Scotland, you’ve always been that mysterious fairy tale country with a constant pull to visit very soon. Lucky for me, I happen to be dating a Scotsman. So, we headed to Edinburgh hand in hand with my perfect personal guide.
Here’s my list of the must have experiences in Edinburgh with a locals perspective.
Located at the top of the Royal Mile lies the beautiful Edinburgh Castle, the most frequently visited attraction in Scotland and for good reason. The ticket only costs $20 to date and you should plan to spend about 2 hours. You can check out the underground vaults where they held prisoners of war and pirates (my personal fave), Crown Jewels, the Royal Apartments, the Great Hall, and the Scottish National War Memorial. It also has a pretty great view of the city if you’re still not tired of looking at this beautiful city.
2. Carlton Hill
If you get lucky with the weather, this little hill offers stunning views. It’s just east of Princess Street and it’s quite a short hike, even though I still managed to hurt myself because I’m sort of noob. On a beautiful day, Carlton Hill offers 360 degree views and gives you a great perspective of the city layout. It’s usually a good idea to start out here so you understand the city a bit better.
3. North Berwick
This is an enchanting sea-side town! Not really in Edinburgh but it’s a short bus away and why not explore a different area right? I only knew about this place because my boyfriend’s mum grew up in this town and it was lovely. You can stroll along the beach and check out all the colorful houses you can dream of buying someday. We stopped for the best fish n chips I’ve ever had and kept walking until we found the gelato shop.
4. Princess Street and Princess Street Gardens
There is so much to do in this area, which is also why you’ll run into so many other tourist around here. The gardens are free to enter and it would be a great place to have a picnic on a nice day. I loved sitting here and people watching, plus there’s a few guys playing the bagpipes all around the area so you’ll be feeling the full on Scottish vibe here. After some rest, why not hit up some of the shops? Princess Street has everything from your typical souvenir shops to the super cheap clothing store Primark. Side note, if it’s getting late and you’re in the area you should grab a drink at Juniper’s Bar for another awesome view. Can you tell I love a great view?
5. Grassmarket Pub Hopping
Young or old, we all love a good beer. You can come here and choose any bar you’d like or since you’re on holiday why not try them all? That’s what we did one night with the gang. The food is pretty cheap at these pubs and some of them even have live music. If you’re a Harry Potter fan, you’re also really close to the street that Diagon Alley was created after.
A few other places are the Natural History Museum (free), Fringe Festival if you’re lucky enough to visit in August, Greyfriars Bobby, Arthur’s Seat, St. Giles Cathedral and Edinburgh Dungeons. Don’t forget to try Haggis!