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Experience the Magic: 10 Things to Do in Edinburgh

Edinburgh, with its lush greenery and stunning landscapes, is an absolute must-see destination. The charming city has so much to offer, from its rich history and architecture to its unique culture and traditions. Among the top things to do in Edinburgh are climbing Arthur’s Seat, touring Edinburgh Castle, wandering through the Royal Botanic Garden, and attending a traditional Scottish ceilidh. Visitors can also enjoy shopping in the city’s vibrant neighborhoods, indulging in traditional Scottish cuisine, and exploring the rich culture of whisky at The Scotch Whisky Experience.
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The Magic of Edinburgh

When I arrived in Edinburgh, I had no clue what awaited me. However, it didn’t take me long to realize that this city is an absolute must-see destination. Its charm and beauty are simply unmatched.

From the moment I set foot outside the airport, I was enveloped by lush greenery and stunning landscapes. 

To reach the heart of the city, I hopped on a bus. This turned out to be one of the highlights of my visit. As the bus meandered through Edinburgh’s picturesque streets, I caught a glimpse of the city’s incredible sights and attractions. I was amazed by the natural landscapes that surrounded me and envisioned myself living in such a breathtaking place, spending my days soaking up the stunning views. 

It’s no surprise that my top 10 things to do in Edinburgh include some of the amazing places in the city that showcase its natural beauty. 

But first I have to warn you: Dress for the weather, and be prepared for anything. Edinburgh’s weather can be unpredictable, so make sure to bring layers and a rain jacket, just in case. Thankfully it didn’t rain while we were there but I was expecting warmer weather so the slight chill in the air caught me off guard. I’m naturally a cold person, but my brother was feeling the nip in the air too.  

And as I mentioned earlier, taking the bus is one of the best ways to get around Edinburgh. Not only is it reliable and efficient, but it’s also very affordable. In fact, a one-way ticket from the airport to the city center typically costs around £4.50, making it an excellent option for budget-conscious travelers.

You’ll get to take in the beautiful views and sights of the city at a leisurely pace, while also saving some money for other adventures and experiences in this amazing destination. 

Top 10 Things to Do 

Arthur’s Seat

Climb up Arthur’s Seat for a view that will literally take your breath away. It’s the highest point in the city and the incline might seem intimidating, but once you reach the peak, you’ll be rewarded with a stunning panoramic view that’s worth the effort. It’s the perfect way to start your day in Edinburgh, with natural beauty all around. 

Edinburgh Castle | One O’Clock Gun

You absolutely cannot miss the Edinburgh Castle, a towering fortress that dominates the city skyline. Take a tour and soak in the fascinating history that this landmark holds. Don’t forget to listen for the famous One O’Clock Gun, an impressive feat of artillery that booms daily. 

Royal Botanic Garden

For a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, wander through the Royal Botanic Garden. The lush gardens offer a serene environment filled with beautiful plants and flowers.

Take a deep breath and let the fresh air fill your lungs. 

Water of Leith Walkway

Take a stroll down the Water of Leith Walkway, a beautiful path that follows the river through the city. It’s a great way to see the city from a different perspective.  

Dean Village

Explore the charming Dean Village, which is conveniently situated within walking distance from the bustling city center. This serene community offers a refreshing escape from the city’s fast-paced vibe with its quaint stone buildings and tranquil river running through it.

Old Town

Get lost in the twisting alleyways and cobbled streets of Edinburgh’s Old Town, and transport yourself back in time to the medieval era. Admire the stunning architecture of centuries-old buildings that still stand tall today 

Royal Mile

Wander along the Royal Mile, a bustling street filled with shops, restaurants, and historical landmarks. It’s a great place to soak up the atmosphere of Edinburgh and see some of the city’s most famous landmarks, like St. Giles’ Cathedral and the Palace of Holyroodhouse.  

Traditional Food and Dance

After you’ve enjoyed some of the beautiful outdoors and appreciated Edinburgh’s architecture, attend a traditional Scottish ceilidh, a lively dance party with traditional music and dancing. 

And then indulge in some traditional Scottish cuisine, such as haggis, neeps, and tatties. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes that serve up these hearty dishes. 

Shopping 

If you’re looking to get some shopping done, head to the Grassmarket area, a vibrant area full of restaurants, shops, and pubs, and visit the Museum Context. It’s a small shop that sells antique maps, prints, and other historical items.  

If you’re an art lover, stop by the Red Door Gallery, which features artwork and prints by local artists, or the Scottish Design Exchange, a shop that showcases the work of over 100 Scottish designers and artists. 

If you have more time to shop, head over to the charming streets of the Stockbridge neighborhood, where you’ll find unique local small businesses. Stop by the Golden Hare Books, an independent bookstore that offers a cozy atmosphere and a great selection of books.

Or visit the I.J. Mellis Cheese Shop, a family-run business that specializes in artisanal Scottish cheeses. Don’t forget to check out the weekly Stockbridge Market, where you can browse through stalls selling locally-made crafts, foods, and drinks. 

Whisky and Ale

For a true taste of Scotland, head to The Scotch Whisky Experience. This museum takes you on a journey through the history of whisky in Scotland, and you even get to sample some of the finest whiskies in the world. It’s a great way to learn about the culture and traditions of Scotland. And I’ve heard several people say they didn’t care for wishky until they had this experience. That says a lot! 

Finish your day in Edinburgh at a cozy, traditional Scottish pub, like Sandy Bell’s or The Royal Oak, where the music is live and the atmosphere is warm. Order some locally brewed ale and soak up the friendly vibes as you unwind after a long day of exploring the city. 

Is Edinburgh on your bucket list next? 

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