Please sign in to post.

Ideas for a day in Edinburgh

We will be arriving in Edinburgh on a Saturday, end of September, mid-morning (train from Penrith), departing for London the next morning. I'd love to hear your ideas of what to prioritize, and how to spend our day and evening. This is our first visit.

We love history, wonderful old buildings, beautiful scenery. Family of 4 (2 adult daughters, we all enjoy the same type of things when traveling)

This is the mid point of our trip (after Bath/Cotswolds/Conwy/Keswick). In short, if you had one day in Edinburgh, what would be on your plan?

We are looking at staying at the Parliament House Hotel near Waverly station.

Posted by
88 posts

We aren't changing our entire itinerary, just looking for ideas of favorite things in Edinburgh that can be done in 24 hours.
Anything in particular in Old Town and New Town?

Posted by
2445 posts

Edinburgh is a lovely city with a great feel. While you could rush through a lot of sights, you could also take your time with wandering the Royal Mile (National Museum, St Giles Cathedral, and Princes Garden).

Other places to consider would be Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace.

Posted by
348 posts

I think Texas Travelmom has the right idea. You don’t have a lot of time and given your interests, the castle would cover it. Lots of history in old buildings with great views ( if the weather cooperates). And if you decide you can’t be bothered with going inside, it’s a good place to start a wander down the Royal Mile, being sure to go by the writers museum even if you don’t go inside. If you have the energy in the middle of your trip, you could get all the way to Holyrood, with a stop at Clarindas tearoom for a pick me up. Or, after tea, walk back up to the other side of Waverly station to new town and see the castle from that side, check out the “new” old buildings, and go up to the view point in Calton Hill just before sunset.

Given the short trip, I wouldn’t bother going further away than this or trying to see the national museum unless there is something specific to look at. Just wandering this area will be a nice day.

Posted by
5001 posts

My daughter studied abroad in Edinburgh and she compiled a list of her favorite places to visit, and also favorite places to eat. You’ll find her lists on this recent post

Check her list(s) and see what catches your eye.

Enjoy your trip!

Posted by
88 posts

Thanks all! Priscilla, that list is very helpful, thank you.
We may just do the castle from the outside, since we will have just been at Conwy and Caernarfon. Royal Mile is a given. Holyrood Park may make the list. We are thinking of seeing Greyfriar's Kirkyard, and possibly New Calton Burial Ground.

Posted by
2445 posts

Greyfriar’s is easy from toward the top of the Royal Mile - and I enjoyed it. . :) 30-45 minutes.

Posted by
808 posts

Either Edinburgh Castle OR Holyrood House
Then Gladstone's Land which is completely different to either but will give a glimpse of the life of a prosperous Edingurgh merchant in the C16th.

Posted by
1720 posts

We like our vacation days packed - we can relax at home. So, knowing our travel style: Leave your bags at the hotel. Walk up to the castle. Reserve an entry time. Explore castle, walk down the Royal Mile, stopping at Mary Kings Close. Explore Holyrood grounds and inside if time permits. Dinner at the Witchery - expensive but worth it for the experience.

Posted by
2180 posts

The Witchery has loin of red deer and steak tar-tar if you're into that sort of thing.

Cynthia, us too. Plenty of time to rest back home.

Allan, agree with the walking tours. It's nice to know what you're looking at.