Whether you want to see cobbles, stunning architecture, historic sights or contemporary culture Edinburgh is the place for you. Regularly tipped as one of the ‘must see’ cities in Europe (and further afield), we’re very proud of our little city. But if you’re only here for a short time what should you see and do? Here’s the Edinburgh Editor guide of how to spend 24 hours in Edinburgh.
6-8 South College Street
Need a caffeine hit in the morning? Head to Brewlab for one of the city’s best coffee selections. Made fresh for you in this stripped back, artisan coffee house, it’s a coffee lover’s paradise. The food is also great for breakfast time, although it does finish at 11:30 and menu items get sold out throughout the morning. The early bird is the one that gets the delicious avocado on sourdough toast, as the proverb is here.
Take a walk over to Chambers Street and you will find the National Museum of Scotland. This is one of my favourite places to spend a few hours. Refurbished in its entirety a couple of years ago, the museum is now Scotland’s most popular attraction with over 1.6 million visitors in 2014 and it’s not hard to see why. With galleries on Scotland’s history throughout the ages, including the many inventions that have helped shaped the modern world, natural history and international cultures you could spend days here. Highlights include Sir Jackie Stewart’s F1 car, Dolly the Sheep and a brilliant collection in the natural history galleries. The building itself is also immensely impressive.
49-50 George IV Bridge
Whether you’re after a salad, a sandwich or something slightly more, Villager offers a great selection of food and drinks. Smoothies, juices and lunchtime cocktails are all on offer in this great bar. A word of warning though, the sofas are very comfortable – you may spend longer than you intended, if you sit here.
After you are done with lunch take the bus or a taxi down to the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (Arboretum Place). This is one of Edinburgh’s most easy going attractions, with 70 acres of grounds very close to the city centre. Take your time to wander around the grounds (it’s all free apart from the palm houses) visiting the Oriental and Rock gardens, amongst others. The Palm Houses are definitely worth the entry fee as well.
If you want some panoramic view of the city, exit by the West Gate of the Botanics and walk to the top of the pond in Inverleith Park (it’s just across the road) – from here you’ll get a great view of Edinburgh Castle and the city skyline.
In the late afternoon walk back into town through Stockbridge. This wonderful little community is full of interesting shops, bars and coffeeshops – perfect for a little refreshment on your way back to the centre of town.
1-3 Rutland Street
If you are looking for a delicious dinner Kyloe is a fantastic option (although in this city though you could write a book on ‘fantastic options to eat’!). Situated in the West End of the city, you can dine on the finest Scottish steaks and some of the most beautiful cuts of meat you can eat. Not sure what you want? Ask about the different cuts and they will bring you out a ‘Meat Board’ and talk you through it.
Dinner with a view is also great here, with views from the restaurant looking over the West End, Princes Street, or up to the Castle.
After you finish dinner you might feel the need for a little stroll. Take a left out of Kyloe and stroll around the small streets of the West End, taking a look at some of the boutique shops, fun bars and wonderful Georgian architecture and the little cobbled streets.
Once you are a little more comfortable pop in to Angels Share (9-11 Hope Street).
Here you will have a fantastic night, whenever in the week you are in town. With a vast selection of mouth-watering whiskies, gins, beers and wines everyone will find something to suit their tastes, or a new favourite. Intrigued by the name? ‘The Angel’s Share’ is the name for the whisky that evaporates during the ageing process – a name very suited to this bar, as you will find out.
9 Advocate’s Close
As you get back to the Old Town you may well fancy a little night cap before you turn in for the night. Where better to reminisce about your day in our beautiful city than The Devil’s Advocate, next door to the Old Town Chambers. With either a whisky or final glass of wine in hand you can wind down from the day, and plan what you want to see next time you visit.
From here the only question remaining is when you’re going to return to do it all again!