Edinburgh. It is my favourite city, other than my home town. It is has a castle! Need I say more?!
My sister and I returned from our most recent trip the other week, and this time we were very cultural (or at least attempted to be…). We visited some places we had never previously been to – it is a city that just keeps giving. I love it.
I’ve rounded up a list of ‘must see’ places, and a few tips to help you plan your journey.
Where to stay…
To be central for shopping, museums and the castle I would advise staying somewhere around Princes’ Street, which is one of the roads next to Waverley Train Station. Each time I go I forget how long Princes’ Street really is, so try to get somewhere nearer the station if you can. I’ve listed my top 3 budget hotels which I’ve stayed at previously.
Premier Inn Central
This hotel is located towards the other end of Princes’ Street. It is more or less directly in line with the Castle, which makes for a good view if you get a room at the front. It is also next door to Starbucks which is on the first floor, and has comfy seat, ornate original windows which look over to the castle. It’s a lovely place to grab a bite if you don’t fancy the hotel breakfast. The rooms, as with most Premier Inns, are clean and well equipped. We had no problems here and the staff where really helpful.
Travelodge Edinburgh Central Waterloo Place
Situated very close to the station, it is ideal for being on the doorstep for the shops and local amenities however it is quite noisy on an evening for this reason. We often heard ambulances and the traffic noise was very loud so if you’re a light sleeper, I wouldnt recommend it. The rooms were average, ours was a little tired and in need of a lick of paint, but we visited there about 3 years ago, so it may have improved now.
Holiday Inn Express Edinburgh City Centre
A little walk from the station you’ll find this hotel, near the cinema and John Lewis so you’ve got shopping and entertainment literally on your doorstep. This is a lovely hotel and the rooms were very clean and spacious. It seems to be quite pricy compared with the others so we have only stayed here the once but I have nothing bad to say.
Shop till you drop…
There are all of your favourite high street shops on the main run of Princes’ Street. There are couple of H&M’s because one is just not enough? You’ll also find Jenner’s, which is basically House of Fraser with a few higher end brands as well.
Behind Princes’ Street is George Street. Here you will find higher end shops, but there is also Cath Kidston and Anthropolgie down here which are definitely worth a visit. At the end of this road is Harvey Nichols, for your beauty shopping list!
If you’re looking for something a little bit different…
Eden (Cockburn Street)
Beautiful gifts and small home accessories and greetings cards. It is a great shop and we always try to visit when we go to Edinburgh.
Miss Katie Cupcake
A little bit further up the street from Eden is this amazing shop. We first visited years ago when it was in its infancy, but now the shop is crammed full of beautiful handmade jewellery and gifts. Everywhere you look there is a gem. Definitely worth a visit.
Victoria Road (Not far from the National Museum)
This whole street is very cool. You will find boutiques, old book shops, cafés and lots more. If you have the energy after visiting the National Museum, then I’d recommend it.
If you want to be cultural…
The Real Mary Kings Close
If you’re interested in the history of Edinburgh and you aren’t scared of the dark then this may be the attraction for you. There is a whole city underground, houses, streets etc. The tour guide will show you around and tell you about what life was like for people living back then. It’s located off the Royal Mile down a little alley, but you’ll see a sign on the main stretch and sometimes even an actor dressed up advertising it!
I’ll admit we went up the hill for the view rather than the historical side of it. You can get a full 360° view of the city from up there, so if you don’t mind the really steep walk to get to it – definitely visit and take your camera!
The National Museum of Scotland
It’s not just for children – honest! We had a brill time – it’s free entry for a start. There are so many exhibitions so there is something for everyone. The building is stunning and there are places to eat (which are really pricy) so you can easily spend a whole day here.
I’ve heard really good things about this place if you don’t mind a scare. I’ve never been myself because the thought of something jumping out at me scares me to death. It’s not far from the train station and could easily be tied in with a visit to the Royal Mile and The Real Mary Kings Close in the same day.
When you’re hungry…
Hard Rock Cafe
Always worth a visit since they’re only in main cities – great food and great atmosphere.
Just around the corner from the Premier Inn (Central) you’ve probably been before but it’s a new favourite of mine so I wanted to mention it ❤
I hope this little guide helps if you’re planning a trip up to Scotland!
All opinions are my own and I have not been sponsored for this post