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2 Days In Edinburgh : A complete Guide

Fascinating history, baggage of culture, attractive views, delicious food and drink – capital is one in every of those cities with a small amount of everything and my first-timer’s guide to capital has everything you must see and do throughout your initial visit.The Scottish capital is simply detonating with charm and it’s manageable size makes it the right weekend town break destination.

Edinburgh is one in every of my favorite cities within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and was an apparent addition to my excellent 2 week itinerary of the united kingdom. I’ve put together a detailed overview of my favorite pastimes in Edinburgh. We think 2 days may be a large amount of your time to pay in capital – maybe as a weekend break, or as part of a longer trip exploring the UK and Scotland.

Of course, you may pay far more time attending to understand the town, however 2 days will definitely allow you to see several of the highlights of capital

A 2 Day Edinburgh Itinerary

This itinerary is ordered on fairly logical, with 2 full days of exploration within the town, covering a number of the most attractions.There’s lots more to see and do in the city of course, so check out the resources at the end of the post to help you plan your perfect trip to Edinburgh! 🙂
Day One
1. Explore Edinburgh Castle
We’re about to begin our 2 day Edinburgh itinerary with a visit to the beautiful Edinburgh Castle, which perches fantastically above the city, and offers a wonderful panoramic view of the city and surrounds.
The castle is home to a variety of exhibitions and artefacts from Scottish history, including the Scottish crown jewels. The castle is also where the 1pm gun is fired every day, so if you do have a chance to be there for this then do, as it’s quite an experience.
Edinburgh Castle

2. Go Whisky Tasting

Scotland and Whisky are intractably linked.

Scottish strong drink is my favorite spirit, and whenever I’m in capital I’ll forever notice time for a drop.

You can do this of course just by popping into pretty much any pub in the city, but if you want to learn about the process of making whisky, as well as the various regions of Scotland and the flavours available, then the Scotch Whisky Experience is where you need to head.
Here you’ll journey through the Whisky creation process, as well as learn about why Whisky from different parts of Scotland tastes different. Finally, you’ll be given the opportunity to taste one of four whisky flavours, before taking a look at the largest Scotch Whisky collection in the world. You can book your tickets in advance here.

Whiskey Tasting Tour
St Giles Cathedral

3. Drop in at St. Giles’ Cathedral

Also on the Royal Mile, about a third of the way down from the castle, is St Giles’ Cathedral. Both the interior and exterior of the cathedral are stunning, but the highlight in my mind is the little Thistle Chapel, home to the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle.

The Order still exists today, and is overseen by the current British Queen, Elizabeth II.

All that aside, the Thistle Chapel is just gorgeous, stuffed full of lovely wooden panelling, and very much worth taking a little bit of time to see, as is the rest of the Cathedral.

4. Walk Edinburgh’s Royal Mile

All the recommendations so far have been along the Royal Mile, the lovely stretch of interconnecting streets which run from Edinburgh Castle down to Holyrood Palace. It’s not exactly a mile long, but it’s near enough, and is filled with a variety of attractions, from the above mentioned, through to souvenir shops, restaurants and pubs.

There are also a number of gorgeous buildings, churches and monuments along the length of the street, all of which contribute to making this a worthy way to spend half an hour or so of your day.

Edinburgh’s Royal Mile

5. Visit the Free Museums in Edinburgh on the Royal Mile

Since you’re on the Royal Miles, you should definitely take advantage of the many free museums that you can find along it’s length. Some of our favourites include the Edinburgh Museum, the Writers Museum and the Museum of Childhood.

6. Climb Calton Hill
Towards the end of the day, I’d suggest you head up Calton Hill.

This is a beautiful spot for a read of town and might be found at the east finish of Princes Street. This hill is home to a series of monuments, including the National Monument of Scotland, which bears more than a passing resemblance to the Parthenon in Greece. Which makes sense, because that’s what it was modeled on. Up on the Hill you may additionally notice Nelson’s Monument and also the Royal Observatory.


From here you can watch the sun set across the city, with the mountains in the background, which is ample reward for the effort required to climb up.

Day Two

7. Visit Holyrood Palace

At the alternative finish of the Royal Mile from capital Castle is Holyrood Palace, that is wherever we’re about to begin the second day of our 2 day capital itinerary. Holyrood Palace is that the official residence of a people monarch in Scotland. Although the Queen herself only spends a week in a year here – most of her time in Scotland is spent up at Balmoral.
When the Queen isn’t here, the Palace is employed for visiting dignitaries, different members of the royal house, and in fact, as a traveller attraction, being open daily. It’s worth checking however that there isn’t someone of importance staying, as the palace closes to visitors when fulfilling its main role as an official residence.
Holyrood Palace
self guided tour

8. Visit Dynamic Earth

If you like fun, interactive science museums, then Dynamic Earth is a must-visit. Right next to the Scottish Parliament building and underneath the stunning backdrop of the Crags and Arthur’s Seat, Dynamic Earth tells the story of the history of the Earth.

We really feel it has something for everyone. From a time machine ride into the past, to a spaceship simulation that takes you right to the Big Bang itself, this is an educational and fun experience that we think is fun for the whole family.

9. Hike Arthur’s Seat

One of my favourite things about Edinburgh, other than how magnificently walk-able the city centre is, is that just a stones throw from Holyrood Palace, the Parliament Building and Dynamic Earth is the ancient volcano of Arthur’s Seat, part of the 640-acre Holyrood Park.

This 251 metre high peak offers spectacular views of the city and surrounds, as well as nice hiking, sunset and sunrise views, and the walk is easily manageable right from the city centre.

10. Follow in JK Rowling’s footsteps

For Harry Potter fans, Edinburgh’s a touch of a pilgrim’s journey website – it’s wherever author JK Rowling lived and is jam-packed with places that galvanized her.There’s Victoria Street that became Diagon Alley and also the Hogwarts-style martyr Heriot’s college.Some of the names on the graves in Greyfriars Kirkyard may look acquainted too.

You can also stop off for a drink in The Elephant House Café and Spoon Café where she wrote parts of the books.

Walk Through Street

When to Visit Edinburgh

Like much of the UK, Edinburgh has variable weather, so you need to be prepared for everything from rain to sunshine. Layered clothing is the key to a successful trip.

Be aware that being fairly northerly, Edinburgh has generally cooler weather than the southern cities in England, although it does rain less than Glasgow. There’s not really a bad time to visit Edinburgh as there is so much going on throughout the year, but if you prefer better weather and longer days to explore by daylight, then visiting in the summer months is preferable.
Of course, visiting outside of those months can mean it’s quieter, but avoid August as accommodation because it may be more pricey due to festivals going on.

Getting to and from Edinburgh

Edinburgh is very easy to get to. Flights operate to Edinburgh airport, both nationally and internationally, and the airport itself is around six miles outside the city centre, and easily reached by airport bus or with a taxi service like Uber.

The terminal in Edinburgh has quick rail services to London (around four and a half hours), and is magnificently located directly underneath the castle.Emerging from the rail station and being confronted by the beauty of Edinburgh for the first time is something you’ll never forget.
You can additionally drive to Edinburgh. Parking is feasible within the center, and a car will let you get to attractions outside of the city, but isn’t generally needed for day to day sightseeing as Edinburgh is very compact.

Where to Stay in Edinburgh

Edinburgh encompasses a big selection of accommodation choices from hostels to mid-range hotels to luxury properties. We’d advise finding a city centre hotel, that way you’ll be able to walk to all the attractions in this list and save on taxis or public transport fares.

If you’re travelling in the busier time of year, such as during the August Festivals or around New Years Eve, you’ll definitely want to book as far in advance of your trip as possible to be sure you find somewhere that suits. Our favourite way to find the best deals on accommodation when we travel is We find they sometimes have the simplest deals across a large vary of properties, together with hotels and residences, and area unit very easy to use. We can also recommend apartment rentals as an option.

We also have a page full of travel packages, which includes Europe best deals. 🙂
Hopefully these resources will help you plan your trip to Scotland’s capital Have a great time, and as always, if you’ve got any questions or comments, just get in touch! 🙂