When planning a trip to Scotland, a weekend in Edinburgh is most likely on the top of your list. The city has everything- food, culture, history, music, whiskey, Harry Potter and shopping. And while a weekend isn’t nearly long enough to explore all of these things, you can certainly plan a trip based around your interests, and have a blast.
Scotland is a magical place- from the Highlands, to Glasgow– there is certainly something for everything- and Edinburgh is no exception.
Now you might be thinking- does it make sense to go to all the way to Edinburgh for a long weekend? Honestly, if that’s all the time you have, then yes!
Here is how to make the most of your time in this wonderful city!
HOW TO GET THERE
Well, if you’re in NYC- then yes it does. Flights with Norwegian Airlines are really affordable from Steward International Airport, and they make getting to Edinburgh a breeze all while helping keep more money in your pocket so you indulge when you get to Edinburgh.
WHERE TO STAY IN EDINBURGH
The Principal Hotel at George Street Established in 1898, Principal is a collection of city-centre hotels based in landmark buildings in exceptional locations across the UK. The Principal Edinburgh on George Street has been welcoming hotel guests since 1881, featuring five listed Georgian townhouses first built in 1775 as homes for Edinburgh’s most prosperous citizens.
Like its counterpart The Principle Blythswood Square in Glasgow, the views are extraordinary, and the service is just as divine. Our favourite part was the little tuck-shop/basket of snacks in the room. We were a sucker for the snack basket in the room, too- because who doesn’t love snacks!
Be sure to grab lunch at The Printing Press, or coffee at Burr & Co- both located on the ground floor.
WHAT TO DO
Edinburgh is one of those cities where you will most likely never run out of things to do, and depending on your interests- there is something for everyone.
A short drive away from Edinburgh, the castle is the place to head to if you want to experience what living in a real functioning castle is like. While you can stay in one of the castle’s 16 rooms, you can also opt in for entertaining activities such as 4×4 driving, archery, clay pigeon shooting, falconry, golf, highland games, hovercraft driving, wine and champagne tasting and more. Winston Castle provides the perfect combination of relaxation, and activities and is well worth the trip out.
The Royal Mile
Located at the the heart of the Old Town, and has an electric energy about it that is hard to be mimicked. This cobbled street is the place to go to pick up those tartan souvenirs, or check out the plethora of pubs and restaurants.
You can’t come to Edinburgh and not attempt to be an expert in whiskey. The Scotch Whiskey Experience is a virtual distillery that will give better insights into how this delicious nectar is made.
This is one of the best places to get city views- easily reached by a very short walk from Princes Street. Once at the top you’re also find the National Monument of Scotland, and Nelson Monument.
Head here to enjoy some of Edinburgh’s best views from the gun-holes. This a great activity for both adults and kids.
Sitting right in the heart of Edinburgh’s historic Old Town, right behind Edinburgh Castle, the Grassmarket area is one of the most vibrant areas of the city and has some of the best shopping and restaurants Edinburgh has to offer.
WHAT TO EAT
Brunch Tour with Eat Walk Edinburgh
You’ll get to enjoy an morning cocktail with delicious breakfast canapés, to mouthwatering fudges with a few other surprises in between.
TIP: Don’t eat breakfast before this. You’ll be stuffed!
Charming pub that with a delightful staff- the menu is elevated comfort food – from delicious salads to mouthwatering burgers, this is the hidden oasis that you need after spending the day exploring the city.
The Printing Press
A nod to Edinburgh’s rich literary heritage, The Printing Press Bar & Kitchen was once home to acclaimed novelist Susan Ferrier (an equal of Jane Austen, according to Sir Walter Scott), whilst Burr & Co. is a lovely coffee shop with a devoted local following.
Afternoon Tea at The Tower
There’s nothing like experiencing the traditional Scottish in the glamorous contemporary setting of Edinburgh’s first and finest rooftop restaurant. Try the wide assortment of sandwiches, warm savouries, fresh scones and a seasonal selection of home baking from our pastry chefs, all piled high on Scottish slate cake stands. Paired with a glass of Billecart-Salmon Champagne, and the Tower’s Afternoon Tea is transformed into a magical treat.
A contemporary twist on old Scottish classic- this modern restaurant’s exterior doesn’t do the interior or the cuisine justice. Grab a fe friends and be ready to spend the evening in each other’s company. We recommend the 4 four course meal.
- The Last Word Saloon
- The Devil’s Advocate
- Ghillie Dhu
- Voodoo Rooms
- The Inn on the Mile
A weekend in Edinburgh is not nearly enough time to get to know the soul of this vibrant, thriving city, but it’s a good amount of time to capture a snapshot of what you can expect when you come back for a longer stay.
We truly recommend Edinburgh as a girlfriends’ getaway destination- because it has everything you can ask for- shopping, food, a electric nightlife, and for those of us into football- by extension- a great pub scene. And that’s not even mentioning the spectacular views, or the easy day trip options.