Your Trip to Edinburgh – Eight Things You Need to Know About the Scottish Capital
Are you going to Scotland by any chance? You’ve picked a great destination. But there are things that you need to know about Edinburgh. For starters, it’s not your average capital city.
Edinburgh is the most-visited city in Scotland for many reasons. It’s a busy city with the sort of scenery you’d only expect to find in books. Even though the city is small for a capital, there’s a lot that you can see and do.
Before you visit Scotland, though, it’s best to map it all out. Here are some facts about Edinburgh that might interest you that will ensure you’ll make the most out of your trip
- It’s a Very Crowded City
Next to London, no city in the UK sees as many tourists as Edinburgh. The problem is that the town is small. It’s so tiny that you can pretty much ditch the public transportation and walk to wherever you want to go.
Add to that both the local and tourist populations and you can expect big crowds. The shopping centers are usually packed, as well as the bars and parks.
Getting around in a taxi or a rental car may not be a good idea. It’s because many of the popular locations often have bottlenecks. You can also expect many students in the city’s pubs and clubs.
- Check the Festivals Schedule
Although many refer to it as the Edinburgh Festival, there’s no such thing in reality. It’s because the city hosts a series of festivals throughout the year.
If you plan on spending more than a few days in Edinburgh, planning around the festivals could enhance your experience. It’s one of the best things to do in Edinburgh for free after all.
Keep in mind that in some cases, there can be close to 1,000 shows in a single day. So don’t be surprised to see comedians and actors roaming the streets.
Whisky, poetry, and a smoky city against a gothic backdrop – that’s what you can expect in certain months. Another reason to plan your trip around the festivals is so that you can have access to reasonable accommodations.
For example, visiting Edinburgh in August can be tough. It’s one of the busiest times of the year and can be difficult to find a bed if you don’t book your trip early enough in advance.
- It’s Not Perfect
Some tourists visiting Edinburgh don’t appreciate parts of the city. In particular, they complain about the often strong smell. And the west side of town where you can also find the distillery can be harsh.
The smell circulates in the often windy city. Most of the time, it’s a typical scent that you get when you’re near the sea. But when combined with roasted malt and barley from the many breweries, it can get overpowering at times.
Keep this in mind when you decide which part of town you want to visit on foot.
- Take Advantage of the Pubs and Restaurants
There are a lot of choices in Edinburgh. You can find anything, from the cheapest sports pubs to Michelin-starred restaurants. At the same time, the prices are lower than in London. So there’s no reason to skip going out for food and drinks.
One thing you must know about the whisky bars in Edinburgh is that they rival the number of Starbucks in some major cities. As for the food, Edinburgh is a haven for seafood lovers.
- Learn Drinking Etiquette
Everyone knows that the Scottish can drink with the best of them. But don’t expect to find a city of drunks. Manners maketh man, remember?
Edinburgh has serious drinking etiquette. For starters, it’s not polite to crowd the bar in groups. Or to wait around in pubs for someone else to clean out your empty glasses.
If you socialize with groups of locals, you may have to expect to pay some rounds yourself. Also, avoid pushing the line at the bar. And be mindful of which sports pub you end up in on an important game day. Most things you can pick up quickly and even ask about when you’re there.
What’s really great is that most of the pubs stay open a lot longer than in other parts of the UK.
- The Old Town and New Town
There are two sides to Edinburgh – the Old Town and New Town. The Old Town is the oldest region of the city. In contrast, the construction of the New Town only began in 1765.
The latter is the posh side of the city. It’s not as crowded and may feel more relaxing and quiet. It’s also where you can find the city’s notable neighborhoods, college campuses, and fancy restaurants.
But, if you want a more authentic experience, the Old Town deserves your attention. That’s where you can find all the hustle and bustle in the city.
- Don’t Expect a Quiet Visit to the Castle
Tourists arrive at Edinburgh all year long. One of the main attractions, the Edinburgh Castle, is hard to visit quietly. It’s because masses of tourists and even locals flock to admire the view.
After all, the castle stands on top of an extinct volcano. It offers a breathtaking view, whether it’s sunny outside or foggy. And you can even hear cannon fire every 1 pm from Monday to Saturday.
Although it remains one of the busiest attractions in the city, it’s still worth the trip.
- There Are Many Shortcuts
If you look at any generic Edinburgh map, it may seem like there are just two roads you can take. In reality, the city has a staggering number of shortcuts in the form of alleyways and courtyards.
Many alternative routes only accommodate pedestrians, which is great. But you may have to ask about a few of them before you head off exploring. The city is small but you can still waste a lot of time walking from one attraction to another.
Rose Street and Thistle Street are two narrow alleys of note in the New Town. On the other side, the Fleshmarket Close and Advocate’s Close in the Old Town can save you some time walking around.
A Smoky Gothic City with a Lot to Offer
Do you want to see how the blue-collar locals live? Do you wonder what high-society looks like in Scotland? Edinburgh is the city that lets you see and experience both sides of the coin. What’s even better is that everything you want to see is within walking distance.
It may not be the biggest city or have the best weather, but Edinburgh is a truly unique European city. The gothic architecture alone attracts thousands of tourists. And it’s not just that. There are so many more reasons to book a trip to this wonderful city.
- Australia & New Zealand
- Cape Cod
- Daytona Beach
- Kuala Lumpur
- Las Vegas
- Latest News
- Miami Beach
- New York
- North America
- North-Central Indian Ocean
- ocean City
- Port Douglas
- South America
- South Pacific Ocean
- Travel Tips
- Virginia Beach