Edinburgh is in Scotland, if you’re wondering.
We took a Megabus to Edinburgh from London. We booked the bus over a month in advance to get cheaper tickets, so make sure you look into that if you’re doing this too! Also make sure that you aim to get to the bus station early… for us, everything went wrong. The Victoria subway line had “severe delays” so we had to take a different route. Also, when we got there, we had to find the coach station and find where to print our tickets. We went to one booth that told us to go to another, which told us to go to another, until finally we were told to just line up to board the bus because you don’t even need to get your tickets printed. Overall, I was pretty unimpressed with the level of knowledge of the people in that station, but I was also very hungry and tired so I may be biased.
WHERE WE STAYED
We stayed at Castle Rock Hostel and it was amazing. Central location, good prices, good breakfast (for 1.5 euros) and amazing environment. GO THERE!
WHAT WE DID
My only suggestions to you about Edinburgh are:
- Go to King Arthur’s Seat (see featured image… And all images below)
- Eat haggis (I’ll talk about this in the food section)
If you’re not planning on doing these things… I have nothing to tell you, because this “if” scenario shouldn’t even exist.
So, about King Arthur’s Seat… It’s free! It’s a short hike and not very high in altitude (but high enough to see all of Edinburgh). It’s ranked “easy” according to a hiking site I saw on Google. The site estimated 2-2.5 hours to hike up. It took us 1.5 hours (and I don’t exercise). It’s nothing compared to Yosemite hikes, so even if you are as out of shape as a potato, you can do it. I know this because I did it! :P. And if you struggle – it’s okay! We all start somewhere. You can use the cobblestone hilly streets of Edinburgh as practice before you hike up King Arthur’s Seat anyway. Also, you should walk to the base of the mountain (hill? :P). It’s beautiful and breathtaking. If I lived in Edinburgh, I’d make it a goal to hike it at least once a week.
Other things we did…
Basically, we walked around a lot :P. Everything is really pretty, and there’s really only one main street. It’s almost impossible to get lost!
Other than walking… just go to King Arthur’s Seat. You won’t regret it, I promise!
Now… what you’ve all been waiting for (if you’re like me)!
WHAT WE ATE
- The Hanging Bat Beer Café: I ate a mushroom hot dog thing here. It was deliciousness.
- Usher’s Brew Pub: I ate pulled pork mac & cheese here. It was also deliciousness.
- Snax Burgers: It’s a hole in the wall with the best service EVER. And it’s cheap! We ate our Snax meals outside sitting on steps while enjoying some bagpipes being played nearby. It was a true Scottish experience 😛 .
- Oink: their menu is simple and easy to follow 🙂 try their haggis. It’s a special type of meat that is common in Edinburgh (maybe all of Scotland, not sure). I won’t tell you what it really is because then you might not eat it. :p
THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW
- Everything closes early! Except pubs.
- There will always be an audible bagpipe if you listen hard enough. The bagpipe players are scattered across the city and they’re pretty cool.
- Jay walking is legal… so the law actually only states that you need to exercise caution.
- Everything is cobblestone. Even more than London/Dublin/Lisbon/Porto (those are the only European cities I’ve been to so far).
- It’s super hilly. Get ready to walk up and down over and over!
- Everything is walkable. We didn’t take public transportation even once! It’s nice to walk everywhere and admire the beautiful, old, gianormous buildings that tower over you. You’ll also pass by 23509723052 kilt shops.
- It’s cold. And rainy. So check the weather and dress appropriately. If you’re unsure/trying to be optimistic, let me just tell you it’s going to be colder than you expect.
Overall, I’m really happy that I went to Edinburgh. It was very beautiful, and I’ve seen nothing like it in my travels so far. The Scottish culture is definitely something you should experience!