Edinburg is the capital city of Scotland, as the population is only 542,599 whereas Glasgow has 1.6 million people living there and you would not think Edinburg to be the capital.
This 4-day itinerary features the best of Edinburgh for first-time visitors. I have compiled the top tourist attractions that Edinburgh has to offer.
How to get to Edinburgh?
Train to Edinburgh
You can get the train from London to Edinburgh that will take around 4 and a half hours that will cost around £74 for a single fare.
Bus to Edinburgh
The National express bus coach will take from 9 hours to 18 hours ranging from £20 to £30 for a single fare.
Flight to Edinburgh
A flight from London to Edinburgh will only cost you around £53 and it includes a return flight also. The flight time is only 1 hour long and that was the option I took.
Car to Edinburgh
Driving to Edinburgh will take you 7 hours that is making sure there is no traffic along the way or you stop for a break.
Where to stay in Edinburgh?
This is the hotel I stayed in it was a great hotel and comes with breakfast that is the same each day you get vegan Scottish breakfast or normal, pastries or granola. The bedroom is spacious and it comes with a gym. It is situated near the old town. It is £90 a night voco Edinburgh.
hub by Premier Inn Edinburgh
This is a cheap hotel that is located in Haymarket near the old town. The difference between the Hubs and normal Premier inn is that Hubs don’t have the breakfast buffet, dinner service, or bar like a regular Premier Inn. The rooms are much smaller. You pay much less for it, as a night it is only £43 for the Hub by Premier Inn.
Castle Rock Hostel
Castle Rock Hostel is in an ideal location just beside Edinburgh Castle, up the hill from Grassmarket. Some very important points about Castle Rock, Strictly 18+ only, No hen or stag parties and 7-night maximum stay. There’s a 24-hour reception. The FREE walking tour picks up here. They cost £16 each a night in a 16 person dorm.
CODE Pod Hostels- THE LoFT
It is a Modern designed hostel with technology as well. There are no bunk beds at CODE Hostel but fancy, modern pods which give you privacy.
The entire place works on a code system so there are no worries about losing that darn key. For a 6 bedroom dorm, it will cost £30 for two nights as they require two nights minimum,
Arrive in the morning and drop off your luggage at your hotel. The check-in time for most hotels is after 2:00 PM or 3:00 PM.
Time to explore the local area around your hotel. If you arrive before 11 am there is a free walking tour it is also on at 11 am every day that meets at 154 High Street (Royal Mile) and is for 2 hours and was amazing getting know the rich history Edinburgh has to offer.
Then head over to the elephant house café. That is where JK Rowling wrote the Potter books over coffee and cake. Before diner, you need to go back to check-in at the hotel and get ready for diner.
Later that evening for dinner head over to BABA. They do Mezze and charcoal grill. I had their babaganoush and their slow-cooked lamb shoulder and it was so tasty. Also got the blackened sweet potato that was yummy.
Once you are done with the food, it is time for a few drinks and this great cocktail bar worth trying called Panda and Sons which do some amazing cocktails. I had the one called Softcore Porn. It comes with Vanilla Infused Luksusowa Vodka, Lillet Blanc Sweet Sparkling Red, Lime and Egg White for £9.50 and it was worth it. Came with an edible eggplant emoji on it!
Once you had a drink or two it is time to head back to the hotel to get a good night’s sleep, so you can get up not too late to start more exploring the city.
Get up fairly early, so you can have lots of time to explore the city. If you want you can go to Edinburgh castle but before I went to Edinburgh I got told by a few people not to visit the castle as it was not the best so I saved my money and just views it from the outside.
In the afternoon go check out Camera Obscure has five floors jam-packed with over 100 illusions and offers rooftop views of Edinburgh. You will only need 1 hour to 1 and half hours.
After you have done that head over to Victoria Street, which J.K. Rowling used as inspiration for Diagon Alley in Harry Potter. If you’re a very big harry potter fan then you can take a Harry Potter walking tour.
In the evening after you have done some exploring head back to the hotel to get ready for dinner or you can go straight to the restaurant. I recommend you going to Bennet bar. It is a Historic venue offering 150+ malt whiskies and Scottish menus. I recommend you get the burger but if you are very hungry then the fish and chips also look amazing.
After you finished the meal you can go to a bar or if you want to do something different the go on a ghost tour of the underground vaults. Edinburgh is one of the most haunted places in the UK, making it a prime destination for ghost tours.
This is the last full day you will have, so get up fairly early again and have breakfast at the hotel. If it is nice weather then head to Holyrood Park to hike up Arthur’s Seat or you can do it the next day. Don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes.
In the afternoon get a bus to the docks and have a wander around it and then head to Pitt street mart a funky market with independent vendors. I got the pork dumplings and smoothie and it was lovely.
In the evening I recommended you going to The Khukuri Restaurant. it is a Napail curry house that has wonderful curries. It is also not too expensive.
After you had dinner if you want to go out for drinks I recommend going to The Cauldron. The Cauldron is a magic-themed venue that’ll have you brewing your cocktails in a bubbling vat.
This is the last day so in the morning after breakfast goes for a walk through dean village, This is a stunning area with a lake. Then go explore more of the town or if you want a hike, you can go up to Scott Monument. This is a monument to the Scottish author Sir Walter Scott.
For lunch head to Civerinos Slice, a pizza restaurant that offers very big species of pizza and they are very tasty. They have a deal you get unlimited slices and a beer or cocktail (or soft drink) for just £10. The offer runs every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 9pm to close!
In the evening you can spend the last night at the cinema, theater, listening to live music in a lounge or attending a comedy show.
Day trips from Edinburgh
Loch Ness, Glencoe, and the Highlands
This is a small group tour form from Edinburgh where you get your chance to explore the spectacular scenery of the Scottish Highlands and Cairngorms National Park.
St. Andrews and Fife
This is a small-group day trip from Edinburgh to the town of St. Andrews, home to Scotland’s oldest university and Old Course where golf is played.
West Highland Lochs and Castle
This Scottish Highlands day trip from Edinburgh will allow you to marvel at majestic castles and stunning landscapes.