Edinburgh is one of the most often visited metropolises in Great Britain after London. And there's a reason for that! The Scottish capital boasts a remarkable number of cultural assets. The Edinburgh Castle is the number one visitor magnet at any time of year, closely followed by the annual summer festivals, which attract Scottish fans and people from around the world.
Traditional and self-confident, Edinburghers live in their city on seven hills, their "Athens of the North", well supplied with haggis, live music, pubs, Scottish whisky and Scottish national pride. Edinburgh may not be Scotland's largest city (Glasgow takes this place), but it has been its capital since the 15th century.
In addition to the medieval Old Town, the city also boasts an elegant Gregorian New Town with gardens and neoclassical buildings. The Edinburgh Castle is enthroned above everything. The castle houses the Scottish Crown Jewels and the "Stone of Providence", which was used at the coronation of the Scottish Kings. And from the dramatic local mountain Arthur's Seat in Holyrood Park there is a wide view.
The perfect day in Edinburgh? Start with the highlight, Edinburgh Castle. Its location high up on a mighty rock in the middle of the city makes Edinburgh Castle an unmistakable and unique fortress! The difficult ascent due to the altitude is worth it, there is a lot to discover here! Inside the castle you will find Edinburgh's Tourist Information, where you can get valuable tips. In order to avoid queuing up, it is best to organise the tickets for the castle tour in advance via the internet. At 1 p.m. it is time to open your ears - or would you rather close them? The famous cannon shot can drive you through marrow and leg. What is now a tourist attraction used to be used by captains in the Firth of Forth, the bay off Edinburgh, to set their chronometers. Now is also the right time to return to the city and take a lunch break.
Not far away at the foot of Edinburgh Castle is the Atrium, an exclusive restaurant with fine dining and an exquisite wine list. Those who find this too dignified for lunch can also enjoy a snack in the Café Rouge, which offers a good price-performance ratio. It is a good kilometre from the castle, but the road to it is lined with sights. Thus, if the hunger is not too big, it is recommended to walk past the Scottish Whisky Heritage, the National Gallery or the Royal Scottish Academy. Of course, one can also drive this route, for example in one of the famous colourful double-decker buses. Freshly refreshed, you will be taken to another sight: Lady Stairs House offers an exciting story. This multi-storey building was erected as early as 1622 in a backyard of North Bank Street. 100 years later Lady Stair moved into the rooms and since then the building bears her name. Today there is a museum on the life and work of the great Scottish poets. We continue on to the roof of the Outlook Tower, where you can enjoy an excellent view over the city, similar to the view from Edinburgh Castle. We recommend the photo and hologram exhibitions as well as the Camera obscura, which projects the panorama of Edinburgh onto a semicircular screen.
After so much history, it's best to stroll along the famous Princess Street, the shopping mile of Edinburgh. You're sure to find a nice souvenir or whisky for those who stayed at home.
In the evening, a pub or festival visit is on the programme. Join the stars for a film premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival and listen to world-class live music as musicians from around the world come to the city for the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival. In August, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo extravagantly combines tradition, ceremony and spectacle.
The perfect day in Edinburgh is best rounded off late in the evening with a real "Scottish Evening" in one of the many pubs. Either at the Ensign Ewart, where you will meet a mixed audience of tourists and locals in addition to the usual live music. Or you walk off the beaten track and enter the Malt Shovel Inn on Cockburn Street. Here you get to know the real life of the old-established Edinburghers with live music!
How you get there:
nonstop with Swiss to Edinburgh
How long should I go:
Best travel time:
all year round, summer festivals
Edinburgh Castle, pub visit with whisky tasting, festival visit