Edinburgh is personally one of my favourite UK cities. The atmosphere is unrivalled and there aren’t that many places where you can hear bagpipes being played on most street corners. Edinburgh hosts many big events – such as the Military Tattoo and Edinburgh festival but even on a regular weekend, it does have loads of things to do. There’s far more than you can fit in a weekend so this mostly a few ideas to get you started.

Travel

I thought I’d start by mentioning how easy it is to get to Edinburgh from a lot of places – it’s not a city isolated by the hills in Scotland! There are frequent trains from Edinburgh to London that stop at many major stations en-route. From most places in the UK, you can probably take a train there quite stress-free.

Looking up towards Edinburgh Castle just after sunset

Where to Visit

  • Edinburgh Castle
    I love old castles so for me Edinburgh Castle has to top this list. It’s often fairly busy but well worth it, and you can see views of the whole city standing next to the cannons. If you stand near Waverly station at sunset, you can also see the sun set over the castle which is stunning. I remember listening to a busker playing Ed Sheeran as the sun set over the castle the last time I was in Edinburgh.
  • The Edinburgh Mile
    The main street in Edinburgh has to be a must. It gives you the best atmosphere, with kilt shops and coffee shops flanking both sides of the street.
  • Arthur’s Seat
    Full Disclaimer – I’ve not yet done this, although it is one hundred percent on my list of must-dos in Edinburgh the next time I go. Arthur’s Seat is the old volcano that overlooks Edinburgh. If you’re into hiking and outdoorsy adventures, Edinburgh is a perfect city to combine the two worlds in.
  • Hollyrood Palace
    If you’re into more modern history, or the royal family, their residence in Edinburgh has to be added to your list.
  • Walking Tour or Ghost Tour of Edinburgh
    Doing a ghost tour at night the first time I went to Edinburgh is definitely a strong memory. Edinburgh is one of those old cities with a gothic past. The streets are beautiful at night and day alike and I would recommend doing – even a self guided (which in my mind means getting lost and then exploring) walking tour at some point.
  • Museums
    A couple of the museums I’ve been to and would highly recommend are The Camera Obscura Museum and the Geology Museum. Old St Mary’s Street is also a brilliant musuem to explore underneath Edinburgh and learn about its history.

Food

There’s plenty of food I could advise you try in Scotland. However staying specifically in Edinburgh (and if you’re only there for a weekend), I could recommend:

  • Edinburgh Street Food Venue
    The atmosphere here was lovely, and like many street food places popping up now, it’s perfect if different people in your group fancy different things.
  • Hog Roast
    It really just has to be done while you’re there. There’s a really nice small hog-roast shop if you walk from the Edinburgh mile to Hollyrood palace.

Hopefully this has given you some starter ideas for how to spend your weekend. If you want more weekend based-ideas, check out my article on a weekend break in Europe.

How to Make the Most of a Weekend Break in Europe