Edinburgh is just one big fairy tale looking, beautiful, wintery city – and that’s exactly why it’s the best place to head over the Christmas period.
You’ve got the mahoooosive Christmas markets to go and grab some food and a hot choc, a load of winding streets to go and explore and wander in and out of the cute gift shops and not to forget the huge castle on the hill that towers over the city…sounds good right!?
Where is it?
Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland, UK.
Why should I visit?
If insane views, delicious food & drink, beaut buildings and cute shops sound like your kinda thing then Edinburgh is the place to visit. It’s the ideal destination for a weekend break as the city is pretty compact, so you can see it all in just two days.
As this is a Christmassy post, I’ve gotta start with the Christmas markets. Situated slap bang right in the middle of the city – look how impressive they look! They are huge!
The markets are on until the 4th of Jan, so plenty of time to soak up the atmosphere.
I just want to mention – there isn’t too much variety on what you can buy from the stalls here. Most sell your average candle or knitted hats and the food is mainly German sausages and mac n cheese. Oh, and the rides are mega pricey – the ferris wheel was a tenner! But hey, that’s what Christmas markets are all about right!
In my opinion, the castle looked wayyyy more impressive from below – you can see it from pretty much anywhere in the centre and it looks incredible.
Make an effort to head up to the entrance of it, as there are some great views below of the city and you can really grasp the size of it but I wouldn’t bother paying to go in if you’re not too fussed on castles – it’s £17 to enter.
We ended up here because it decided to pour down and this was one of the few indoorsy activities there was to shelter from the rain…and let me tell you, it was SO much fun – honestly felt like a kid for 2 hours.
Camera Obscura is essentially a tower filled with hands-on optical illusions, weird visual art and simulations. It costs £16 for an adult, £14 for a student (you can buy on the door), but when we went there was a discount because of the rain – so maybe save this one for a rainy day.
There is also an insane view from the top, with 360 views of the city.
The main street in Edinburgh takes you from the castle and Camera Obscura (this photo was taken from the roof of the attraction), all the way down to Holyrood Palace and Calton Park.
Along the way, there are a tonne of shops – mainly gifty type/souvenir shops – but branching off the Royal Mile there is one street worth checking out. Cockburn Street, a picturesque, curved little row of shops and cafes. A good photo op!
This is the place to go if you don’t have the energy to hike up Arthur’s seat, but still want to see the city from above.
It is set right in the city centre, so easy to get to and as I mentioned, it can be found at the end of The Royal Mile so you can just continue your walk a little further and take in the epic views as a reward.
There is also an acropolis up there. Apparently it is an unfinished monument, but it looks pretty cool.
If you can find that energy deep inside you and you want the best views of the city, then head up to Arthur’s seat. It only takes 30 mins to an hour depending on your speed.
Fun fact, this used to be an active volcano! Now, it is a popular hiking track located in Holyrood Park (also found at the end of The Royal Mile).
There are a few options for reaching the top. For an easy walk with views out over the best of Edinburgh, walk the Salisbury Crags.
Grassmarket is the heart of the old city area of Edinburgh. Here you’ll find a load of pubs, cafes and independent shops to mooch around in.
There is also a great view of the castle up above.
Within the Grassmarket area is where you’ll find this beaut of a street. You probs recognise it from the thousands of Instagram images it features as a backdrop in.
The colourful buildings of Victoria Street are said to be some of the most photographed in Edinburgh – and I can understand why. The small winding street is full of charm – there are a load of boutique shops and restaurants – it’s a must-see during your stay.
Hula – smoothie bowls and brunch
Bross Bagels – customisable bagels (if you go anywhere, make it here)
Ting Thai Caravan – insane Thai street food and really cool atmosphere
Pumpkin Brown – coffee and cake
The Pantry – top brunch spot
Cold Town House – bar and pizza
Cairngorm Coffee – coffee and toasties (very small cute cafes)
Lucky Liquor Cocktails – tiny, quirky bar
Let me know what you got up to…