Edinburgh in a day

Visiting Edinburgh in a day won’t do justice, there are a lot of things to see in and around the city. But it is enough time to squeeze in some of the best parts.

So if you are heading to Edinburgh for the Hogmanay next week or swinging by on your travels, this guide will make sure you get a good feel for the city.

Start your day right in the heart of the city, walk through Princess Street up to Scott Monument, a monument commemorating the writer Sir Walter Scott. Climb up all 287 steps, for only £5, and soak in a breathtaking view of the city.

One of the many views from Scott Monument


Head up to Calton Hill donned as the best viewpoint in the city. At the top, you can catch a glimpse of every monument in the city. Have your cameras at the ready but also take a moment to just relax and look out into Edinburgh.



Continue on to Holyrood Abbey, from cloisters to a Reinacense palace, this place has a lot of history. Admire the remains from every angle, as each sheds a different light of beauty.



Take the route back to the city via Royal Mile Street. This cobbled stretch is the pearl of the old town. Pass by St Giles Cathedral, which is one of the places you would have seen in your skyline views. Feast your eyes on 14th-centurary architecture, for free you too can be in awe from the stained-glass windows and intricate design details.

Time to have a lunch break, all that walking has helped you work up an appetite. There are many restaurants in Victoria Street and Grassmarket.

Back to touring the hilly capital, and these next two places are great for all Harry Potter fans. If you’re not, feel free to skip them. Visit Greyfriars Kirkyard, also known as the most haunted graveyard in the world. You will find one of the headstones reading “Thomas Riddle” which inspired the birth name of Lord Voldemort. Just a stone throw away from the cemetery is The Elephant House, the cafe in which J.K Rowling spent a lot of her time while writing her first HP book. Their desserts go down like a treat; if you have a moment defiantly try their apple pie.


For the final bit of walking head off to the final stop, the city’s most popular tourist attraction, Edinburgh Castle. Perched on a dormant volcanic rock cliff which overlooks the entire city, lies the iconic landmark which served as a royal palace for 4 centuries. It costs around £16 to enter but it’s worth every penny. You can easily spend 2-3 hours here as there is so much to see.

Night Out

If walking around all day wasn’t too tiring here are some top places to check out for a night out. There’s always something to do in Edinburgh in the evening, every night of the week. A friend, who lived there for a year, suggests Brass Monkey a cool bar with a unique seating arrangement, a bit like beds, relaxed environment with a good mix of customers. He also pointed out The Jazz Bar, which holds 3 concerts every night, a cosy place to unwind in the evening and if you want to you can have a cheeky 2-step to the live bands. His final recommendation is anything in Cowgate, buzzing on evenings and weekends, in particularly Cabaret Voltaire a pub and club in one.


Question for locals or those familiar with Edinburgh: what would be your number one recommendation for tourists?

Published by Bee

Expat | Content Creator | LDN - MI

5 thoughts on “Edinburgh in a day

  1. Great post, and Edinburgh is hard to fit in a single day! For walkers I would recommend Arthur’s Seat (takes about an hour, wear sensible shoes!). If you have kids go to Dynamic Earth (at the base of Arthur’s Seat) and the Camera Obscura (just near the Castle) and the museum, just opposite the statue of Greyfriars Bobby, is fantastic.

    For shopping head to George Street for high end high street brands and St Andrews Square where you have Harvey Nichols (I love the views from the restaurant on the top floor). Thistle Street has boutique designer shops if your looking for something more unique.

    For going out I love the cocktail bars on George Street. The Dome wins for stunning architecture and obulent decor. Le Monde next door is classy with great cocktails and sometimes live music. Bramble on Queens Street is dark small and intimate.

    Have fun x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It looks amazing! Scotland is magnificent! Moved here recently but hadn’t had the chance to see Edinburgh yet. Soon though. Thanks for the help planning my trip over there.
    Great blog by the way!


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