I’m sharing all the things to see, places to stay and amazing things to do in Edinburgh!
I shared a little about the beginning of my three-month study abroad. We began in Paris, moved on to London and then to Scotland with Edinburgh as our first stop. We spent a couple days there and I loved it! It’s such a cool city. I wanted to put together this blog post so you know the best things to do in Edinburgh before you make the trip!
Things to See
Hiking was one of my favorite things to do in Edinburgh! We hiked over to the Pentland hills which is super close to the city center. It gives a gorgeous view of the city and it’s one of the best spots there.
After the hike, we went exploring on the Royal Mile through the city. We walked through a cemetary, visited the Museum of Edinburgh and bought trinkets at some tourist shops. The cemetaries there are creepy, but also cool. Definitely stop through a couple when you visit town.
I never went inside the Edinburgh castle since it is definitely pricey to get inside, but it was a fun place to take pictures of! Compared to France and London, Edinburgh is a lot smaller so I enjoyed the “small town” feel. The castle is the center of the city and can be seen for miles around. If you don’t go inside, still make a trip up the Royal Mile to go see it from the outside.
St. Giles Cathedral
This is a super cool cathedral just off of the Royal Mile. (Are you catching a pattern here? 🙂 ) It’s full of gorgeous architecture and unreal stained glass. It’s a good place to escape the rain and admire one of the coolest buildings in Edinburgh.
The Elephant House
This is one of my favorite things to do in Edinburgh! JK Rowling, the author of Harry Potter, first wrote her ideas of the book on some napkins in this little cafe. There’s a cemetary behind it that also has a bunch of the names she used in the book. You can find Tom Riddle, Sirius Black and John Knox who Dumbledore was inspired after. It’s proof that you can find inspiration anywhere!
Places to Stay
We stayed at the Smart City Hostel. There’s four bunk beds in each room with two bathrooms. There’s a bar downstairs with delicious food and there’s a 20% discount for students.
Food to Eat
If you need a spot for a hot drink and some WiFi, StarBucks will be your best friend! It was freezing there even in May when I went.
The Baked Potato Shop
The Baked Potato Shop made me so happy! They have baked potatoes the size of footballs! This place is by far one of the most fun things to do in Ediburgh. Baked potatoes are covered in all sorts of toppings, but I decided to go simple with butter, salt, pepper and cheese. If you’re ever in Edinburgh, you can’t miss it!
This sounds crazy, but some of the best Mexican food I’ve ever had was in Edinburgh. It may be because I hadn’t had good Mexican food in weeks, but it was so good! I’m kicking myself for not writing down the name, but if you see any Mexican food while in Edinburgh, I guarantee it’s probably the only one.
I wasn’t there very long, but if you couldn’t tell already, find a place to stay off of the Royal Mile. It’s where the majority of things are located so everything is easily a walking distance away.
Those are all my favorite things to do in Edinburgh! If you ever get a chance to go to England, definitely make the trip over to Scotland too. It’s very underrated and super cool! I loved my time there and I hope you enjoy it too. If you’ve been and I missed something, let me know in the comments and I will add it to the list.