Hi guys ! This blog post is about one of the most beautiful cities that I’ve ever visited. I wished I could’ve stayed longer here ! But unfortunately I had a really jam-packed schedule because of my flight to Barcelona early the next morning. So this post is about my 12 hours that I actually spent tourist-ing around the city. Please note that I myself am still such a newbie to Edinburgh so, this is less of a guide and more of a what-I-did 😉
Scroll all the way down for tips on how to get to Edinburgh and where to stay.
06:00 a.m. : Arriving at Edinburgh Bus Station. We arrived at around 05.30 a.m. in the morning by a n overnight bus service, so it was extremely early. We brushed our teeth, washed our face, hired lockers and taking things slow, we were done by 6-ish close to 7 a.m. We set off to Calton Hill next !
07.00 a.m. : Calton Hill. The walk up to Calton Hill is extremely near from the city centre (Bus Station in our case), it takes roughly 15 minutes from Edinburgh Bus Station. The morning air was too cold for us !! Especially at the top of the hill, so I’d be cautious and wear warmer clothes when visiting Edinburgh. But, your tolerance level might vary, we met some fellow travellers from Canada and they felt it was a breeze. Whoa ! But we didn’t let the cold air stop us from having a good time !
We spent a good hour up at the hill soaking in the views and taking pictures. I would definitely recommend anyone to go up Calton Hill. The walk is mad easy and the views are breathtaking, you can see the whole city from up here !
08:00 a.m. : Breakfasting and lost hours. Since we were all freezing, we quickly looked for a breakfast spot to seek shelter ! No pictures for this hour, sorry guys, since it really was just a big breakfast, we had some noteworthy haggis and blood sausage though ! During this time, we also recharged our phone and warmed up. We spent a good one and a half hours here, so I’ll just jump to 10:00 a.m. next.
10:00 a.m. : Strolling around town. After our fully loaded breakfast, we head down to Cockburn street and pretty much enjoyed the town. Edinburgh is just so lovely ! I love how there are still so many old buildings and you get heaps of Scottish vibes. One of my friends really wanted to visit the infamous Cockburn street, it is an interesting street that gives you some Harry Potter feel ! So fans of Harry Potter, be sure to visit this awesome street ! We spent the rest two hours roaming around town, trying to look for Old Town Edinburgh & Grassmarket Street… it was until we realised our apartment was at Grassmarket so we left that for later and we also got too weary plus cold strikes again ! Lol.
More of Cockburn Street
12:00 p.m. : Starbucks coffee break. The lack of sleep and colder weather got the best of us ! We all needed to take a seat and rest for a bit. Also do a bit of phone recharging. So we headed to the nearest Starbucks for a break. Okay so this bit is majorly boring so let’s skip to the next hour !
13:00 p.m. : Visiting the Palace of Holyroodhouse. We’ve finally recollected ourselves and were ready to head out ! Next stop, Holyrood Palace, the Queen’s Official residence in Scotland ! Okay, spoiler alert.. We didn’t actually go into the house, we were saving up money to do a bit of shopping so we skipped this bit and just took pictures outside the gate and did some souvenir shopping instead. If you’re into history and buildings, definitely worth a visit !
14:00 p.m. : The walk to The Queens Arms. After visiting the Palace, we went to have our late Sunday roast ! Yes, we came on a Sunday and got to experience Sunday roast. So back home, I did lots of research on where to have nice Sunday roast in Edinburgh. The Queens Arms was highly recommended, so off we went ! It was quite a walk from the Palace, taking us about 30 minutes. But since we did some window shopping in between, we ended up at The Queens Arms one hour later.
15:00 p.m. : The Queens Arms – Sunday Roast. Upon arrival, the place was packed ! We didn’t have reservations so waited for a good 15 minutes. But really, we didn’t mind the wait at all. After being seated we had a quick scan at the menu but ended up getting 2 serves of the Sunday roast (each serve can be shared amongst two people priced at £29 / portion). Okay, so about the place first, I love the feel of the Queens Arms, all the chairs we not uniformed and it had a really nice pub-feel. It was surrounded by books and antiques as well. Now unto the food, this was our first Sunday roast experience so we didn’t know what to expect really. Overall, it was delicious ! I really liked it and was something new, not all my friends enjoyed it but we had a good lunch nonetheless. I would most definitely recommend you to try this place out !
17:00 p.m. : Airbnb check-in at the Grassmarket Apartments. After lunch, we head back to the Bus station to grab our luggage and head to our Airbnb. We made a few stops on our walk there and took an uber. Nothing interesting, just tiring ! Once we checked-in we pretty much settled in and rested. To be perfectly honest, my day pretty much ended here guys. I wanted to visit the Edinburgh Castle but was too tired. I mean, I knew what I was in for spending only a day in Edinburgh, how in the world is it ever enough !? Down below is a few snaps of the streets outside my Apartment, I must say, perfect location !
*19:00 p.m. : Grocery shopping. We decided to cook dinner at home that night, we had Spaghetti Bolognese ! On my way to Sainsbury’s I took a few snapshots of what surrounded our apartment as well. Lovely, but sadly we were just too tired to be out in the cold exploring.
So this wraps up my few hours in Edinburgh. At the end the day, I can only say one thing, and it’s that I need more time here in Edinburgh ! I would’ve gone up the Castle, underground old towns, and some museums ! Gosh, I know I’ll come back one day so this experience was great as it left me wanting more. To be honest, from all the cities I’ve visited on my 14 day journey, Edinburgh was the prettiest in my humble opinion. I remember walking out the Bus station at 6 in the morning and being left speechless and in awe.
How to get to Edinburgh (from London)
- Bus : Taking the bus would be a cheaper option. It costs around £17 (one-way trip) for the Megabus when booked in advance and £25 for a Megabus Gold sleeper bus. These were the prices for April when I checked booking in advance about one month before. But I actually booked it about two-weeks before and prices went up by about £5. You can read my experience on riding the Megabus Gold
- Train : The train is a more expensive but convenient choice. It costs above £60 for a one-way trip departing from London Euston and arriving at Edinburgh Waverley. Some train companies that run this route includes Virgin Trains
Where to stay in Edinburgh
- The Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh – The Balmoral Hotel is a nice classy hotel located in the heart of Edinburgh pretty much close to everything and public transports like the Edinburgh Waverley station. I myself didn’t stay here as it was too pricey, costing at £180 for a 2 person standard hotel room. Something my pocket didn’t allow at that time, perhaps I’d get the chance to next time !
- Grassmarket Apartments (Airbnb) – So this is where I personally stayed and though I felt the apartment was sketchy at first with many doors and staircases, it turned out to be a pleasant stay and great location for attractions and nightlife (not that I would know). For links to the Airbnb, please leave a comment, and I will message you privately
Thanks for stopping by my page and having a read at this post guys ! Hope it was helpful. Please leave comments so we can share any thought. Talk soon 🙂