Let me first just say that Edinburgh is a super super gorgeous city. The most idyllic and charming one. Notwithstanding the Scotland nature, Edinburgh is the most pretty place in the country. Edinburgh is also the hilly capital of Scotland. It is a perfect place to visit at any time of the year. Temperature rarely pass 20 degrees even in the peak of summer. Shops, hiking, medieval buildings, culture, pubs and clubs. You can find anything here. You can basically separate the city into two main parts, old town and new town. I love this place. Follow me and check it out!
First up is a very unique and special attraction. I think this is my first time as well, visiting a graveyard as a tourist attraction. Well I guess this might just be the most famous graveyard in the world, Greyfriars Kirkyard! Located right in the city centre. You just have to come here yourself to see it. Burials have been taking place here since the 16th century and many famous people have their resting place here. I can’t imagine how expensive it would be. I do not have a direct picture of the graves since I think that might not be too kind!
Also here, there is a very touching story of the loyal dog, Greyfriars Bobby who guarded his master grave for the rest of its life. When John Gray died he was buried in Greyfriars Kirkyard, Bobby then became known locally, spending the rest of his life sitting on his master’s grave. If I am not wrong, it was almost 13 years. You can find a statue of the dog on the intersection between Candlemaker Row and George IV Bridge.
Edinburgh Castle is another recommended attraction. The icon of the city, what is really special of this castle is that it is perched on the top of the hill. It is built in the 11th century and housed the crown jewels as well. While I didn’t went up to the castle since I did not have enough time, there are a couple of places where you can get a really good picture of it in the background. One of them is from Grassmarket Square. Check it out!
Grassmarket Square is also full of bars and restaurants. It is super happening especially in the evening. Come here for some food and enjoy looking at all these historical buildings as well. At the end of the square and towards W Bow, there is a steep narrow road here. This place is so pretty for pictures!
Simply to enjoy the rest of Edinburgh old town and how picturesque it is, you got to head town the Royal Mile. This is like 5th Ave or Champs Elysee. I love how pretty it is and in fact the medieval buildings is the highlight over here rather than the shops or restaurants. Walking down the Royal Mile which actually begin from the Castle all the way to Holyrood Abbey you can get amazing photos and sights.
Some of it includes the St Giles Cathedral, a super grand and gothic cathedral. You will also be accompanied by classical music from performers in the traditional kilt. A must do! The perfect time to get pictures is in the early evening. I luck out, especially in summer when the sun sets super late. I was out at a time where the sun was setting and the historical building were glistering. Making it so awesome for pictures. Simply wander around and you will find lots of awesome spots for pictures. Trust me you will go crazy!
Over at the New Town you cannot miss a walk down Princes St where you can see lots of shops, boutiques, this is also one of the most crowded and happening places in the city. Primark, Marks and Spencer all of them can be found here. Of course don’t miss out on the Scott Monument and the National Gallery. Another of my favourite spot is walking from the new town to the old town on The Mound. The view is impeccable here. Especially charming at dusk!
The following day I was out early in the morning for a little hike as well as to Edinburgh most famous attraction, Arthur’s Seat. It is actually located in Holyrood Park, on the east of the city centre. Arthur’s Seat is an extinct volcano. It was once described by Robert Louis Stevenson as “a hill for magnitude, a mountain in virtue of its bold design”. The place is popular for hiking or a day out.
It is a fairly easy climb to do and once you are up there, there are lots of places where you can climb for a good view of the city or even as far as leith. I really enjoy it. Do note that some of the steps might be rather steep and be careful. Live or die as they say!
Me right after the hike! This is life by the way!
You have to visit Stockbridge Market especially if you are there on a sunday. You can find this little food market featuring artisanal goods from local producers & stalls for global street fare. While not huge there are lots of choices. The people are so nice and friendly here. Everyone seems to be really happy in the summer. If the food doesn’t suit you at the market, head down Raeburn Place. We had a stroll down Stockbridge which was super happening on a sunday. There were performance, carnivals, free food right on the street. Everyone was out with their families, kids were running around. It is a bustling affair. Much like a festival.
The last attraction that I will like to talk about is Dean Village. This is the most, extremely gorgeous place in Edinburgh. I guess I am running out of adjectives already. It is a medieval village that dates back to the 19th century and certainly buildings runs back more than 800 years ago.
A picturesque maze of narrow streets villages and huts. Check out some of the buildings here and admire. It feels unreal that you are still able to find these things today. They are from another era. There are still people living in this place. I love that it is not too touristy here as well. The Water of Leith also flows thru the village.
I would also like to share a little on the driving and parking situation in Edinburgh. Edinburgh being a medieval city, it consists of many narrow one way streets, mostly in cobblestones. This makes driving challenging. Furthermore the speed limit is extremely low. I am talking like 20 or 30km/hr. Parking are usually expensive as well. I am lucky to be there on a Sun since you can park for free in the city as long as it is not reserved for residence or where the signs says that you need a permit. You can park on the side of the road with one single line as well. We took advantage of this and drove to many places allowing us to see more in a day. However with people parking randomly on the streets, that also add to the challenge of driving in the city.
I shall end of this Edinburgh post with the best ice cream place in the city. Mary’s Milk Bar. Be expect to queue a little and wait for a while. But trust me, it will be worth it. This place is a local favourite and you will be amaze as well. It cost only 2.50 pounds for a single scoop. Moreover, you can just grab a cone, sit right at Grassmarket Square and silly gaze at the castle while enjoying your cone. To me, this is life!
All in all, I love Edinburgh. I am also sad that I didn’t managed to see everything in the city. I miss out on Carlton Hill, Palace of Holyroodhouse and University of Edinburgh. Another reason on why I should be back. I am really envy of those who can call this place home! I should definitely have planned a longer stay in Edinburgh. Super pretty, a bustling and yet a historical city. Perfect to live in. I will be back Edinburgh! Love ya!