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After living in Edinburgh for over a year, there’s so many amazing things to do and see in the city. From the festivals to the hidden courtyards, and the traditional tourist activities to Scottish culture, a person could send months exploring the city. I realize that I did a horrible job of actually sharing information about Edinburgh while living there. Here are some of the must dos in Edinburgh and must sees in Edinburgh!
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A visit to Edinburgh is not complete without a trip to Edinburgh Castle. However, I definitely don’t think it is worth the 16 pound entrance fee. Instead, go to the entrance of the castle and take photos there. The view is the same as inside the castle and it is free! Also, get a great view of the castle from Princes Street!
While I’m not a big hiker, Arthur’s Seat is a must-do when in Edinburgh! My favorite time to go up is right at sunset when you get the gorgeous golden light. A lot of my friends also love going up to watch the sunrise (which is around 3:30/4:00 am right now!).
A special place in my heart because Holyrood is my neighborhood, enjoy a walk around the park and surrounding area before or after climbing Arthur’s Seat. Explore all the hidden alleys and narrow streets. These are some of the original structures in Edinburgh!
A nice walk on a sunny day, Dean Village is not to be missed. So cute and quaint, the pathway along Dean’s Village is a great adventure if you’re looking for something more “nature-y” in the middle of Edinburgh!
Balmoral Afternoon Tea
Best place for afternoon tea in Edinburgh? Obviously the famous Balmoral Hotel! Book 7 of the Harry Potter series was finished in one of the hotel rooms. While I enjoyed my afternoon tea experience at Mimi’s Bakehouse and Tiger Lily, you can’t beat the atmosphere of the Balmoral Hotel!
If you’re lucky enough to be in Edinburgh in early July, don’t miss Royal Week! The Queen, whose official Scottish residence is in Edinburgh, carries out a bunch of duties in Scotland the first week of July. After finding out her schedule online, I waited for almost an hour until she came out of church at Canongate Kirk! Luckily, the church was located right across the street from my apartment!
Fringe Festival and Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
Fringe Festival happens every August and the entire city turns into one major festival, with restaurants, bars, and any empty space serving as a venue. Make sure to book your flights and hotel months in advance because the city because absolutely overwhelmed with all the tourism. During this same time, Edinburgh Castle is host to the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. My sister and I bought our tickets to this event when they were released on December 1st and really enjoyed seeing all the different regiments perform!
Obviously, this list is not all-encompassing as there is so much to do, see, and eat in Edinburgh! What are some of your favorites when in Edinburgh?