What’s the word I would use to describe Edinburgh, Scotland? Magical.
I think my reaction to Edinburgh was stronger than it was to London. But, I think that makes a lot of sense: Edinburgh is this old and gothic “city” within a slopping valley with history that precedes any date I am used to. I have simply never been to a place like Edinburgh before and wish I could have stayed for longer.
Needless to say, I have some major tips on where to go if you ever find yourself traveling to this mystical place. For your sake, continue to read on for some of my favorite things to do in Edinburgh.
Look in awe at the Edinburgh Castle…
If you ever forget where you are, just look up; I’m pretty sure from any spot in the city you can see this ominous fortress that looms above. This thing dates back to the 12th century and is one of the most attacked castles in the world. You can pay to go inside, but honestly, just being up close to it was good enough. The view from the castle grounds atop a huge hill is (naturally) amazing.
Walk along the popular Princess Street…
Princess Street is the most crowded part of Edinburgh because it’s where all the modern shops are like Topshop, Urban Outfitters and Primark to name a few. Not bad for a city that dates back to the dawn of time (yeah, not really). In this area, which is parallel to the castle, you can find your Starbucks along with other cool restaurants to fuel you up. It’s actually a very long street.
Have a good and delicious breakfast at Hula Juice Bar & Cafe…
So, to illustrate how much my friends and I liked this place, I’ll tell you that we ended up going 2/3 mornings we were there. I wouldn’t call this a “Scottish breakfast spot” by any means (but there are a lot of places in the city where you’ll find your traditional Scottish breakfast). Its menu consisted of “porridge” (aka oatmeal to Americans), the trendy acai bowls, bagel combinations and granola bowls. Also, its coffee was on point; I ordered the soy latte both times because that’s how much I liked it.
Also, the atmosphere was Hawaiian themed, which meant it was super bright.
Peruse famous works of art at the Scottish National Gallery…
Every country seems to have a “national gallery,” and Scotland is no exception. It’s a lot smaller than London’s or D.C.’s, but it’s collection was amazing. I’ve never seen a bigger collection of Flemish baroque art; I’m talkin’ a variety of Rubens, Rembrandt and van Dyck. Oh yeah, and it’s all free.
Climb up Calton Hill…
Sure, the castle grounds offer a great view of the city, but Calton Hill does it a little bit better.
This hill, which is at the end of Princess Street offers overhead views of the rustic city along with observatories and various monuments to gaze upon. It’s a great way to sneak it some exercise without knowing it!
At the end of the day, I’d like to give a big shoutout to Edinburgh for being some awesome.
Has anyone been or thinking of going? Let me know in the comments below!