Top To-Do In Edinburgh, Scotland

August 9, 2013 By Archives, Travel

My Top Six To Do’s in Edinburgh

1)   The Free Edinburgh Walking Tour

I Can’t believe this was my first walking tour. I have seen this specific company around Europe a few times now, and I just never gave it a shot. Here is the short story. A free tour, where you walk around, and an awesome tour guide fills you in on local history, favorites and more!

Fore real though, check out the free European tours. It was a great experience. I’m still not sure how they get away with only accepting donations, but they seem to be alive and well as a company. Do support!

2)   Edinburgh Castle / Old Town

The Edinburgh castle is badass. Plain and simple. If you take the train to the city center, and look around, you can’t miss it. Situated at the top of the Royal Mile, it is the heart of Old Town, and the place you want to be in Edinburgh.

You do have to should out around 12 or 14 pounds, but it is well worth it. Expect to take at least 2.5 – 3 hours at the castle. Beautiful sights from the top, and very interesting exhibits and such inside.


Edinburgh Castle from the top of the Scottish Museum.

edinburgh castle

The Edinburgh Castle

3)   Grassmarket

Almost every weekend the grassmarket is thriving with a festival, market (go figure), or just a bombardment of Stag-Dos (bachelor parties). Steps from the Edinburgh castle, the grasmarket is lined with traditional pubs, which you can learn about on your walking tour J, cafes, and boutique shops. Really nice area for a pint or two.

4)   Scottish Museum

Another free to-do in Edinburgh, it is your typical museum. Very beautiful interior with artifacts from all around the world. Small tip, make sure you check out the rooftop deck for a great view of Edinburgh. The Castle looks great from this view.

5)   Elephant Café

So, if you are a Harry Potter fan, and lets face it, who isn’t? Be sure to check out the Elephant Café. Down the block from the Scottish Museum, and overlooking the grassmarket, it’s worth a stop. This is the café where JK Rolling herself wrote THE Harry Potter series. They even have pen and paper for customers to give a shot at writing a fantasy series that can come to be worth over a billion dollars! Good luck!

6)   Pub Crawl

Edinburgh has a great nightlife. If you are unfamiliar with the area, I would suggest hitting up the pub crawl. The Pub Crawl is run by the same company that puts on the free walking tour, and they again do a great job. The night took us to all the local spots including a Frankenstein bar where he was “let loose” around midnight. Hold on to ya knickers! We even got to partake in some traditional Scottish line dancing, which was a lot of fun.

An interesting note about the pub crawl, we ended up at a club to end the crawl, and asked for ID. I thought this was strange considering we were in Europe, and I did not have any actual ID on me. I did however have a photo copy of my passport, drivers license and old school ID. This was not good enough for the door guy, and I was turned away! Yes, I was turned away from a European club on a Tuesday night. I guess there is a first for everything. So, if you happen to be in Edinburgh, and are going out on the pub crawl, make sure you have your ID.

Extra: Castle Rock Hostel

This has to be one of my favorite hostels I have ever stayed at. The location is great, it is literally across the street from the Edinburgh Castle, and 50 yards from the Royal Mile. It is actually a castle. The rooms are great. The common room is huge. There is a POSH room, that is super fancy and has great internet, AND there is a groovy room that is reserved for people to socialize with their fellow travelers, and play records. This is an amazing hostel.