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Edinburgh for 3 days

We leave for Scotland in 22 days. yippee! can't wait. I'll be posting questions for each section of our trip for feedback.

Below are my list of potential things to do in Edinburgh during our three day visit. This is more of a "menu" for us to choose from, not necessary a check off list, but would love feed back as to "must see" vs."lame, don't bother". Love history, architecture, but museums in small doses. Anything we are missing?

Day 1:

  • Arrive from US at 10:50am on a Sunday. Drop off Luggage at apartment on North Bridge Street off Royal Mile

  • Wander Royal Mile (Rick Steve's Audio tour) with stops
    for Lunch and a couple other stops along the way (from the below) list, depending on how we feel or visit another day if worthwhile.

    -Camera Obscura
    -Gladstones Land
    -Writer's museum
    -St Giles Church (RS self guided tour)
    -Museum of Edinburgh

  • Hike up to King Arthur's seat (weather permitting)

  • Palace of Holyrood (depending on how we feel and time)

  • Meals- We'll be in Edinburgh for 3 lunches and 3 dinners. Recommendations?

  • Afternoon Pub stop- We tend to stop and take a break late afternoon for a beer or wine, so ideas for local pubs?

Day 2 & 3

  • Start day 2 at Edinburgh Castle (does the ticket allow one to reenter later in the day?) Would like to get some great photos in morning and later afternoon.
  • Mercat Tour of Edinburgh 2:15pm
  • National Museum of Scotland
  • Explore New Town
  • Georgian house
  • Parliament building
  • Britannia ship tour
  • Mary's King's close (evening tour)
Posted by
9 posts

St. Giles Church has a nice cafeteria/lunch room in the 'basement'. Henderson's for vegetarian food. Find a pub with traditional music. See if there is a Scottish Dancing demonstration. See the floral clock in the gardens below the castle. Walk up Calton Hill for good view of the city and the Furth of Forth. There are several restored historic houses/flats on the Royal Mall that are interesting. Definitely Holyrood.
I've been to Scotland several times and love the country. Where else will you visit? I also live in Santa Rosa and I'm happy to share my favorites.

Posted by
252 posts

You can go up on the roof of the National Museum of Scotland. I took very good pictures from there. The museum is free, of course, donations are welcomed.
Just in case you cannot hike up the could still visit the museum and do a quick rooftop climb.
This is a neat little map:
I enjoyed many pubs near Grassmarket including Beehive Inn.
Enjoy Scotland! I was just there this Summer and loved it!

Posted by
1549 posts

Connie and Val, Thanks for the advice.

I'm assuming you experienced the 30 second swaying of your house Saturday. Hope you also had no damage or breakage. Our pool had major waves for about 10 minutes. Surreal is the only word I have to describe.

Posted by
5648 posts

Hi- basically across the street from the Museum of Edinburgh is the People's Story Museum - free, but donations are gratefully accepted. We popped in there earlier this month and it has some interesting displays and artifacts, as well as a chance to see the inside of the Canongate Tolbooth building.

South of the People's Story Museum, and just before reaching the Scottish Parliament Building/Holyrood Palace end of the Royal Mile, is the second location of Oink (at 82 Canongate), a great roasted pulled-pork place. Get your sandwich topped with wild rice and/or haggis and dressed with your choice of sauce. Wash it down with an Irn Bru! Rick Steves' guidebook recommends the original location to the north, by Grassmarket, but this one's a perfect spot for lunch or an early dinner (they close at 6 PM).

For a pub with music, you can't beat The Royal Oak (also in Rick's book). It's cozy upstairs, with musicians squeezed into the space, and if you're lucky there will be music downstairs, too. A great Indian restaurant next door, too!

Writer's Museum on your list for all 3 days? Go at least once ;-)

Posted by
5669 posts

Hi Karen, I hope you have a great trip. I think you've packed a heck of a lot into Day 1. It you arrive at Edinburgh airport at 10:50, it will be lunch time by the time you get to a hotel and ready to venture out. Depending on where you are staying you could try one of the pubs on The Royal Mile, or you could try Rose Lane in New Town.

You might want to think about starting your trip on Sunday at the Castle. It's at the top of the Royal Mile. You can spend a lot of time, or less depending on you mood. It's really good for giving you an orientation to Edinburgh. You will probably have time for a couple of other things. Gladstones Land would be a good combination. It doesn't take a lot of time but is fascinating view of old Edinburgh. From what I've read it's a two hour round trip to climb Arthur's Seat. It might be a good way to end your afternoon if you've the energy. It certainly will help you sleep well that night! You may be the energizer bunny of tourists and able to do all you've described, but in case you're not, you might want to cut back a week bit.

There are so many good restaurants in Edinburgh. If you're looking for a good night out with specifically Scottish food, my parents and I had lovely evening at Stac Polly's Dublin Street restaurant. Stac Pollaidh is a mountain in western Scotland. :)


Posted by
39 posts

Writers'Museum may be closed on Sunday. I like Spoon for lunch or tea; across from the University of Edinburgh.