Edinburgh-National-Geographic *Photo from NatGeo

What’s that? We’re going to Edinburgh next week? I know, it’s a shock. I mean, it’s not like I’ve mentioned it a hundred times in the past couple of weeks or anything. Jason and I are just pretty psyched to take some time off, I guess!

But the point of this post is- help us, please! Jason and I are kind of the worst at travelling and holidaying (we leave booking until the last minute, never plan anything, forget stuff- honestly, we’re ridiculous) and so we’d really appreciate any tips or recommendations about where to go, what to eat, where to shop whilst we’re in Edinburgh! We’re staying right in the middle of the city, and so can get pretty much anywhere with ease but don’t mind hopping on a bus if there’s a place you’d recommend we visit a little outside the city!

We’d really like to take a trip out of the city to visit the Rosslyn Chapel, and also climb up to the top of Arthur’s Seat. And like I said before, Jason really wants us to go on a tour round Mary King’s Close (which I’ll spend quaking like a leaf and tallying up girlfriend points). But beyond that, we’re open to suggestions! So, hit me up! Are there any great restaurants we should visit whilst we’re in the city? Or good places for mid-afternoon coffee and cake? Any lush wine bars? (I want to get dressed up!) How about cultural stuff- museums and such? If you’ve been to Edinburgh and blogged about it, do feel free to pop a link in the comments! I’d love to read your posts!

Thank you thank you in advance!

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  • http://www.amyliz.co.uk Amy

    I’m so jealous – Edinburgh is the best! (Also chilly – take warm things!)

    You’re definitely going to love Grassmarket – lots of lovely olde worlde pubs, a cute ice cream place called Mary’s Milk Bar, second-hand bookshops stuffed to the rafters and lovely cobbled streets. There’s a restaurant called the Mussel & Steak Bar which has a great lunch deal and is totally delicious if (like me) you luuurrveee mussels (or steak!).

    When we went in January we also stumbled across Holyrood No. 9 which has the longest list of burgers I’ve ever seen and was super cool. We also went to the Missoni hotel bar which was swanky if you want to get dressed up, and the restaurant next door – Ondine – which was a bit pricey but delicious and fancy.

    Have an amazing time! :)

  • http://www.blesstheweather.com Siobhan

    Lucky you! I love Edinburgh, it’s where Gav is from so we go back every now and again. Plus I’m lucky enough to go every year for work. I wrote a little post on it last year, with some tips of where to eat & drink: http://www.blesstheweather.com/2013/09/edinburgh-festival-2013.html

    Have a great time! x

  • http://www.clairebonello.com Claire

    Oooh! Edinburgh is awesome.
    Eat at Maxie’s, shop at Ness. Arthur’s Seat = definitely. Some pictures from an old post on my blog here: http://clairebonello.com/my-trip-to-edinburgh-in-many-pictures-includes-pandas-and-penguins/
    :) Enjoy! x

  • http://www.imogenscribbles.blogspot.com Imogen

    Hi Rosie,
    How exciting! I recently went to Edinburgh to visit a friend, but wasn’t even there for two full days which was such a shame as it is such a beautiful city. It was my first time there so I was wondering a bit and mainly admiring the scenery, but if you want to have a peek at my post then the link is: http://imogenscribbles.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/my-first-ever-trip-to-scotland.html

    I was also recommended a place called Urban Angel for brunch, but didn’t get a chance to go. One thing I would say is essential is the Royal Mile though! And Calton Hill is such an easy walk for a beautiful view.

    Hope you enjoy :) Imogen x

  • http://www.cleanbakerun.com Carrie

    Oh Edinburgh is beautiful at night. I did the Moonwalk there last year with my sister, freezing cold in our bras with thousands of other women, it was a beautiful way to see the city. Arthur’s seat gives stunning views but is really windy so wrap up warm! x

  • http://justlikeehoney.blogspot.co.uk/ Kellie

    My parents live just outside Edinburgh so I basically grew up there before heading off to uni. It’s a beautiful city and you are definitely in for a treat! I have lots of recommendations for you.

    To eat – As you’re into cooking I’m gonna assume you know who Tom kitchen is. He has a mitchellin star restaurant called ‘The Kitchen’ which is based on his book ‘from nature to plate’ and it’s so beautiful! The whole place is just wonderfully decorated, tartan and thistles everywhere and It’s heavy on the seafood with the best wine selection ever.

    If you don’t want to pay that much he also has a Pub which is nearer to the city centre, It’s called ‘The Scran & Scallie’ and although it’s called a pub it’s probably the poshest ‘pub’ I’ve been in. Again the food is delicious but it’s based on standard pub food with a fancy twist! much better if you’re not as big on seafood like I am!

    For Drinks I’d recommend The Dragonfly which is a cocktail bar down on the Grassmarket, they do a lovely cocktail called Raspberry ripple. My favourite cocktail bar however is called Bramble which is on Queen Street and it has the nicest atmosphere and drink selection.

    For things to do, definitely arthurs seat and head up to the castle. Try get there in time for the 1 o’clock gun which is fired everyday except Sunday. Also go into the National Galleries for Scotland which is just down from Princes Street and at the side of the gardens. Also in the gardens is the Scott Monument which when you climb up gives you a wonderful view of the city with the castle in it.

    For shopping it’s pretty easy to navigate however there is a lovely little shop just off the royal mile which is called Miss Katie Cupcake. Even looking at it from outside will make you fall in love. There’s lots of nice things for the home in there as well as wall art and jewelerry.

    Hope this helps and you have a lovely trip! :)

  • http://trnrth.wordpress.com Nina

    Definitely go up Arthur’s Seat! Calton Hill is also really nice (and a much easier climb, it’s just a set of stairs to the top really). For cafés: Peter’s Yard is good all around (really simple, fresh sandwiches/soups and good coffee/baked goods), Artisan Roast has the best coffee, Lovecrumbs has a really adorable interior and great cake. For galleries: the Fruitmarket Gallery is great for more contemporary art, the National Gallery is nice as well and since it’s on Princes St. (the main shopping street) it’s a really convenient location. I’d recommend having a wander around the streets just north of Princes St. too, there’s some really charming architecture and small restaurants/shops tucked away there (my blog is really new but I’ve posted some photos there). If you need any more recommendations drop me an e-mail!

  • Kate

    Hi Rosie,
    Ooo Edinburgh is proper lovely, you’ll love it! I went last year and blogged about it here – http://www.recent-treats.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/edinburgh.html. Definitely spend some time on the Royal Mile and I really loved the new National Museum Scotland for a wander round indoors when it got too cold! We didn’t manage to go but I’ve heard that Tiger Lily bar is amazing for cocktails and getting dressed up. I don’t know if you already follow her but Jennifer Stroud’s blog( http://jenniferstroud.blogg.se/) may be good for tips, she’s at uni there and her photo’s of the city are just stunning. Hope you have an amazing time!
    Kate x

  • http://whatabbyloves.blogspot.co.uk/ Abby

    I live in Edinburgh so I think I can give you some pretty good recommendations :-). You need to go to the Fudge Kitchen which is on the Royal Mile about 10 shops down from the Radisson Blu hotel, it has the best fudge you’ll ever taste- they give you tasters but the Vanilla one is amazing. Also there’s a gorgeous patisserie shop beside the Carlton hotel which does cute macarroons. Harvey Nichols and Jenners are amazing for make-up shopping, they have all the best brands like MAC and YSL, George Street is great for more higher end shops and Princes Street and St James centre has all your more high street stores. Going round Edinburgh Castle and climbing the Scots monument is something tourists like to do and Camera Obscura is pretty cool to visit. If you fancy going into Morningside which is just past the meadows (number 23 bus or 45) stops near it theres a gorgeous ice cream parlour called Lucas which does amazing lunches and ice creams. For places to have cocktails and stuff like that the Candy Bar is amazing, it’s all sweet based cocktails :-) Hope that helped a little xxxx


  • http://www.miss-smidge.co.uk Smidge

    Hey Rosie, Edinburgh resident here. Loads of suggestions / tips for you! I can’t see other comments so I hope i’m not repeating things here!

    Rosslyn Chapel – Get the number 15 bus from Princes Street.

    Mary King’s Close – make sure you book 24 hours in advance – it gets booked up every weekend. It takes an hour and is worth it.

    Museums – The Museum of Scotland on Chambers Street is free and huge (recently tarted up and lovely) The Gallery of Modern Art is also great.

    To do – walk from the Modern Art Gallery to Stockbridge along the Water of Leith (so pretty and you will go through Dean Village, really is a hidden gem)

    Bars – The best (IMO) Devil’s Advocate, Bramble, Lucky Liquor, The Last Word Saloon, Panda & Sons, Bon Vivant (Thistle Street)

    Shopping – Victoria Street is Edinburgh’s famous quirky street, George Street and St Andrew’s Sq for labels, Thistle Street for the really fancy boutiques. Lots of neighbourhood also have shops.

    Lots of other ideas here: http://miss-smidge.co.uk/category/edinburgh/

    Have fun, you will love our little city. Feel free to email for more advice :) +

  • Sarah

    Edinburgh is beautiful! It’s one of my favourite places in the world. My best friend and her family live there so luckily I get to go quite a lot. As for things to do Arthur’s Seat is definitely one of the best things, it’s amazing to look at and it would make an excellent photo opportunity, a long with Edinburghs Disgrace, The Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle.
    Food wise, why not go for an Edinburgh chippy? They have a sauce that I don’t think anywhere else in the uk use, aptly named chippy sauce. I get one every time I go.
    Also the Omni centre (hopefully spelt right) has a giant giraffes statue which would be a great photo too!
    Hope you have a great time! I’m insanely jealous!
    Sarah x

  • http://fillmylittleworld.blogspot.co.uk Bee

    Ooooh you’re going to love it, Rosie! I went last year (blogged here http://fillmylittleworld.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/edinburgh.html ) and my favourite places were as follows:
    - Hula Juice Bar (in Grassmarket) for breakfast
    - Holyrood 9A for burgers and beer/ales
    - Whistle Binkies for live music
    - Hannah Zakari for awesome little bits of jewellery
    - the Portrait Gallery in the New Town
    - Calton Hill if you run out of time/energy for Arthur’s Seat
    The Old Town is wonderful for exploring as it has beautiful cobbled streets and is full of independent shops and cafes. Hope you have a lovely time and I look forward to reading all about your trip :)

  • csilla

    Go to the Elephant House (http://www.elephanthouse.biz/) lovely little coffee shop that inspired J.K.Rowling to write the Harry Potter books. It also has some amazing views on the castle and the city itself. Enjoy :)

  • http://arielle-likethemermaid.blogspot.com/ arielle

    so my family and I went while I was growing up and we loved visiting inverness castle and aviemore, though 16 year old me didn’t pay much attention to how far out of edinburgh they were or if buses went there or not.

  • Aileen

    I wont give any major recomendations as I think they are all covered here! I would say walk a lot! I love wandering around Edinburgh with a guidebook and a map. I also took one of those open top tour buses once and really enjoyed it. I have spent so much time in Edinburgh over the years but normally very drunken visits so it was nice to that time get a bit of culture! The Royal Mile is always good for a little walk and I also like Calton Hill. There are so many pubs and restaurants to choose from and the people above have told you loads so I won’t add as you are only going there for a week I presume and not a year! Take lots of layers. Edinburgh can definitely be one of those cities you get 4 seasons in one day and if there is a wind it can be a cold one. Enjoy!

  • Becca


    I love Urban Angel for a great cafe, its on Hanover Street. There are amazing views of the city from Calton Hill and also up the Scott Monument in the Princes Street Gardens!

  • http://Www.craftyweekend.com Rachel

    There’s a beautiful beautiful restaurant next to the castle called the Witchery – it’s pretty special but they do 3 courses for £35 which is great. Also there’s a place called Whiski bar & Restaurant (119 high st) which does whisky flights of 4 whiskys with tasting notes, in the eve they have great live scottish/folk music, it was great. Enjoy! X

  • http://www.fromlucywithlove.co.uk Lucy Carter

    You will LOVE Edinburgh! My other half took me in October last year and it was amazing. I did a couple of posts and a couple of vlogs if you fancy checking them out! http://www.fromlucywithlove.co.uk/search/label/Edinburgh
    Have a great time x

  • http://www.madeupoflittlethins.com Rachael

    ROSIE – *if* you can get a table at The Witchery then please do and report back! I would love to eat/stay there but we couldn’t get in when we went. We ate at Wildfire which was lovely and stayed at Tigerlily which was fab. My post is here

    rachael xx | made up of little things

  • Emily Chandler

    Hey Rosie, love the blog! Edinburgh is lovely – quite small in city terms, but is therefore easy to navigate! I went in October 2012, and posted about it on my blog (I don’t blog anymore) but here’s the link:


    Hope you have an amazing time – tbh the Lonely Planet guides are your best bet for finding the gems of Edinburgh.

    Much love,

  • Sara

    Hi :)
    I also live in Edinburgh, and it is my favourite city in the world! There are so many good recommendations already, but I would add:

    - Clarinda’s Tearoom (end of the Royal Mile, close to the Parliament) is a really nice and cosy place for tea/coffee, and it is cake paradise!
    - 10 to 10 in Delhi (Nicolson Street), great curries, atmosphere and service, and mega cheap as well.
    - The Clerk’s Bar (South Clerk Street). They do incredibly good slow roasted meat, ribs, pulled pork…and it’s not too expensive.
    - If you enjoy charity shopping I would definitely recommend a trip to Stockbridge!

    Hope you enjoy your trip to beautiful Edinburgh :) x

  • http://Shelleylcook.blogspot.co.uk Shelley

    I’m so jealous you’re taking a trip to Edinburgh!! I grew up there and now living in Manchester so I miss it! Such a gorge city right?
    If you want to get all dressed up then you should book a nice restaurant on George St. “The Dome” is particularly posh.
    Have fun! Can’t wait to read your post when you get back :) x

  • http://www.strollingabout.blogspot.com Maggie

    - Little known hidden gen: the Wild West movei set in Morningside in Edinburgh http://strollingabout.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/the-wild-west-in-morningside-edinburgh.html

    - Walk off the touristic routes, and finish with the best place for cake

    - Best place for beautiful pictures (and where the picutre in this very post was takn from) http://strollingabout.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/my-edinburgh-at-dusk-calton-hill.html

    - Little known gallery feautring local artisits http://strollingabout.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/do-something-awesome-today-edinburgh.html

    - a place for an quiet afternoon – http://strollingabout.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/last-weekend-botanic-garden.html

    - and my interviews with local artists about their favourite places in Edinburgh http://strollingabout.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/seen%20through%20the%20artist%27s%20eyes

    also, my Google reviews of favourite places: https://plus.google.com/u/0/101047463019640429171/reviews

    You’re going to love Edinburgh! hope you have a great time.

  • http://www.theheadlessmannequin.blogspot.com The Headless Mannequin

    I’ve been living here for just over a year now and have loved reading over the comments above and jotting down tips for myself :) I think most of my favourite spots have been covered but perhaps seconding some recommendations will strengthen them :) So for what it’s worth my favourite stop for a slice of cake is The Lovecrumbs (just up from the Grassmarket), another great lunch spot nearby is The Timberyard. For drinks I love Panda and Sons, Luncy Liquor Bar, the Bramble and The Queen’s Arms is a personal fav for a chilled out, cosy drink. My favourite restaurant is near Haymarket Station if you venture in that direction – it’s a gorgeous fish restaurant with a midas touch – I’ve eaten there so regularly it’s verging on embarrassing – it’s called First Coast. There’s a lovely jewelery/staionery shop in the Grassmarket called The Black Box that I adore and Katie’s Teacup just off the Royal Mile is so cute too. And Camera Obscura is lots of fun if you’re looking for something quirky! Have a blast…can’t wait to read all about it!

  • http://www.theheadlessmannequin.blogspot.com The Headless Mannequin

    …one last recommendation (which I’m surprised hasn’t been mentioned already) but The Dogs is another really great lunch spot just off George’s Street!

  • http://goeswithoutsay.tumble.com Shelle

    You will love Edinburgh! I love living here. It really is the most beautiful city.
    You should definitely visit Castello Coffee Co. on Castle Street, it’s a fabulous little homely coffee house with the best coffee in Edinburgh if I say so myself. Their peanut butter slice is to die for. Be sure to visit the National Museum of Scotland. Its awesome and free! The Grassmarket is great for quirky little shops and some nice bars. I’d also recommend a little cocktail bar called Bramble. Its kinda like a secret. Hidden underneath a dry cleaners on Queen Street. Its small and busy but the vibe and the fact their cocktails are based around gin, it’s definitely worth a visit. :) enjoy your trip! xo

  • Lottie Jacks

    I’d totally recommend The New Leaf Co-op in Marchmont. (http://newleafcoop.co.uk/) (http://instagram.com/newleafcoop)

    It’s a hidden gem, and a total foodie heaven- organic fruit and veg in the front room and loose herbs, spices, pulses, grains and dried fruit in the back room.

    Oh, and they have a Grind Your Own Nut butter Machine (Monday=Almonday, Tuesday=Cashewsday and the rest of the week it’s peanut apart from after 4.30 on a friday, when it’s CHOCOLATE peanut butter. Heaven…

  • Sarah

    3 words- Mary’s Milk Bar.

  • http://www.daisychainsanddreamers.wordpress.com Sarah Linda

    I’d love to visit Edinburgh. It looks so pretty. Perfect for a long weekend away!


  • http://Lunchetcetera.wordpress.com Jo

    Arthur’s Seat is a great plan, always good for sweeping away the cobwebs after a night on the town!
    I would absolutely recommend heading out to Leith for afternoon tea at Mimi’s Bakehouse, it is hands down the best bakery I’ve ever been to! It was great value, and they were really considerate and obliging when it came to my friend who has a serious nut allergy. Definitely worth a trip!

  • http://www.britishgirl.co.uk Beth

    I’ve always wanted to go. Can’t wait to read all about it!

    Beth x

  • http://www.kirstylikesflowers.com Kirsty

    For a different vibe – indie/hipster whatever/low-budget… Check out The Brass Monkey on Drummond St that plays great music, Brew Lab for great coffee, Lovecrumbs for coffee, BYOB Kampung Ali for food (the best decor), The Cuckoo’s Nest for cozy drinks, any of these bars owned by the same people – Sofis, Boda, Hemma, Joseph Pearce, Victoria.

    x a New Zealander living in Edinburgh on OE holiday

  • Iris Mathers

    The Dovecot Studios dovecotstudios.com sited in what used to be an old Victorian swimming baths is worth a visit. You can see tapestries being woven. There is usually an art exhibition on. They have a great cafe too. Good for coffee and light lunch, great soup and sandwiches.

  • http://lavidalaura.com/ Laura

    I was just in Edinburgh a few weekends ago – I loved it so much! My favorite restaurant was Calistoga – they have really good California wines and great food, too.

  • http://www.whatkatedidblog.com Kate

    You will love Edinburgh :). Probably really obvious suggestions, but you must take a stroll down the Royal Mile and visit Edinburgh Castle. Also The Dome is meant to be an incredible place for food any time of day (but I’ve heard great things about its afternoon tea) – plus the building’s fab. Have a great time it’s a lovely city!

    P.s I’ve blogged about Edinburgh here: https://whatkatedidblog.com/tag/edinburgh/ X

  • Lianne Johnston

    Hi Rosie,
    I have followed your blog for a while and have lived in Edinburgh for that past 5 years.
    To eat, I would recommend checking out the Apex international hotel Heights Restaurant, this gives wonderful views over the castle, which are particuarly spectacular in the evening.
    I have also seen several recommendations for The Kitchin, I would recommend the sister restaurant Castle Terrace, it is a lot more central, and having been to both a few times, I would choose Castle Terrace first (although you really need to book!).
    Personally, for wine bars, I love Whighams Wine Cellar. Harvey Nichols restaurant is also worth a visit, if even just for the view! (and perhaps yo sushi!)
    Have a great trip! :)

  • http://www.littleobservationist.com Steph

    Edinburgh is great and my fiance’s sister lives in Roslin, near the chapel. I went once during a study abroad program 10 years ago and went back with him again not last Christmas but the one before. It’s a beautiful little escape from the city and well worth a visit for a bit of hiking in the gorge. Here’s sa post with lots of photos from my visit: http://www.littleobservationist.com/2013/12/12/winter-in-roslin-scotland/

  • Frances

    Edinburgh is my hometown! Don’t want to add too much to your list, otherwise you will never get it all done! Lovecrumbs is a beautiful independent with amazing cakes which always sell out everyday and even have an instagram (@lovecrumbs) to wet your appetite! Also Peters Yard does good swedish food and has a great atmosphere. Ting Thai Caravan does good value thai streetfood and always served with a smile!

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