From the gothic, crooked warren of the Old Town to the grand Regency streets of the New Town and the stunning views from the volcanic crag of Arthur’s Seat, it’s hard to beat Edinburgh for atmosphere. Although famed for its annual festival, at any time of the year the city is a world-renowned centre of culture, so take a deep breathe of the city’s barley-scented air and plunge headlong into the jumble of museums, theatres and galleries.
When to go
The Edinburgh Festival draws huge crowds every summer, who come for some of the finest musical, comedic and theatrical performances in the country. Avoid the crowds by visiting in Spring or Summer. If you can brave the chill, the city’s New Years Eve Hogmanay festival is unforgettable.
Food & Drink
Forget the deep-fried chocolate bars aside- Edinburgh’s foodie scene is as bold and alluring as the city itself. The Witchery, by the Castle, is perfect for slap-up celebratory meals, and meat-lovers will swoon at the thought of the Three Little Pigs. Keep an eye out for traditional Scottish dishes such as cullen skink, a type of haddock stew. If you’re visiting around Burns Night, head to the Arcade Bar, the city’s first restaurant devoted to haggis and whisky.
Not to miss
Visit the fascinating underground streets of Mary Kings Close, where guides dressed in period clothes will shed a light on what life was like in the Georgian undercity
Edinburgh’s Old Town is filled with centuries-old pubs nestled in atmospheric alleys. Take a dram at The Last Drop Inn, so named for being the place where condemned men took their last pint before being hanged. The family-owned Canny Man in Morningside has an ever-changing, eclectic décor. For sophisticated shindigs, head to cocktail club The Voodoo Rooms. Situated within a former ballroom, the decadent décor is host to award-winning mixologists and live music events including blues, jazz and hip-hop.
Where to stay in Edinburgh
Wherever you stay in Edinburgh you’ll be within reach of many of the city’s best spots. Central locations such as Grassmarket in the Old Town and Haymarket in the West End are great for night-owls thanks to their proximity to the city’s bars and restaurants. If you’re looking for something quieter, Murrayfield and Stockbridge are more residential areas just a short walk from the city centre.
How to get there
Edinburgh’s airport is one of the largest in the UK and is serviced by a wide-range of international and domestic flights. The city has good rail links to its two central stations, Waverley and Haymarket.
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