Scotland: 2-day itinerary in Edinburgh (+map)

When thinking about the perfect destination for a couple of days to relax, eat good food and experience the atmosphere and vibes of a fairy tale, Edinburgh is your destination. In this article, you will find a two-day itinerary in the magical city of Edinburgh, which promises to fulfill your desire for a great outlook of the city. As usual, we do the work, you do the travelling.

Day 1

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle Scotland
© Jörg Angeli,

Starting off our day, what would be a better idea than to pay a visit to the Edinburgh castle? It is located οn the Castle Rock. It was built in the 12th century and is one of the oldest castles in Europe. As expected the castle is very crowded during the summertime and therefore an ideal time to visit it would be early in the morning. Its breathtaking view completes the fairytale atmosphere. There is no entrance fee.

 Princes Street Gardens

Princes Street Gardens
© Julia Solonina,

On the way down you can easily stroll around the verdant scenery of Princes Street Gardens. Their leafy environment will leave you stunned and the most ideal way to enjoy it is by sitting down and enjoying a picnic. The Gardens are parallel to Princes Street where you can do some shopping.

Waterstones Bookshop

After strolling around you can rest in Waterstones Bookstore. It should be a bookworm’s dream, yet to please everyone on the second floor there is a café with an excellent view! On the first floor, there are available books for every taste.

The Royal Mile

The Royal Mile Edinburgh Scotland
© Emran Yousof ,

The Royal Mile is a well-known wide road, which leads to the Hollyrood castle (The former residence of the Princess of Scotland and the present resort of Queen Elisabeth). The mile is absolutely quaint with its distinctive architecture and its little shops, where you can find a vast of products made by authentic Kashmir. The Royal Mile is quite bustling and if you are lucky you may encounter men wearing Kilts and playing Bagpipes! Actually, in the Royal Mile, you can find the colorful and famed Victoria Street.

Hint: The shops here are quite touristic so please be careful on your purchases.

The Royal Mile Edinburgh Scotland
©Jonathan Ricci,

The Scran and Scallie

The Scran and Scallie

Returning from the Royal Mile a great dinner-choice would be The Scran and Scallie. If you are looking for authentic, delicious and local dishes, this restaurant is the way to go.

Cadenhead’s Whisky Shop

Cadenhead's Whisky Shop

It would be an actual shame not to mention Scottish Whisky! In case you want to try or take some home you can absolutely visit the central Cadenhead’s Whisky Shop.

 Day 2

National Gallery of Scotland

Our second day in magical Edinburgh starts with a visit to the National Gallery of Scotland, an ideal destination for art enthusiasts. You can climb afterwards up to the Scott Monument and enjoy the incredible view.

National Museum of Scotland

National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh
© Filip Pižl,

This museum has an astonishing vast of exhibits to offer: from mummies, fashion, art and dinosaur’s skeletons to interactive activities in Physics for every age. Its architecture is so well structured that the visitor can gaze at the whole museum from the upper floors. The café in the museum promises to serve excellent scones you will not regret trying!

Greyfriars Kirkyard

Greyfriars Kirkyard is the graveyard surrounding Greyfriars Kirk. Despite its nature, Greyfriars Kirkyard is preferred for a walk because of its verdant and leafy environment. It is indeed as spooky as it sounds and filled with crows, which fly around the graveyard. Be careful, though, when entering the graveyard because it is probable to encounter a squirrel. There are plenty there and if you are lucky enough you may see one!

Union of Genius

You must be quite hungry by now (even though you just left a graveyard behind you). A nice alternative for your lunch would be Union of Genius which is not far away from your current position. Delicious soups are served every day and with its heart-warming atmosphere it is a must in your trip to Edinburgh.

Dean Village

Dean Village Edinburgh Scotland
©Clark Van Der Beken,

Our itinerary comes to a closure with the magical and fairy-tale like Dean Village. Even though it is a suburb of Edinburgh one can think of it as a village, as its name implies. The traditional Scottish architecture and beautiful landscape will give you all the feels. It is accessible either by bus or on foot. If you select the second option be aware that it is an approximate 30’ walk from the center, yet it is the greatest way to get to know the city. You should spend the rest of the day exploring it because really, it is indeed worth it!

Travelling tips for Scotland

  1. Harry Potter was inspired by the city of Edinburgh and there are therefore plenty of shops available for merchandise.
  2. J.K. Rolling, the author of Harry Potter, used to be a regular in “The Elephant House”, a café where a great number of fans swarm to live the exact experience of their favorite author. Bear in mind, though, that it is quite touristic.
  3. Telephone Booths are literary everywhere and you should absolutely take a photo there!
  4. Scotland is famous for its great Whisky and it would be a total shame not to try it!
  5. Most museums cost around £20 (around 18€ / $24)
  6. Probably, the most ideal season to visit Edinburgh is either spring or fall for two reasons. It is not as crowded as the summertime and not as freezing cold as winter.
  7. When it comes to clothing it all comes down to your region, really. If you live in warm climates do dress well and if you are a resident of countries with cold weather, you know the way to go. Nonetheless, do make your research before the trip.

By Kyriaki Kyratzopoulou

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