Our whirlwind trip to Edinburgh didn’t quite go as planned, I succumbed to a bug the day before we left and kindly shared it with Connor, so we were both feeling pretty under the weather. It meant that we didn’t get to do quite as much exploring as we had hoped, instead spending a fair amount of time resting in coffee shops or snuggling up in the hotel watching TV and ordering room service – but we had a great time nonetheless.
I had planned on doing a few different Edinburgh city guide style posts, but since I don’t have as much to talk about as I initially anticipated, I thought I’d just put together one post with all our best bits for you!
I looked at driving or training to Edinburgh but actually, flying was the quickest + cheapest option so that’s what we went for! We flew from Gatwick with Easyjet, the flight was 55 minutes and cost around £60 return each – I have seen the flights for much cheaper if you’re flexible with your dates, but we were pretty stuck with ours so I had to pay a little more!
When you arrive at the airport it’s SUPER straightforward to get into town. There’s a tram that goes straight into town, stopping at Haymarket and several stops in the ‘New Town’. A return ticket costs £7.50, and it’s the only time we paid for travel during the trip, the whole city of Edinburgh is super easy to navigate on foot. If you’re only visiting for a few days and plan to stay in the town centre, you shouldn’t need anything else!
STAY: Hotel Indigo.
I spent a LOT of time looking at hotels for this trip, since we were visiting over Connor’s birthday I wanted to make sure we had good accommodation. As it worked out we spent a lot of time in the hotel room so I’m glad I spent a little more. We stayed at the Hotel Indigo on Princes Street (there are two so be wary) and it was perfect. Our room was cosy, luxurious, quiet + had everything we needed, it was in a fantastic location in the New Town, but opposite the main bridge taking you into the Old Town. The staff were friendly and helpful, and what we sampled food + drinks wise was fantastic. We loved the book theme of the hotel, and would highly recommend it if you’re looking for somewhere nice to stay. We payed a little more for a bigger room (and then received another complimentary upgrade when booking in as an IHG Rewards member) but the smaller rooms are plenty big enough for two!
20 Princes St, Edinburgh, EH2 2AN.
VISIT: Royal Mile.
I’m sure I probably don’t even need to mention this but if you’re in Edinburgh you’d be remiss if you didn’t take a visit to the Royal Mile. The street (which is actually more than a mile long) runs through Edinburgh’s Old Town, ending at the castle, and is home to some of the most beautiful building’s you’ll ever see. It’s like walking along a Harry Potter set, and you’ll find every Scottish cliche of wool shops, whiskey shops and bagpipe playing buskers.
Edinburgh is a hive of wonderful restaurants, ranging from chains we know and love (I’m talking about you, Wahaca), to amazing one off independent spots. For me though, the star of the show is the one and only Dishoom, who have opened an Edinburgh branch of their Bombay-style eatery in the last year. You really can’t beat their fresh + tasty indian food, if I have an opportunity to eat their, you best believe I’ll take it! Some of my favourite dishes are the vegetable samosas (spiced with cinnamon!), garlic naan, chicken ruby, gunpowder potatoes, adwahi lamb biryani, black dhal, raita + of course their house chai.
3a St Andrew Square, Edinburgh, EH2 2BD.
TOURIST: Camera Obscura.
If you’re going to do one cliched tourist thing in Edinburgh, make it Camera Obscura. Even if you’re not interested in the exhibits of illusions, it’s worth the £15 entry fee to visit the top of the building and look out over the city. Situated next to Edinburgh Castle you get a good view of the castle grounds, as well as our across the rest of the city. You also get to see the Camera Obscura in your ticket price, a device made of mirrors and lenses which shows a reflection of the city onto a table in the tower. It’s a cool little device and the little talk the staff give is good for helping you get your bearings in the city! Be warned though, there is no lift and getting to the top of the building is 98 steps, so it’s a bit of a thigh workout!
549 Castlehill, Edinburgh, EH1 2nD.
SHOP: Life Story Edinburgh.
The shopping in Edinburgh is exceptionally good, you’ll find an Anthropologie, Harvey Nichols, even a Mulberry store amongst all your high street favourites, but I was most excited for Life Story. Having followed them on Instagram for a while I really wanted to make the effort to pop in while I was in town and I’m so glad I did. The owner, Susan, was so lovely + clearly passionate about her store, and it show’s in how every single piece really fits. Full of beautiful scandi inspired homewares, stationery and even jewellery, I challenge anyone to leave without buying something! She also filled me in on her online store, and I can practically hear the money leaving my wallet as we speak. It’s on a street in the New Town filled with independent stores and coffee shops, including a dreamy flower shop and scandi bakery, so worth hunting down!
53 London St, Edinburgh, EH3 6EX.
DRINK: Juniper Bar.
Cheating a little on this one since this is the bar in the hotel we stayed in, but even if you’re staying elsewhere it’s worth a visit. Specialising in gin cocktails, everything coming out of the bar looked amazing – especially the teapot cocktails served smoked! The bar itself is gorgeous, marble tables, velvet armchairs, a living plant wall, the place was packed all afternoon and evening on Saturday and it’s no question as to why!
20 Princes St, Edinburgh, EH2 2AN.
So that’s it! Obviously this is just a list of a few of my favourite spots and by no means exhaustive, fingers crossed I get to return to Edinburgh soon and explore a little more!
There’s a new video up on my channel today with a few film clips I captured during our visit! It’s not really a proper vlog but I wanted to have a few clips to look back on, I think film really helps capture a sense of what a place is like!
Is Edinburgh on your to visit list?