A local’s city guide to Edinburgh

A local’s city guide to Edinburgh

A few years back I launched a blog travel Series called ‘Travel With Me To…‘ where a collection of guest travel bloggers were sharing local’s insights and the places someone had to visit/see/do when in their city, ultimately I was trying to make a collection of ‘Local’s City Guides‘. I contacted more than ten bloggers asking them to contribute but with life getting in between blogging, these series got lost in time until today! So, here today, I present you a local’s city guide to Edinburgh including all the things you have to do when in Edinburgh and where to eat in this beautiful Scottish city. Enjoy!

Holyroodhouse Edinburgh

 


WELCOME TO EDINBURGH::

A local’s city guide to Edinburgh!


 

Edinburgh travel guide

Edinburgh is the Scottish capital and one of the most beautiful cities in the northern part of the UK. Flooded with history and heritage – that makes me proud to live in this country even though I am not Scottish, it makes absolute sense why Edinburgh attracts so many tourists on a daily basis, with tripled numbers during the festival seasons.

One of the first things to notice upon visiting this unique city is that it has remained frozen in time. When exploring the narrow alleys of the Royal Mile you experience this feeling of the past Medieval times as you can see (and almost feel) how the city looked back in the centuries! Nowadays, the city is divided into two areas; cobbled streets, historic buildings and the famous castle are part of the Old Town, and quirky shops, bars and cafes make the new part of the city that was developed later on in time.

Edinburgh is a magic city! It has everything you can imagine and even more. If you’d ask me to be your travel guide for the weekend I would most certainly struggle to narrow down the options to a list of five things,  but I will try to be as informative as possible hoping to provide you with all the local’s insights on today’s post…

Edinburgh's Royal Mile

1// Walk along and around the Royal Mile.

Whether you like history, royal family heritage or local pubs, walking along the Royal Mile will give you a great taste of the city. The Royal Mile runs downhill from the Edinburgh castle to the Holyrood Palace, which is the Queen’s official residence in Scotland! This is one of the busiest streets, so if you ever feel that the crowds get too much for you, I strongly advice you get a bit lost in the narrow alleys crossing the Mile, it feels like travelling back in time! And if you want to have a pint, then the World’s End pub is waiting for you. Last time I visited it was when my mum was in Edinburgh and since then she keeps saying that she wants to return back and go for a pint with me. If it is good enough for mum then it is good enough for anyone!

Edinburgh city guide and Mary's Milk Bar

2// From the Edinburgh castle to the Grassmarket!

You are on top of the castle enjoying the stunning views but all of the sudden you feel the urge to have lunch, drink a pint or taste the most delicious ice-cream of the city without going through the Royal Mile madness? I got you covered! Go down the stairs from the castle towards the Grassmarket area and head at Mary’s Milk Bar! Whether it’s pistachio or cocoa parfait it will be up to you, but trust me when I say this, it will be DELICIOUS!

UK travel blogger's guide to Edinburgh city

3// The Cockburn Street & the West Bow.

The Cockburn is most likely the street you will walk from the train station on your way to the castle, it is filled with souvenir shops, pubs and restaurants- Divino Enoteca is one of my favourites if you want quality food and good wine- and it is one of the first streets that will give you the wow factor!

edinburgh's west bow

However, the street that will definitely give you the chills is the West Bow! If you go into Pinterest and type ‘Edinburgh’ images of the West Bow will appear on top of your searches. It is a street lined with crammed, colourful buildings and a travel photographer’s heaven. It has all the quirky shops of the world and the most delicious, organic juices-Hula Juice Bar fans I am sure you know what I mean!

The Greyfriars kirkyard Edinburgh

4// The Greyfriars Kirkyard.

Or else known as the hunted cemetery! Loads of stories are build around the history of this Medieval cemetary and the rumour has it that is is hunted with the most evil ghost of a Scottish lawyer, Mackenzie who was responsible for the death of 18,000 people. It is said that he has been buried in the same location people were tortured and decapitated, and because he didn’t like it he haunted the area. I have visited the kirkyard several times and I can reassure you no ghost kicked me out, so feel free to visit whenever in the city!

 

5// The Meadows Park!

Nestled in the South side of the city is this big park that is often known as a host area of the various festivals taking part during the summer. It used to be a big garden for the city during the second World War as the citizens could cultivate vegetables in an attempt to make the city self-sufficient in food. Nowadays, it is a leisure park with many tennis courts and often you will see people playing rugby or football. If the weather is warm and sunny it makes it the perfect location for picnicking and dog walking. This is Edinburgh’s Hyde Park version!

 

Edinburgh Blogger

10 PLACES TO EAT & DRINK IN EDINBURGH:


1// Gaucho Edinburgh at 4a St Andrew Square: If you are in need of some glam and glitter in your life then THIS is the place to be! Gaucho is Edinburgh’s latest gastronomical gem and this is the first Gaucho restaurant to open outside Edinburgh in the UK.

2// The Gardener’s Cottage at 1 Royal Terrace Gardens: The Sunday Times critic said the food was ‘exceptional’ and The Scotsman journalist said that the restaurant is ‘a pretty magical place’, so if it is good for them then it must be good for you too! The menu changes seasonally and the building is the cutest, little cottage in the city, this is the place to be when in Edinburgh.

3// Field at 41 West Nicolson Str.: First time we visited this restaurant I was foolishly convinced it was for vegetarians. Little did I know! Field is a cow-themed, fine dining eatery filled with modern Scottish cuisine. It still has some vegetarian options but don’t let the name confuse you.

4// Blonde at 71-75 St. Leonard’s Str.: ‘Mouth-watering’ is the first word that comes in my head every time I think of Blonde! This is an airy, candle-lit restaurant using fresha nd locally produced ingredients. I have been countless times so far and every single time the menu is different and always fascinating! Whatever the chef suggests get it, it will be delicious anyway!

5// The Bon Vivant at 55 Thistle Str.: First time I visited The Bon Vivant restaurant it was on Christmas Eve in 2016. I was in a rush as I hadn’t finished with my shopping yet, however, I wanted to get a taste of the famous nibbles the restaurant offers. It ticks everything on a foodie’s list of good restaurants: great interiors, delicious food, good location and fantastic wine. {Minus the expensive prices but one gets what pays for, right?}. Definitely worth a visit!

6// La Petite Mort at 32 Valleyfield Str.: Located in the Tollcross area, where the rumour has it Sean Connery once used to deliver milk! La Petite Mort, has a very friendly environment and the welcoming staff made us feel at ease immediately. I had heard of the restaurant before when a friend told me that they were offering some special cocktails that you had to order 24 hours in advance as they are being infused overnight so I was eager to try them myself and let me tell you they didn’t disappoint!

7// Badger & Co at 32 Castel Str.: This is the place to channel your inner Carrie Bradshaw and one of the best places for coffee in Edinburgh. It is a wonderful escape from real world and with its captivating interiors it will make you want to return again and again.

8// Press Coffee at 30 Buccleush Str.: Owned by the same people as the Kilimanjaro cafe, this is a place with a massive student clientele. It has the most Instagrammable tables and interior-think marble, yellow and blue bright colours, and really good coffee. Grab a paper and have some panini with your coffee. The soup isn’t the greatest hit but it is a cheap place so expect to pay around £5 per person, not bad!

9// Hula Juice Bar at 103-105 West Bow: Hula is a fitness fan’s heaven, filled with delicious, healthy treats from granola bars to energy shots, it makes the ideal place to pop in after the gym or whistl shopping/sightseeing/running errands around the city. The interior makes you feel like you are in the jungle with beautiful wall paints and colourful tables. The prices are a tat expensive, but considering the food quality I think you get what you pay for.

10// Mary’s Milk Bar at 19 Grassmarket: Nearby Hula is the famous ice-cream nirvana place that is Mary’s Milk Bar! It has the most delicious ice-cream I’ve tasted in Edinburgh yet and with flavours varying each seasons there is no way that you’ll ever get bored of the selection. Grab a scoops or two, get outside the shop and snap a shot of your ice-cream facing the Edinburgh castle-guaranteed instant likes!

 

There are not many cities that can captivate you as much as Edinburgh. Whether you are planning to visit or study in Edinburgh here are a few posts that might be useful to you::

> Life in Edinburgh as a student.

> Top 5 Spots to visit during Valentine’s in Edinburgh.

> Edinburgh’s Hogmanay

> Edinburgh’s Christmas Market

> Edinburgh’s Festivals

 

 

Have you ever been to Edinburgh? Would you like to see more local’s city guides to Edinburgh?

Anastasia

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Anastasia

Anastasia is passionate about exploring new places, meeting people, lingering over dinners, hearing stories, petting dogs and studying Science! She holds a Doctorate in Biophysics and when not working in the laboratory she loves baking chocolate cakes and going on long dog walks with her puppy, Cruz.

Find me on: Web | Twitter

12 Comments

  1. March 19, 2018 / 7:23 pm

    This is such an amazing guide! I would really love to visit there one day.

    • Anastasia
      Author
      March 30, 2018 / 3:43 pm

      Thanks Shannon, you should! Edinburgh is such a beautiful city 🙂 x

  2. Lauren Dalwhinnie
    March 22, 2018 / 10:39 am

    I loved reading this post! We are spending Easter 2019 in Scotland so this has already been bookmarked for your restaurant suggestions x

    • Anastasia
      Author
      March 30, 2018 / 3:44 pm

      That’s fantastic to know! Thanks Lauren 🙂 x

  3. March 22, 2018 / 10:42 am

    Thank you for these recommendations! We live in Torridon and always love our weekend trips to the capital. We will definitely visit a few of the mentioned restaurants. Keep it up!

    Mary x

    • Anastasia
      Author
      March 30, 2018 / 3:44 pm

      That’s fantastic! I hope you have loads of good times x

  4. September 3, 2018 / 12:03 pm

    You forgot to mention Taisteal! Our new favourite restaurant in the city!!!x

    • Anastasia
      Author
      September 3, 2018 / 12:12 pm

      You are so right! I must edit the article asap, thank you x

  5. Jessica
    September 24, 2018 / 4:40 pm

    Of all your Travel Guides, this has to be my favourite one! Me and my husband are planning a trip to Scotland and Ireland this autumn and I have bookmarked all of your suggestions and Scottish posts. Thank you for sharing.
    Jessica

    • Anastasia
      Author
      September 24, 2018 / 5:09 pm

      This is so good to know Jessica, I put so much effort in my travel guides and I am so glad when people read them and follow my recommendations, thank you!

  6. Brandon Walfor
    September 24, 2018 / 4:43 pm

    This is such a beautiful post Anastasia! I found you on Instagram and I am so glad I looked at your blog too-your travel recommendations and posts are amazing.

    Greetings from Ontario!

    • Anastasia
      Author
      September 24, 2018 / 5:10 pm

      Hi Brandon,

      Thank you so much, so glad to hear this!

      A.

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