Edinburgh is a stunning city that everyone should visit in their lifetime. There’s so much to do in the Scottish capital from soaking up the history to tasting authentic Scottish foods. And, of course, there’s also the buzzing Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
As with all cities, planning a successful trip involves some preparation. Below are just a few tips on how you can get the best out of your trip to Edinburgh.
Book attractions in advance
Edinburgh can get busy during peak season. You can find yourself joining long queues to get into many places. Booking a ticket in advance can help you to skip these queues. It’s worth also booking a table at any popular restaurants that you plan to dine at.
Take advantage of free attractions
There’s a lot of free stuff to do in Edinburgh if you’re on a tight budget. Many of the city’s museums including The National Museum of Scotland, The Museum of Edinburgh and The People’s Story Museum are free to enter. You’ll also find various free walking tours across the city, including free guided tours of the Scottish Parliament.
Stay near the centre
Most of the city’s attractions such as Edinburgh Castle and The Royal Mile are in the city centre or ‘old town’. Staying here gives you quick access to these attractions. You don’t want to stay on the outskirts of Edinburgh as you’ll waste a lot of time travelling in and out of the centre. Accomodation is more expensive in the ‘old town’ but it’s worth it.
Take a walk
Stay somewhere central and you can see a lot of attractions just by walking. It’s worth also going on a leisurely amble just to see what you can find – when you’re not looking for attractions, you can often stumble across great bars, cafes, shops and novelties. Consider giving yourself half a day just to wonder.
Know when to choose other transport
There are a few attractions on the city outskirts as well as outside the city that you may want to visit if you have time such as Lauriston Castle and Pentland Hills Regional Park. Consider taking a bus or a train to save you walking to these attractions. You could also look into taxis including minibus taxis. It’s generally not worth hiring a car as driving in Edinburgh can be challenging if you don’t know your way around.
Time your trip right
Edinburgh can get very cold in the winter months, however there are many festiva attractions to see in December. January through to May are some of the cheapest months to travel here, but you can expect some of the worst weather. Summer is peak season – especially August when the Fringe Festival is on. If you’re not interested in attending The Fringe, avoid August! This month can get very crowded resulting in larger queues for attraction and hotel prices will be more expensive.
Dress for the Scottish weather
Temperatures regularly stay below 10 degrees celsius between November and May. Even in Summer, the temperature will not always be warm in Edinburgh. As a result, you should pack a few layers.