Edinburgh is one of my all-time favorite cities to visit.  It’s got an eclectic mix of architecture, beautiful nature walks that are confusing because they are so incredibly close to the main part of the city and this eerie, foggy weather that makes you think you’re on the set of Sherlock Holmes.  It’s easy to navigate and has many little towns, easily accessible by train.  We’d been here once before, and were excited to visit again!

Brief Overview

We’d been to Edinburgh before and visited many of the major sites before: Royal Mile, Edinburgh Castle and National Museum of Scotland.  This time, we didn’t visit the castle, but did some other sightseeing within the city.  We took a day-trip to North Berwick by train, which is an adorable little coastal town.

Sleeping

We stayed at Albyn Townhouse.  Last time we came to Edinburgh, we stayed at this adorable bed and breakfast.  Naturally, we had to stay here again.  The breakfast menu is huge and delicious.  The rooms are well-appointed and cozy.  The staff are very helpful and accommodating.  We were within a short walk of many restaurants and the main heart of Edinburgh.  We were far enough away, however, it wasn’t so noisy and busy.

The breakfast room

View from the room

We also stayed one night at the Riccarton Inn.  It was close to the airport, since we had an early morning flight.  We ate dinner here, which was great.  The rooms are pretty basic, no thrills, and even sort of on the older side.  I wouldn’t recommend staying here for more than one night.  But, it’s decent enough (and cheap enough) for a quick stop-over.

That morning fog though

Eating

Our breakfasts were covered at Albyn, and those were incredible.  We did eat at some great restaurants, and since we were there on weekdays, we took advantage of happy hours.

Tempo Perso was a delicious Italian restaurant with an extensive wine list.  Their happy hour menu included a starter and a main course.  It was affordable, and so, so good.

Edinburgh Larger Cafe was on a side street right off the Royal Mile.  It had vegan and vegetarian options, and was so fresh.  There are a lot of processed food places available on the Royal Mile.  America is really good at sharing our terrible cuisine with the world!  (Thank you, Pizza Hut!)  This was a great option for those wanting a hearty, affordable and healthy choice.

Sightseeing

There is so much to see in Edinburgh, and since we’d already seen the Castle, we opted to do a Rick Steves audio walking tour.  The tour takes you through the major sites on the Royal Mile and stepping into a few churches and other little areas.

We chose to hike up to the top of Arthur’s Seat.  All have to say is do it.  It’s a little steep, and actually coming down is the scariest part.  We saw a few people slip and fall, but of course we all laughed.  No serious injuries except bruised ego and butt.  It’s worth the hike.  The views are incredible!

We visited the Scottish National Gallery, which has some great paintings.  It’s also very close to a really cool park with live music and a place to relax.  The museum is “free” but asks for a donation.

Our b&b required us to walk through the Meadows to get to the Royal Mile area.  So we ended up here a lot.  It was filled with people throwing frisbees and enjoying the sun.  It’s a fantastic place for people-watching.

Day trip: North Berwick

A short 35 minutes train ride from Edinburgh Waverly station will take you to the adorable coastal town of North Berwick.  I loved all the cute buildings, the beach and the pier.  It was just one of those picturesque places.

We visited the castle ruins of Tantallon Castle.  The castle also gives you a view of Bass Rock.  We took the bus from the main part of town and rode about 10 minutes.  We were able to see everything in an hour, and get the bus back to town.

It was here also that we enjoyed some fresh Scottish ice cream at Alandas Gelato and delicious happy hour appetizers from Zitto Italian Winebar.

So that was our short three days in Edinburgh.  And I have to say that I would happily visit yet again!  Have you been?

Can you tell I didn’t like this place at all?

Nina Thomas

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