With its many iconic landmarks packed into a nice small area Edinburgh is ideal for a weekend visit. The spectacular views from around Scotland’s capital are not limited to it’s architectural delights. The royal parks and green spaces give their own insights into Scottish history and culture. With 48 hours in Edinburgh you can get to see all of this.
What to see in Edinburgh
Of course, you can’t visit Edinburgh and not visit Edinburgh Castle. Sitting at the top of the Royal Mile the castle holds the crown jewels of Scotland the stone of destiny, a symbol of the Scottish monarchy from at least 800 years ago, as well as the Scottish military museum. Guided tours are available or grab yourself an audio guide.
Leaving the castle and heading towards the cobbles of the Royal Mile. Enjoy the alleys, gardens,monuments and outstanding buildings of Old Town. Make sure to take in the sights like the St Giles Cathedral.
At the bottom of the hill you come to the Scottish Parliament building. Love it or hate it the architecture is certainly different to anything else in Edinburgh. You can also book ahead for an hour long tour of the public areas of the building, including the debating chamber, depending on if parliament is in session.
Finally, as you pass the Parliament building you arrive at Holyrood Palace, a building that has served as the official residence of the Kings and Queens of Scotland for over 300 years.
Then take a trek up to Arthur’s Seat and get a breathtaking birds eye view of Edinburgh. Early risers could start the day in Holyrood Park and watch the amazing sun rise across Edinburgh or views out over the Firth, then reverse the route up the Royal Mile.
48 Hours in Edinburgh – Day 2
After the sights of Old Town, the Georgian architecture of the UNESCO world heritage New Town is definitely a different side to the city.
Start the second morning of your weekend in Edinburgh at Calton Hill and climb the 143 steps of the Nelson Monument. Built to commemorate Admiral Nelsons victory at Trafalgar providing great views of city. While you are up on Calton Hill take in some of the other monuments including the National Monument and the Dugald Stewart Monument (on the left in the featured image)
Scottish National Portrait Gallery
Then take in a little culture with a visit to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery home to over 3,000 images of people who have shaped the history of Scotland.
Royal Botanic Gardens
A stroll along Dundas Street allows for the views the frontages and fenced communal gardens of the Georgian structures. The Royal Botanic Gardens provide you with one of the UK’s great gardens and the chance to enjoy the 17,000 species of plants.
Finish of the day with a little more culture as you visit the Oxford Bar on Young Street. Keep an eye out for authors, Ian Rankin is known to visit and the bar features in many of his books. A great place to enjoy a drink.
For the longer stays you could venture out to the Ocean Terminal and have a look around the Royal Yacht Britannia or, if its a Sunday, take a stroll around the stall of fresh produces, ceramics and jewlery of Stocksbridge Market.
Where to stay in Edinburgh
So, when you have 48 hours in Edinburgh where should you stay?
For Families – Raeburn Hotel, Stocksbridge
When visiting Edinburgh with a young family we recomend staying at The Raeburn. Situated in stocksbridge and a short walk from the Royal Botanic Gardens. This converted Georgian house is surrounded by bric a brac shops you can spend hours perusing.
Luxury Stay – Edinburgh Grand, New Town
If you are looking for that luxurious stay then look no further than the Edinburgh Grand. Sat on St Andrews Square and surrounded by many of Edinburghs higher end restaurants and shopping. The building features fully modernised appartments whilst still retaining many original features.
Budget Stay – Motel One Edinburgh-Princes
Hotel prices in Edinburgh can be extortionate but this budget gem, Motel One, is only a few hundred yards form New Town and Old Town and right on Princes Street alongside Waverley Street train station. Modern rooms in the centre of all of Edinburgh’s attractions, what more do you need?
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Chris is a Number cruncher by work day, seeker of new experiences by weekend – always looking to spend 48 hours somewhere! Seen 4 continents, 26 countries and 100’s of city’s hoping to add a few more each year.