Edinburgh is Scotland’s capital – rich in history, incredible architecture and great places to discover and explore. I recently visited and fell in the love with the city of Edinburgh and so had to share my experience with you.
View from Edinburgh Castle
We visited Edinburgh as part of a longer trip to other parts of Scotland including Glasgow and Loch Lomond. We actually travelled to Glasgow and Loch Lomond before visiting to Edinburgh. I personally enjoyed Edinburgh the most and so will be focusing on that in this post. If you want to see more about the rest of the trip check out my Instagram page @thecoveredcompass
Getting There: As we knew we would be moving around Scotland we decided to drive. The drive from London to Edinburgh takes around 8 hours. I personally love road trips so didn’t mind the drive. If driving is not for you then you can fly from London to Edinburgh for around £20. The flight is about an hour long and if you do some research and book in advance you can find flights for cheaper – particularly if are willing to travel on a weekend. You can also get a train from London Euston Station or Kings Cross Station. The train journey is around 5 hours and from my own research can be quite expensive. Have a look around to find an option that works best for your travel plans and budget.
Accommodation: As with most cities Edinburgh has a range of different accommodation options including hotels, hostels and Air BnB. I would recommend looking around online for different options depending on when you are visiting and how many people are in your travelling group.
As Edinburgh is a university city it also has the option of staying in student accommodation. Student rooms are available throughout the year and can be a more affordable option if you are on a budget. When researching I found a great website for student accommodation where you can also see reviews of the rooms – https://www.universityrooms.com/en-GB/city/edinburgh/home
Things to do and see: There is lots to do and see in Edinburgh and depending on how long you are planning to spend there. We actually only spent the day in Edinburgh and in that day felt like we got a good sense of the city and got to see lots of what the city has to offer. I definitely would like to visit again though to see more of the city. The city has a great vibe and with lovely people.
As we drove into Edinburgh from Loch Lomond we passed by the Forth Bridges. The three bridges include the railway bridge which was opened in 1889 and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Forth Bridges
The most popular place to visit in Edinburgh is probably Edinburgh Castle. The historic castle is strategically positioned on a rocky cliff, over looking the city and can be seen from all around the city. The castle has a vast and varied history, with parts of the castle dating back to the 12th century. The castle costs £18.50 to enter and has lots to see and learn about. We actually did not go into the castle, but did walk up to the entrance which provides a great viewing point of the city below.
Edinburgh Castle Entrance
Edinburgh is the kind of city that is best explored on foot. I personally loved walking through the streets, looking for cobbled streets and narrow alley ways to walk down and explore. Walking around the city offers great views and incredible architecture including the Victorian Gothic monument called the Scott Monument.
Streets of Scotland
The city has lots of museums, galleries, gardens and green spaces to visit if you want to. There are also shopping spaces to explore from high street stores to cute little shops selling locally sourced goods and gifts.
For Harry Potter fans Edinburgh has lots of connections with the books including the home in which J K Rowling wrote some of the books. Whilst we were there we saw lots of Harry Potter tours, shops and cafes all around the city for fans to visit.
Close to Edinburgh you can also go for a walk or hike at Arthur’s Castle. You can also drive a few hours to Loch Lomond or Glasgow.
Food: There are lots of different places to eat in Edinburgh, including a range of Halal options. We didn’t really plan where to eat and just stopped whenever we saw something we liked the look of. We had a great Sunday brunch at a quirky cafe in the city centre called Papii Cafe.
Masjid: We also visited Edinburgh Central Mosque which is located near the university. I was really impressed with the Masjid’s facilities and services not just for Muslims but also for the whole community including a Gardening Club and Mosque Kitchen restaurant and cafe.
Final Thoughts: I personally really enjoyed my time in Edinburgh and would love to visit again Inshallah. The city has a great vibe and is the perfect place for a weekend break from London.