Wandering the streets of Edinburgh was unlike anything I had ever experienced before. And I feel like the city is so underrated. I rarely hear people talk about visiting Scotland, and after my recent 3-day adventure, I feel like people should start.
I am going to share a guide at the end of this post which outlines how we packed a lot of note-worthy activities into 3 short days, but I want to first give Scotland a tribute it deserves with a few of my favorite highlights. I hope you fall in love with Scotland as much as I did after joining me on this reminiscent recap of what has easily become a new favorite place of mine…
If I had to pick one reason alone why you should visit Edinburgh, it would be the incredible sights the city offers. Every corner is filled with so much history and a kind of beauty you can’t really get anywhere else. There is a reason why J.K. Rowling based the world in Harry Potter off Edinburgh…it truly is something straight out of a fairy-tale!
The highlight of the entire trip was just wandering around the streets. At one point, my best friend said she could actually see herself living in Edinburgh…and I totally agree. The city is filled with kind people and views that would never get old. It had the city feel of London (only much slower paced), and the nostalgic vibes of Dublin (with much of it’s historical bones still intact).
“It had the city feel of London (only much slower paced), and the nostalgic vibes of Dublin (with much of it’s historical bones still intact.)”
I felt the magic of the city everywhere we went, but I really felt it when we skipped down the picturesque alley of “Circus Lane” and strolled through a quiet park on the way to Dean’s Village.
It all felt so relaxing, to be wandering the city with virtually no crowds, and to walk into cute cafe’s with nice people and incredible food. I have no complaints about our time in Edinburgh, and I hope my recap urges you to put Scotland on your list!
We arrived in Scotland pretty late, so after taking a Taxi into the city, we only really had time for dinner. We stayed in an Airbnb that was literally steps away from one of Edinburgh’s main strips (and just around the corner from the Edinburgh Castle). On your next trip to the city, highly recommend visiting Gareth’s beautiful place, which truly does embody a bit of Scotland’s authentic culture. It is also located on Rose Street, which is one block away from Princess Street, one of the most charming and centrally located streets in the entire city.
On our first night, we dined at an upper-scale Italian restaurant known as “Jamie’s Italian.” This is one of famous Chef Jamie Oliver’s restaurants, and it did not disappoint. I am pretty sure this was some of the best food I have ever had in my entire life. Definitely something worth splurging on when you visit!
We started the next morning with brunch at an adorable cafe called Urban Angel. It was really popular, so I recommend making a booking ahead of time!
After breakfast, we strolled around the city a bit, before wandering through the Edinburgh Christmas Market. We made it for the very last day of the market, and it was SO beautiful! Such a fun way to hold onto the Christmas season just a bit longer.
We then made our way to the Royal Mile, through some of the most incredible streets (make sure you walk through “Cockburn Street” in Old Town which is the very place Harry Potter was modeled after!) I couldn’t believe it was all real, right there in front of us! Every corner we turned just took my breath away.
This street leads up to the Royal Mile which is one of Edinburgh’s most popular spots. The whole street is lined with everything from old cathedrals and authentic red telephone booths, to Scottish souvenir shops and restaurants of every kind.
After soaking in all the views, we bought tickets to the Edinburgh Dungeon which is an amusement attraction that was recommended to us by a few different people. This was a great way to learn about the history of Edinburgh, with a creepy twist. If you don’t mind a bit of a scare, this tour is definitely for you! Price: £20
A few people also recommended Nando’s Restaurant to us for good chicken and rice. So this is where we stopped for dinner. It was really tasty, and one of the more affordable meals in the city. Definitely worth a try!
“I couldn’t believe it was all real, right there in front of us! Every corner we turned just took my breath away.”
We ended the night trying out two different pubs for drinks. The first was “The Kennilworth” which had very Victorian vibes. Very charming, and more laid back.
Afterwards, we headed to “The Black Cat” which was a bit more lively with music and more people. We spent a good part of the night here before heading back to our Airbnb which was located in walking distance from both pubs.
We started our last full day in Edinburgh off with coffee and breakfast at Tani Modi, which is home to some of the best pancakes ever…especially if you are a Nutella lover like myself!
Afterwards, we walked to the very Pinterest-worthy “Circus Lane” which is probably hands down the most charming street on the entire planet.
This location is actually one very short (and STUNNING) walk away from Dean’s Village, which was our next stop. The route we walked to get to the village was an unexpected surprise, it didn’t feel real…
Dean’s Village was one of my favorite “off the beaten path” gems that we explored in Edinburgh. You could easily spend a couple of hours wandering through the park and streets of this adorable village.
After exploring Dean’s Village for a bit (including it’s local and very eerie cemetery…), we grabbed a quick Uber up to the entrance of the Edinburgh Castle.
We enjoyed a good hour or so here taking pictures and soaking in all of the city views from the top of the hill, before shopping at a local souvenir shop for some gifts.
We ended the evening with dinner at an American themed restaurant called “The Filling Station.” Out of our entire trip, this was the one let down. The food was NOT good and the service was poor. Luckily, that was the only downside of the entire trip, so we took it! We ended the night early since we had a 3 AM wake-up call to start our 24 hour travel day back home.
And that concludes our incredible 10-day adventure spent wandering 3 beautiful European countries. If you missed out on our NYE weekend spent in London, you can read that here. And our time in Ireland can be read here.
Thanks for following along! I hope this series inspired you to dream big and travel more!