A City Break in Edinburgh
Receiving more than 3.5 million visitors every year, Edinburgh has become the second most visited city in the United Kingdom, being only second to London. The city’s cosmopolitan flair and dynamic spirit have made of Edinburgh one of the top destinations for city breaks in Europe. With its extensive range of leisure and entertainment options and its unrivaled setting, it is not surprising that Edinburgh has been nicknamed ‘the inspiring capital’. Allow yourself to be inspired too and start planning your next city break in the fascinating Scottish capital.
Edinburgh’s city centre highlights
A large number of visitors travel to Edinburgh by train or plane. Regardless of how you travel to the city, arranging a car hire in Edinburgh is highly recommended, it can give you the freedom you need to explore beyond the city boundaries, where some interesting attractions are located.
Edinburgh’s city centre is the best place to start exploring everything the city has to offer. Officially split into the new town and the old town, this part of the city is a renowned UNESCO World Heritage site. It is impossible to miss the imposing view of Edinburgh castle as you stand on Princes Street, right in the heart of the new town. The short but steep walk up to the castle is full of surprises and places to visit: the Scottish National Gallery, the medieval quarter near St Giles’ cathedral, and one of Edinburgh’s oldest attractions, the Camera Obscura, where you can enjoy some of the best views of the city.
The streets that lead to the castle are conveniently packed with bistros, pubs, restaurants, and cafes, since chances are that after a morning of sightseeing you will need to refuel. The choices are plentiful, from the finest French or Asian cuisine to informal eateries serving light meals and snacks. Weather permitting; you can also opt for grabbing your favourite takeaway meal and heading to Holyrood Park for a picnic. With its dramatic open spaces and peaceful atmosphere, Holyrood is a must-see for every visitor.
An evening out in Edinburgh
Edinburgh’s cultural scene is one of the most active and varied in the country. Theatres, comedy clubs, bars, independent movie theatres, and art galleries are located all over the city, so you will definitely find something to do in the evening, whether you feel like partying or having a quiet night out. Many locals start their evening at the bars near Grassmarket and Leith Walk. The Stockbridge area is often overlooked by visitors despite its great pubs and restaurants. Newington is also a good option, as it is home to several wine bars that range from the informal to the upscale.
Should you be interested in catching a play, you will be pleased to know that Edinburgh has its own version of the West End. There are also other theatres in the Tollcross area. Those who prefer to dance the night away (or watch others do it) will find a number of dace and live music venues along Cowgate, Holyrood Road, and Clarke Street.
Exploring Edinburgh’s outskirts
If you are in Edinburgh on a two-day city break, make sure to set some time aside to visit some attractions outside of the city centre. Sitting by the water and dotted with ice cream parlours and amusement arcades, Portobello is a great antidote to the hustle and bustle of the city. Make the most of Edinburgh’s location on the magnificent Firth of Forth by driving to Cramond, from where you can walk over a causeway to charming Cramond Island and relax at one of its beaches. Further west is the Forth Road Bridge, an impressive suspension bridge that links Edinburgh and Fife, commanding spectacular panoramic views over the Firth of Forth.
This post was written by Joseph Hyde