Is 3 days in Edinburgh enough? This is something we are often asked. So we put the question to our local expert Karen Worrall, who shares her perfect three day Edinburgh itinerary.
I’ve traveled the world and lived in several countries, but have chosen to return to Scotland to make it my base as it has so much to offer. I love Edinburgh. I know a lot about this fascinating historical city as I live here and I am an Edinburgh travel guide.
The Perfect 3 Days in Edinburgh Scotland
With Three days in Edinburgh, you’ll be able to see most of the city’s top attractions. Plus with my expertise and insider knowledge, I’ll help you to explore the city in a leisurely and orderly manner.
Day 1 – Upper Old Town
Edinburgh’s Old Town is the city’s heart. Everything starts in the Castle and spreads down the hill. The Old Town is the area where you’ll find the most historic attractions. If you only have 1 day in Edinburgh I would suggest staying around this area.
Start in Upper Old Town
Click here for your interactive map of Three Days in Edinburgh, day 1. This should make it easier to plan out your 3 Days in Edinburgh
- Get to and from the Airport: Take a private transfer to your hotel for only $17 USD
- The easiest way to get around Edinburgh is to use the Hop on Hop off buse tour. I suggest which stop for each of the places to visit in Edinburgh. Get Your Edinburgh Hop on Hop Off Tour Starting at $19 USD
1. Edinburgh Castle
We’ll start our 3 days in Edinburgh at Edinburgh Castle. If it is your first time in Edinburgh, you cannot miss visiting this castle. Edinburgh Castle is built on top of a 350 million-year-old volcanic plug, and there is evidence of human habitation there as early as the Bronze Age, 3,500 years ago.
Edinburgh Castle is the most-visited paid tourist attraction in Scotland.
I suggest 90 minutes minimum to visit Edinburgh Castle, but I’d personally spend about two to two and a half hours there seeing everything.
Some of the highlights are; Saint Margaret’s Chapel, the jail, visit the chambers of Mary Queen of Scots and the Royal Apartments with the Scottish Crown Jewels.
- Skip the lines and save time with an Edinburgh Castle Tour while learning about Scottish history.
- You can book castle tickets online and book your time slot for going in.
- Or if you go on any of the Lothian Buses Edinburgh tours then you can buy a ticket from the driver at the online rate but without having to book a specific time and being able to go right in without lining up.
- This is particularly handy at the height of summer (July-August) when there are very long lines.
- Hours: Summer (April 1-Sept 30) 9.30am-6pm (last entry at 5pm). Winter (Oct 1-Mar 31) 9.30am-5pm (last entry 4pm).
- Cost: £19.50 gate price (£17.50 online), £16 gate (£14 online) concessions, children 5-15 £11.50 (£10.50 online). Under 5s free. Book tickets online for a reduced price.
2. Tartan Weaving Center
From Edinburgh Castle, we walk just two minutes to our next stop, the Tartan Weaving Center, which has an exhibition on its bottom floor (B2),
If you have ever wondered how tartan is made, then wonder no more! You can see looms at work creating the tartan and there is an exhibition on the history of tartan with all the info on its evolution over the years and different uses.
- Hours: Monday-Saturday 9am-7.30pm, Sunday 8.30am-7pm.
- Cost: Free.
- Location: Castlehill
- Tour Bus : Stop 10 for Lawnmarket.
3. Writer’s Museum
From here we walk just a little farther down Lawnmarket to one of the lesser-known, but lovely (free) museums, the Writer’s Museum. It is dedicated to some of the great writers of the city and Scotland.
The main exhibitions are on Sir Walter Scott, Robby Burns, and Robert Louis Stevenson, plus pieces about newer writers including R.K Rowling and Ian Rankin.
- Hours: 10am-5pm.
- Cost: Free.
- Location: Lawnmarket
- Tour Bus: Edinburgh Tour stop 10 for Lawnmarket.
4. Scottish Lunch
After the Castle, some tartan and literature, it’s time to stop for lunch in Old Town and there are many spots to choose from in Lawnmarket.
Both the places I recommend for Day 1 lunch are just a couple of minutes walk from the Writer’s Museum.
The Witchery – Go back up towards Edinburgh Castle on the left is The Witchery. The building is gorgeous, with a lot of history as this is where the most important witches used to convene – hence the name. The menu is very Scottish – not all haggis, neeps and tatties and whisky – but using high quality seasonal Scottish ingredients.
Deacon Brodie’s Tavern is just a couple of doors down the hill on the same side as the museum with plenty of character and local history. It is named after Deacon Brodie, who was a Deacon of his trade. A respected cabinet-maker and carpenter by day, and robber by night! His story is on the wall, along with a sign with pictures of both sides of his character outside the pub.
- Hours: Witchery 12-11.30pm, 12-4.30pm Monday to Friday for two-course lunch menu. Deacon Brodies Sunday-Thursday 12pm-12am, Friday-Saturday 11am-1am.
- Cost: £25 for two-course lunch menu at the Witchery. £10-15 for main courses, and £5-6 for starters or desserts at Deacon Brodies.
- Location: Lawnmarket,
- Stop: 10 for Lawnmarket.
5. Greyfriar’s Bobby
Bobby was a wee Skye terrier who was born in 1855, and whose owner was a local policeman called Jock (John) Grey. They were the best of friends and went everywhere together.
Sadly, Jock passed away from tuberculosis when Bobby was just two years old. The wee doggy was heartbroken. But while Bobby did have new friends and people to care for him, he never got over Jock’s passing and spent the rest of his life after he died sleeping on his master’s grave.
The pub in front of Greyfriar’s Kirk (Scottish word for church) is named after him. You can visit his statue created by master sculptor William Brodie. It was made while the dog was still living. A custom is to touch his nose for good luck.
- Hours: 24 hours for statue and graveyard.
- Cost: Free.
- Location: In front of Greyfriar’s Kirk, Candlemaker Row.
- Stop:7 for Chambers Street.
6. Greyfriar’s Kirkyard (Graveyard)
Our next stop on the first day of our 3 days in Edinburgh is venturing further into Greyfriar’s Graveyard to see some of its interesting graves.
Greyfriar’s Graveyard (or kirkyard, which means churchyard, to use the Scottish term) is one of the oldest graveyards in Edinburgh. There are 590 headstones here with many of Scotland’s most notable residents being interred here.
Greyfriar’s Bobby Tour – Learn the true story that inspired the book and Disney film while hearing of the history of the city’s oldest resting places.
Harry Potter Connection
Harry Potter fans will enjoy the literary connections here. William McGonagall, infamously Scotland’s worst poet, is buried here. JK Rowling took inspiration for her Ms. McGonagall character from him, by naming someone who was very clever and good with words after someone very bad with them. The 197-year-old grave of Tom Riddell is also here.
Take a Harry Potter Tour to discover the landmarks of Old Town that inspired the Harry Potter books.
- Hours: 24 hours for statue and graveyard.
- Cost: Free.
- Location: In front of Greyfriar’s Kirk, Candlemaker Row.
- Tour Bus Stop: 7 for Chambers Street.
7. Elephant House
For the Harry Potter fans, or just if you need a pick me up, the Elephant House café where J.K Rowling wrote much of her first Harry Potter novel is just around the corner.
At the back, there is a board where people write messages to JK Rowling. She does come to read them every now and then, so it is a fun thing for fans to do. You can write anything you like – one sort of funny, sort of just cheeky message left simply said “Lord of the Rings was better.’
- Hours: Monday-Friday 8am-10pm, Saturday-Sunday 9am-10pm.
- Cost: Regular coffee shop prices, around £2-3 for a coffee, around £3 for a cake.
- Location: 21 George IV Bridge.
- Tour Bus Stop: stop 7 for Chambers Street.
8. National Museum of Scotland
The National Museum of Scotland is my favorite museum in Edinburgh and in Scotland overall. It has something for everyone. The new section at the front of the building that was built in 2011 is dedicated to Scotland.
Some of my favorite pieces to see include the sarcophagus of Mary Queen of Scots, a Clarsach (Celtic harp), clan map and the 1500-year-old chess pieces – the Lewis Chessmen.
The permanent exhibitions are always free and they have changing temporary ones, which usually cost around £8-10.
- Hours: 10am-5pm.
- Cost: Free for permanent exhibitions. £10 for Wild and Majestic, 26 June-10 November.
- Location: Chambers Street.
9. Grassmarket for Dinner and Dancing
The Grassmarket is a vibrant, lively area of Old Town, which has a chequered past. Its name comes from the fact that it used to be a huge market selling animals that ate grass – sheep, pigs, cows, goats.
It was also the site of public hangings. The gallows were situated here and crowds up to 20,000 people would gather here on a Saturday afternoon to watch the week’s convicted criminal’s meet their hairy end.
Some of the pubs around the square have names that reflect its dark past. “The Last Drop” refers to the last drop of the criminals in the hangman’s noose.Maggie Dickson’s is named after the woman who survived her hanging and went on to live a long happy live locally known as ‘half-hanged Maggie’.
Dinner Day 1
This is a good square for dinner, with many restaurants and bars with food offering many types of cuisine and styles of eatery from casual to more refined.
My pick here is the Mussel and Steak in, which has wonderful huge pots of local Scottish mussels in a sauce of your choice, lots of local seafood and meaty Angus beefsteaks.
After dinner, head just around the corner to the Cowgate to lively bar Stramash to enjoy a Scottish Ceilidh (party with traditional music and dancing – don’t worry, you’ll be taught all the moves) if its Wednesday or Friday, or bop to a live band any other night.
- Hours: Opening times vary by establishment, but generally 12pm-10pm for restaurants, bars open until midnight. Stramash open 6pm-3am.
- Cost: Food costs vary depending on where you choose, and entry to Stramash is free; just buy a drink at the bar.
- Location: The Grassmarket.
Edinburgh Food Tour –Journey through the food culture of Scotland on a 3-hour guided tour. It offers free cancellation up to 24 hours before the activity starts, last-minute bookings and the tours are top-notch.
Day 2 – Lower Old Town
Day 2 of our three days in Edinburgh, we’ll visit the attractions of the lower part of the Old Town.
Today, we’ll explore the Royal Mile from the High Street section of Old Town down. This includes some of its great free museums, as well as royal history at the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Take a walk in Holyrood Park up Arthur’s Seat to see one of the best views of the city or visit the Scottish Parliament. We then finish with a creepy or musical evening.
Lower Old Town
Click here for your interactive map of Three Days in Edinburgh, day 1
10. Royal Mile shopping
Walking up and down the Royal Mile enjoying all the little quirks of it could easily take a full day in itself. The High Street section has numerous types of wonderful shopping.
Tartan, Tweed, cashmere and lamb’s wool products are a specialty in this area, and there are 51 shops selling these in the area. You’ll find everything you ned and don’t need. I came home with a lovely Tweed jacket that I really did not need. But I love it, so it’s all good.
- Explore all of Edinburgh’s Royal Attractions from a hop on hop off bus including entrance to 3 royal attractions with a 48-hour ticket.
If you’re a scotch whisky fan, this is the street for you too.
About 20 shops purveying scotch whisky adorn the street and most offer small “snifters” of tastings for free. Gin is also big in Scotland with the Edinburgh Gin Company creating many flavors of the juniper liquor in the city.
Small tastings of this are available in many of the same shops selling whisky.
- Scotch Whisky Experience in the only distillery downtown. Book here.
- Or this Whisky Experience – Learn how the whiskey is made at the only distillery located within the city.
- Hours: 9am-7pm for most shops.
- Cost: Free to stroll.
- Location: High Street
- Tour stop 6 for John Knox House.
11. Royal Mile Free Museums
The Royal Mile is home to several of these free museums. Feel free to explore all three of these in the lower part of Royal Mile or choose a favorite and spend a bit longer.
The Museum of Childhood – This museum is all about toys. It is popular with children and families.
The People’s Story – This museum by the old Tollbooth is all about the people of the city.
The Museum of Edinburgh: This museum is all about the industry of the city and includes an exhibit on silver, as Edinburgh was a prominent city in the making of this precious metal.
12. Canongate Kirk
While in this part of the Royal Mile take a few minutes to look at the Canongate Kirk. This is one of the city’s oldest churches and is where the Queen worships while she’s in town.
Its graveyard is the final resting place of famous Scotland residents including poet Robert Fergusson who penned Auld Reekie, and the grave of Ebenezer Scrooge, Meal Man, who inspired Charles Dickens’ character Ebenezer Scrooge of A Christmas Carol.
- Hours: 10am-5pm daily for all museums.
- Cost: Free.
- Location: High Street, Royal Mile for Museum of Childhood. Canongate for People’s Story and Museum of Edinburgh.
- Tour stop 6 for John Knox House for Museum of Childhood, stop 5 Canongate for other two.
13. Lunch at Clarinda’s
You’re now right next to our lunch stop in the Canongate area of the Royal Mile, Clarinda’s. Clarinda was a “special friend” of Robert Burns who lived in this building. Her real name was Agnes but because she was a married lady, Burns wrote love letters to her addressed ‘Clarinda.’ his secret name for her.
Burns apparently loved her very much as he penned his song ‘Ae Fond Kiss’ as an ode to her. There is a line in it that says “Had we never met, nor never parted, we would have never been so broken-hearted.”
- Hours: Monday-Saturday 9am-4.30pm, Sunday 10am-4.30pm.
- Cost: £4.50-6 for lunch dishes, around £2 for cakes.
- Location: Canongate, Royal Mile.
- Edinburgh Tour stop 5 Canongate.
14. Scottish Parliament
This isn’t usually on a list of places to visit in Edinburgh, but I think it is a very interesting place for anyone interested in either Scottish politics or even fans of architecture.
The Scottish Parliament complex was built for use of the new Scottish government following Scottish Devolution in 1999.
The entire building is completely eco-friendly and self-sustaining. It has solar panels, uses locally sourced reused wood, everything is recycled, and it even has its own vegetable patch and beehives in the garden.
- Hours: Monday, Friday and Saturday 10-5pm, Tuesday-Thursday 9am-6.30pm, closed Sunday.
- Cost: Free. They even offer free-guided tours when parliament is not in session.
- Location: Foot of Royal Mile, Horse Wynd, opposite Holyrood Palace.
- Tour stop: 5 Canongate.
Scotland’s Parliament Building – Tours are available if you’re interested to see how parliament works inside. Tours are free but you must book in advance.
15. Palace of Holyroodhouse (aka Holyrood Palace)
The Palace of Holyrood House – Aka Holyrood Palace is the official royal residence of the British monarch in Scotland,
You begin in the grand courtyard and then head into the staterooms to see where the Queen entertains. The tower and chambers of Mary Queen of Scots are my favorite part and totally worth climbing the extra stairs for.
The Queen’s Gallery is also here. This is a separate gallery, which showcases many of the pieces from the Royal Collection.
- Hours: Summer (April 1-October 31) 9.30am-6pm. Winter (November 1-March 31) 9.30am-4.30pm. Last admission always 90 minutes before closing.
- Cost: £15, £13.50 student/senior, £8.70 under 17/disabled, free under 5. Royal visit (Palace plus Queen’s Gallery and Garden History Tour) £24.50, £22 student/senior, £14.70 under 17/disabled, under 5 free.
- Location: Holyrood Palace, Holyrood Park.
- Tour stop 3: Holyrood Palace.
- All proceeds of ticket sales for the palace go towards up-keeping the Royal collection, as well as to the various charities that the Royal collection supports.
16. Walk up Arthur’s Seat
Arthur’s Seat and Salisbury Crags from the huge hill in the middle of the city which is the site of an over 350 million-year-old extinct volcano. This is one of Europe’s largest enclosed urban parks. And if you want to ee the best views of the city, it is highly recommended.
It is a fairly easy hike, that takes about two hours return. There are faster ways down…. but I don’t recommend them! The grass is very spongy so can be very slippery, especially after it has been raining, so make sure to wear sturdy shoes for your walk-up.
As you walk up, admire the basalt volcanic rock, and note the jagged appearance of Salisbury Crags – the jaggy part. This section was quarried and the stone used to make many of Edinburgh’s monuments, as well as to pave the streets of London. So the streets of London are not paved with gold as the saying goes – they are paved with rock from Arthur’s Seat, which is just as good!
- Hours: Open 24 hours, but hiking not recommended after dark.
- Cost: Free.
- Location: Arthur’s Seat, Holyrood Park.
- Tour stop 3: Holyrood Palace, or stop 4 Dynamic Earth.
17. Dinner and Ghost Tour
To finish off the second day of our three days in Edinburg in the Old Town, we’ll stop for dinner in one of the cozy pubs on the Royal Mile. You can’t go wrong with good pub grub in this area, including at least a few Scottish dishes on every menu.
A few of my favorite pubs to eat in here are The Royal Mile, The Mitre, and The World’s End. Enjoy some comfort food and a pint, or a wee dram of whisky.
18. Edinburgh Ghost Tour
If you’re into the scarier things in life, then sample one of Edinburgh’s ghost tours. There are many to choose from, and the one that includes going under the current streets into the vaults are reputedly the most harrowing ones most likely to incur a strange encounter.
- A recommended Ghost Tour is The Extreme Underground Ghost Tour. Visit the most haunted graveyard in town and then follow your travel guide into the Underground Vaults
- Real Mary King’s Close Tour is a good tour to explore the history of Edinburgh. It was voted Scotland’s Best Heritage Tourism Experience.
- Mary King’s Close – Discover Edinburgh’s hidden history
- Ghost Tours – Edinburgh is one of the world’s most haunted cities and you must take one of the many Ghost tours on offer. Recommended: The Double Dead tour through the underground vaults, as well as a graveyard.
If that’s not your style, instead opt for some live music.
Live music on the Royal Mile
Almost all the pubs on the Royal Mile offers live music seven nights a week, usually starting at 9 pm. The Royal Mile, The Mitre, and The World’s End are also good places for local live music, so you could just stay put after dinner and enjoy a few tunes.
- Hours: Open 24 hours, but hiking not recommended after dark.
- Cost: Food and tours vary by which option you choose.
- Location: The Mitre and The Royal Mile pub on High Street of Royal Mile, The World’s End on Canongate. Ghost tours usually leave from outside St Giles Kirk.
- Tour Bus Stop: Edinburgh Tour stop 6 John Knox House for High Street and St Giles Kirk, and there or stop 5 Canongate for The World’s End pub.
You have now complete 2 days in Edinburgh. Enjoy your night’s rest and get ready for day 3.
Day 3 in Edinburgh – The New Town and Leith
Click here for an interactive map of three days in Edinburgh day 3.
We’ll spend our last day in Edinburgh visiting the New Town and heading down to the hip waterfront neighborhood of Leith.
19. Scottish National Gallery
The Scottish National Gallery is my favorite gallery in the city. It is a wonderful gallery as it has works by great Scottish artists including Henry Raeburn’s painting of the skating minister and Edwin Landseer’s Monarch of the Glen.
It has a huge amount of masterpieces by many European masters including Van Gogh, Monet, Manet, Gaugin, Cezanne, Rubens, and Canaletto.
- Hours: 10am – 5pm daily.
- Cost: Free.
- Location: The Mound, Princes Street.
- Edinburgh Tour stop 11 for The Mound.
20. Princes Street Gardens
Princes Street Gardens stretch along the length of Princes Street. They were created when the New Town was built in 1726. The gardens sit in a dip in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle and were a lake, The Nor Loch (North Lake) before then.
Take a stroll around the gardens for some time away from people in this peaceful setting right in the city centre.
The West end of Princes Street Gardens has several things to visit.
Things to see on Princes Street
Floral Clock – Just behind the cottage is the floral clock. This is the oldest floral clock in the world and is remade twice a year (for summer and winter flowers) since 1903.
Gardener’s Cottage – This Victorian Cottage was once the home of the gardener who tended the gardens.
Ross Bandstand – This bandstand (the second on this spot) was funded by Henry Ross, and has been used as a communal place for performances, Ceilidhs and concerts over the years.
Ross Fountain – The fountain has just been restored to its original look and glory of 1872 at a cost of almost £2 million.
The East end has some attractions too
Christmas Market – From mid November until the end of the first week in January, the east end of the gardens plays host to a magical Christmas market.
Scott Monument – At the East end of the gardens is a huge 200ft and 6 inches, with 287 steps monument to Sir Walter Scott, one of Edinburgh’s most beloved writers.
- Hours: Gardens open 7am-10pm.
- Cost: Free.
- Location: Princes Street.
- Tour Bus Stop: Edinburgh Tour stop 11 The Mound.
21. Shopping on Princes Street and George Street
Princes Street is Edinburgh’s main high street shopping area. The street extends about a mile and is directly opposite the Princes Street Gardens.
George Street is located parallel to Princes Street, behind from the gardens. This is the place to shop if you like designer stores. This is the best spot for high end shopping in the city, with a Harrods shop at one end in St Andrews Square.
- Hours: Shops 9am-between 6pm-8pm Monday to Saturday. Sundays they close between 5pm-6pm. Late night on Thursday have most stores opening until 9pm or 10pm.
- Cost: Whatever you buy!
- Location: Princes Street and George Street, New Town.
- Edinburgh Tour stop 11, The Mound, or 13 Hanover Street.
22. Stockbridge for Lunch
On our way down towards the Royal Botanical Gardens, we’ll stop in lovely Stockbridge for lunch.
Stockbridge is one of the most elegant areas of Edinburgh. It is a village within the city full of beautiful Georgian and Victorian townhouses, fancy cafes, restaurants, bars serving artisan beer, and unique boutique shops.
If you can be here on a Sunday (swap your three day Edinbrugh itinerary order if you like), then the place to be is the Stockbridge Market. This is my favorite farmer’s market in the city.
Stockbridge has a plethora of great bistros and cafes to choose from, including Scottish food reinvented at the Scran and Scallie, romantic atmosphere at The Stockbridge Restaurant and Hector’s gastro pub for hearty vegetarian fare.
- Savoring Edinburgh Food Tour – take a walking tour of Stockbridge that takes in may of its tastes, will be right up your alley.
- Hours: Market Sundays 10am-5pm, restaurants, regular restaurant times, around 11am-10pm.
- Cost: Varies depending on venue, but market lunch around £5-7 per person.
- Location: Saunders Street, Stockbridge.
- Tour Bus Stop: Edinburgh Tour Majestic Tour stop 2.
23. Royal Botanical Garden
The Royal Botanic Gardens showcases nearly 17,000 species with about 34,000 plants over a 72-acre area, with plants from all over the world on display.
The Queen Mother Memorial Garden, Rock Garden, and Glasshouse are pretty highlights, and events are often held on the lawn in front of historic Inverleith House right in the heart of the gardens.
- Hours: Daily 10am-5pm.
- Cost: Free.
- Location: Arboretum Place.
- Tour Bus Stop: Edinburgh Tour stop 6.
24. Royal Yacht Britannia
The Royal Yacht Britannia was the official Royal Yacht used by her Majesty the Queen. It was built in 1953, loved and used for 44 years by the Royal family then decommissioned and opened to the public as a floating museum in 1997.
You can walk around where the Queen took her vacations. You can even take a look in the engine room, medical office, and laundry to see how everything was run. While listening to the audio commentary by the royal family.
- Get your Royal Britania ticket and audio guide for just $20 USD. Free cancellation within 24 hours from activity.
- Hours: 9.30am-4.30pm.
- Cost: £16.50, £14.50 senior/student, £8.75 under 18, free under 5.
- Location: Ocean Drive, Leith.
- Tour Bus Stop: Edinburgh Majestic Tour stop 7.
- Edinburgh City Shore Excursion – Lonely Planet Tours provides a comprehensive tour of the city leaving from Leith’s Shore area.
25. Leith Dinner and Music
It’s now time to visit the vibrant area of Leith, so this is where we’ll spend our finaly evening of our Edinburgh itinerary.
If you are here on a Saturday or Sunday, head to The Pitt Market. This pioneering street food market is set up in Leith’s industrial Pitt Street and is a new sensation. Set in a huge warehouse with open-air and closed sections, the market is full of local street food vendors with high-quality local produce.
If you’re not here on the weekend head to Barologist, one of Leith’s quirkiest bars. Sumptuous décor and a varied gastropub-style menu with well-placed music make this a great spot for dinner and drinks to be set for the evening. Try the tapas, they’re delicious!
- Hours: The Pitt Market Saturdays 12pm-10pm, Sundays 12pm-8pm. The Barologist daily 11am-12am.
- Cost: £2 entry fee to Pitt Market, food varies, around £5-10 per dish. Barologist starters £5-9, mains £7-15 most dishes, steak more, desserts £5-7.
- Location: Pitt Street, Leith.
- Tour Bus Stop: Edinburgh Majestic Tour stop 8.
Well, there is my city Edinburgh! You have now completed 3 days in Edinburgh.
I know three days isn’t enough to do a city such as this full justice to get to know it, but I hope this guide helps you get a good taster for the various sides to it, and makes you want to return for another trip.
Edinburgh’s own author Ian Rankin’s thoughts echo my own about my home city:
“Edinburgh isn’t so much a city, more a way of life… I doubt I’ll ever tire of exploring Edinburgh, on foot or in print.”
3 days in Edinburgh Itinerary Resources
Currency: XE Currency Converter App.
When to Visit Edinburgh: Being in Britain, expect rain at any time of the year, or day, even if it was sunny when you left in the morning.
- June to August are the best months for weather, but it is also peak season so expect high prices and more crowds.
- Shoulder season is the ideal time in Spring and Fall for lower prices and pleasant weather.
- Winters are cold, but you’ll find the best deals.
Dressing in layers is always a smart move at all times in Edinburgh and bring a small umbrella.
What to Pack: Packing for Europe
Eagle Creek Plug Adapter – This all-in-one adapter is all you need for Edinburgh and other European and world travels.
Tours: For Edinburgh city tours we use Get your Guide.
It’s easy to book in advance and most tours have easy cancellations up to 24 hours in advance (check cancellation details before booking) and Get Your guide offers last-minute booking too.
3 Days in Edinburgh Before you Go!
- Ready to fly to Edinburgh? Check out Cheap Flights here.
- Make sure you have travel insurance. We never travel without it and recommend World Nomads for short-term trips. If you are looking for something more long-term check out Allianz Travel Insurance. Read more about the value of Travel Insurance here.
- Need Data? KnowRoaming offers unlimited data and roaming for $3.99 per day. Planetd readers receive a 50% discount with code DDSave30. Read our review here.
Where to Stay in Edinburgh
Wondering where to stay in Edinburgh? Check out Karen’s comprehensive breakdown of each neighborhood and recommendations for the best hotels. Or you can click the links directly below.
- Leith – The most international part of the city has become a gastronomical hot spot located at the city’s port.
- Stockbridge – The trendiest “village” in Edinburgh, says hipster cool by the bucket load.
- Old Town/The Royal Mile – Historic and haunted area with cobbled streets.
- New Town/City Centre – Filled with the best shopping and the city’s most iconic streets like Princes, Rose and George Streets.
- Morningside/Bruntsfield – Leafy parks line this upmarket part of the city.
Looking to plan a trip to Edinburgh? Pin this guide to Pinterest to save for future travel planning.
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