Three Days In Edinburgh (A Mini Guide)

At the end of March, Sam and I spent 3 days in Edinburgh as part of my birthday present and I absolutely adored the city. So, I want to share with you the places we stayed, ate, shopped and everything else that we got up to! This post is coming to you a month after the trip because I was originally planning on doing this post with the photos I took on my film camera during the trip however that roll of film unfortunately came back blank (*sob*) due to issues with my camera. So instead, I’m including this video from the trip of some clips that I took on my camera whilst I was there and have put together. I hope this video makes up for the lost photos, despite the combination of quality that isn’t the best and my shaky hand,and that you find some recommendations from this post if you’re planning a trip to Edinburgh- I’d thoroughly suggest going!

Where We Stayed

Hotel Motel One Edinburgh-Royal: This hotel was in the perfect location. Sam actually picked the hotel and he couldn’t have done a better job. It was right in between Princes Street and the Royal Mile, the areas of Edinburgh where we spent most of our time. We didn’t eat at the hotel as we wanted to make the most of some of the amazing restaurants in Edinburgh (as you’ll see in the next section) but the rooms were really clean and comfortable and we had a great view of Princes Street and the Scott Monument, which was lovely (FYI, though, you do have to request a room with a view).

Where We Ate

Loudons: We stopped here for brunch when we first arrived and WOW did it make a good first impression. I had the most incredible vegan pancakes I’ve ever had covered in chocolate sauce which I’m still thinking about a month later. It was the furthest restaurant from the centre out of all the ones we went to but it was SO worth a little bit of an extra walk. FYI: They cater for meat-eaters, veggies and vegans- something that is necessary for Sam and I as he eats meat and I am vegan, so this applies for most of the cafes and restaurants we visited.

Illegal Jacks: After an early morning and a long day on our first night, we turned to Deliveroo and ordered from this Mexican. It’s similar to Barburitto but they provide a lot more veggie/vegan options including vegan cheese and vegan ‘mince’. It was really satisfying and affordable (although they did mess up my order a little bit, which was a bit of a shame!)

Pumpkin Brown: This was the only totally vegan place that we ate at and it was so good. They aim to provide healthier options which Sam and I were both craving after eating so much ‘junk food’ the day before. We both had their acai bowl which was absolutely delicious and so well-presented!

Dishoom: Don’t even get me started on this restaurant. I wouldn’t stop talking about it for weeks after returning home. It’s serves food originating from Bombay, so is basically a very specific type of Indian. I’m not one for Indian food- it’s probably my least favourite type of cuisine- but the food here was unique to anything I’ve ever tasted and our waitress, Louise, was incredibly helpful. They have a few locations around the UK, mostly in London obviously, and I can’t recommend trying it out enough if you get the chance to do so.

Hendersons: This vegetarian cafe has various locations around Edinburgh. I tried it out for some breakfast, picking up a vegan hot cross bun, which was delicious. We then headed back there later in the day to share a vegan brownie which wasn’t the best- it tasted a little bit too much like it was trying to be healthy, which is just not what I was in the mood for. However, I would have really liked to try out more of the food and I definitely think it’s worth a visit for veggies.

Urban Angel: This cafe is located near Princes Street and I had some delicious soup and a smoothie here on our last day. Although the food was good and the interiors are nice and cozy, I do remember this being *slightly* overpriced compared to some of the other places we ate at. Plus, I think the breakfast options looked better than the lunch so maybe stop here for breakfast if you do at all.

What We Did

Sights and Museums:

Edinburgh Castle: This was the first place we went when we arrived in Edinburgh, after eating obviously, and it’s kind of something you just have to do when you visit. If you’re interested in Scottish history you’ll probably find it really interesting but, to be honest, it didn’t blow me away, especially considering that our tickets combined cost almost £40. However the views are really amazing from the castle and it’s nice to walk round and, like I said, something I feel like you almost have to do on your inaugural visit to Edinburgh.

Calton Hill: We didn’t quite make it up Arthur’s Seat, due to time and weather constraints. So, instead, we opted for Calton Hill, which still provides a really beautiful view of Edinburgh and is really easy to walk to and ‘climb’ (I put climb in inverted commas because there really isn’t any climbing involved).

Scottish National Gallery: I actually headed here alone because Sam wasn’t feeling well and I really enjoyed it. I, unfortunately, often feel very unable to appreciate art as much as some other people and so I’m always sceptical about art museums. But this one had some really beautiful pieces as well as incredible interior design, which I very much am able to appreciate.

Camera Obscura: We weren’t sure whether we were going to enjoy visiting this museum of optical illusions but, personally, I thought it was so much fun! It provided lots of funny moments (like the mirror maze and the moment when a man put his middle finger up at the street cameras they have installed for museum-goers to see). And there were also really interesting parts, such as a ‘virtual’ tour of Edinburgh through the mirror the museum has on a pole out of its roof- I’ve explained that terribly but I would recommend it, especially if you’re trying to escape the rain like we were.

The Writer’s Museum: As a lover of literature, I was a little bit underwhelmed by this. It was kind of just celebrating three Scottish authors, which I guess I should have guessed would have been the case from its name, but I was hoping it would have been more of a celebration of Scottish literature in general. It was still really interesting though and would be especially so if you are interested in the authors it is commemorating.

Shopping:

Jenners: Jenners is a huge department store on Princes Street that looks really beautiful from the outside, which is what led us to go inside. If you’ve got a lot of money to spend, this is the place for you. If not, just do what I did and browse all the designer clothes like you can afford them and enjoy wandering around.

Anthropolige: This was the first time I’d ever been to an Anthropologie store as they don’t have any near where I live and it was a beautiful experience. They have such an amazing accumulation of things and I ended up picking up a sausage-dog printed tea-towel for my brother’s birthday present. If you haven’t been to Anthropologie before and are in Edinburgh, definitely go in, their price-range is really wide and there’s something for everyone and even if you don’t want to buy anything, I could have spent hours just browsing the store (to Sam’s annoyance).

PI-KU COLLECTIVE: This tiny little shop sells an extremely curated selection of truly amazing second-hand clothing. I visited after reading about it on Liv Purvis’ guide to Edinburgh. I could have tried on everything in the shop but we unfortunately didn’t have time for that and the clothes I did try on didn’t fit. But if I ever go to Edinburgh I’ll definitely go back because it really was an amazing curation of clothing.

Armstrong’s: This was hands down the best vintage shop I’ve ever been in. We spent ages in here (sorry Sam) and I could have bought much more than I did. I ended up buying a pair of Yves Saint Laurent jeans for £20 (!!!) which I featured in my post about the stigma surrounding blogging.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about what I got up to in Edinburgh and that it’s encouraged you to book a trip to Edinburgh! It’s one of my favourite cities I’ve ever been to and I’m hoping to back in the near future, maybe to the Edinburgh Fringe this time. Let me know in the comments if you have any other recommendations for Edinburgh, have been to any of the places I went or have any questions about them!

If you’d like to see what I wore in Edinburgh you can click here for day one or here for day three (the outfit from the 2nd day didn’t quite make it to the blog).