Edinburgh Travel Guide
The ultimate guide to the best things to do and see in Edinburgh
Home to the picturesque Edinburgh Castle (as well as a beautiful Old Town), many famous festivals (including the Edinburgh Fringe each August) and hundreds of creative and independent shops, Scotland’s capital is one of Europe’s coolest cities. Start here with my basic Edinburgh travel tips, or jump down below to read my latest Edinburgh travel blogs.
When to Visit
Edinburgh gets busy at all times of year, though January and February are perhaps the quietest months to visit. That said, they are also the coldest! In August, Edinburgh gets incredibly busy with the international Fringe festival, so make sure to book ahead if visiting then, but the energy is incredible and the weather shows off the best of the city at that time. New Year’s (locally known as Hogmanay) is also a great time to visit to experience some traditional Scottish cheer!
Top Things To Do
Climb Arthur’s Seat – Just on the edge of downtown Edinburgh in Holyrood Park, Arthur’s Seat is an extinct volcano that’s an easy climb to get great views of the city’s modest skyline.
Go shopping on Victoria Street – This street in central Edinburgh is full of cool independent boutiques selling everything from cool fashion, stationary and books, homewares and of course whiskey!
Visit the Camera Obscura – This weird and wacky museum of visual illusions right next to Edinburgh Castle houses a really cool (and pretty old!) Victorian camera obscura – a kind of low tech projector – that shows a live image of the city’s skyline in a interesting way.
Although it’s a relatively small city, taking a tour around Edinburgh will save you time and get you in to some areas of the city you might otherwise overlook, so it’s definitely worth you time to consider one. Take a look at this selection of Edinburgh tours.
LGBT – Gay Edinburgh Travel Guide
As the capital of Scotland, and one of the most progressive parts of the UK, Edinburgh is a very welcoming place to LGBT travelers, with a thriving scene. These are a few of the best things you should know about visiting gay Edinburgh.
The Street – This modern gay bar and restaurant is slick but welcoming. They host quiz nights, as well as visiting DJs and have a pretty sweet nightclub space in the basement, while upstairs is a restaurant with changing menu of international food.
CC Blooms – If cabaret is your thing, this is the place in town for you! It’s a buzzing gay bar and club spread over two floors and with cool music.
Edinburgh Pride – Annually in June, the streets of Edinburgh are taken over by pride, a colorful and lively event involving the whole community.
More gay travel resources here.
Edinburgh Hotel Deals
Edinburgh has plenty of cool and quirky hotels, as well as all the big chains you’d expect. They’ll likely get full when there’s a conference or special event in town, so definitely consider booking in advance. I’ve found that using Booking.com, Agoda.com or Hotels Combined can be really useful for finding last-minute deals.
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