Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland, was the first trip of my travels this year. Dan and I went for a four day trip and that was enough to visit all the attractions we had planned with a good amount of relax time too. I’m going to kick off this guide with where stayed, followed by places to visit and places to eat. I hope you enjoy it and find it useful if you’re planning to visit Edinburgh.
Where We Stayed – Holiday Inn Express, Royal Mile
Situated in the heart of Edinburgh‘s Old Town and only a fifteen minute walk to Edinburgh Castle, Holiday Inn Express was the perfect location for all the main attractions we wanted to see. The rooms are adequately sized with a spacious bathroom, double bed, sofa and desk area. We spent most of the day out of the room, but it was nice to come back every evening as the area was quiet making is great for relaxing after a long day. Breakfast is inclusive in the rate when booking and consisted of hot foods such as sausages, eggs and beans as well as a range of cereals, pastries and yoghurts. The staff were friendly and helpful when we asked questions and housekeeping staff always ensured our room was clean and tidy when we came back. If you’re looking for somewhere convenient, quiet and affordable to stay in Edinburgh, then I highly recommend Holiday Inn Express.
Places To Visit
Edinburgh Castle – Only a fifteen minute walk from where we stayed, Edinburgh Castle was the first place we wanted to visit. Tickets were £16.00 per adult and allowed you access to the whole castle and the war museum. Boasting amazing views of the city and a huge amount of history to read up on, the castle will definitely take up most of the day. There is a tea room and a cafe situated within the castle grounds and makes the perfect spot for a little break. I recommend trying out the Red Velvet cake in the Queen Anne Tearoom, it was so lovely and probably one of the best I’ve tasted.
Edinburgh Zoo – I do love a good zoo, so having a day dedicated the Edinburgh Zoo was a no brainer. If like me, you also love visiting a zoo and getting up close with the animals, then make sure you visit this one if you’re in Edinburgh. A moderately sized compound housing some of the world’s most amazing animals, I highly recommend you get your walking boots on as there will be a lot of that and it will definitely be worth it in the end. My personal favourites were the tiger (he was huge!), the pandas and the penguins. You have to stay till the end of the day to see the penguin parade, it was by far, one of the cutest things I’d ever seen. Tickets are £17.00 per adult if bought online and £19.00 at the door. From our hotel, there were three buses that went straight there and only took about fifteen minutes.
National Museum of Scotland – A diverse collection which will take you on a journey of discovery of everything Scotland, this museum is definitely the place you need to visit. There are floors and floors of a variety of exhibitions that is informative, exciting and intriguing. There’s also a dedicated area for children, so the little ones can learn and keep themselves occupied. Do make sure you also visit the the roof top terrace of the museum as the views of the city are absolutely incredible. Entry to the museum is free for everyone.
The Scotch Whisky Experience – No trip to Scotland is complete without sampling the famous whiskies and if you fancy learning a bit more about the drink, then I suggest taking a tour at The Scotch Whisky Experience. Dan and I are literally whisky experts now (jokes!). We were taken on a barrel ride, learning all about the history and how the drink is made, then we sat with a group of other visitors and taken through a more extensive presentation which we both loved. Then, with our own glass of whisky, we went on a tour of the entire Claive Vidiz collection which I can tell you now, is completely mind-blowing, you have to see it in real life to understand what I’m talking about. Tickets for the tours start at £14.50 for the silver tour and go up to £35.00 for the platinum tour.
Places To Eat
Mrs Macintyre’s – If you’re looking for a small, quiet cafe for some yummy bagels and coffee/tea or hot chocolate, then this place is a definite must-try.
Oink Hog Roast – For delicious pulled pork rolls with range of different sauces, Oink Hog Roast will fulfil those cravings and keep you full for ages.
The Southern – Burgers are always a good choice in opinion and the gourmet burgers at The Southern are incredible. Served in brioche buns with a choice of side, the meat is more-ish and just so, so tasty.
The Royal Mile Tavern – I tried Haggis here for the first time and it was surprisingly good. Because it was my first time, I opted for the chicken stuffed with a small amount of Haggis and it worked together perfectly. Dan on the other hand is a massive fan, so he went for the full dish and said it tasted real good.
The World’s End – We actually read online about this pub before and knew it was somewhere we had to try as they’re award winning fish and chips and beef pie had amazing reviews and the reviews didn’t lie at all, the food was so lovely. Dan opted for the fish and chips and it was really fresh and tasty, I opted for the pie and that was also yummy, the beef was tender and super flavoursome. If you’re looking to visit The World’s End, I suggest you either go in a bit earlier than normal dinner time or book a table as they do get full pretty quickly and the restaurant is quite small.
So that’s brings me to the end of this travel guide for Edinburgh, I do hope you find it useful if you’re planning a visit or if you’ve already been before, let me know if you visited the same places or have other recommendations.