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  • Writer's pictureMatt B

Top Things To Do In Edinburgh: The Perfect Guide For Your Next Trip To Scotland

Edinburgh, Scotland, is a hub for shopping, sight-seeing, and dining. The city is filled with historical sites and plenty of opportunities to broaden your cultural horizons. Whether you’re traveling on business or vacationing with friends, this list will give you a good idea of what to do in Edinburgh.

Top Things To Do In Edinburgh:

1. Visit The Royal Mile and Princes Street

The Royal Mile is the central shopping area in Edinburgh. You’ll find everything from galleries and museums to souvenir shops and pubs along this cobblestone street. Princes Street is the main thoroughfare through the center of Edinburgh. This street is lined with shops and restaurants that offer some of the best views in all of Scotland. Stop by for a drink at one of the many pubs along this street and enjoy the scenery!

2. Head To St Giles Cathedral

St Giles Cathedral was completed in 1789 after ten years of construction work. It's now one of the most famous sights in Scotland, as it overlooks Princes Street on its north side. The cathedral features a triangular bell tower, which was originally designed by Sir William Chambers around 1810. Today, you can visit St Giles Cathedral for free but must be able to ascend 256 steps to reach the top!

3. Find Your Way Through The New Town

The New Town of Edinburgh stretches from Portobello Road on the north side down to Leith Walk on the south side, where George IV Bridge crosses over into Leith Quay and leads back into Old Town Edinburgh past Waverley Station at Charlotte Square Gardens

Top Things To Do In Edinburgh

The Royal Mile – The city’s main promenade, packed with shops and restaurants.

A walk along the Royal Mile is a must for any visitor to the Old Town. The street, which is lined with buildings that date back to the 16th century, feels more like an outdoor market than a tourist destination. You’ll find everything from foodie-friendly restaurants and ice cream shops to designer boutiques and souvenir stores.

Edinburgh Castle – A national landmark that gives you a view of the city from the top.

Edinburgh Castle is one of the most iconic landmarks in Scotland. You can see everything from the castle to Princes Street and beyond on a clear day.

The Scottish Parliament

The world's first parliamentary democracy, this building was opened in 2001. It was built with sustainable design to be environmentally friendly and cost-effective. It also includes a public square that's perfect for people watching. Holyrood Palace – This neo-classical palace is one of the most visited historical sites in Edinburgh, with visitors coming from around the world. The Diamond Jubilee Hall features stunning stained glass windows and furniture donated by Queen Elizabeth II herself. The Royal Mile – One of the top tourist destinations in Edinburgh is this historic street that has been described as "the world's oldest shopping street." You'll find shops, cafes, pubs, museums, and art galleries on this cobblestone road leading up to Edinburgh Castle. Princes Street Gardens – Described as "one of the loveliest urban spaces in the United Kingdom," you can find peace and quiet here among the beautiful gardens surrounded by picturesque architecture during your time in Edinburgh.

The National Museum of Scotland – Take in the history of Scotland from different eras.

The National Museum of Scotland is located on Chambers Street in Edinburgh and offers a variety of exhibits. You can learn about the history of Scotland from different eras through artifacts, maps, documents, and more.

Edinburgh Zoo

This zoo is one of Europe’s leading zoos and home to over 5,000 animals from all over the world. It has nearly 100 species, including giant pandas, cheetahs, gorillas, and red pandas.

Edinburgh Castle

Explore the castle’s gardens, which are filled with breathtaking architecture and wonderful plants native to Scotland. You can also visit the Crown Jewels of Scotland.

Arthur’s Seat

Arthur’s Seat is a hill in Edinburgh with an observation point at its peak that offers jaw-dropping views of the city. From this vantage point, you can see the whole city and out to sea, as well as visit Edinburgh Castle.

Top Places To Eat in Edinburgh

There are plenty of restaurants and pubs for you to choose from in Edinburgh. Here is my suggestion for some of the best places to eat.

The Leith Fish Bar – This place has some of the best fish and chips in all of Edinburgh. You can also get some great soup, a burger, or a sandwich. The prices are really good, and the food is amazing.

The Kitchin – This restaurant is considered to be one of the best in all of Edinburgh. The food is fresh and delicious, but it might be a little on the expensive side. However, if you want to treat yourself to a wonderful meal while you’re visiting Scotland, this is definitely the place to go!

Pied Piper Pub – This pub has some great food that’s reasonably priced. If you want to try Scottish cuisine, this is your best bet because they have some traditional fare available here that you won’t get at other restaurants.

Typical Scottish Food examples:

The Famous Scottish Dish of Haggis

Haggis is a traditional Scottish dish that is made from the heart, lungs and liver of a sheep. This dish has a lot of spices in it, and it is traditionally served with “neeps and tatties” which are mashed turnips and potatoes. Haggis is served quite often during the Burns Night celebration, which takes place on January 25th every year. There are many variations to this dish as well, so you can find some that have vegetables or other types of meat in them if you don’t like the original recipe.

Cullen Skink Recipe

This fish soup has been eaten in Scotland since the 16th century, although it was originally made with smoked haddock. Nowadays, most people use smoked cod or salmon instead. It’s really good when paired with bread and butter!

Black Pudding (a type of sausage made from blood)

Scottish Breakfast (bacon, sausages, black pudding, fried egg, beans and toast)

A typical traditional Scottish meal would include:

Haggis and Neeps and Tatties (Mashed Turnips)

This is another popular Scottish dish that you can’t miss out on when you decide to visit the country. It’s a mixture of haggis (a type of sausage), mashed turnips and mashed potatoes. It sounds pretty gross, but it actually tastes really good! As with most Scottish dishes, it’s best enjoyed with a nice glass of whisky.

Edinburgh offers plenty of options for eating out, both for tourists and locals. There’s something for everyone here, so make sure you don’t miss out on it! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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