Edinburgh: 10 things you must do before you leave

Edinburgh’s got that perfect balance of rich history and heritage, and it’s hard to visit and not fall completely in love with this place.

During my short stay here earlier in the year, I was determined to discover as many parts of the city as I possibly could, and compile a list of my favourite picks!

 

Arthur’s Seat

A dormant volcano at 251m high (from the summit), it is quite the steep and rocky climb to reach the top, but nonetheless, after the 1-2 hour walk to reach it, the welcoming views of Edinburgh are breathtaking and totally worth it! And if you score a beautifully sunny day (like I did!), pack some snacks and have a little picnic at the top while enjoying the 360 degree views of the city.  

 

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Edinburgh Castle

The castle of Edinburgh is visibly seen along Edinburgh’s skyline, sitting high up on its fortress rock walls that surround the city. The iconic castle is unquestionably one of the most visited attractions in Edinburgh, attracting tourists in the millions each year, and for good reason. Open all year round and an entry fee of approx $30 , you can take a self guided tour and see what lies beyond the castle walls and learn about the rich and dramatic history that has shaped this famous landmark today.

 

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Elephant Rock Cafe

If you are a die-hard Harry Potter fan, you may or have not had ever heard, but this trendy little café is where J.K Rowling wrote majority of her Harry Potty novels. It’s an awesome café to check out, staff are super friendly and inside you can admire a wall dedicated to the writer herself. Oh, and the hot chocolates are delicious here, particularly on those cold and rainy Edinburgh days!

 
 

Royal Mile

What’s a trip to Edinburgh without taking a walk along the Royal Mile?! Stretching through the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town, the mile runs from the top where Edinburgh Castle sits to the bottom of Palace of Holyroodhouse and Arthur’s seat. The best way to get a feel for The Mile is by walking it. All the way along are cobblestoned roads, tiny alleyways and nowadays, there are a mix of eccentric shops, restaurants, pubs and bars all the way along to be enjoyed!

 

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Grass Market

Grassmarket is located only a short walk from Edinburgh Castle and is almost always bustling with life. With a wide range of unique retail shopping to local bars, pubs and cafe’s, here is a great place to try some traditional Scottish food, relax over a drink or two and soak up vibes of this medieval part of town.

 
 

Edinburgh Dungeon

If you’re brave enough, you can take a guided tour through the dungeons and visit some of Scotland’s darkest and gruesome past. It is actually based on real history with a cast of live actors and theatrical storytelling and effects to make it extra special.

 
 

Holyroodhouse Palace

The Palace today still remains the Queens official residence in Scotland (which is at least once a year), usually in the months of July and December. During the other months of the year, it is open for tourists to take tours of the inside and backyard of the palace itself, as well as the option to take a peak at the gallery, with complimentary audio in various languages supplied for both attractions. Definitely a must visit!

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Ghost Tours

Want to experience Edinburgh’s chilling and dark history? Well, there are plenty of ghost tours around that you can book, and walk in the footsteps of grave robbers, murderers and get lost in Edinburgh’s underground vaults.

 

Edinburgh Zoo

If you fancy seeing pandas, penguins, leopards and jaguars live in action, the Edinburgh zoo is the place to be! Along with many more exhibitions and animals, there is plenty to be seen here.

 
 

Princess Street

A visit to Edinburgh isn’t complete without checking out Princes Street Gardens. The park sits right below Edinburgh Castle and is a great spot to relax and watch the world go by. The gardens here are also beautiful!

 

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