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A day or two in Edinburgh?

3 min read

I've a couple of friends heading to conferences in Edinburgh this year who have asked what I would suggest they do. This is constrained by the 'adding a few days to a conference' scenario and the no car scenario. and the coming from North America scenario. These are ideas to start your thinking. Google streetview is your friend in thinking about planning this.

Top picks

  • Hop on hop off Bus Tour - (this company or another) it took me years before I actually took this tour. the commentary and elevated view (sit upstairs ) are great. Seeing the architecture above the shopfronts is great. It's also an effective way to get around without navigating the normal bus system (good for transit; less good for tourism).
  • Museum of Scotland (actually a two for one; one is a classic 'victorian' museum of everything, the other a museum of Scottish history - both free)
  • Scottish National Gallery & National Portrait Gallery or Modern Art Galllery (i've never been ;-( ; all free)
  • Edinburgh Castle (ok so, it's expensive to get into but it's a castle )

Other stuff

(in the less important but close ):

By the Museum(s) on George IV bridge

  • Greyfrairs bobby - [yes it is just a small unnoticed statue, despite what Holywood might say ;-) ]
  • Elephant House (on George IV bridge, good coffee and where JKR wrote 1st Harry Potter)

Royal Mile-ish

form the top (Castle)

  • Whisky Experience ...
  • St Giles Cathedral (Many old churches will be worth a look, this one is on the Royal Mile)
  • John Knox's house (never visited walked past)
  • Museum of Childhood
  • World's End (pub)
  • Holyrood Palace
  • Scottish Parliment
  • Living Earth

Out of town

  • Glasgow [that's a whole other entry] ;-)
  • Loch Lomond (organised trip to Lomondside or Luss - it doesn't totally seem worth it but it's a good way to tackle a number experiences at once in a relatively short time)
  • Loch Ness (organised trip?)


  • Full Scottish Breakfast or fish/ veggie equivalent 
  • Haggis (whether as part of the breakfast, as a proper meal, or battered and fried from a chip shop)
  • Afternoon Tea (try one of the central hotels, $$ but very pleasant)
  • Indian Curry (UK's other national dish)
  • it's worth knowing that sandwiches in the UK are generally a lot more interesting.
  • Boots is a national drugstore/ chemist but it also has a take out lunch meal deal that has some good options and is cheap
  • Deep -fried mars bar [ok, i don't actually think this is a good idea ]


You may wsh to take a minute to review:

and please endeavour to go with a short Edinbruh not a long Edinboro