Having had the pleasure to have been on two weekend breaks to the lovely Scottish city of Edinburgh, I have had ample opportunity to investigate the best things to do and see in the city. Here are my personal favourite things to do in Edinburgh:
Visit the Castle:
Scotland has a vibrant and fascinating history and the castle epitomises it. While quite expensive to get in, you are offered a tour that is included as well as access to many of the buildings and at least one museum exhibition. It is a good place to start as you cannot miss the castle in its position overlooking the entire city and its an excellent way to get to grips with the cultural and historical vibe of the city.
Do a Walking Tour:
If you are only in Edinburgh for a few days, a walking tour is an excellent way to see the main cultural sites of the city and get an invaluable insight into Edinburgh's fascinating historical, literary and social history. There are tours you can go on for free and last about 3 hours but are definitely worth it if you are looking to cram a lot of exploring in. We went on the Sandemans free tour and it was excellent. If a traditional walking tour doesn't float your boat you can also go on a variety of novelty tours such as a haunted ghost tour or a Harry Potter walking tour.
Edinburgh city centre is relatively small and walkable so all of the high street stores are clumped together on the river front. Here offers a range of stores from an excellent Primark and Topshop to Zara, Superdrug and H&M. Not only this but Edinburgh has numerous markets on throughout the year in the city centre. The Christmas market runs from November into the New Year and hosts an abundance of specialist stalls and great food. There is also a farmers market on every Saturday in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle and a craft market on outside the Cathedral every weekend from March to December.
For something a bit different and suitable for little and big kids alike, there is a unique experience to had at the Camera Obscura, about a five minute walk from the castle. Full of fun optical illusions, mirrors and tricks of the eye, the experience culminates in a view of Edinburgh from an old optical device developed centuries ago before the invention of photography. Make sure to go early though as the actual Camera Obscura exhibition is only done in daylight and well worth a look.
Hole yourself up in a Pub:
Between all the running around, it is definitely necessary to grab lunch and a warm drink in many of Edinburgh's traditional pubs. For a more touristy experience there are plenty of pubs along Grassmarket but for a more traditional experience go exploring off the main streets and find a cosy, welcoming pub offering local food and drinks. Then sit in there for several hours. It will be worth it!
Am I missing anything?