Edinburgh: Essential Guide

View of the castle from Calton Hill at sunset
View of the castle from Calton Hill at sunset - © shaiith - Fotolia.com


Edinburgh: guide with the most important things to see and the best activities to do.

This is one of the most special cities in all of Europe. Edinburgh It is an ideal place, full of charm and full of fabulous alleys, which were the darkest corners where terrible scenes in history took place. It also has beautiful buildings and gardens, countless curious museums -free admission- and best of all, very nice citizens that leave any tourist in love with the city.

The city is also known by the name of the old chimney, since most of its houses have smoking chimneys on their roofs, which gives them a warm atmosphere that contrasts with the rainy and cold weather. This situation also gives the addition of having a mysterious and charming atmosphere.

After passing through the splendor that the sun gives to the city, and arriving at the cold night, Edinburgh's stories and past come alive little by little with tourists who decide to travel through all the crypts, passageways and alleys to get to know the mysteries that keeps this spectacular place.

How to get to Edinburgh?

Edinburgh has managed to become a popular tourist destination, which has allowed access to it much cheaper and affordable for everyone. To reach the Scottish capital you can use the plane, train, boat or bus.

  • Airplane: It has approximately 10 millions of travelers throughout the year. Edinburgh Airport stands as the first airport in Scotland for its number of passengers, and is one of the busiest in the United Kingdom. It is located 12 kilometers from the city center and has only one terminal.
  • Train: Getting to Edinburgh by train is one of the most comfortable options for tourists visiting the nearby cities. Otherwise, if they are in a more distant place, the best option is obviously the plane.
  • Ship: If in such a case there is no hurry, you can go back to the beginning of the 20th century and enjoy a good boat trip.
  • Bus: It is not one of the most comfortable ways there is, much less cheap.

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What places should be visited in Edinburgh?

Royal Mile, Edinburgh
Royal Mile, Edinburgh - © JesúsGonzálezPhoto - Fotolia.com

EdinburghLike many other cities, it also offers a wide variety of interesting places for tourists. Among them are:

  • Royal Mile: It is about 1814 meters away and is the most important street in Edinburgh.
  • Edinburgh Castle: It is located on Castle Hill. It is considered the most important tourist visit in Edinburgh.
  • St Giles Cathedral: It doesn't really have the cathedral category. It was founded on an ancient sanctuary of the ninth century, and is consecrated as the patron of lepers.
  • Scott Monument: It is a Gothic building that stood in honor of the writer Sir Walter Scott. From there you get the best views of downtown Edinburgh.
  • Dark camera: here there are holograms, concave mirrors, optical illusions and other visual effects, there is also a periscope from which you can see all of Edinburgh.
  • Greyfriars Bobby: monument dedicated to Bobby, a dog that was in the owner's grave for 14 years.
  • Mary King's Close: this is one of the oldest alleys in Edinburgh's 'Old Town'. It is located under the buildings of the Royal Mile.
  • Royal Yacht Britannia: It is the flagship of the Royal House for approximately 44 years. This has managed to become one of the most famous ships worldwide.
  • Gladstones Land: This site belonged to a merchant in the 17th century. At present it is specially organized to offer tourists a setback to Edinburgh from 400 years ago. 

What are the means of transportation in Edinburgh?

Edinburgh is quite small, and the medieval essence in it allows it to be perfect on foot. Basically all the main points of tourist interest are within a very close radius. Similarly, the following means can be used:

  • Bus: the buses in the city of Edinburgh run through the 24 hours of the day, and the passage through it is quite high.
  • Taxi: in the same way that happens in the city of LondonIn Edinburgh, taxis are quite striking, large and comfortable.

Shopping in Edinburgh

Lauriston Castle, Edinburgh
Lauriston Castle, Edinburgh - © Bandika - Fotolia.com

This city is not very recognized for this, but it is really a surprise for anyone who enjoys shopping. Throughout the city there is a great variety of markets, among which fashion, antiques and souvenirs stand out.

The main problem that exists when shopping in this city is basically its business hours, since most stores close at 17 hours and some others at 18.

The only day of the week in which the schedule has some extension is Thursday, where it increases between one or two hours. Also the stores present in Royal Mile are open until 20 hours.

If you want to go to a mall, you can attend St James Shopping, one of the largest shopping centers in this city. Best of all, it has the great advantage of being in a privileged situation.

What can you eat in Edinburgh?

The cuisine of Scotland usually has certain things in common with English cuisine. In addition, there are different own and foreign recipes, mostly from France.

These dishes are usually ideal and perfect, since it is difficult to stay hungry. Also, the typical dishes are quite interesting and pleasant. Among them are:

  • Kipper: It is a smoked aranque.
  • Split bree: It is a seafood soup.
  • Neeps and tatties: It is a mash of radishes and potatoes.
  • Stovies: Potato and onion salad.
  • Grouse: quail.
  • Shortbreads: They are the typical butter cookies.
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