UK and Ireland have a very similar landscape and architecture. Having lived in Ireland for almost 2 years now, we were pretty sure that the feeling and ambience of any city in UK would be similar. Gosh, we were so wrong! Just like the highlands, Edinburgh felt MAGICAL… We had probably just half a day to spare before we could board on our flight and get back home. We still managed to do so much in such a short time, because everything was close by.. So, here is our guide for 5 amazing things to do in Edinburgh in less than 24 hours…
5 Amazing things to do in Edinburgh
The Royal Mile:
Stroll on the cobbled street path which is the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town. You will see culture, history, souvenir shops, pretty cafes, performers, tourists and at the very end the magnificent Edinburgh Castle. The street is full of life as we know today, within the spirit of the everything old. There is a lot of touristy stuff you can do while you stroll around –
- Visit the Camera Obscura and the world of illusions.
- Scottish Whiskey Experience
- The Royal Mile Market at Tron Kirk
- Walking tour – Sandeman’s is our favourite company for walking tours around Europe.
Edinburgh Castle is build on Castle Rock, which a 700 million years old extinct volcano! The castle is home to some of Scotland’s Crown Jewels and a lot of history. Having visited the Tower of London, we decided to skip this one. But we have heard the view from inside the castle are very impressive as well.
Scotch Whisky in a Scottish Pub:
We are not Whisky people, but I live by the phrase – ‘When in Rome , do as the Romans do’. Raga doesn’t care much about this! We love visiting local pubs. So, while Raga stuck to his beer, I ventured out a bit and tasted some amazing Scottish Whisky. Of course they drink it neat and trust me it definitely helps with the cold weather. By the time we returned from Scotland, I had secretly started enjoying some Scotch Whisky.
Harry Potter Experience:
Did you know Edinburgh is the home town of Harry Potter? J K Rowling started her amazing book in this very city. Most of her first book was written in Elephant House Cafe. Also, lot of stuff in her books were inspired by this city. For example – Diagon Alley was inspired by Victoria Street, the gravestones in Greyfriars Kirkyard inspired some of the characters like Voldemort, aka Tom Riddle (Riddell) etc. There a lot of cute stores which sell Harry Potter merchandise. I had the time of my life sniffing through all things Harry Potter.
It’s all about food:
There are so many cute cafes and restaurants, that we had a tough time deciding where to have my coffee and lunch. Of course, they come with a price! Some of the places we visited and absolutely loved are –
- Brewhemia for morning coffee and absolutely loved the coffee, cake and the decor.
- La Locanda Edinburgh for lunch. It’s a small little Italian cafe but we drooling over everything we ate. So damn good!
- La Barantine Victoria for evening coffee. It’s a very small cafe, so we didn’t get a place to sit but the coffee was again so good.
Well, I believe you are getting the trend here. We didn’t try anything Scottish, as we are vegetarians and well Scottish people are not that famous for vegetarian food. But options are plenty and you will be spoilt for choice. We did pick up some Scottish shortbreads for home and my only regret is not picking up more. So, amazing!
So, here you go! This is the complete list of (not so touristy) things to do in Edinburgh when you have a very short layover. We spent most of our time in Scotland driving through the Scottish Highlands and you can know more by reading our itinerary here.