This place has EVERYTHING and for everybody. Edinburgh makes you crave more! Scads of history mixed with old world charm, sprinkled with Disney-ish magic and of course, hidden Scottish pubs filled with whisky. I took this journey across the pond initially to see a music concert in Aberdeen, Scotland. It morphed into a 3 ½ day tour across granite cities, state of the art entertainment centers, castles, Harry Potter vibes, botanical craft shopping, macabre underground haunted tours and AMAZING photos!
This was honestly one of the easiest solo trips I’ve journeyed. Whether you fly direct or take the layover in Dublin, once you land in Edinburgh getting to the Old Town/city center was a breeze. EDI airport is relatively small( similar to Inverness). The ride from the airport to the Royal Mile took about 25 minutes. I did plan my hotel stay purposely close to the train station and the tours/sites I had on my checklist.
I arrived at Prince’s Street Garden and refreshed my legs from the plane ride. Auld Reekie presented itself well as misty fog hovered around the castle settled high in the background. My cell phone worked perfectly here, all I did was add on a short term international plan. Everything from St. Giles Cathedral to Grey Friars Kirkyard were within 10-15 minutes walking distance. Edinburgh is very easy to get the lay of the land quickly. Winding streets and stair filled closes( hidden alleyways between streets) help you explore the city. I wandered around after visiting St. Giles Cathedral and stumbled upon The Jolly Judge pub. A popular watering hole filled with locals discussing an upcoming Cider Fest with international bills stapled all upon the ceiling. I even met a fellow “Aliens” movie fan when I noticed his Weyland-Yutani fandom t-shirt.
Now there is one thing I can not stress enough with my next statement; TAKE SMALLER and EASIER TO MANAGE luggage. Edinburgh is NOT flat, it also has cobblestone streets. I’m glad I packed light. I was also glad I kicked up my strength training routine right before this trip. I had two full days in Edinburgh where my travel interests were towards the ”underground experience”. I chose two separate tour groups to get a feel for how each provided the dark history as well as their flare for “the gift of the gab” in storytelling. I recommend a later evening tour around the graveyard to really get a feel for all the ghost and bogle tales. Mary King’s Close takes you deep underground the city through historic locations under buildings on the Royal Mile.
I had 3 days of hiking and walking around the two cities I visited. Now if you may be thinking ” could I do this”? Yes you can! Reach out to me if you have questions because I can arrange easier touring options for your comfort. When planning your trip we’ll chat about Top Ten Sites to Visit in Edinburgh, but don’t be surprised if you need another trip back to breathe it all in. I was overzealous on my checklist must-sees! I am better prepared for next time when I go back in October for Halloween 2023.
P.S. Stay tuned-I will share my coastal hike adventure to Dunnottar Castle in Part 3 of this series!