Edinburgh is Scotland’s capital city and is a great place to explore with a few friends or even on your own for a few days.
Edinburgh is quite small making it an easy city to walk around and to navigate; you can walk its entirety and really take in Scotland’s capital.
The city is not only steeped in history, especially evident in the Old Town, but it has a great nightlife (partly due to the university) and culture. By the time your weekend in Edinburgh is up, you will not want to leave.
Here are the top 5 things to do in Edinburgh during your stay.
1. Edinburgh Castle
Look up and you’ll see Edinburgh Castle, you simply can’t miss it. Built on top of a dormant volcano, Edinburgh Castle is a favourite with historians as it was both a military stronghold and royal palace until the 1600s. It then became military barracks and was used as a P.O.W. camp during both World Wars.
2. Royal Mile
This street connects The Palace of Holyroodhouse (Queen Elizabeth II’s royal palace in Scotland) and Edinburgh Castle. The Royal Mile is an iconic cobblestoned street lined with cafes and pubs and you can easily spend a morning walking up and down it.
3. Arthur’s Seat
This dormant volcano is the highest peak in Edinburgh 800 feet above sea level and the views from here are amazing and stretch across the city to the North Sea. Watching the sun set from here is pretty spectacular. It’s not difficult to climb and is suitable for all ages.
4. Scotch Whisky Experience
If you’re not interested in whisky, skip this one. If you are then read on. The Scotch Whisky Experience is a fun and educational experience for visitors to learn about one of the UK’s most famous and important exports. The tour, which includes an amusement-like “barrel ride” through the distilling process, is also a great rainy day activity (take note as Scotland has quite a few of these).
5. The Elephant House
J.K. Rowling wrote many of her early Harry Potter books at this cafe, the walls are proof of this with quotes and phrases left by hardcore fans. Whether or not you add to the graffiti walls, you’ll see that the cafe has become a Harry Potter tribute.
In Edinburgh, you won’t be able to escape the country’s history, as it is literally all around you. The best part about this city is that you can walk its entirety and really take in Scotland’s capital. By the time your weekend in Edinburgh is up, you will not want to leave.