There’s no better way to get to know a place than to sightsee from above. There are two stunning places in Edinburgh where this can be accomplished: Calton Hill, and Arthur’s Seat.
The former is rather easier to climb than the latter, but no matter which you choose, you’ll feel wholly accomplished. From the top of Arthur’s Seat is a 360 degree view of Edinburgh and, of course, the sea.
At the time I went it was quite cold, and the wind battered the hikers relentlessly, so by the time I reached the bottom I was about ready for a nice hot mug of coffee.
Unless you’re feeling particularly optimistic about a half hour walk, you can take a taxi or a bus to one of my favorite places for coffee on Princes Street. It’s called Waterstones, and has three floors, packed with every genre of book you can possible imagine, as well as a sweet cafe on the last floor, with big windows facing Edinburgh Castle. Find a book, drink some coffee, and bask in your accomplishment.
Every Sunday is one of my favorite events in Edinburgh: a free concert at St. Giles cathedral.
The cathedral is located on High Street, and the architecture of the building is absolutely stunning. When I first walked in I felt as if I’d been transported through time. It’s truly a sight to see.
The type of concert is different every week, the first time I went being opera, the second a quintet.
The acoustics of the building is an experience within itself, let alone the beauty of the music being played. The performances start at 18:00 (get there slightly early so you can find a good seat!), and run for about an hour, the perfect amount of time to immerse yourself without growing terribly bored.
My very first night in Edinburgh I went to a pub called Deacon and Brodies, with classic Scottish food and a second floor with lovely windows opening onto High Street.
If you’re feeling peckish or want a drink, I suggest trying this place. Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to get a seat right beside the windows. And don’t forget to try scotch, and maybe even a little taste of haggis!
If you aren’t able to fit everything into one day, don’t fret, there’s always another day to explore the gorgeous and ancient city of Edinburgh.