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Edinburgh Tourism And Travel Guide
6.4° C / 43.5° F
April to December
3 to 4 Days
Edinburgh International Airport (12 kms)
Edinburgh Waverley Railway Station
Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland, and has been the prime-most city of the country since countless eras. From its medieval palaces to gothic churches, old cobble-stoned streets to parks that are royal for miles at end - Edinburgh rises to the occasion and welcomes tourism like no other. Here’s a short travel guide to aid in your sojourn to Edinburgh.
How to Reach
Edinburgh, being the capital and an important city in Scotland has its own well quipped International airport, so is easily reached.
Daily flights operate between Indian cities like Mumbai and Delhi and the Edinburgh International Airport. It is only a couple of miles from the airport to the city centre so you can easily hire a car, jump into a cab or choose to take the tram/bus.
The Scottish Railways connect domestic places in Scotland to Edinburgh Waverley Railway Station, while Virgin Trains East Coast Service ensures that England, and especially London has regular trains running to Edinburg. You can easily book your tickets and hop on, even if you take a ticket 5 minutes before your departure.
Edinburgh boasts of a great city network of buses, subway trains and some areas even have trams. You can easily hire a car for the day or set out on foot if your destination is not that far.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
Summer is the ultimate high season for a vacation in Edinburgh, but winter is good for Christmas.
Spring (April to May):
Spring is a shoulder season to visit and the temperatures are as low as 2°C in April and go to highs of 17 at the end of the season. Most of the ice is gone and occasional showers can be expected.
Summer (June to August):
This is a high season, tourist wise and for locals too. Many music festivals, plays, cultural events etc are organised through the months. The season high is 25°C and you can wear some light clothing on the streets. But keep rain gear handy.
Autumn (September to October):
Edinburgh autumn is a real beauty, especially when observed from a vantage like the Arthur’s Seat. The temperature is a good 9-20°C and trees are trimmed in gold. This is a good time if you are okay with random windy storms.
Winter (November to March):
December is the best month to vacation in Edinburgh during winter. You get to experience the Victoria Street, Princes Street and Royal Mile all decked up in holiday fare. Hogmanay is also a big event here but the cold is excruciating.
Things to Do
Hike up Arthur’s Seat:
Arthur’s Seat is located on a hilltop, sitting on a massive volcano that got extinct centuries ago. This place gives you the best views of Edinburgh and is a must visit. People usually enjoy a hike up to the top.
Stroll through Old Town:
The Old Town of this city is very medieval in its picturesque cobble stoned streets, gothic churches and Georgian houses. There are also many shops, cafes, pubs and bars lining the streets, along with the famous George IV Bridge and Greyfriars Bobby statue for sightseeing.
Go Watch the Scottish Ballet:
Scottish Ballet and Opera shows are very famous among tourists. Visit the Edinburgh Festival Theatre to enjoy one such show, and alongside, admire the beauty of the theatre itself, from its 19th Century inception history.
Enjoy the views from Camera Obscura:
Camera Obscura can be termed an educational amusement arena, for the lack of a better word. Here you will find many activities and tricks, optical illusions, mirror mazes and more for fun. Climb to the top of the building and you have the most sweeping views of Edinburgh in all directions.
Taste a Drop or Two of Whisky:
You can’t go to Edinburgh and return without doing a Whiskey tasting tour! There are many guided tours that take you on walks through the best pubs and distilleries. But if you want to do them on your own then the best places to taste whiskey are Scotch Whisky Experience at Castlehill, Bow Bar in Victoria Street and Devil's Advocate.
What to Eat
Edinburgh serves some traditional Scottish food like black pudding and parritch at chosen places, however, with a storm of globalisation, in the recent decades, the city has developed its own patent favourites when it comes to food. You must try their Mac n’ Cheese toasties, especially at Meltmongers, go for Completos or Chilean hot dogs on the street, pick up bagels and pancakes for breakfast and enjoy the Hog Roast Sandwich at Oink. Other than these, don’t miss out on a full Scottish/English breakfast that is heavy with eggs, fried mushrooms, tomato, beans, toast and coffee.
For sweet tooth craving, there is the ‘in’famous battered fried Mars bar and hot chocolate float, along with the usual treacle tarts and puddings.
Where to Shop
Edinburgh is a great place to shop, from home spun designers to high street, and even luxury brands. Victoria Street tops the list for shopaholics and you will get everything here - from hand-stitched suits to designer garments, plaid woollen garments to the traditional kilts. Walker Slater is great for tartans and plaids, while Swish is awesome for contemporary fashion. Museum Context is a Potterhead dream as you get all of Harry Potter paraphernalia here and the Whiskey Shop is for those classic malts.