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Edinburgh Travel Guide: Scotland's Enchanting Capital

Updated: Jul 16, 2023


Edinburgh Castle - Edinburgh Travel Guide
Edinburgh Castle at the top of the city

Welcome to Edinburgh, Scotland! The city of haggis, tartan, and bagpipes. This vibrant city is bursting with energy, character, and charm, making it a popular destination for travelers from all over the world. But be warned, Edinburgh also has a darker side, with a history steeped in the supernatural, the eerie, and the macabre.


Edinburgh is a city that has something for everyone, from stunning architecture to fun traditional pubs - it is full of surprises and is sure to capture your heart. So, pack your bags and come and experience the magic of Edinburgh for yourself!


Getting Around Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a highly walkable city, especially in the city center, where you'll find a maze of winding streets and hidden courtyards. The city's public transportation is also efficient and reliable, comprising a network of buses and trams managed by Lothian Buses. Tickets can be purchased on board or through the Transport for Edinburgh app. Edinburgh also has several taxi companies and Uber operates within the city.


Accommodation

The city offers a wide range of accommodations to suit all budgets. The Old Town is a great place to stay if you're interested in historical attractions like the Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle. New Town, with its Georgian architecture and designer boutiques, offers a more upscale experience. Leith, the city's vibrant port area, is a more budget-friendly option with a thriving food and drink scene.


Attractions

Edinburgh is a city brimming with history and culture. Start your journey at Edinburgh Castle (make sure to book tickets ahead of time), then make your way down the historic Royal Mile to Holyrood Palace. Be sure to visit the National Museum of Scotland and enjoy a leisurely stroll through the beautiful Princes Street Gardens.


Edinburgh is renowned for its spooky history, with countless tales of ghosts and hauntings throughout the city. One of the most famous is the story of Mary King's Close, an underground street that runs beneath the Royal Mile. Legend has it that the street was sealed off during the plague, with those inside left to die. Today, visitors can take a tour of the close and hear the eerie stories of its ghostly inhabitants. But be prepared to feel a chill down your spine as you learn about the past of this haunted city. We took a "dark side walking tour" of Edinburgh - it was a fun and interesting way to learn about Edinburgh.


For those interested in literature, Edinburgh is the perfect destination. The city has been home to many famous writers, including Sir Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson, and J.K. Rowling, who famously penned the Harry Potter series in a café in Edinburgh. Visitors can explore the places where these famous writers lived and worked, and even visit the café where J.K. Rowling wrote her famous novels.


Edinburgh is also famous for its festivals, including the Edinburgh Fringe, the world's largest arts festival, which takes place every August. The city comes alive with performers, artists, and musicians from all over the world, creating a vibrant and eclectic atmosphere that is hard to beat.


A visit to Edinburgh wouldn't be complete without a trek up Arthur's Seat. This ancient volcano and site of a 2000-year-old fort is the city's highest point, offering unrivalled panoramic views of the Scottish capital. Though it may seem a challenging climb, it's surprisingly accessible with well-trodden paths, taking an average of 30 minutes to reach the summit. As you stand atop this natural marvel, wind tousling your hair, gazing at the spires, rooftops, and green expanses of the city below, you'll understand why Arthur's Seat is considered one of the best city hikes in the world. The sense of peace, accomplishment and awe make the journey utterly worthwhile. It's a must-do for any adventurer visiting Edinburgh.


Arthur's Seat - Edinburgh Travel Guide
Arthur's Seat


Food & Drink

Scottish cuisine has much more to offer than just haggis. Edinburgh's thriving food scene ranges from traditional Scottish fare to international cuisine. Be sure to try local specialties like Scottish smoked salmon, Scotch pie, and a Scotch Egg. No trip to Scotland is complete without some Haggis, which is delicious but not something you want to google the ingredients of. Wash it down with a pint of local ale or a dram of Scotch whisky. Known to the rest of the world as just "scotch," locals only refer to it as "whisky" and don't include the 'e.' The Johnnie Walker Experience offers an exciting and immersive into one of the world's most famous scotch brands and the sprit's connections to the nation's history. To show up with pro-level scotch knowledge, check out our full guide to Scotch tasting, terminology, regions, and more.



Working Spaces

For digital nomads, Edinburgh offers a range of co-working spaces like Codebase, The Melting Pot, and Spaces, all equipped with high-speed internet, comfortable workstations, and plenty of networking opportunities. Pubs were my favorite place for heads-down work. They are generally quiet, offer great food, and of course a good a good pint of Innis & Gunn.


In Conclusion

Whether you're drawn to its historical charm, literary legacy, or stunning natural beauty, Edinburgh promises an unforgettable experience. With its welcoming locals and vibrant cultural scene, you'll quickly see why so many digital nomads fall in love with this city. Safe travels!

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