Things to eat and drink
- Places close to Waverley Station for when you’ve just tumbled off the train or airport bus and you’re starving: Baba Budan in The Arches has fantastic donuts and coffee, The Milkman on Cockburn Street also has great coffee, Mimi’s Bakehouse at the City Arts Centre has good cakes and The Doric pub does a great burger. On the Princes Street side, the Guildford Arms is beautiful pub with nice food and ales a’plenty.
- If you want visual food inspiration don’t miss Miss Piggy’s Instagram feed.
- Mary’s Milk Bar in the Grassmarket has fantastic gelato with creative and tasty seasonal flavours, all with lovely views of Edinburgh Castle. Whatever time of year you’re visiting, go! The hot chocolate is ace, too.
- My favourite breakfasts are Loudons (New Waverly or Fountainbridge) or Edinburgh Larder Cafe, just off the Royal Mile.
- For good cake and coffee head to Lovecrumbs. The cake wardrobe has to be seen to be believed!
- The best burgers and amazing chocolate shakes are at The Cambridge Bar.
- Superb coffee and lovely Scandi treats at Peter’s Yard.
- Speaking of coffee, check out the Scotland Coffee Lovers which has an app with the best coffees in town (now covering all of Scotland).
- My old favourite cheap and cheerful haunts include: Chop Chop in Haymarket and Mum’s Comfort Food in Forrest Road.
- For a posh treat, try afternoon tea at The Balmoral hotel.
- Cuckoo do the best cupcakes.
- Spice Pavilion has fantastic Indian food and very welcoming service.
- Vegetarian food: You can’t go wrong at the salad bar at Hendersons on Hanover Street or David Bann.
You want things to do that aren’t just eating? Oh.
Things to do
- You can’t go wrong with the Hop On Hop Off bus tour to get you orientated – buses leave from opposite Waverley Station.
- Mary Kings Close is a fascinating underground adventure
- a walk up the famous Arthur’s Seat if you need to walk off some cake
- Take a quick walk up to Calton Hill – it’s in the middle of town with great views
- The Water of Leith is another great walk
- the Saturday farmers market in Castle Terrace
- a visit to any of Edinburgh’s fab galleries – all with free admission
- the Museum of Scotland is free and fab
Where to stay
I love the new breed of budget-yet-stylish hotels that are popping up. Either of the two Motel Ones are in great locations, as I also like the new Premier Inn Hub – great location and those tiny rooms as so cleverly designed. Otherwise, AirBnB or Booking.com is your friend.
The rest of the country
Don’t forget the rest of the country – it rules!
If your time is limited and you don’t want to hire a car to explore the country, Rabbies and Haggis Tours offer great day or longer trips from Edinburgh, which can give you a good introduction to the highlights. Skye and the Highlands would be my first port of call.
- Undiscovered Scotland is my favourite site for finding places to go and things to see.
- Love From Scotland is a great for travel ideas for Edinburgh and beyond
- If you’re going to Inverness, check out Highland Foodie’s extensive post of things to see, eat and do.
- Mess In The Ness for the Scottish Highlands
- Visit Scotland is the official tourism website