Dean Village on the Water of Leith

The Ultimate Guide for Spending 48 Hours in Edinburgh

I can’t figure out how I’ve never written a guide for spending 48 hours in Edinburgh, considering this is my favorite city, my home base, and the place where I’ve spent more time than anywhere else since I started traveling the world. Maybe it’s because I could never decide how to cram everything into just two days (considering I’ve been exploring this city for months and am still finding new gems all the time), or maybe because I’ve already written journal-type posts about days I’ve spent here. Whatever the reason, here’s my recommendation on how to spend your weekend (or week-day) city break in the capital of Scotland.

Why Choose Edinburgh

Edinburgh quite literally has it all – castles, volcanos, beaches, history, ghosts, dancing…you name it! The city is also relatively small. Under half a million people live within the city limits – which makes it easy to explore most of the attractions in a short amount of time.

Both the New and Old Towns of Edinburgh are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site – one of the six in Scotland. Edinburgh also became the first UNESCO City of Literature in 2004 – not surprising considering how many great authors are from or wrote in this city: Sir Walter Scott, Robert Lewis Stevenson, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Iain Banks, and J.K. Rowling…among others.

If you’re a fan of J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter, Edinburgh is fantastic. None of the Harry Potter movies were actually filmed in Edinburgh, but many spots of the city gave inspiration to the stories, and Rowling wrote in several of the cafes in town. If you want to see some of the famous filming locations, many can be reached on a day trip from Edinburgh, such as the Hogwarts Express steam train and Glenfinnan’s Viaduct.

Edinburgh Itinerary – Day One

Scottish Breakfast at Seven Cafe

The best way to start off your first day in Edinburgh is with a full Scottish Breakfast. If you’re not familiar with the full Scottish breakfast, it’s similar to the English breakfast…but bigger. The English breakfast comes with an egg (fried and poached are most common), bacon (British bacon is softer than American bacon), sausage links, baked beans, fried tomatoes and mushrooms, and toast, with tea on the side.

In addition to all that, the Scottish breakfast includes some or all of the following items: Lorne sausage (a square Scottish sausage), black pudding (a blood sausage made with oats), haggis (my favorite Scottish dish), and a tattie scone (potato pancake). You’ll also usually get coffee instead of tea.

Cafe Class Scottish Breakfast #2

Some cafes and restaurants serve rather unpleasant breakfasts that would only be good if you’re hungover, but there are quite a few places that have fantastic Scottish breakfasts. My personal favorite is Seven Cafe, which used to be called Cafe Class (my cafe!). Their meals are made with very high-quality ingredients. Their Scottish breakfasts include Cumberland sausages (my favorite), thyme-roasted mushrooms, and homemade bread. The price has gone up a few times since I’ve been going there – currently £7.80 ($10), but it’s still one of the cheaper breakfasts in town.

Explore Greyfriars Kirk and the Special Graves

Just a short walk up the hill from Seven Cafe is Greyfriars Kirk and graveyard, known as one of the most haunted graveyards in the world. “Kirk” is “church” in Scottish. There’s nothing particularly special about the church; there are hundreds of churches around Edinburgh and some of them are really magnificent. Instead, it’s the cemetery surrounding the church which is of particular interest.

At night, you can take the City of the Dead Tour to get all the information about the graveyard and all the ghost stories associated with various tombs and crypts. There’s also a section of the cemetery which is off-limits for safety reasons, but the tour will take you in there to discuss how it used to be used as a prison, as all the crypts were surrounded by iron bars.

Black Mausoleum of George Mackenzie in Grayfrair's Kirk

The reason for those iron bars might be jokingly chalked up to keeping the zombies from escaping, but it was actually the other way around. Grave robbers were a big thing in Edinburgh, and the bars were installed to keep the cadavers from being stolen for medical research. On the other hand, that line of work contributed to Edinburgh being the world capital of medical research in the 18th century.

Even more interesting are the graves which inspired a certain famous author. Scattered throughout the courtyard are tombstones with names such as Scrymgeour, Moodie, McGonagall, and Potter. Yep, several characters from Harry Potter can be found in the graveyard. J.K. Rowling used to wander through the graveyard, although apparently only two of the gravestones were consciously used for inspiration. One is William McGonagall (a fantastically bad poet in Scotland) and the other is none other than Thomas Riddell – Lord Voldemort himself – although the spelling was altered for the anagram in the story.

Gravestone in Thomas Riddell in Greyfriar's Kirk

One more point of interest here is the school next to the graveyard – George Heriot’s School. This school was clearly an inspiration for Hogwarts with its fantasy architecture and the four houses which students are divided into based on their academic talents. The school also started off as an orphanage for boys in the 17th century. Rumor has it that when J.K. Rowlings’s daughter asked her if she could go to the school, instead of saying the school was out of her budget (at the time), she said the school was only for wizards.

Check Out Greyfriar’s Bobby

Just outside of Greyfriar’s Kirk is a small statue of a black dog. This is Greyfriar’s Bobby. The story of Bobby goes back to the 19th century. The details change from one telling to the next, but the premise is there was a Skye terrier that was adopted by a city guard, but the guard died a couple years later from tuberculosis. The Skye terrier, Bobby, spent the next 14 years guarding his master’s grave.

The statue is at the top of Candlemaker Row. For years, it has been a tradition to rub Bobby’s nose for good luck. Although there are hundreds of statues meant for rubbing around the world, the locals in Edinburgh don’t like the damage it’s causing the Bobby, and have asked that you refrain from rubbing him. Perhaps just give him a nice pat as you walk past.

Statue of Greyfriar's Bobby on Candlemaker Row

Wander Through the Grassmarket

Down Candlemaker Row from Greyfriars Kirk is the Grassmarket, so named for the bovine and equestrian market that used to be located here from the 15th century. This is where many of the executions in the city were performed, and the image of a gallows is embedded in the paving stones to mark the location.

The Grassmarket is one of the key tourist streets in town, along with the Royal Mile and Princes Street. You’ll find quite a few restaurants and bars lining the big open area, some of which are better than others. One of my favorite restaurants in town is the Beehive Inn, which gets all its ingredients from local farmers and butchers. They change their menu every three months so I can’t really recommend a specific dish.

A couple of the best ice cream parlors in town are also on the Grassmarket. One is at the western end called Mary’s Milk Bar. The other is on the eastern end and is located in the tiny green police box. That’s Over Langshaw Ice Cream, which is the name of the farm south of Edinburgh where the ice cream is made using all their own ingredients. If they’re open when you’re passing by and you’re not dairy intolerant, I’d definitely recommend getting a cone. Try their apple and Scottish bramble flavor!

Over Langshaw Ice Cream Stand

Walk up Diagon Alley

There are several different streets that claim to be the inspiration of Diagram Alley, three in Edinburgh alone. One of the streets making the claim is in York, and J.K. Rowling said she never went there!

Another is Victoria Street, leading up from the Grass Market toward the Royal Mile. Although she never said exactly which street directly inspired Diagon Alley (if any), it’s true that in 1993 when the first book was written, there was a bank next to a stationary store at the bottom of Victoria Street, just like Gringot’s Bank, and Flourish and Blotts in Diagon Alley.

Victoria Street, the inpiration of Diagon Alley in Harry Potter

Nowadays, you’ll find two very popular stores on the street – Museum Context and The Boy Wizard. Both shops sell Harry Potter memorabilia. Museum Context is the better store, although I confess I haven’t spent a lot of time in either.

Museum Context, Full of Harry Potter Memorabilia

Grab a Bowl of Cullen Skink

By now it should be about lunchtime. Although you’re probably still full from that massive Scottish breakfast, there’s a good restaurant on Victoria Street for another popular Scottish dish. Cullen Skink is a cream-based soup made with haddock, leeks and potato. Not all the restaurants serve it (as it takes a bit of talent to make it well), but Howie’s at the top of Victoria Street makes a fantastic bowl. Unfortunately, they’re not cheap.

Howies Cullen Skink

If you’re on a budget, or have a dietary restriction (vegetarian, vegan or dairy-free), head to the top of Victoria Street and turn right. About 5 minutes down the street is a cafe called Union of Genius. They serve some of the best soups in town, and at a fantastic price. Each day they have six soups – two with meat, two are vegetarian and two are vegan. Most of their soups are dairy-free, and nearly everything in their cafe, including all their bakery items, is gluten-free.

Visit Edinburgh Castle

This next attraction is probably the most obvious in Edinburgh, but it’s not one I particularly recommend. As far as tourist attractions go, this is one of the most expensive in Edinburgh, and it’s a bit underwhelming. Stirling and Dunvegan are more impressive as occupied castles. If you want to see castle ruins, there are almost too many to recommend – Urquhart, Eileen Donan, Duntulm, Dunnottar, etc. Having said that, Edinburgh Castle is still Scotland’s most visited paid attraction, and second in the UK.

The Edinburgh Castle is more symbolic than anything else. At one o’clock, they fire the cannon which used to set the time for the nearby harbor. In August (except in 2020), the Military Tattoo is the highlight of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where the Scottish military and other international outfits perform nightly with a fireworks finale. There are museums to explore, and a church dating back to the 12th century. This is also where you’ll find the Honours of Scotland, informally known as the Scottish Crown Jewels.

Edinburgh Castle Front Entrance

If the £15.50 ($20) tickets are out of your budget, I’d recommend viewing the castle from the outside. The aforementioned Grassmarket is an excellent vantage point for photos of the castle, and you can get photos of the city from the large parade ground in front of the castle. The castle is built on an ancient volcanic plug, and the city sprawls in glacial valleys formed in the Ice Age. As such, it’s one of the best spots for photos.

View From Edinburgh Castle Looking South

Take a Tour of Mary King’s Close

Now head back down the Royal Mile to one of my most recommended attractions. As an aside, the Royal Mile is the street stretching almost exactly a mile from the castle to the palace (hence royal). The street changes name three times along its length, which is very common in the UK.

About a third of a mile down the street from the castle is The Real Mary King’s Close, a truly unique attraction. The original streets of Edinburgh date back to the Middle Ages. These streets are called “closes” or “wynds”, probably because of how narrow and windy they are. In 1879 when they wanted to build the City Chambers across the street from St Giles Cathedral, instead of bulldozing the side of the hill to build the new building, they decided to simply cut the tops of the already existing buildings and then construct the city chambers on top.

As a result, the original streets beneath the city chambers are still preserved, along with many of the old dwelling spaces. The Real Mary King’s Close takes you on a tour of the old street to explore what life was like 400 years ago in the capital, the effects that the plagues had on the city, and even a ghost story or two. After all, Edinburgh has been labeled the most haunted city in the world, but I’ll talk more about that below.

Mary King's Close Tour

Find the Angel with Bagpipes at St Giles Cathedral

After you finish your tour, head across the street to St Giles Cathedral, the 12th-century house of worship for the Church of Scotland. The building has gone through many upgrades over the past couple centuries, and now is a rather fantastic piece of architecture – which you can see briefly in the Avengers: Infinity War movie when they’re battling Thanos’ minions.

St Giles Cathedral

The cathedral (Scotland and Brazil are the only two countries which call some of their Presbyterian churches cathedrals), is still active and holds four services every Sunday. You can visit the church Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. While you’re inside, see if you can find the statue of an angel with bagpipes.

Another key attraction within St Giles Cathedral is the Thistle Chapel. This is the small room where the Queen meets with the sixteen Order of the Thistle knights and ladies. It’s a beautiful chapel at the back of the cathedral, but a lot of people miss it.

Thistle Chapel for Knights in St Giles Cathedral

Visit Holyrood Palace

Holyrood Palace started as Holyrood Abbey in 1128. The original palace was constructed in the early 1500s and then reconstructed in the 1670s. It’s currently the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland, although there is currently some doubt on whether she will be returning to Edinburgh with her current health and age.

The current tour of the palace allows you to explore several rooms, including the royal dining room, the throne room, the king’s bedchamber and antechamber, the Great Gallery, and the bedchamber and antechamber of Mary Queen of Scots. You’ll also be able to visit the ruins of Holyrood Abbey (when it’s not under renovation) and the palace gardens where the Queen held her annual garden party with Arthur’s Seat as a backdrop.

Holyrood Palace Mary Queen of Scots Bed

The palace is one of the more expensive attractions in Edinburgh – £16.50 ($21), so if you’re on a budget, I’d definitely consider skipping it. On the other hand, if you’ve never been to a palace, visit this one. Make sure to book in advance – the only way to visit nowadays. Plan to spend about an hour and a half there, an hour of which will be for the audio guide.

Brave Some Haggis, Neeps and Tatties

Now it’s time for dinner, and what better than the number one dish in Scotland. Haggis is a delicious, healthy, ground meat dish made with…well, maybe I shouldn’t say. Let’s just say it’s made with parts of a sheep, oats, onions and spices.

The most common way haggis is served is with neeps (mashed rutabaga or yellow turnip) and tatties (mashed potatoes). You’ll usually get a “stack” of all three and sometimes some gravy on the side, although British gravy is a lot thinner than American gravy.

MUMs Comfort Food Haggis Neeps and Tatties #3

Many of the restaurants around Edinburgh serve haggis in one form or another. I used to recommend the Beehive Inn on the Grassmarket, but they changed their menu and now only offer it as a starter (which is still good). Another good restaurant that serves it is MUM’s Comfort Food across the street from Greyfriar’s Kirk. Since you’re by the palace, head back up the Royal Mile to the Tolbooth Tavern for the Haggis Stack. Unlike the US, pubs and taverns in Scotland serve some of the best food, and usually source their products from local farmers and butchers.

If you’re vegetarian or vegan, there’s a vegan version of haggis which is honestly just as good as the real stuff. Most of the places that serve haggis also have the vegan version available.

View the Sunset from Calton Hill

The final stop of day one should be on Calton Hill. Depending on what month you visit in, you might be able to make it up for sunset. For the longest day of the year, sunset is after 10 p.m., and twilight in the northern sky remains all night long. Conversely, the shortest day of the year sees the sun set before 4 p.m.

Whether you get to the top of Calton Hill before sunset or afterward, the view is just as wonderful. You’ll have a full panoramic vista of Edinburgh. Scattered around the top of the hill are several monuments. The Parthenon-looking structure is the National Monument of Scotland, although it was never finished. The tall tower that looks like a spyglass is the Nelson Monument, and the circular structure with nine columns and Edinburgh Castle in the background is the Dugald Stewart Monument.

Edinburgh with Dugald Stewart Monument, Free Attractions in Edinburgh

Edinburgh Itinerary – Day Two

Get Started with Some Scottish Salmon

Scotland ranks 3rd in the world when it comes to salmon production. The quality is fantastic, and many restaurants serve salmon-related dishes. If you wanted to head back to Seven, they have a salmon and avocado sandwich on homemade bread. Union Brew Lab is another good cafe that serves salmon and cream cheese on fresh sourdough.

Castello Coffee Salmon and Eggs #3

To put you close to the next attraction, I’d recommend heading down to Toast Cafe by Leith Harbor. They serve a delicious toast benedict topped with Scottish smoked salmon. Their views of the harbor are also beautiful, although this spot really gets gorgeous in the evening. Their prices are a little more than the other cafes, so perhaps stick to Seven Cafe if you’re on a budget.

Visit the HMY Britannia

Half a mile away from Toast Cafe is the Ocean Terminal Shopping Center. Head there next for the next attraction. The HMY (Her Majesty’s Yacht) Britannia was commissioned in 1954 and used by Queen Elizabeth II until it was retired in 1997 and put on display in Edinburgh as a leading tourist attraction.

Royal Yacht Britannia

You can now take a full tour of the yacht with an audio guide which will describe all components and features throughout the ship. You can tour through all the exquisite cabins for members of royalty, the state dining rooms, and the Royal Deck tea room. On the lower decks are the crew quarters, infirmary, kitchens, laundry facilities, and many more rooms. The tour spans five decks of the yacht and lasts about an hour. Entrance tickets are £17 ($21.50).

Take a Tour to Queensferry and the Forth Rail Bridge

While we’re on the subject of ships, it’s time for another tour, this time to Queensferry and the three bridges. The Forth Rail Bridge is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the world’s second-longest single cantilever bridge. Beside that is the Forth Road Bridge, now only used by passenger buses, bikes and foot traffic. In 2017, the Queensferry Crossing replaced the Forth Road Bridge, which had been showing severe signs of wear.

Three Forth Bridges

One of the four hop-on-hop-off bus tours in Edinburgh goes to the three bridges for £25 ($32.50) and includes a boat tour in the Firth of Forth. The tour includes a boat tour to Inchcolm Island, although you have to buy an additional landing permit if you want to explore the island…which I highly recommend. Inchcolm Island has one of the best-preserved Augustine abbeys in Scotland, as well as old battlements from both World War I and World War II.

Ride the Red Bus Bistro for Afternoon Tea

Now for some lunch. One of my favorite tours in Edinburgh is the Red Bus Bistro Tour. Leaving from Waterloo Place at the end of the New Town, the Red Bus tour takes you around Edinburgh for 90 minutes while giving you a delicious meal and lots of interesting information about the city. There are currently three tours to choose from – an afternoon tea tour, a gin tour and a Harry Potter-themed tour.

The Ultimate Guide for Spending 48 Hours in Edinburgh 1

All the food for these tours is prepared on the bus before departure. The afternoon tea tour includes finger sandwiches, scones and jam, mini quiches and various petit fours and small cakes, with tea or coffee on the side. The gin tour is actually the same tour, but with the addition of a glass of gin. The Harry Potter-themed tour is in the evening and includes a choice of homemade pizza or an Italian antipasti platter. What’s fascinating is how the food stays on the plates while the bus bounces around the cobblestone streets of Edinburgh.

Red Bus Bistro Afternoon Tea TourRed Bus Bistro Afternoon Tea Tour

The tours start at £37 ($48), which isn’t a bad price for a nice dinner and a tour around Edinburgh. Another thing I really like about this tour is that the information they give is unique from the other tours available. In fact, I had done several tours before taking this one, and still learned quite a few new facts about the city I love so much.

Explore Rosslyn Chapel

If you’ve seen the Da Vinci Code, you’ll be familiar with this next attraction. Just outside the city is one of the most beautiful chapels in the world. Rosslyn Chapel was built in the 15th century. The current structure was originally intended to be the choir of a grand church, but funds ran out and the church was never built. However, the chapel alone is completely full of beautiful artwork. Perhaps the most impressive piece is called the Apprentice’s Column – carved with incredibly intricate designs.

Interior of Rosslyn Chapel

The outside of the chapel is gorgeous too. Everything was built with the local sandstone, which varies between white and rose colors. The Rosslyn Trust has taken great care to restore the chapel as much as possible despite how easily sandstone wears down in the Scottish climate. You can take a self-guided tour of the chapel at your own pace, and every hour, a tour guide will give a lecture about important features about the building inside and out.

Mr William at Rosslyn Chapel

If you have a bit more time, you can walk down to the little-known Rosslyn Castle behind the chapel. There isn’t much left of the castle beyond a wall and the central keep house, and an awesome bridge leading to it. The castle was built on a rather unique, steep hill which gave it an excellent defensive position. While Dan Brown connected the chapel to the Knights Templar, there’s not a lot of evidence to support that theory, but you should go to decide for yourself. Admission to the chapel is £9 ($11.50).

Rosslyn Castle

Rosslyn Chapel is one of my favorite attractions in Edinburgh so I had to include it on this list, but they close at 4:30 p.m., which means you won’t have enough time to visit if you take both bus tours. But if you want to skip one of them, then you can replace it with the chapel. The chapel is also significantly cheaper than the bus tours.

Hike Up Arthur’s Seat

It’s rather unique to find a city with a volcano in the middle. Portland, Oregon has one, but it’s small and anti-climatic. Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh is the remnants of a 300-million-year-old volcano, nad definitely the dominant feature of the city. Many people consider it quite a strenuous hike, and many local residents have never been to the top, but I really don’t think it’s that bad. There are two main ways up – one is a long, steadily sloping path and the other is mostly stone steps to the top. Either way, it takes about 30-40 minutes at a comfortable pace to get to the top from the parking lot. On a good day, I can run it in 20 minutes.

Selfie on Arthur's Seat

There are quite a few trails around Holyrood Park, in which Arthur’s Seat is located. Near the parking lot are the ruins of St. Anthony’s Chapel, possibly built in the 1300s and overlooking St Margaret’s Loch. On the back side of Holyrood Park is Dunsapie Loch. Both lochs (Scottish for “lake”) have several swans and perhaps a heron or two. The parking lot behind Holyrood Palace is paid, but the one a little bit further down the road is free.

Freak Out on a Ghost Tour with Mercat Tours

You can’t leave Edinburgh without doing a proper ghost tour. As mentioned above, Edinburgh is the most haunted city in the world, and one of the most spooky locations is the South Bridge vaults. In 1788, 120 rooms were built into the 19 arches of South Bridge, which spanned the valley from the city of Edinburgh to the Old College. The bridge wasn’t waterproof, and the businesses in those rooms soon moved out, leaving them open for unsavory businesses and trades to move in. There’s even a rumor that the graverobbers of Edinburgh used it as a repository for cadavers.

Mercat Ghost Tour

Quite a few people have been known to run out of the vaults absolutely terrified from an apparition they saw, and a full paranormal investigation was once done in the vaults with very interesting findings. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, this is still an awesome tour to take, and you’ll also get a lot of Edinburgh’s history from the guide.

Mercat Tours have access to several of the rooms, and offer several different guided tours through them. One of the tours covers quite a bit of Edinburgh’s Old Town as well before heading down into the vaults, and another tour has a gin tasting at the end. Tours start at £15 ($19.50).

How Much Will 48 Hours in Edinburgh Cost?

Accommodations

Due to the annual Fringe Festival in August which draws in millions of visitors to the city, there are hundreds of hotels, hostels, guesthouses, Airbnbs, Couchsurfing hosts and every other manner of lodging throughout the city. Aside from Couchsurfing, prices range from as little as £7.50 ($10) a night to upwards of a grand. Some months are cheaper than others, and prices rise significantly in August when everything is sold out on the weekends.

Some of my favorite hostels in town are in the £7.50-£11 ($10-$15) range. You can easily get a nice guesthouse or Airbnb for about £40 ($52) a night. The better hotels start at around £100 ($130) a night. So your budget for accommodation will vary wildly (between £15 and £200) depending on what kind of place you want to stay in. Personally, I’d recommend one of the great Airbnbs in town, although some are definitely better than others.

Nira Caledonia Bedroom

Food

Edinburgh is known as the second-most expensive city in the UK, after London. That’s probably most apparent with the food. Per Numbeo, the average meal at an inexpensive restaurant in Edinburgh is £15 ($20)! I can attest that’s about right. In my years living here, I’ve found quite a few places to eat on a budget, although I need to update that article. If you’re savvy, you can find a good lunch for as little as £5, or you can get the meal deal at Tesco for £3.

If you want to splurge, you could easily spend £30 on a meal. So again, this part of your budget will really depend on your preferences. If you eat the places I’ve recommended above, you’ll be looking at about £50 ($65), not including the Red Bus Bistro or dinner on the second day…since I didn’t recommend anything for that. That includes basic drinks and coffee, but your bills will be quite a bit more if you want to add alcohol to your meals. Then again, this is Scotland, and you might want to try a dram of whisky.

Selfie Tasting Whiskey at Glenmorangie Distillery #6

Attractions and Activities

Unless you choose to stay at a luxury hotel, attractions and activities will probably take the biggest chunk out of your budget if you manage to get to all the attractions listed above. Here’s a summary of the costs.

  • Edinburgh Castle: £15.50 ($20)
  • The Real Mary King’s Close: £17.95 ($23.50)
  • Holyrood Palace: £16.50 ($21)
  • HMY Britannia: £17 ($21.50)
  • Queensferry and the Forth Rail Bridge Tour: £25 ($32.50)
  • Red Bus Bistro Tour: £37 ($48)
  • Rosslyn Chapel: £9 ($11.50)
  • Mercat Ghost Tour: £15 ($19.50)
  • Total: £203.45 ($265)

Of course, you can skip some of those activities if they’re out of your budget. And if you’re really on a budget, check out my list of free attractions in Edinburgh.

Summary of the Perfect Itinerary for 48 Hours in Edinburgh

To summarize this rather long article, here’s a schedule for 48 hours in Edinburgh. Obviously, this will vary depending on your speed, preference in attractions, and where in the city your accommodations are, but at least you can use it as a general guide. Granted, this is a very fast-paced itinerary, and you’ll have to move quickly to get from one attraction to the next to squeeze everything in. Did I mention that 48 hours isn’t nearly enough time to explore Edinburgh?

Day 1

  • 9 a.m. – Scottish breakfast at Seven Cafe (Opens at 10 on Sunday)
  • 10:30 a.m. – Greyfriars Kirk and Graveyard
  • 11:30 a.m. – Grassmarket and Diagon Alley
  • 12 p.m. – Cullin Skin at Howie’s Restaurant
  • 1 p.m. – Edinburgh Castle
  • 3:30 p.m. – Mary King’s Close Tour
  • 4:30 p.m. – Holyrood Palace Tour
  • 6:00 p.m. – Haggis, Neeps and Tatties Dinner
  • Sunset – Calton Hill

Day 2

  • 9 a.m. – Salmon breakfast at Toast Cafe
  • 10:30 a.m – HMY Britannia
  • 12:05 p.m. – Three Bridges Bus Tour (only Fri-Sun, don’t be late)
  • 3:00 p.m. – Red Bus Bistro Tour (also leaves at noon if you want to skip the bridges tour)
  • Optional before 3:30 p.m. – Rosslyn Chapel (if you want to skip either bus tour)
  • Sunset: Hike Arthur’s Seat
  • 9 or 10 p.m. – Mercat Ghost Tour

Itinerary Map

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Further Reading

Looking for other activities in Edinburgh that aren’t necessarily weather-dependent? Here are some other options, as well as some recommendations on where to eat in Edinburgh.

Here’s some extra reading to save hundreds on your next vacation or stage of your journey.

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About Skye Class

Hi, I'm Skye. Writer, photographer, adventurer, foodie, teacher, masseur, friend, dreamer, etc. I think "normal sucks." Let's aim for extraordinary. SkyeTravels seeks to find the good around the world, focusing on adventures, food and wellness. Be inspired. Be yourself.
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