Things to see in Edinburgh.
Updated: May 22, 2019
I’d never thought I’d spend much time in Scotland, but when I got there, I understood why people call it such a magnificent place. We flew into Scotland from O’Hare in Chicago, and arrived in the morning. Instead of taking a cab, we took the Express bus that runs every 10 minutes or so, and goes from the airport to the City Center of Edinburgh. The bus took us mainly to the city center, but we were staying up in the Old Town at Castle Rock Hostel (if you can guess, it is right next to the castle). I highly recommend this hostel; the staff is great and there are SO many different types of room that you can find anything you’re looking for.
We got there too early and were waiting for our room to get set up, so we ventured over to Edinburgh Castle. There’s no fee to walk around and take photos (which is what we did) and there’s a jail cell or two where you can see where they captured prisoners. This has a great view of Edinburgh, and you can see Arthur’s Seat, which is an extinct volcano in Scotland. People can hike there, and there’s plenty of trails / travel itinerary’s if you want to go there!
After visiting the castle, we walked around Old Town, and checked out the different souvenir shops, clothing stores, etc. If you venture down, there is the famous café where J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter. It’s called The Elephant House, and there’s always a line. It’s near a large cemetery, where Rowling would walk around and get inspiration. In the cemetery, she pulled some of the names from Tombstones that peaked her interest. This is where she created the characters of the Potters, Professor McGonagall, Mad Eye Moody, and Tom Riddle. Also y the cemetery, there is Greyfrairs Bobby. It’s a statue of a Scottish terrier that’s been around for over 160. There’s a heartwarming tale that explains the significance. But it’s said that you touch the dog’s nose for good luck (so excuse the gross photo of me).
The city pretty much loops around itself, and we found ourselves eating at this amazing brunch place called MUMS Great Comfort Food. I highly suggest going there for a large brunch, and fueling up before your day of walking.
We walked around the University of Edinburgh, and to our delight, the cherry blossom trees in the park alongside were in full bloom. We could have spent hours walking through the paths and taking photos of the trees (and ourselves with the trees), but it started raining so we had to take shelter, in a pub and cooled off with a glass of cider.
This city has SO many different murals and places to take photos, that you will never be bored walking around, so make sure you pack a good outfit and be ready to photograph everything that you see.
There is an amazing lookout spot above the whole city called Calton Hill. It’s well past the Scott Monument in the city, and can be accessed by a couple small paths. I suggest bringing food and wine and a blanket and having yourself a nice picnic up there. There are columns that look like they are from ancient Greece, and it is a nice place to just relax and enjoy the views.
I hope you enjoy your time in Scotland! One last thing, the accents are impossible to understand because they talk so fast, so good luck & safe travels!