Edinburgh

The capital of Scotland, Edinburgh was founded in the Middle Ages and today both its Old and New Towns are UNESCO World Heritage sites. Sitting at the edge of the North Sea, with large hill and rock formations rising to its south and a medieval castle on a hilltop, Edinburgh epitomizes the saying “pretty as a picture”.

To Old Town from the airport take the tram to city center and then walk. Trams run every six to eight minutes between 6am and 11pm.

EAT

The Canon’s Gait Bright and friendly pub serving up local beers and delicious pub grub.

First Coast Modern Scottish and European food with fresh ingredients and a good wine list.

The Tea Rooms at Edinburgh Castle Break for tea after your castle tour.

DRINK

Kilderkin Cozy pub near the bottom of the Royal Mile.

Sandy Bells Iconic, live-music venue with Scottish folk artists, friendly bartenders and a Scotch library.

The Scotch Whiskey Experience While touristy, this one-hour, immersive tour and tasting gives a good overview of Scotch whiskey.

PLAY

Arthur’s Seat Hike up this ancient volcano for incredible views of the castle, city and coast.

Edinburgh Castle This incredible castle tells of the Scottish wars for independence, holds the Scottish Crown Jewels and has a pretty cool dungeon. Book in advance and go early.

Haunted tours Edinburgh is a city of ghosts. We tried Mary King’s Close, a tour through the forgotten under-city, but have heard the City of the Dead tours may be better.

Holyrood Palace The official residence of Queen Elizabeth in Edinburgh. Admire from the outside gates or take a tour.

Old Town Explore Edinburgh’s medieval streets and the shops on the Royal Mile. Victoria Street is rumored to be the inspiration for J.K. Rowling’s Diagon Alley.

Scottish Parliament Peak inside this modern building across from Holyrood Palace.

St. Giles Cathedral 15th century church.

Stockbridge neighborhood Stop by the Sunday market and walk down Ann Street to admire the stately homes on one of the UK’s most exclusive streets.

STAY

To be close to all the sites, book an Airbnb off the Royal Mile.

Want to splash out? Rooms at The Witchery look stunning (and we hear its haunted).