Travel bucket list: 11 things you need to do in Edinburgh
Grab your bags, we're off to bonnie Scotland!
It's hard to beat Edinburgh. From the historic old town with its great pubs and restaurants, to New Town with its amazing shopping and fantastic nightlife.
There are so many things to do in the Scottish capital and that's not even mentioning all the tourist attractions there are to see.
So, whether you're just visiting for a weekend or living there for a while, there are a few things you'll have to do during your time in the best city in the world (okay I might be a little bit biased).
Here's my list of the best things to do in the Scottish capital.
Chill out in The Meadows
The Meadows is basically like Edinburgh's version of Central Park. The massive grassy area just off Edinburgh's Tollcross is a hive of activity with lots of students, musicians, theatre groups, and sports clubs gathering on the meadows most days. In the summer, it's the perfect spot for a BBQ.
Wander along the Grassmarket
The Grassmarket is without a doubt one of the most picturesque parts of the city. Stroll along the cobbled streets to get an impressive view of the castle and make sure you call into one of the pubs to try haggis, neeps and tatties with whisky sauce. There's also a fab vintage shop called Armstrongs right on the corner of the Grassmarket that is a real treasure trove.
Soak up Victoria Street
Just up from the Grassmarket is Victoria Street. The winding street has become famous in its own right and it is not hard to see why. Make sure you drop into Hula, a smoothie and salad bar that has the most amazing breakfast menu.
Saunter down The Royal Mile
You can't go to Edinburgh without seeing its most famous street. The Royal Mile isn't actually a mile but a stretch of 1.81 km of road that connects the castle to Holyrood Palace at the bottom. The whole road is lined with some of Edinburgh's oldest and prettiest buildings. Check out the café in St. Giles Cathedral if you're feeling peckish.
Clamber up Arthur's Seat
In Holyrood Park, you'll find Arthur's Seat, an ancient volcano that towers over the whole city. It's not every day that you can go mountain climbing in a city centre so you might as well make the most of it. The views from the top are something else.
Try a deep-fried Mars bars
Lord have mercy! You can't go to the Scottish capital without trying the local delicacy, and no I am not talking about haggis (but you should really try that too). While you're in Edinburgh take a chance on a deep-fried Mars Bar (and a potential heart attack) at Café Piccante in Broughton. It's so bad that it is almost good.
Unleash your inner Potter head
If you like Harry Potter then you will love Edinburgh. Not only did J.K. Rowling write the books in the city but you can also visit the café where she did a lot of her writing. The Elephant House Café is situated on George IV Bridge and every day scores of people leave letters for Rowling in the drawers of the tables and scrawl Harry Potter quotes in the bathrooms. You can also find Tom Riddle's grave in Greyfriars graveyard if you're brave enough.
Cruise the Canal
The canal is one of the nicest areas in Edinburgh (and one of the most over-looked). If you like running, it's the perfect place for a morning jaunt. There are also canoe and kayaking clubs along the canal where you can go for a paddle if you're feeling adventurous.
Party in Princes Street Gardens
If you're in Edinburgh around New Year's Eve then chances are you're going to spend it in Princes Street Gardens. Every year the city hosts a massive Hogmanay street party where thousands of people take to the streets to celebrate the new year. The gardens are right at the foot of the castle beside one of the busiest shopping streets in the city.
Laugh at The Stand
Edinburgh is the capital of comedy. Each year the International Fringe Festival takes over for the entire month of August with comedians coming from all around the world to perform. But don't worry if you can't make it in August because Edinburgh has its own little year-round comedy gem, The Stand. The Stand is a small comedy club in New Town. They get lots of big names and they also have a great beginners night called Red Raw every Monday and the best thing is it only costs £3.
Spend a Sunday in Stockbridge
Stockbridge used to be a little village on its own before the city spread out and swallowed it up. It's a quick walk from the city centre and it's definitely worth it for the lovely architecture and scenery. Stockbridge market is on every Sunday and has lots of cool independent traders. Check out Dean Village when you're there too, it doesn't disappoint.