Thinking about your travel bucket list for 2021? One city you should seriously consider visiting is Edinburgh. The city is a charming destination that flaunts both the old and new. The quaint medieval Old Town will win you over with its quaint Scottish pubs and bars, narrow, winding streets and centuries old buildings. Then there’s the New Town where you’ll find a buzzing atmosphere, plenty of shopping opportunities, beautiful Georgian townhouses and fantastic museums. It’s the majestic city that offers something for everyone, and known as one of Europe's most beautiful destinations for good reason. Whether you’re looking for a culture fix, buzzing nightlife, rolling hills or delicious food, this city has it all.
Here are 6 reasons why you should visit Edinburgh...
1. The fascinating Scottish history
Edinburgh has a rich history that dates back to before the Roman times. Battles, forts, weapons and armies; the city was once a battleground. On a trip to Edinburgh, wander the grounds of Edinburgh castle. The historic fortress is built high on an impressive 700 million year old extinct volcano called Castle Rock. Visit the castle, explore the different rooms and learn more about Edinburgh’s history including everything you can know about the War of Scottish Independence.
Head to some of Edinburgh’s most prestigious museums including the Scottish National Galleries where you can come face to face with portraits of important people in Scottish history. For free admission, you can see some of the greatest art in the world just behind the doors.
There’s also a darker side of Edinburgh to discover at the Edinburgh Dungeons where you can learn all about the haunted past of the medieval city. Just walk around the Old Town and you’ll find a piece of Edinburgh’s history lurking around every corner.
2. The awesome nightlife and festivals
Whilst Edinburgh is medieval and historic, there’s another side to the city that comes to life at night. The city is brimming with cool underground bars, traditional Scottish pubs, fun nightclubs and sophisticated whisky bars. Being a student city, we’re really not surprised at how awesome the night outs are in Edinburgh. Discover the secret bars where the locals hang out; Hoot the Redeemer is our favourite underground bar serving up quirky cocktails, boozy slushies, adult ice cream and a fun vibe.
Then there’s the Secret Arcade, an underground vodka bar. Stick to the Old Town if you’re going out because it’s considerably cheaper than the New Town. For a fun night out where you can dance, drink shots and let your hair down, student-favourite Belushi’s won’t let you down!
The Devil’s Advocate is one of our favourite , located in the sophisticated Old Town where you can find the best cocktail makers in the city.
There are also cool events that take place around Edinburgh. The Fringe Festival is the biggest and best event in the city, the busiest time of the year. It’s the world’s largest arts festival where theatre, dance and music become the city’s focus for 25 days! Here are
3. The incredible architecture
Edinburgh is home to some world-class architecture. A short stroll down the Royal Mile and through the narrow Old Town alleys and you’ll quickly see the mix of architectural styles that make up Edinburgh. Admire St Giles Cathedral that dates back to 1124, visit the oldest part of Edinburgh Castle, St Margaret’s Cathedral or admire the Gothic architecture at Scott’s Monument.
Wander through the New Town which is occupied by beautiful Georgian architecture. Check out Calton Hill where you can get a look at the several different monuments which are located there. There’s plenty of interesting architecture in Edinburgh that’s it’s almost impossible to see it all. There’s a reason JK Rowling found inspiration for the Harry Potter books in the Scottish capital with all of the dark, cobbled alleys and passageways.
Check out these you simply have to visit during your stay
4. The highland views and hikes
The lush green spaces and rolling hills of Edinburgh make it the perfect destination for the outdoorsy type who love to be at one with nature. If you’re up for a beautiful walk, then head up to Arthur’s Seat, an area that makes up the largest part of Holyrood Park. Sitting 251 metres above sea level on an ancient volcano, you’ll gain incredible views of Edinburgh if you hike up to the top of Arthur’s Seat.
There are different routes you can take whether you’re looking for a nice easy stroll or something more strenuous. You can also head to Nelson’s Monument for incredible views of the city for just £5.
5. The Scottish food scene
Edinburgh has an underrated food scene. Not only will you find countless cosy Scottish pubs and restaurants, you’ll also find plenty of other worldwide cuisines. You name it, Indian, Italian, Thai, English, Scottish, Chinese, Edinburgh has it. Not to mention the incredible farmer’s markets where you can grab a tasty, affordable lunch (try Edinburgh’s Farmer’s Market on the weekends or Stockbridge Market).
If you're looking for a Scottish pub where you can indulge in authentic local food, the Halfway House is always a fantastic and affordable choice.
And while you’re in the pubs you have to try some Scottish delicacies such as haggis. Or if you have a sweet tooth, try the Scottish invention that is the deep-fried Mars bar. And you simply cannot start your morning with a traditional Scottish breakfast.
For dessert, don’t forget to order a Sticky Toffee Pudding. Our favourite kind of local foods are the heartwarming pies and mash potato, broths and bangers and mash.
6. The beer, the whisky and the gin
Yup, Edinburgh specialises in all three. Scotland has been producing beer for the past 5000 years and the best places to try get a taste is at the Scottish pubs. Try some of the locally brewed beers, ales and craft beers which have a special unique flavour compared to English beers and others from around the world. We recommend having a drink in The Doric, a very old pub in the Old Town. With several Scottish beers on tap, real ales and over 50 single malts, it’s a place not to miss if you really want to experience the real Edinburgh. The Doric even hosts live folk music.
Then of course, the city’s most famous drink which you simply must try is whisky. Edinburgh is booming with whisky bars and whisky tasting experiences.
If whisky isn’t your thing, did you know Edinburgh even has has a gin making heritage? If you’re a gin lover, you will really enjoy the city’s very own distilled gin ‘Edinburgh Gin’. You can even visit the distillery!
Convinced yet? Check out our located right in the heart of the city