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If I were to spend 3 days in Edinburgh...

I know many people are all about the day trips, but I'm thinking if I had 3 days, I'd want to stay in Edinburgh and not even try to cover much of the city. (I say 3 days because it would be 3 full days. 4 nights, 3 full days, a half day on either side, which I'm well aware would be mostly settling in and packing out).

Having not been on the ground there, I'm appreciative of anyone who has a feel for things and can suggest what a non-rushed itinerary might include. We are very open to off-the-beaten-path or more low-key things. I do research and read blogs, but I find fellow travelers to be very thoughtful and appreciate the insights.

Posted by
21063 posts

Just a few specific suggestions. I spent a lot of my time in art museums, but they are a matter of personal preference.

Walk part of the Water of Leith with stops to see Stockbridge, Dean Village and maybe the Royal Botanic Garden.

Take a leisurely walk along the Royal Mile and pop into every close along the way.

See whether there's an interesting special exhibition at the Queen's Gallery in Holyroodhouse (or any of the local museums).

Take the city bus out to Roslin to see Rosslyn Chapel. (You won't be the only tourist there.)

Posted by
70 posts

A site called Spotted by Locals gives some ins an outs of several cities in Britain, Edinburgh being one in Scotland, and others in Europe. Food, markets and events. It’s interesting to read what locals think is of interest and important.

Posted by
21063 posts

I like Spotted by Locals too, and I try to remember to check it before my travels. I will caution, though, that I don't think you can necessarily rely on accuracy of the details given regarding individual sights/restaurants. It may well depend on which particular locals are doing the updating for the city you plan to visit. I've just finished going through all the entries for Venice. All the entries were flagged as having been updated in April 2022, less than a month ago. Few if any of the hours of operation provided by Spotted by Locals matched what I found on websites (which I acknowledge might not be so up to date, either) or Facebook (which I'd hope would be accurate). I also ran into too many dead website links to believe anyone vetted that infomation earlier this month. The places were still in business, but quite a few of the websites seemed to have been taken down (possibly a cost-reduction measure), with the sight/restaurant now depending on Facebook.

So I'd suggest using Spotted by Locals as a starting point rather than relying on it as your only source of information--or at least reserve judgment until you've done some independent verification elsewhere online.

Posted by
84 posts

We'll be landing in Edinburgh on 5/15 (our first time there as well), and our itinerary for the 3 days we're there is almost exactly what acraven recommends :)

We've been watching videos by The Broonfords on YouTube. He's an Edinburgh local and he does a lot of walks around the city and points out various sights, restaurants, etc., with some local history thrown in. It's been a good way to determine which neighborhoods we wanted to focus on.