Things To Do

3 Days in Edinburgh

Guest post by Kezia Rice

Scotland’s capital city has everything you want from a city break escape. Charming cobbled streets to get lost in, tons of history to explore and a whole new culture to immerse yourself in, just a few hours’ train ride from England. Here’s how to spend 3 days in Edinburgh.

Day 1 – Scottish History & Culture

Edinburgh Castle


If you’ve arrived at Edinburgh Waverley station, you’ll find Princes Street Gardens right outside the exit – this beautifully landscaped park separates Edinburgh’s New Town from its Old Town and is a great place to begin your exploration of the city. Next, walk up Cockburn Street towards the Royal Mile. As well as enjoying bagpipers, buskers and your first views of Edinburgh stretching out before you, make sure to check out the statue of Greyfriars Bobby, a dog who famously visited his owner’s grave every day for 14 years after he died.


Now it’s time to get stuck into Scottish history. Head to Edinburgh Castle where you can learn about its journey from a Roman settlement to a mediaeval stronghold, see Scotland’s crown jewels and round off your visit with afternoon tea fit for royalty. Make sure to book tickets in advance, though, as they sell out fast!


Your first meal in Edinburgh has to be haggis. Try Copper Still near the Royal Mile for a delicious taste of Scotland’s national dish, washed down with a local whiskey. Or head to The Last Drop in the Grassmarket for both meat and vegetarian options.

Stay here: Apartment Isla for unbeatable views of the castle and a hop, skip and jump to the Royal Mile, Grassmarket and Princes Street.

Day 2 – Seaside & Shopping

Colourful Victoria Street is replete with shops and restaurants


On your second morning in Edinburgh, head to the New Town to shop till you drop. You’ll find everything from high street shops to designer outlets to plenty of independent shops to satisfy every budget. Take a break from shopping at The Cobbled Roastery or Fortuna Coffee Bar, or if your new purchases aren’t too heavy, wander up Calton Hill for a view of the city.


One of the pros of a visit to Edinburgh is being able to combine your city break with a visit to the coast. Take the bus a few miles to Portobello Beach, where you can enjoy an afternoon relaxing on the sand. Or if you have a bit more time to spare, take the 30-minute train to nearby North Berwick, a small seaside town packed full of charm, food options and plenty of activities. Make sure you visit the Seabird Centre to get to know the birds that live on this stretch of coastline and head to The Lobster Shack for a delicious fish supper straight from the sea.


On your second night in Edinburgh, it’s time to let your hair down. Head to one of Edinburgh’s countless pubs offering live music, from The Jazz Bar with live jazz to folk music spot Sandy Bell’s. Or give a ceilidh a go at one of Summerhall’s regular events, where you can learn this traditional Scottish dance in the company of locals.

Stay here: Maxwell House for a home with an award-winning design in the heart of New Town and its classic Georgian backdrop.

Day 3 – Galleries & Hikes

Arthur’s Seat


Start your day bright and early so you can pack in plenty of Scottish culture. Edinburgh boasts several outstanding museums and galleries, from the National Museum of Scotland to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery to the Fruitmarket Gallery. If Scotland’s literary history is what’s drawn you to Edinburgh, make sure to check out The Writer’s Museum which pays tribute to Scottish writers from Robert Burns to Robert Louis Stevenson.


It wouldn’t be a trip to Edinburgh if you didn’t fit in a bracing hike up Arthur’s Seat. This ancient volcano stands over the city and once you reach its summit, you’re rewarded with stunning views of Edinburgh, its coastline and the Lothians stretching out beyond. On your way back to the city, stop off at The Sheep Heid Inn for a celebratory pint – and if you’ve worked up an appetite, they’ve got plenty of Scottish grub on the menu too.


If you’re visiting during August, you’ll be able to enjoy Edinburgh’s world-famous Fringe Festival – although you might not be able to move for the crowds. If your trip falls when the festival isn’t on, you’ll still be able to check out some cracking comedians thanks to the city’s year-round vibrant comedy scene. Head to Monkey Barrel Comedy to see stand-up acts or try Hoots for a drag show or cabaret packed full of laughs.

Stay here: Lachlan Apartment for contemporary comfort made for two in the city centre.


So there are some ideas for how to spend 3 days in Edinburgh. What will you do first in this grand gothic city? Well, we’ve got the answer to that too with our selection of homes and apartments in Edinburgh you’re certain to find your ideal stay in the city. Get in touch with our concierge team who will be happy to advise and help book any extras to make your Scotland sojourn super special!

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