Recommendations: Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh is a quaint medieval city that is perfect for a weekend trip or a kickstart to your Scottish or British vacation. It's got great neighborhoods to explore, plenty of history and delicious food which many people may find surprising. You can easily walk the city and two days is plenty of time to see all it has to offer.
|City of Edinburgh
- Kimpton Hotel: Located on Charlotte Square, this hotel is reasonably priced, really nice, and in a good location.
- Waldorf Astoria: Also in a very good location, this hotel will be on the higher end but it is known to be one of the best hotels in town with views of the castle.
- Prestonfield House: Located in a 17th century estate, this 5 star hotel would have been right up my alley had I been on a proper vacation with Samantha.
|Palace of Holyroodhouse
Eat & Drink:
- Badger & Co: I came here for Brunch since it was recommended by my hotel. Located off George street, it’s a quaint cafe with not a huge menu but the full Scottish breakfast (just go for it, don't ask what it is) and cappuccino hit the spot after a long flight.
|Scottish breakfast at Badger & Co
- The Queen’s Arms: Sometimes you just need some good bar food and a cold beer after a long day of walking and this is exactly what the Queens Arm provided. A lively pub on George street, it had a great draft beer selection and the Battered Haddock was delicious.
- Jolly Judge: After dealing with the crowds at the Castle you are going to want to relax and have a drink. Jolly Judge is an underground pub on a side street off the royal mile and provides a relaxed atmosphere to relax after what may be a hectic few hours.
|The Royal Mile
- Usquabae Whiskey Bar and Larder: A vibrant scene with plenty of traditional Scotch whiskey to choose from.
- The Last Drop: Located in the Old Town, this classic pub is known for it’s historic location; the site of where men were sent to the gallows, hence the name.
- Head & Tales Gin Bar: This late night spot has speakeasy vibe and is a perfect place to head for a cocktail as a night cap.
- Fishers in the City: Located in New Town, an aesthetically pleasing seafood jaunt serves up fresh fish and oysters.
- The Pantry: A bustling brunch scene in Comley Bank with a salmon eggs benedict that is on point.
- The Scan and Scallie: A perfect stop for lunch after the Botanical gardens with Michelin star worthy food.
|Fried haddock and draft beer at The Queen's Arm
What to Do:
- The Castle: You can’t go to Edinburgh and not go to the castle. It dominates the skyline and it’s what the city is known for. Head early in the morning before the tourists as the lines can get a bit long, especially for entrance and the Crown Jewels. I personally liked the Great Hall the best.
|View from the Castle
- Royal Mile & Old Town: The top of the Castle kicks off the Royal Mile and Old Town. It’s best to just wander the streets and hop into shops or pubs that catch your eye.
- Palace of Holyroodhouse: At the end of the Royal Mile is the Queen’s Palace of Holyroodhouse. Unlike the Castle, it wasn’t that busy and I spent about 45 minutes walking throughout the entire palace. I personally really enjoyed it.
- The Neighborhood of Comley Bank: A charming neighborhood located just north of Old Town. I spent a morning getting brunch here and walking the streets as it felt like a neighborhood you would want to live in. Don’t forget to check out the famed circle lane.
- Botanical Gardens: Near Comley are the botanical gardens. It’s a lovely walk in and around the gardens plus it’s free.