Getting the most out of vibrant Edinburgh

Edinburgh Castle
I am going to Edinburgh with my partner for the first time this summer. We are only going for a short weekend stay so there is a lot to fit into two days. What are the essential things we should see and do during our trip?

I am going to Edinburgh with my partner for the first time this summer. We are only going for a short weekend stay so there is a lot to fit into two days. What are the essential things we should see and do during our trip?

Short trips away can be both exciting and stressful as trying to fit so much into such a short space of time can be difficult. Edinburgh is a great city for a short break though as the majority of the city’s beautiful sites are within walking distance of one another.

The first stop for anyone visiting the Scottish capital is Edinburgh Castle. Sitting atop a mount of volcanic rock, the castle provides its visitors with breathtaking views of the entire city and beyond. The National War museum is situated in the surroundings of the iconic castle and gives visitors an insight into how modern-day Scotland developed its identity. From the Castle, visitors can follow the historic Royal Mile down to the Scottish Parliament building and The Palace of Holyrood House, which recently hosted the wedding of the Queen’s granddaughter Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall.

A short stroll from the heights of the castle is The National Museum of Scotland. Current exhibitions include ‘Vikings’ and ‘Mary Queen of Scots!’ which are definitely worth visiting. Depending on which weekend you are going, the museum also embraces a number of the cities festivals and events.

A little to the North of the city centre is the Royal Botanic Gardens. On sunny days, this is the ideal place to relax in the surroundings of Scotland’s natural flora. Like many of Edinburgh’s attractions, admission to the Botanic Garden is free. However there is a small charge to enter the Gardens’ Greenhouse.

If you are the adventurous type, why not set off for the day and see the city on two wheels? Edinburgh city council has plenty of information available on various cycle routes for visitors. However, if you would rather relax and leave the directions to an experienced guide, there are a number of day tours available for those unfamiliar with the city.

After a long day of sightseeing, there is nothing better than relaxing and unwinding in one of Edinburgh’s many outstanding restaurants. The Grain Store in the Old Town district provides authentic Scottish cuisine in equally authentic surroundings. To the north of Edinburgh’s city is the area of Leith which is well known for its stunning seafood and a must if you are hankering for seafood chowder.

Scotland is known for its vibrant night life. After dinner why not explore the city’s many pubs and clubs and take the opportunity to meet the locals? Grassmarket in the city centre is one of Edinburgh’s most lively areas. The square is filled with traditional pubs including The Last Drop and The White Hart. Traditional music can be heard spilling from these local treasures enticing tourists and locals alike.

The Holyrood 9a is also a great spot to visit. Serving a wide range of beers from around the world as well as a number of Scottish brews, this pub has something for every taste. It also serves a range of gourmet burgers if you’re still feeling peckish.

A city of culture, Edinburgh is renowned for its range of festivals throughout the year. The Edinburgh International Film Festival from June 19-30 and the Fringe Festival in August are particular highlights. Visiting during these times will ensure an exciting first experience for you and your partner.

Where to Stay:

The Glasshouse Hotel

Prices start from €170 per room per night on Hotels.com

*Prices are subject to availability at the time of booking.

This five-star boutique hotel is a unique blend of modern and traditional architecture. Incorporated into the hotels design is the 150-year-old Lady Glenorchy Church. The hotel boasts a two-acre roof top terrace from which guests can enjoy views of the surrounding city. All rooms are spacious and modern. Many have private terraces or street-facing balconies. Guestroom amenities include CD players, minibars and complimentary Wi-Fi.

Apex International Hotel

Prices start from €105 per room per night on Hotels.com

*Prices are subject to availability at the time of booking.

The Apex International is ideally located just minutes from the Royal Mile. Overlooked by Edinburgh Castle, the hotel has a health spa, indoor swimming pool and sauna to enhance their guest’s stay. Bedrooms and bathrooms are modern and guests can make use of cable/satellite TV and free wireless internet access in all rooms.

Stay City Apartments

Prices start from €111 per room per night on Hotels.com

*Prices are subject to availability at the time of booking.

Stay City Apartments offer guests full independence during their stay. The apartments are located within walking distance of King’s Theatre, Usher Hall, Edinburgh Castle and Waverly Train Station. Apartments are fully fitted with a modern kitchen allowing self-catering. Bedrooms and bathrooms are spacious and luxuriously decorated.

For more information and travel tips on planning your holiday visit www.Hotels.com or call 1800 55 3338 to wake up happy on your holiday!