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Best things to do in Edinburgh
I have been calling Edinburgh home for the past five years and I have so many tips to share with you locals and tourists. I swear it has been a challenge to put together a short list of the best things to do in Edinburgh, but please contact me if you have any question about it. I describe myself as an Edinburgh urban explorer and love to share secret gems with you.
Edinburgh is a city that never stops to amaze me with its mix of modernity and traditionalism. It’s sustainable and cosmopolitan. And did you know it has been classified as one of the top 10 friendliest places in the WORLD? How great is that?! Don’t take my word, come and tell it for yourself!
An extinct volcano with extensive views of the city. Any occasion is good to walk up this beautiful hill, which is also featured in ‘One Day’, movie that I highly recommend for some incredible pictures of Edinburgh. You can go up for some exercise, for a romantic stroll, to watch the several fireworks that the city has planned during the year or just for a quiet time away from the busy city centre.
The Old Town is the oldest part of Edinburgh, popular for its cobbled streets and narrow closes. The castle and the Holyrood Palace are the extremes of its main High Street, also called Royal Mile. Packed with pubs and souvenir shops, this is the ideal place to start off exploring the city.
The most famous close is without doubt the Mary King’s Close, which has been turned into a touristic attraction in April 2003. It is an underground close, buried under the actual Royal Mile because of the Plague that affected the city in the 17th century.
This city centre ‘based’ hill is just 5 minutes off Princes Street and it takes 10 minutes only to be at the top of it. A little sacrifice for a big pay off. The view is stunning, you can see the Firth of Forth and a whole set of chimneys which I find incredibly original and romantic even.
Edinburgh Castle and Princes Street Gardens
Sitting on a former volcano rock, the Edinburgh Castle looks majestically over the stunning city of Edinburgh. Head up there early in the morning in order to avoid long queues and get an audio guide once in. It’s just £3/4 and it really makes a difference to your visit.
Known more to the locals than to tourists, Dean Village is the place every Edinburgh local would love to live in. You can have a lovely walk on its old paved stones among the river. It feels like being in the countryside but you are just ten minutes away from the busy streets of Edinburgh. If you feel lazy or tired from hiking in the Highlands, book the Rabbie’s City Tour, the only Edinburgh’s city tour able to reach this gem! Smart.
The place where all the cool kids go for a BBQ on a warm summer day! Also perfect for a jog or why not signing up to one of those crazy boot camp classes?!
Royal Botanic Garden
It’s one of the finest Botanic Gardens in the world. Perfect for a stroll in the nature and just 20 minutes away from the city centre.