princes Street and George Street) you can go for a trek up Calton Hill or Arthur’s Seat to get a view of all of Edinburgh and the sea or you can feel the old culture of the city and visit some traditional pubs in Grassmarket and heading up and down the Royal Mile.
And to finish, a few top tips for the tourists;
- There are some amazing events that take place in Edinburgh in August. Primarily the Fringe Festival and The Edinburgh Military Tattoo. The atmosphere when these events are going on is electric and they’re definitely worth a visit. During Christmas time, Edinburgh has a huge Christmas market sprawled across the city too and it really gets you in the Christmas spirit.
- If you hover around the Royal Mile, there’s a good chance you’ll find some of the free walking tours around the city. On previous visits to Edinburgh I’ve done a general walking tour of the tourist attractions, I’ve done a Harry Potter tour (JK Rowling’s Harry Potter books are based on sets in Edinburgh) and a ghost and mystery tour too. They were all free and really great fun!
- If you get the chance to travel outside of Edinburgh, Rosslyn Chapel is very pretty. There is a direct bus from Edinburgh city centre to the chapel and the views on the bus on the way out of the city are also picturesque.
So, if you get the chance to visit Edinburgh, it’s definitely worth your time!