“Edinburgh is a city of shifting light, of changing skies, of sudden vistas. A city so beautiful it breaks the heart again and again.”
― Alexander McCall Smith
What a suprise this city was. I don’t think I’ve ever ran faster out the door to explore a place. Colourful houses, croocked doors, ancient buildings, pubs and café’s everywhere! Give this culture geek a new city, some good shoes and a camera and she turns into a wild woman. After last post, I feel it’s time to delve deeper into lovely Edinburgh. Ready for a massive chunk of pictures and tips? Here some of my favourite things to do in the city:
By far one of the best places to be. I love the outdoors and it’s so great this city has a big chunk of rocks and trails just lying in it’s backyard. This fool climbed it not once, but twice! The first day was a bit cloudy, so obviously, to get some good pictures, I had to go up the second day with sunshine as well.
Grassmarket & Victoria Street
My hostel was located on the corner of this street. It’s also known as old-town. very cosy and a feast for the eyes. Most shops are admittedly a bit touristy, but they have some great little coffee shops hidden here. And there’s a cafe named ‘huula’ which sells yummie smoothies and green juices. Just wander through West Bow Street and Candlemaker Row, you’re bound to get at least 50 photo’s of all the different buildings and colours (told ya I was a culture geek)
Another good view over the city. Granted, in my opinion nothing tops Arthur’s Seat, but it’s a great look out point on the inner city gothic building. My best experience was encountering all the touristgroups of Asian’s trotting around. ‘follow me!’
No city trip is ‘good’ without some proper food. By chance I ran by ‘Jamie’s Italian‘ and the food was amazing! In Stockholm his restaurant is completely overhiped by the Swedes, and therefore overpriced. Here the atmosphere was so cozy, laidback and relaxed. The staff was awesome, the food, better!!
Princess Street Gardens
Flowers in bloom, greenest of grass and birds happily chirping around. It’s weird to have such a quiet park right next to the high street. No less, a great quick getaway to enjoy an icecream, a latte, some bagpipe music and just let the city go by.
National Galleries of Scotland
The galleries are actually spread among the city, but there’s buses that go from venue to venue. Unfortunately the modern art buildings were closed – bummer!
Right behind the large university area there are the meadows. Tranquil, green and lots of good looking runners. I was here late in the evening, but I can imagine this is a good spot to soak up some sun for all those book-ploughing students.
Coffee sipping around the university
Edinburgh uni and it’s atmosphere reminded me so much of Lund Uni. It’s nearly undescribable. There’s just a magical feel to it. The buildings are spread among the entire city, but the main area is south, just around the Meadows. I could walk around here for a few hours hopping from coffee shop to coffee shop. Also note, that right off the bat on the corner of Marshall and POTTER street, there’s the famous ‘Elephants and Bagels’ cafe, where J.K. rowling wrote her first books. Apparently she sat there because it was cheaper to buy a cuppa joe, then to pay her heating. Well, I can assure it wasn’t that warm in there – I nearly froze my ass off – and since the whole hype, the coffee ain’t that cheap anymore. Nonetheless, it’s kind of cool to sit at a table or bench where she might have sat. The cafe it self isn’t even very inspiring, so her mind is truly imaginative.
Royal Mile Market
The royal mile is sort of the tourist ‘high street’. Mostly with vendors out trying to lure you into tours, shops or buying street trinkets. It goes down from Hollybrook castle up to the Edinburgh castle (which… I didn’t visit!). It’s kinda nice to see, but the amount of people and vendors made me uncomfortable, so make sure you go either early, or late in the day. A cozy little establishment is actually the Royal Mile market, set in an old church. It’s run by local artists and barista’s with cool, weird, strange, cute stuff displayed everywhere. Try the cranberry scones (nom!) and a regular black coffee, you’ll be buzzing off sugar and caffeine for a few hours.
So there you have it, 10 of my favourite things to do. Surely, there is loads more to do and see in the city. Today, I actually skipped over all the cafe’s, pubs and shops they have, simply because they’re too many. And, my best excuse is that the food was so good, I often ate too fast that I forgot to take any pictures. If you’re off to visit Edinburgh and are in need of some food-tips, I can highly recommend ‘20x Food&Drinks in Edinburgh‘
In general I’d say, explore for yourself!
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