Whether you like the city, a bit of culture, nature, historical or modern, Edinburgh has it all. The city is filled with history (both its Old and New towns are UNESCO World Heritage Sites), amazing architecture, plenty of Scottish culture, and not one but TWO castles! Edinburgh is truly the gift that keeps on giving. 24 hours is not enough to truly explore the city but that’s all the time I had, and I made the most of it. In this blog post, I’ll share the best things to do in Edinburgh if you are short on time.
Before we delve into places to visit, here are some tips about visiting Edinburgh
- Stay Central – Exploring Edinburgh can be done on foot as most places are within a 20-30 mins walk, so you have to make sure your accommodation is centrally located. I stayed at Point A Edinburgh. An affordable (about £40 a night), boutique hotel only 3 mins walk away from Edinburgh Haymarket. This made it easy to get to most places quickly. And that’s just 1 of many – Book cost effective flights and hotels in Edinburgh
- Visit at the right time – The best time to visit Scotland in general is in spring (May – June). This is when the weather is most likely to be dry, and pleasant with fewer crowds. Bu of course, with the coronavirus pandemic 2020 has been an exception
- Dress Appropriately – The weather can change quickly in Scotland so remember to check the weather forecast. Therefore, It’s always a good idea to have an umbrella.
Things to do in Edinburgh (if you only have 24 hours)
- Visit Dean Village (Edinburgh, EH4 3AY)
Just a stone’s throw from the center of Edinburgh (Only five minutes walk from Edinburgh’s Princes Street) and you get to the serene and beautiful Dean Village. At one point, Dean village was separate from the city. The Water of Leith runs through the village and makes for a satisfyingly scenic stroll.
The best views are at the bottom of Hawthornbank Lane. If you don’t mind climbing down to the edge of the river, you can have this view (above)
- Walk down Circus lane (Edinburgh, EH3 6SU)
Circus lane – a picturesque cobbled street – is in the stockbridge neighbourhood of Edinburgh. It’s a great place to take some photos and stop by some of the cafes and shops.
- Wander up Calton Hill (Edinburgh, EH1 3BJ)
Calton Hill has amazing views of the city. You can find Calton Hill just a few minutes from Princes Street, and access it either from the stairs up from Regent Road, or the path from Royal Terrace. Calton Hill is a great place to relax for a while, it’s got plenty of grassy space on top.
- Have lunch and a drink in Grassmarket (Edinburgh, EH1 2HY)
Grassmarket is in the old town, it’s where all the hustle and bustle seems to be. The atmosphere is really lively and a buzzing atmosphere with lots of places to eat, drink, shop and admire.
- View Edinburgh Castle from the Vennel Viewpoint (Edinburgh, EH1 2HU)
This location has been crowned as the best view of the Edinburgh castle. Its one of my favourite views in Edinburgh. The Vennel is just off Grassmarket, a small street with stairs.
- Walk the Royal Mile (Edinburgh, EH1 1TB)
The Royal mile takes about 2hours to explore and it’s one of Europe’s best sightseeing walks. At every turn, the Royal Mile is littered with symbols of Scottish pride. Visit Royal Mile Walking tour for details along the walk.
As Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh has so much to offer! Visiting in less than 24hours will leave you with a packed agenda – Hope you have a wonderful time.
For other ideas, visit Edinburgh’s official tourism site
Have you been to Edinburgh? What did you think – let me know in the comments below.
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