Edinburgh is a great city to visit for a weekend or longer, but where should you go?
Avoid The Royal Mile
Dubbed a tourist trap by all means, the Royal Mile is a solid way to get ripped off as a visitor. Though there are a few places that are still worth visiting there, such as Monteith’s, for the most part, you should focus on other areas of the city.
Many of the shops aimed at tourists are priced well above market value and the souvenirs are hardly good quality! Not to mention, the products aren’t unique or memorable. It’s much more advisable to check out a small business such as W. Armstrong & Son, which is a vintage store offering one-of-a-kind finds. In fact, Edinburgh boasts three of these branded boutique shops, one of them located on Victoria Street.
Check Out The Museums For A Cultural Experience
The National Museum of Scotland is a fun interactive experience for the entire family. Especially worth focusing on is the animal room containing stuffed fossils and enhanced models. Most importantly, this museum is free to peruse!
Of course, you can’t base your entire experience in Edinburgh on visiting one museum. If you like oddities or weird museums, the Surgeons’ Hall Museum is the perfect jaw dropping scientific place. It has plenty of specimens in jars to take a look at.
Check Out The Edinburgh Art Scene
The Scottish National Gallery is filled with historic artworks by renowned Scottish artists. It is an educational experience that also offers insight into local culture through the portrayal of student artists as well as modern works.
Other noteworthy places to visit include the Museum of Modern Art, the Portrait Gallery, and the Fruit Market Gallery. Once again, you can also enjoy a free experience if you would like to learn more about local history at the Museum of Edinburgh.
Stroll Through Local Neighborhoods
Avoiding the tourist trap Royal Mile is recommended, but you should by no means limit your experience to the Edinburgh city center! There are so many wonderful neighborhoods to visit that lie off the beaten path, and each neighborhood offers a look at a different kind of life.
Portobello and Leith are great destinations if you would like to experience a stroll on the beach or near the water’s edge. Dean Village also comes highly recommended as it transports you back in time to a place similar to a medieval village. It’s a great place to stay. So, remember that when you are looking for Edinburgh hotels that are some beautiful options outside the city centre giving you the best of both worlds.
It’s also possible to experience the nightlife and pubs offered in Edinburgh. Morningside and Bruntsfield boast plenty of bars and cafes while also offering a more suburban outlook.
Avoid Bus Tours!
The city of Edinburgh is fairly small, however, you will still see plenty of double-decker buses zipping by. However, it’s advisable to skip taking a bus tour. Though it seems like a convenient way to get out of the rain or to learn about the city, it honestly limits your exploration of unique areas.
Much like any other city in the world, Edinburgh is best experienced on foot. It has complicated streets and sometimes, getting lost is simply part of the fun! The cobbled streets wear their past proudly while allowing yourself to tread on foot will help you get immersed in the feel of the city.
Without having to adhere to strict guidelines or a schedule, you have the fluidity to go wherever you want and discover hidden gems along the way. Each tourist is different, but foot travel is highly recommended, especially for those visiting Scotland for the first time! By not having any expectations set for yourself, you can create a memorable and relaxing experience.