Recently a Swiss friend of mine visited and asked me for advice on what to do on his short trip there. And that is how we arrive here. So without further ado I present to you five things to do while you're staying in Edinburgh!
Visit the Castle
Growing up in Scotland you can take castles for granted but really they are absolutely incredible. Visible from anywhere in the town centre, I think most people would have a hard time not visiting it.
The castle towers over the rest of the city centre mounted on top of a cliff face. Guided tours are available but it does add to the cost and it is a bit more fun to explore yourself.
At the end of the day, it is a real life castle that knights in armour used to inhabit, so do you really need any more reason to visit it?
Go During the Edinburgh Festival
This isn’t so much something to do as a rule that, if followed, will give you millions more options. There are literally thousands of shows and acts that descend on to Edinburgh every August. These vary from world renowned theatre productions to first time comedians.
The good news for those of you on a budget is that there is such a thing as the ‘Free Fringe’. Go along with no pressure and pay what you feel the act is worth at the end. I can thoroughly recommend Tom Webb’s ‘Mega Games’. After a few beers you’ll be desperate to win some points and compete in life size hungry hungry hippos.
Scare Yourself Silly
Edinburgh has a rich and disturbing history which you can find out plenty about when you visit. The Edinburgh dungeons walk you through some of the more gruesome events whereas the Ghost Tours available give a more spine chilling and historic account of the history of the Old Town. Be prepared to jump and scream in the dark vaults beneath the city.
Drink some cocktails
Edinburgh’s George Street and the surrounding area have some of the best cocktail bars in the country and indeed the UK.
You really have to go and see the menus to see which one will specialise in your tipple of choice. One of the team’s favourite bars is the relatively new Panda & Sons. Made out to looks like an American Barber from the outside, you go in and discover a hidden prohibition-style bar. We recommend you order the Bird Cage. Don’t ask why. Just do it.
After you’re done with the bars check out Cabaret Voltaire for the best choice of house and new electronic music in the capital, or Opal Lounge for a more mainstream - but still very decent - EDM based night.
Climb Arthur’s seat
There aren’t too many cities I can think of that have a hill that you can climb right in the middle. Edinburgh is lucky enough to have an extinct volcano in the middle that provides some of the most stunning, panoramic views available.
The climb is extremely easy going but just make sure the weather is clear or you won’t be able to see a thing from the top, which kind of defeats the point.
What you can see on a clear day though is a stunning view of a stunning capital city. Get yourself over here, follow our tips and you're bound to have a time to remember.