24 hours in Edinburgh

21st May 2014
Photo of 24 hours in Edinburgh 1/1 by Veronica May

I have a lot of precious memories from my time spent in Edinburgh, it’s still one of my favourite cities. Mentioning this city in conversation gives me the same reaction almost every time – a true love and adoration for it’s beauty and charm.

The capital of Scotland is a unique city in that it wonderfully combines medieval, gothic and georgian-period architecture with modern and trendy.

Breakfast at Peter’s Yard. Get suitably caffeinated and fueled (you’ll need to for your jam-packed day ahead!) at this effortlessly stylish and contemporary artisan-Swedish bakery. It’s centrally located in Old Town, next to The University of Edinburgh’s central campus and the lovely Meadows park right beside it. Walk off your breakfast with a pleasant stroll towards Princes Street. You’ll walk over North Bridge to give you breathtaking views of Old Town, New Town ahead of you, the Scott Monument, Calton Hill and the spectacular Edinburgh Castle to your left.
Photo of Peter's Yard by Veronica May
Take an open-bus tour of Edinburgh from one of the bus companies that depart from Waverley Bridge (next to the train station). Edinburgh Bus Tours and City Sightseeing are popular. Even though it really is a very walkable and compact city, it's a great way to give yourself an over-view of all the main landmarks while taking in the stunning scenery.
Photo of Edinburgh Bus Tours, Waverley Bridge, Edinburgh, United Kingdom by Veronica May
Stop off at the National Museum of Scotland. “Explore the diversity of the natural world, world cultures, art and design, science and technology and Scottish history, all under one roof at the National Museum of Scotland.” Tip: Don’t miss the gorgeous 360 views from the roof garden. (Opposite the museum is a small statue of a Skye terrior, a beloved dog called Grayfriars Bobby, who famously guarded over his owners grave after he passed away for 14 years. Adorable).
Photo of National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh, United Kingdom by Veronica May
Have a quick coffee break at the birthplace of Harry Potter, The Elephant House. It’s a cosy and rustic cafe with big windows at the back for perfect views while sipping on your latte. Perhaps you’ll be sat in the same place where J.K. Rowling was inspired to start her writing career!
Photo of The Elephant House, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, United Kingdom by Veronica May
Walk through lovely Victoria Street in the Grassmarket, before heading up the magical Royal Mile – a cobbled meandering, narrow road that leads up to the iconic Edinburgh Castle. Enjoy beautiful views of the city sky-line from here, a dramatic fortress jutting out from castle rock.
Photo of Grassmarket, Edinburgh, United Kingdom by Veronica May
Photo of Grassmarket, Edinburgh, United Kingdom by Veronica May
Complete your bus-tour by returning back to the starting point. From here a short walk up the road will take you to the decadent Balmoral Hotel on Princes Street. You will be greeted by doormen fully kitted in traditional kilted Scottish dress, before indulging in the award-winning Balmoral’s Afternoon Tea served in the Palm Court. A divine and luxurious experience!
Photo of The Balmoral Hotel, Princes Street, Edinburgh, United Kingdom by Veronica May
Return to your hotel to get refreshed, dolled up and ready for a wonderful evening ahead. Enjoy pre-dinner cocktails at Bramble, voted one of the top 50 bars in the world. It’s truly a hidden gem that is easily missed as there is no sign at all. This small underground cosy, candlelit bar is for people who take there cocktails seriously. The barmen are fantastic and manage to create exquisite tasting cocktails from an extensive menu. Not to be missed!
Photo of Bramble Bar & Lounge, Queen Street, Edinburgh, United Kingdom by Veronica May
Dinner at 21212. This restaurant is without a doubt incredible, a real treat in a listed Georgian townhouse and one of the 5 michelin starred restaurants in Edinburgh. I truly had an outstanding and elegant dining experience here. The menu is delightfully unique and we were pleasantly surprised by such personal service from the waitress.
Photo of 21212, Royal Terrace, Edinburgh, United Kingdom by Veronica May
After dinner head to The Stand – one of the country’s most iconic comedy clubs. The performances really are fantastic and guaranteed to have you belly laughing in to the night. For the party animals it’s now perfect timing to check out the excellent nightlife this city has to offer. For those seeking a stylish club, walk along George street and take your pick from Lulu, Opal Lounge, Le Monde, Why Not or Shanghai, where the beautiful people of Edinburgh are to be seen.
Photo of The Stand, York Place, Edinburgh, United Kingdom by Veronica May
For those who truly want to let there hair down, dance like there’s no tomorrow to indie/electro beats and enjoy a night of absolute hedonism, head to Cabaret Voltaire. ‘An Edinburgh institution..the staple of alternative music culture’ or The Caves, one of the most unique clubbing experiences I’ve had. (It also hosts wedding events due it's unusual, underground venue - a must see!).
Photo of The Caves, Edinburgh, United Kingdom by Veronica May