Welcome to the city where Harry Potter was born! If you are a Harry Potter fan like me you will love this city and if you don’t, no worries there are plenty of attractions for everyone. It’s also the capital of Scotland and features multiple castles and a variety of different Whiskey’s. This is definitely a walking town with a bunch of shops featured on the royal mile. The name of this city is actually pronounced Edin-Bura and not Burgh so make sure you say it right before a local corrects you!

edinburgh

Transportation

The main train station for the town is situated in between old and new town. From the train station you are essentially already in the city center and only a 7 minute walk from the royal mile! This city is quite easy to navigate so just plot your map and get going!

Things I Did

  1. Edinburgh Free Walking Tour – This is a must do for an introduction to the city. The tour covers multiple spots including Greyfriar’s cemetery, Tom Riddle’s grave, and multiple torture houses. tom riddleThe best thing about these tours is when they explain a bunch random facts to you like “shitface” which is quite an interesting background. In addition, the tour shows you the scenic path to move from old town to new town in the city. At all of these tours, make sure to ask the guide to mark up your map for the attractions and food you want to see/try.

Hint: make sure to touch the dog’s nose!
Time required: 2-3 Hours  Price: Free  Rating: 5/5

dog touch bobby


market 

  1. Scotch Whisky Tour – The tour was a beginner introduction to how most alcohol is made. You ride a wheel barrel slow motion throughout the whole alcohol making process. After the wheel barrel ride there is a whisky tasting from the different geographic regions of Scotland. The tour explains a bit more about the cooping and angel share process. All in all the tour was quite basic for beginners and really not worth it if you have ever been on any other beer tour. The only cool thing is the crazy whisky collection that was donated to the museum.

Time required: 40 minutes   Price: 16$ Rating: 2/5

whisky

  1. National Museum of Scotland – The Scottish museum is definitely a must see if you want to learn about Scottish people history. The museum itself contains two areas, one about natural history and Scottish history. The natural history part about animals and nature is like any other museum not really worth it. The Scottish history side is shows everything on its people, many different wars, and the geographical formation of the country itself. I also found out James Watt was Scottish, he totally ruined many days of mine in college with his homework.

Time required: 2-3 Hours   Price: Free   Rating: 4/5

scottish musuem scot museum2

  1. Edinburgh Castle – This castle is quite amazing for its tradition and the fact that it houses the sword and crown that previous royalty used to knight warriors! On a crowded day, the main entrance to see the crown usually forms a line in the same courtyard as the memorial. There is actually another entrance on the other side of the building that has no lines! In addition the 1oclock firing of the cannon and the Mons meg are impressive sites to see. The castle itself hosts multiple exhibits of the different units of Scotland’s army. I found the section about dragoons the most interesting because of their evolution or roles using horses throughout the history. The castle also provides great views of the city and Arthur’s seat!

Time Required: 2-4 hours Price: 16-20$   Rating: 4/5

castle gate castle cannon castle view

  1. Arthur’s Seat – This attraction is a park at the opposite end of the royal mile from the Edinburgh castle! The park itself is more massive than I originally anticipated. I would bring hiking shoes if you plan on hiking more than 3 trails around the park, but if you are heading straight to the top then normal sneakers will be fine. I took the path directly up to the seat for the views! Unfortunately, it was a foggy day but the sea and the castle were gorgeous sites to sea. The trails are clearly marked with dirt and stone steps up to the top! This is a gorgeous getaway from when you want to get away from the bustling city.

Time Required: 1-5 Hours Price: Free Rating: 5/5

arnold side arnold lake arnold top

  1. Royal Mile, Parliament – The royal mile itself is a gorgeous street but is full of tourist shops and restaurants which means overpriced items and food. There is one interesting spot that has a heart on the path which requires you to spit on the heart and walk over it or else you will have bad luck! At the end of the road is also the Parliament building that you can tour but there is nothing special inside the building to see. Only the architecture on the outside of the building worth a picture.

Time Required: 1.5 Hours Price: Free Rating: 2/5

 

What to Eat

Haggis – This is a Scottish meat that is comprised of different sheep parts. The traditional dish is the to get haggis with neeps and tatties which are turnips and potatoes. The texture of the meat is a bit beady but the flavor is absolutely delicious especially with the sides. The dish is offered at a variety of bars and pubs around town.

Haggis

Hog Sandwich at Oink – This sandwich shop is located in Old town and sells different sizes of the roasted hog meat with a variety of sauces. The meat itself is soaked in the hog’s fat when cooked providing a juicy taste without too much oil leaking out of the sandwich. Also ask for a couple of pieces of the hog skin to put in your sandwich to give the sandwich an extra crunchy texture.

Oink Sandwich

Scottish Breakfast – The Scottish breakfast consists of eggs, ham, tomatoes, and Haggis! I found the meal to be a bit heavy for breakfast but I thoroughly enjoyed the way Haggis was grilled like a patty instead of mushed in previous dishes.

scottish breakfast

Kebab Helal – This is one of the top rated Indian food restaurants in Edinburgh! Indian food is a must try while in England. The Naan is baked fresh on order making it one of the best carbohydrate completments to the curry. The lamb and beef curries must be tried!

indian food

Meeting New Friends

During this part of my trip I met my first Australian traveler who introduced me to quite an interesting traveling spirit. He had just decided to go to Paris that day and didn’t really have a plan moving forward! I really learned a lot about how relaxed the traveling culture was after meeting him. Everything will be fine when you travel and the patience that he exhibited really rubbed off on me. I had started planning this trip with multiple weeks planned but after meeting him I realized that shit happens, but don’t worry everything will be all right. If your ever traveling, don’t worry about not being able to find housing, there usually is always a hostel somewhere that has a room for you!

Summary

Edinburgh definitely has a more chill and relaxed vibe about the city. The people are extremely helpful and city is full of culture. I definitely wished I stayed a couple of days longer to do the haunted underground tours and Harry Potter tours! My total recommended amount of time in this city is about 4.5 days, a variety of the attractions can be done within a day with a planned walking route! I recommend this city for anyone who likes to take attractions at their own pace, and also as a rest spot for other backpackers as it provides many possible venues to just sit and read a book.