The first time I visited Edinburgh, I knew I had to live here at some stage in my life. So here I am. With a Bachelors degree from Copenhagen University, I hopped on a flight to Edinburgh to fulfill my dream of living in the best city in the world. And God has it been great! I could write endless amounts of pages on where to go and what to see, but I’ve narrowed it down to my favourites.
The National Museum of Scotland:
Not only do they boast some truly wonderful exhibitions, the best thing about coming here is the vast hall. This is without a doubt one of the most beautiful spaces in Edinburgh, and is definitely not worth missing!
Price per exhibition: free - £10
The Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle
Even after coming to Edinburgh for 4 years and having lived here for 8 months, I love having a walk up the Royal Mile and having a walk around the Castle Esplanade. An entrance to the Castle is quite expensive, and I haven’t ever been inside the actual castle, but I have felt perfectly satisfied walking just beyond the castle walls and seeing the views from the Esplanade.
Price for Castle entry: £16.50
Arthur’s Seat and The Salisbury Crags
Whenever I need some fresh air or some time to think, I have a walk up the Salisbury Crags. When it’s dry (which is rare), the grass is soft and lush and perfect to sit in and take in the extraordinary views. A walk up Arthur’s Seat is equally fantastic, but perhaps not as relaxing, as it is more touristy. Arthur’s Seat is an ancient volcano and is just a 20 minute walk from the centre of town. Get there for golden hour and you’ll truly be in for a treat.
Calton Hill can be found just beyond Princes Street. Although many consider it a tourist trap, this is a lovely walk to take. From the top you get a wonderful view of Princes Street, the Castle and Arthur’s Seat. Take in the view from the lovely cafe, Milk, which can be found at the top. Come during the festival and you can enjoy phenomenal fireworks every night.
The Meadows is a huge park in the heart of Edinburgh. During the summer you’ll find hundreds of people laying in the sun, playing music, barbecuing, slacklining, and much more. The atmosphere is fantastic and definitely not something to miss out on.
The Chocolate Tree, 123 Bruntsfield Place
Have a walk through The Meadows and up through Bruntsfield (which is a lovely part of town), and direct yourself towards The Chocolate Tree. Although it is renowned for having the best hot chocolate in town, The Chocolate Tree also makes divine artisanal chocolates, ice creams, macarons, and my personal favourite: churros.
Twelve Triangles, 90 Brunswick Street
There are two donut shops in Edinburgh, both of which are fabulous. This one is more out of town, a 10 minute walk from Calton Hill. The service is great, donuts divine, and they also do a delicious loaf of bread!
Lovecrumbs, 115 West Port
This cafe has quite a reputation. It’s interior is decked with wonderfully mismatching furniture. The cakes are quirky and the coffees are good. Though you should be aware that this place gets VERY busy every day of the week, so make sure you get there early in the morning.
Mary’s Milk Bar, 19 Grassmarket
Mary’s Milk Bar is smack-bang in the middle of town. On the Grassmarket (which is definitely worth seeing), Mary is absolutely onto a good thing. She’s known for making the best ice cream in town and does killer Sundaes too!
Deadly Donuts, 21 Argyle Place
Just off the Meadows, Deadly Donuts is the second donut place in Edinburgh. This shop is more centrally located, but the donuts are equally divine. Stick around during the evening on the weekends and Freddy will whip up some lovely tapas for you on his Deadly Nights.
Checkpoint, 3 Bristo Place
Just across from Bedlam Theatre, this would be a great place to come for a drink and some dinner either before or after one of the student-run theatres. Alternatively you could come for lunch, or just a coffee.
Ting Thai Caravan, Teviot Place
This is such a wonderful, buzzing restaurant. They specialise in authentic Thai street food and everything they serve is nothing short of unbelievably yummy. With prices starting at £4.50 for lunch, £7 for dinner, this place isn’t going to break the bank. You should, however, be aware that it gets very busy, so get there early or be prepared to wait in line.
Cairngorm Coffee, 1 Melville Street
This is one of my favourite coffee places. Recently opened in the West End, Cairngorm Coffee have wonderful coffees, with beautiful latte art, and scrumptious cakes. With the wide, bright spaces and modern interior, you almost feel like you should be somewhere in Scandinavia.
This is another one of my favourites. The coffee here is outstanding, and they also do fresh smoothies and beautiful avocado toasts. They also supply great sweet treats from various bakeries across town, including Pinnies and Poppy Seeds, Suki Bakes and Bon Garcon.
Bar Soba, 104 Hanover Street
When it comes to cocktails, you can never go wrong with heading down Hanover Street. One of my favourite places i Bar Soba, where they do a fantastic mojito, but also serve great fusion food with great student discounts. Other places to go on Hanover Street are Grand Cru and 99 Hanover Street.
For the dreamer - For the adventurer